Tonight’s episode of “The Flash” — titled “The Once and Future Flash” — picked up right where “Abra Kadabra” left off. Caitlin had just turned into Killer Frost after Julian pulled her necklace off to keep her from dying. Barry was convinced that he had to travel to 2024 to get information on beating Savitar. Iris was getting more and more mentally prepared for her possible death and asked Barry to take care of Joe. Then Barry did travel to the future and found Team Flash completely devastated. This episode was directed by H.R. Wells himself, Tom Cavanagh, and dealt with the emotional pitfalls of grief, tragedy, and the complete loss of hope. Thankfully Barry was able to help his future friends who in turn helped him. Armed with science and hope from the future, Barry came back to the present determined to stop Savitar once and for all.
Back to the Future
When Barry traveled to 2024, he first ran into Mirror Master and the Top. They both whammied him until he could run away back to S.T.A.R. Labs. At S.T.A.R. Labs he found Cisco, who said that he could feel Barry coming back to the future. He said he felt the presence of something he hadn’t felt in a long time (that was very “Star Wars” of Cisco, classic.) When Barry asked Cisco what happened to Team Flash, Cisco explained that Iris’ death devastated the other Barry, which made Barry push Team Flash away. Joe West was alone and in mourning. Cisco had lost his hands in a battle against Killer Frost. Julian was keeping Caitlin on ice so that she couldn’t harm anyone. Cisco had Terminator hands and no vibe powers. Wally was wheelchair bound after taking on Savitar alone. Barry was reliving memories with Iris in the time vault, alone, broken, and desolate. When present Barry saw future Barry, it was a lot like Sara Lance seeing older Oliver in the “2046” episode of “Legends of Tomorrow.”
Present Barry was shocked to discover that the future version of himself would be so selfish in his grief to abandon Joe and his entire team. When Barry saw Wally he was crushed. When Barry saw Joe in the cemetery he was wrecked. When Barry saw himself, all he could do was cry. Savitar may have been locked away in the speedforce, but it came at too high of a cost. The only person on Team Flash who was thriving was H.R. Wells, who had bought Jitter’s Coffee and was selling his superhero books. Barry wanted to go back to his time, but Cisco was keeping him there, in the hopes that Barry would stay and get the team back together.
The Power of Team Flash
When Barry was finally able to go back to his time, he decided to stay instead. He assembled the team and went after Mirror Master and the Top. Thankfully he didn’t have to go in alone. Future Barry put his new suit on (complete with a brighter red color and new bolt designs) and raced to present Barry’s aid. Together they were able to take down Mirror Master and the Top. While future Barry admitted that he never discovered the identity of Savitar before he put him into the speedforce, Cisco did have some information to share. A scientist named Tracy Brand helped future Barry and future Cisco develop a speedforce trap. While she wasn’t able to build it before Iris’ death, Cisco did give present Barry all the technical information on the trap. Hopefully Barry and present day Tracy can crack whatever codes may lie within the data to trap Savitar before May 23 (Iris’ predicted date of death.)
Before Barry raced back to the past, he admitted that he made a mistake in pushing away his friends and shutting down Team Flash. Seeing his friends so lost without him was a true “It’s a Wonderful Life” moment and the boost of hope that Barry needed to face Savitar again.
Killer Frost Holds the Keys
The episode concluded with Barry returning to the current timeline and explaining to the team that he had a lead on Savitar’s identity. Barry hugged Joe (cue the tears) and told Joe that he loved him. Barry then assured Iris again that he would keep her promise. The final moments of the episode showcased Caitlin, in her full Killer Frost glory, conversing with Savitar in the woods. Savitar promised Killer Frost salvation and the complete removal of Caitlin Snow from her personality. When Killer Frost asked Savitar why she should trust him, he unlocked his suit and revealed himself to her. She instantly replied with “What do you want me to do?” That means whoever is inside Savitar’s suit knows Caitlin and is someone that she trusts. Is Savitar her fallen husband Ronnie Raymond? Is he Barry Allen himself (we think he could be?) Is he a future version of Cisco, H.R. Wells, Wally, or even her new love Julian? At this point, it’s almost impossible to guess who is inside that suit, but Caitlin trusting him so easily is a pretty huge clue about his identity.
I Know Who You Are
In next week’s episode, “I Know Who You Are,” Killer Frost will team up with Savitar. Her trust in him will set her against her friends, mainly Cisco. Barry will also uncover a secret about Savitar’s identity, specifically that he is someone from the future. This episode will set up the final four episodes of the season which will lead to Barry’s ultimate showdown with Savitar and hopefully Caitlin’s true salvation back to her true identity.
VIBE FACES OFF AGAINST KILLER FROST – Barry (Grant Gustin) and the team meet Tracy Brand (guest star Anne Dudek), a scientist, who may be the key to stopping Savitar. Unfortunately, Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker) is also after Tracy so Team Flash must battle their old friend, which proves to be particularly difficult for Cisco (Carlos Valdes). Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Cecile’s (guest star Danielle Nicolet) relationship takes a big turn. Hanelle Culpepper directed the episode written by Bronwen Clark & Joshua V. Gilbert. Original airdate 5/2/2017.
Starring Grant Gustin as the Scarlet Speedster, “The Flash” airs Tuesdays at 8 pm ET/PT on The CW. The series also stars Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker, Keiynan Lonsdale and more.