Is anyone really surprised about where ‘The Flash’ is heading next season?

06.20.16 8 months ago

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This should go without saying, but there are major spoilers in this piece for the end of season two of The Flash as well as some speculation about the nature of season three.

One of the things that Twitter has done is profoundly alter the way we discover new information about various films and TV shows. This morning was a pretty great example of that. Grant Gustin, who stars as Barry Allen on CW”s The Flash, is gearing up for the start of production on the show”s third season, and he sent out a teasing Tweet this morning:

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Almost immediately, the show”s producer, Greg Berlanti, replied to him:

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And Gustin then happily spilled the beans, confirming what should have been obvious to any Flash fan who saw the season two finale:

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When I watched the finale with my kids, the moment Barry decided to save his mother”s life in the past, both of them popped up out of their chairs. “They”re doing The Flashpoint Paradox, daddy! They”re doing Flashpoint next year!” Thanks to the direct-to-video animated version of the story, they already have a grasp of the cause-and-effect nature of time travel, and they”re deeply invested in the series overall.

One of the things I enjoy about the way they”ve handled The Flash so far is how it”s given most of the actors on the show a chance to play several variations on the same character. Tom Cavanaugh, for example, played Harrison Wells on the first season, but we eventually learned that he was actually a villain from the future who had assumed the life of Harrison Wells, replacing him. In the second season, he played the Harrison Wells from Earth-2, allowing him to return to the show but playing a very different person with the same face. Once they introduced Earth-2 and the entire idea of parallel worlds, they started letting other cast members play alternate versions of themselves. It”s fun for the cast, it”s fun for the audience, and it”s a really interesting way of defining their core characters.

For those unfamiliar with Flashpoint in general, it”s a “butterfly effect” story, looking at what happens to the world when Barry Allen saves his mother from being murdered. In the animated film, it distorts all of the other familiar DC icons. My favorite example is Batman. In the Flashpoint storyline, it was Bruce Wayne who was shot and killed in that alley, and it drove his father to create the Batman persona to fight crime, leading to a much darker and angrier version of the character. Obviously, The Flash isn”t going to be bringing in all of the other DC heroes to make their point, but they can take the underlying idea and build a season around that.

One question lingers, though. CW has been very liberal with the cross-overs between Arrow, Legends Of Tomorrow, The Flash, and even Supergirl. Now that Barry has reset his own timeline and is beginning season three in what I presume will be a radically different world, how will they be handling the cross-overs this year? Do the other shows also have to alter their worlds? If not, then why not? It feels like they”ve set up a situation this year where they have to back-burner the crossovers altogether.

We”ll find out when season three of The Flash premieres on CW on October 4, 2016.

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