Now that Team Flash knows Savitar is not a god, but an actual person, the race is on to try to find out who’s under that armor.
While Barry was attempting to free Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) from the Speed Force during a recent episode of The Flash, Jesse Quick (Violett Beane) went toe-to-toe with this season’s big bad, piercing a part of his armor and discovering that he could actually be wounded, thus he can potentially be stopped. “They need to figure out who he is first,” Grant Gustin tells EW. “They don’t even know where to start.”
They may get help in that department with the arrival of Abra Kadabra (David Dastmalchian), a metahuman villain from the future. “Catching him could provide the key to Savitar’s identity,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg says. However, bargaining with the villain may come with a price - more on that here.
Either way, the team will get an assist with the return of Gypsy (Jessica Camacho), whom Cisco (Carlos Valdes) hopes to further his relationship with. “She’s very protective of her own emotions and her own vulnerabilities, but I think the magic of the chemistry between the two is that Cisco can cut right through that and see her for who she really is,” Valdes says. “The tricky thing in [Tuesday’s episode] is that what brings her over to our Earth and our reality is a secret from her past that Cisco spends most of the episode really grappling with her on and trying to get her to be open about. She has trouble doing that and when she does reveal what it is, it’s not something that Cisco sees coming.”
Subsequently, Barry will take a trip to the future in a bid for answers. “Barry is going to realize that the hunt for Savitar’s identity might not lie in the present, which will take the show in a fun and interesting direction,” Kreisberg teases of episode 19, aptly titled “The Once and Future Flash.” Adds Gustin: “This is definitely his most involved trip to the future or the past because he’s there for a predominant part of the episode and tries to get some clues as to how this went down in the future so he can come back and stop it. Barry starts to get some answers pretty soon. It’s going to be a challenge to stop this guy. It’s going to be a different kind of challenge than we’ve ever had.”
So, who’s really under that mask? All involved are staying relatively mum. “When we have a masked villain, we do our best to subvert audience’s expectations,” Kreisberg says. “Hopefully, if we’ve done our jobs right, you will be both shocked and also go, That makes perfect sense.’ So hopefully we’ve laid the groundwork for it all to make sense not just in the moment, but hopefully you look back and you realize how important it was for Barry to face this particular villain in his journey as a hero and how this season ties into all the others.”
Some theories have emerged that a future version of Wally could be the villain - after all, Savitar did say he created himself - or he could even be a future version of - twist! - Barry! “I love that our show is so involved that it can inspire people to come up with their own theories and conspiracies about what’s going on with the plot,” Valdes says. “I honestly just prefer to stay out of it and watch it all happen, like a mastermind just watching all the pieces collect themselves. Of course, I know what’s going to happen, but it’s fun to watch fans just create labyrinths for themselves.”
Whoever is revealed under that mask will certainly change the show moving forward. “It impacts everybody and makes them question everything that they’ve known for the past three seasons,” EP Aaron Helbing says. As Team Flash - and therefore the viewers - inch closer to that fateful night where Iris (Candice Patton) is destined to die, Helbing also teases that the ultimate showdown is “going to be incredibly emotional and epic at the same time - not epic in a grand scale, but epic in how it impacts everybody.”
Whether Barry will be able to save Iris or not, the finale is slated to catch up to that grim future we’ve glimpsed several times over the last few episodes. “Now you’re going to see how everything unfolds and it’s going to be a little bit different than what you’ve seen,” EP Todd Helbing says, cautioning, “Time is harder to change than even Barry realizes.”
Asked to tease one thing about the finale, Kreisberg offers: “You’re definitely going to cry.”
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on The CW.