Barry Allen has a new mission when The Flash returns.
After throwing the Philosopher’s Stone into the Speed Force, and effectively locking foe Savitar in eternity, Barry (Grant Gustin) was thrust five months into the future, where he watched the God of Motion kill Iris (Candice Patton). Can Barry prevent this future and the grim prophecy that comes along with it? EW turned to executive producer Aaron Helbing to get the scoop on what’s next:
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What can you tease of Barry’s struggle to prevent this future and how it might make him spiral?
AARON HELBING: The reality is that Barry is going to do whatever it takes to prevent Savitar from killing Iris, so that single event is going to serve as the thrust for the rest of the season. It’s going to be an event that they’ll continue to revisit and try to learn as much as they can so that they can stop Savitar.
Will trying so hard to fix this cause a divide in his relationship with Iris?
No, it’ll bring them closer together.
Is it a coincidence that Barry landed in that particular time or is there more to it?
Nothing is a coincidence when it comes to Savitar. I mean, Savitar is the most formidable adversary that Barry and the team have come up against. They throw the Philosopher’s Stone into the Speed Force and he gets thrust to that specific time period for a reason.
By throwing the box with Savitar into the Speed Force, did Barry essentially make the future that Savitar said would happen come true? He literally trapped him in eternity!
That’s a good question. Honestly, we hadn’t thought of THAT.
So not something you’re going to address then?
No, not really.
How is Iris dealing with knowing she’s going to die?
In the beginning, when she first finds out, she’s devastated. She just moved in with Barry, she’s madly in love with him, she has all of these friends, she has a career that she wants to continue to build, so in the beginning, she’s devastated, but because she’s given a ticking time clock and she knows exactly when her expiration date is, so to speak, that emboldens her to go, “You know what? There’s a lot of things that I still want to accomplish. I know when I’m going to die, so I’m not going to die before then.” That’s going to cause her to put herself at risk further down the line in pursuit of her journalism.
How does Julian (Tom Felton) fit into the team moving forward?
He fits really well. The thing about the team is they’re always willing to give somebody a second chance. What they realize about Julian is he wasn’t actively being Alchemy, he was under Savitar’s control. So, because of that, they’re willing to give him a second chance. He’s going to provide a lot of clues and a lot of information for the team because he’s essentially an expert on Savitar and on the Philosopher’s Stone.
Isn’t it dangerous to open S.T.A.R. Labs as a museum while they’re running a superhero operation out of it?
That’s definitely a conversation that they have with HR (Tom Cavanagh). “This is crazy!” But as far as HR’s concerned, he’s trying to prove his worth to the team. He did it on Earth-19, so he thinks it’s going keep the attention away from The Flash. As you see with HR, he’s always very optimistic in things and he gives 110 percent, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that everybody is on board.
Can you talk about Wells facing the consequences of leaving his own Earth in an upcoming episode?
Honestly, it makes him realize that he’s part of a team. It really furthers his relationship with the rest of the team because of what they’re willing to do to make sure that he’s OK. HR has always been a do-it-yourself kind of guy when he was on Earth-19. He was always that guy, like it’s all about me. What he’s learning is that it’s valuable and helpful to have a team. He’s finally learning that he is part of a loving family.
What can you tease for Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) and how she’s handling her Killer Frost side moving forward? Is she getting more control of her powers or is it more of them controlling her?
Right now, it’s more of her getting control of her powers, but in the back of her mind, it’s always, “You’re going to become Killer Frost. At any moment, you could slip up and go to the dark side,” like she was in episode 7. That’s going to be a struggle that she’s going to deal with the rest of the season.
Everyone assumes that Caitlin’s gone dark in the vision of the future, but Cisco (Carlos Valdes) seems like he’s on the path to going dark as well. What can you tease for what’s next for him?
We’re going to see Cisco really realize what he can do. After seeing Gypsy (Jessica Camacho)— Gypsy is a very formidable adversary, and he never realized the extent of his powers, and because of seeing Gypsy, he’s going to become more and more in tune with his powers and what he can do, whether it’s crossing dimensions or opening breaches much faster and quicker. He’s going to be building confidence, and that’ll definitely play into the rest of the season of helping Barry and the team stop Savitar from killing Iris.
In terms of the upcoming musical crossover with Supergirl, is there anything you can tease of what it is that the Music Meister (Darren Criss) is after that he forces the heroes to break into song?
There’s nothing that I want to reveal at this moment. Our plan from the beginning has been to have both existing songs and original songs. We’re hoping to have that. I mean, we’re really proud of the episode, we’re very excited about the script. We’re swinging for the fences. I feel like we’ve been swinging for the fences every episode and I feel like we’re hitting it out of the park every time. We’re very proud of the episodes coming up.
Can the prophecy be stopped? Or will it come true no matter what, but who ends up being in each role is interchangeable?
The thing about Savitar is he’s a villain, and he’s going to say things that may or may not come true. It’s going to get the team thinking and looking at each other — Who is going to have a fate worse than death? Who is going to betray the team? — those are things that will be revealed. But in the beginning, you see Savitar, he’s evil, he’s going to say things to get under Barry’s skin and the team’s skin and try to stoke as much distrust as he can. We’re going to play with that first and eventually, we’ll deal with the prophecy.
With that in mind, can Iris be saved or is time owed a death either way?
It’s The Flash, so anything is possible.
The Flash returns Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.