Barry received a taste of the future on The Flash Season 3 Episode 19 "The Once and Future Flash."
And to say it wasn't pretty would be the biggest understatement ever.
Because in 2024, Team Flash was in shambles, having never recovered from Iris' death or Caitlin's transformation.
In other words, the ladies need to survive in order for the team to be whole.
Except Barry's continually finding himself in a position where he can't save both of them. He chose to go to the future immediately rather than track down Killer Frost after she made a mess of the lab, and nearly killed Julian, Cisco, and H.R.
If he'd stayed they might have been able to find Killer Frost and coax Caitlin back out before Savitar arrived with his tempting offer.
However, if Barry hadn't rushed to the future, he might not have a potential lead.
Future Barry offered up the name of the physicist responsible for helping him trap Savitar in the Speed Force. If Barry can find her sooner than he did in this timeline, he may be able to stop Savitar from killing Iris.
So Barry could, theoretically, send Savitar packing. Then, Iris would live. But is Caitlin too far gone? Is she going to attack Cisco and destroy his vibe powers forever?
Barry: Caitlin, you can fight this.
Killer Frost: I know. But I don't want to.
I love, and agree with, the idea of both ladies being essential to the team's survival.
One of my favorite moments came on The Flash Season 3 Episode 10 when Iris pointed out her future wasn't the only one that needed to change after Barry and Cisco revisited May 23, 2017, to check the headlines.
But it's still frustrating that Caitlin automatically has to be a villain if she succumbs to her powers. None of the other members of Team Flash went dark once they became metas.
I don't want to see Caitlin sacrificed because she's "evil" now in order for The Flash Season 3 to end on a shocking note. I've never believed Iris would die. I don't want to see Caitlin as a permanent villain, either.
Now, back to the future.
As much as I enjoy having double the Grant Gustin on screen killing it as the two versions of Barry, what was the point of rallying the team? Yes, it made everyone feel better. Yes, future Barry needed that kick in the ass.
But in the grand scheme of things, Barry traveled to 2024 to find a way to change the entire future. And while it was nice of him to help Cisco put the team back together, it's a little pointless since he plans to rewrite history.
If, and when, Iris lives past May 23, that future will not come to pass. Barry won't sink into depression. He won't turn his back on Joe. Wally won't be hurt.
Cisco: Barry Allen [hugs him].
Barry: How did you know I was here?
Cisco: I had a feeling. A feeling I have not felt in a long time. So I hacked into the security cameras and I saw you fighting Top and Mirror Master in your OG suit with the white emblem. 2017 Edition, of course.
I suppose Cisco could still lose everything at Caitlin's hands. This wasn't the first glimpse we've had of the two of them battling.
Knowing what happens to Cisco could force Barry to work harder to make sure Killer Frost does as little damage as possible. But is it really less likely that Barry will turn his back on his friends and family if the worst happens?
I'm not sure. If there is a greater meaning behind the potential future, it might center on what Future Barry said to Barry about losing Iris. He won't understand the grief until he's living it.
Which makes me think some version of the future could happen sooner rather than later.
I do believe Iris will survive. I hope Caitlin will overpower Killer Frost once more. But after all the buildup to the Savitar reveal, including Caitlin recognizing the person immediately, the impact needs to be huge.
Life destroying huge. The kind of thing that blows an irreparable hole in the middle of Team Flash. Something that knocks Barry Allen off his game.
Iris: I need you to make me a promise, okay? If things don't go our way. If Savitar kills me...
Barry: He won't.
Iris: If he does, Barry--
Barry: He won't.
Iris: If he does, Barry, promise me that you will be there for my dad. Don't let him push Cecil away. Don't let him spiral out of control. Make sure that him and Wally--
Barry: Stop. We're not going to talk about this. You're not going to die. I told you. I have a plan.
Iris: Barry, I need you to promise me, okay? I'm being serious. Promise me. Promise me you're going to make sure my dad is okay.
Barry: I promise.
It seems like that will happen once again. Or, the person beneath Savitar's armor will be enough to shatter Barry's world. But there aren't many people who would have that kind of power over the speedster.
If nothing else, at least Barry's got a new suit to look forward to.
Tell us what you thought of "The Once and Future Flash"!
Did you like the glimpse into 2024? Do you believe Caitlin can be saved? Would Barry really turn his back on Joe? Who is Savitar?!
Remember, you can watch The Flash online anytime!
Mandy Treccia was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She retired in September 2017. Follow her on Twitter.