It's taken two and a half seasons for WestAllen to actually happen, but when The Flash returns on Jan. 24, Barry and Iris's honeymoon phase is going to come to an abrupt end. Central City is being terrorized by a Speed Force god named Savitar and his followers, including an enslaved Julian Albert as Doctor Alchemy. Flash fans spent much of the first half of the season making their most educated guesses about Alchemy's secret identity. Now it remains to be seen whose face lies under the mask worn by his boss. One particular answer would throw the entire team into chaos. What if Future Barry is Savitar? The events of the midseason finale and a very credible threat to Iris seem to shut down that theory.
Once Barry and friends figure out that it was Julian doing Savitar's bidding, they decide that the best course of action is to pump him for information. Julian isn't acting under his own auspices; he is essentially being possessed by Savitar so that the Speed Force god can recreate the Flashpoint timeline by restoring metahuman powers to people who had them in the alternate universe Barry created. Cisco rigs Julian up to Savitar's consciousness, but what he has to say is less information that will be helpful to S.T.A.R. Labs and more chilling glimpses into the future.
Savitar speaks through Julian to make some prophecies. One of Barry's friends will "betray" him; one will "fall"; and one will "suffer a fate far worse than death." Savitar also blames Barry for his current state of being. (The bad guys like to blame Barry for all their problems.) Evidently, Future Barry will get the best of Savitar one day. "You trapped me in eternity," Savitar says, indicating the Philosopher's Stone. "Your future self." He's seeking retroactive vengeance.
Savitar wants to destroy Barry. He doesn't want just to kill Barry, which could still be the act of a future version of himself attempting to prevent some terrible event. Savitar wants to destroy Barry's whole life by ripping apart his chosen family. Flashpoint has already led to some major rifts in the team, starting with Cisco finding out that it was Barry's fiddling with the timeline that killed off his brother in this current reality. And Caitlin Snow is fighting off the biological urge to become just like her Earth-2 self, Killer Frost. Cisco is beginning to learn how to forgive Barry, which bodes well for keeping the gang together. But Cisco vibes that he and Killer Frost will end up battling each other, one-on-one. Can they avoid that future?
But the upcoming blow that argues most against Future Barry being Savitar's secret self is the death of Iris West. Barry noted with dread earlier in the season that the article about his disappearance in the 2024 newspaper in Gideon's archives is no longer written by "Iris West-Allen." And later, he sees Iris die by Savitar's hand with his own two eyes. Unless Barry and Wally can travel to the future to prevent Iris's murder, Savitar is going to kill her. Future Barry would never — under any circumstances — do anything to intentionally harm Iris. That's one possible Savitar identity to cross off the list.
Friendships have already been tested in this season of The Flash, and Savitar's prophecies indicate that the hard part is far from over. The Speed Force god is empowered by a personal vendetta against Barry Allen, which could mean a complete dissolution of Team Flash.