When The Flash returns tonight, there's really only one thing on Barry Allen's mind: Save Iris West.
In the last episode of the CW series before the holidays, Barry (Grant Gustin)—while trying to get rid of the philosopher's stone (it's a long story)—found himself five months in the future, witnessing the death of his beloved girlfriend Iris (Candice Patton) at the hands of the speed god Savitar.
It's a brutal, terrifying future for sure, but somehow, Barry managed to go home and spend a few blissful moments of holiday joy with his loved ones. He even took a big new step in his relationship with Iris and rented a house for the two of them to live in together.
According to executive producer Aaron Helbing, the immediate future of the show will be mainly focused on finding a way to prevent that possible future from occurring.
"That's going to be the thrust for the back half of the season—doing whatever it takes to make sure that Savitar doesn't kill Iris," Helbing told E! News. "But it's also going to kind of touch on just the mortality of this world and how dangerous of a villain Savitar is. That's going to have really profound effects on not only Barry, but the rest of the team."
While Barry has been known to try to keep his secrets, what he saw in that possible future is not going to be one of them. Barry will tell Iris, and the rest of the team, about her potential death, and "together, they're going to do whatever it takes to make sure that future event does not happen."
"He learned his lesson," Helbing told us of Barry's secret-keeping habits. "When he came back from Flashpoint, he tried to keep it a secret, and he almost lost all of his friends and family, so I think because of that, he has chosen to not keep secrets."
Or at least he's working on it.
"There's going to be something that prompts him to tell her the truth, but I think he would have eventually come clean anyways, because she's so important to him," Helbing said. "He has to tell her what's going to happen so they can make a plan and make sure that it doesn't happen."
For now, Barry's quest to save Iris will keep him a little bit preoccupied from learning more about the evil they're facing.
"I mean, right now Savitar is a speed god, but Barry's going to eventually figure out, with the help of the team, who he is, and that will then help him figure out how to defeat him," Helbing said. "Right now he's just focused on saving Iris, and so because of that, because there's that fire inside Barry, that's going to serve him well in the episodes to come."
Helbing said there's a lot more to learn about this god of speed and what exactly happened to make him so angry at Barry specifically. We will see all of that play out by the end of the season.
As for what it's going to take to defeat Savitar, Helbing said, "It's going to take a tremendous amount of teamwork and focus," but luckily, The Flash always has hope on its side.
"When you have The Flash, you always have hope," Helbing said. "Barry's optimistic that he can stop [Iris' death] from happening because of who he is, because he has the Flash at his side, because he has Cisco and Caitlin, he has Joe and HR. He has an amazing team, and so you put them all together, and there's always hope amongst this amazing team."
That's good news, because we are not even slightly ready to say goodbye to Iris, and we have a feeling the fans aren't either.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW.