Warning: spoilers ahead for Episode 15 of The Flash Season 3, "The Wrath of Savitar."
Death is rarely permanent in the superhero world, and The Flash has brought back just about every character that it's killed at least once. When news broke earlier this year that the show would be bringing back some dearly departed fan favorites, the question wasn't so much of why it was happening but of how. Now, the cliffhanger of "The Wrath of Savitar" and promo for next week's "Into the Speed Force" have given the answer: Barry will run into versions of his past pals while in the Speed Force trying to rescue Wally West. The Flash will bring back shades of Eddie Thawne, Ronnie Raymond, and Leonard Snart to interact with the Scarlet Speedster within the Speed Force.
In "The Wrath of Savitar," Barry and Team Flash were desperately trying to find a way to stop Savitar from killing Iris in the far-too-foreseeable future. Unfortunately, when they contacted Savitar via Julian, Savitar gained an edge on them...and a way out of his imprisonment in the Speed Force. Savitar managed to lure Kid Flash into open battle, where he pulled Wally into the Speed Force to take his place. Wally is now alone and almost certainly unprepared for whatever -- and whoever -- he'll face in the Speed Force.
Naturally, Team Flash is already willing to do whatever is necessary to free Wally from the Speed Force, and the promo for next week shows that Barry will return to the Speed Force on a mission to free his friend, and showrunner Andrew Kreisberg has already revealed that Barry is in for a rough ride with what he encounters. Kreisberg said this in a chat with EW about next week's "Into the Speed Force" episode:
Barry makes another journey into the Speed Force and it's a very different kind of journey. Last time, in a way, it was like he went to heaven, and this time it's more like going to hell -- it's more about descending deeper and deeper into levels of hell. We get a little bit more about the Speed Force mythology and speedsters' connection to it.
Barry's first trip into the Speed Force was more of a psychological journey for Barry as he tried to cope with the death of his mother than a physical journey, but it's clear that his second trip is going to be less cathartic. He'll interact with versions of people he used to know in Eddie, Ronnie, and Snart, and we can bet that they won't all be friendly. Hopefully Barry will be able to retrieve Wally without any permanent trauma, emotional or otherwise. Who knows? Maybe Barry will have a happy reunion with at least one of his dead friends. Stranger things have happened.
Tune in to The CW on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET to catch new episodes of The Flash, and don't forget to check out our midseason TV premiere schedule.