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Spoiler alert for anyone who has yet to watch The Flash's midseason finale.
Fans of The Flash have, for two and a half seasons now, watched Barry Allen witness one tragedy after another in a life filled with misguided decisions. And tonight's midseason finale was no different, although the details behind the tragedy-ogling were indeed a new spin on things. For tonight, The Flash went into the future for the very first time, and what he saw there did not do his conscience well: he watched Iris die. And you can bet your scarlet ass he's going to try to figure out how to stop that from happening.
That's right, our favorite quick-footed superhero didn't go back into the past, as he is wont to do on occasion, but into the future. As he and Jay Garrick were zipping around in an effort to throw The Philosopher's Stone (and Savitar inside of it) into the Speed Force, Barry ended up crossing over to a point five months down the timeline. There, he saw a future version of himself helpless to stop Savitar, who temporarily held Iris hostage before shanking her through the torso. Future Barry wept as Present Barry went back to his time, understandably horrified.
The obvious questions are "Who went into the Speed Force and removed the Philosopher's Stone?" and "Will Barry be able to change the future any better than he changed the past?" Now that Wally is fully in Kid Flash mode, we likely won't have to worry about him trying to reclaim his Stone fascination. However, Cisco was really, really upset about his Dante vision, so that might come back into it. And if Cisco ends up being an indirect cause for Iris' death, he and Barry's relationship will possibly never be repaired. Which could mean it probably won't end up going down like that, but Savitar did warn that Barry would have one friend betray him, along with other bad omens.
Iris' possible death in the coming months offers an explanation for why her name was missing from the Flash newspaper story that kicked off this whole show, as revealed in last week's crossover episode. Barry's timeline finagling has cost him so many things already, and losing out on a future with Iris would be the final straw. At least he's making the most of the present just in case, by getting her to move in with him. Don't be surprised if he just locks her in the basement for the next five months.
It's hard to tell just what Barry is going to do moving forward, since he's always been able to reverse-engineer his problems in the past. Without knowing exactly what leads up to Iris' death, he's not so equipped to handle the problem. Jay Garrick's advice doesn't exactly help, since he's adamant about getting Barry to focus on the present instead of trying to fix everything else. That's not typical Barry behavior in the slightest.
The Flash will be gone from its usual Tuesday night spot on The CW - new episodes will be, anyway - but there are lots of things coming to the small screen in the future, and you can find them all in our midseason premiere schedule. Can we get some more cameos from The Trickster in the meantime, though?