The CW’s superhero shows have been prone to grandiose finales. Legends of Tomorrow ended its first season by introducing a new hero and opening the door to an unusual corner of the DC universe. And the season finale of The Flash was similarly dramatic, but a bit more eyebrow-raising. Spoilers below!
If you haven’t seen the season finale yet, enjoy this picture from the ’90s series as you click away…
So, the finale revisits the death of Barry’s mother, only instead of Barry accepting it and moving on, he saves her life, thus dramatically altering the timeline and making it as if season two of the show had never happened. It’s classic comic book plotting; in fact, this week, another Flash is undoing the timeline over in DC’s comics publishing. But it’s an odd choice for a few reasons.
Why Is Barry Running In Emotional Circles?
Part of the reason this finale is so unexpected is that this was seemingly a settled issue. Barry had a moment of personal growth, accepted that he can’t truly change the past, that his present was pretty neat and that it was time to move on. Yes, he’s grieving over the death of his father and not thinking clearly, but still, it’s an odd choice on his part.
Will It Change Quite As Much As Barry Thinks?
Despite the implications of fundamentally altering his past, this is not quite as dramatic as it sounds. The way this show approaches time, even if you alter reality, everything that happens that causes you to alter reality still occurs in the timeline. This is why Reverse-Flash showed up in season two, and why everybody remembered who he was, despite the fact he technically ceased to exist at the end of the first season. It’s also why Barry, despite making his season one self go away, is still around to comfort his mom. So odds are quite good Barry’s goodbyes to his friends may be a little premature.
How Many Wells Are There?
So far, we have Reverse-Flash, Wells One. We have Earth 2 Wells, Wells Two. And if the timeline changes hold up, that would mean there’s a third Wells who’s just a “normal” genius scientist, and likely wondering why these charges to SupervillainsExpress.com keep turning up on his credit cards. Whatever they’re paying Tom Cavanaugh for season three, he’s likely earning it.
What About Earth 2?
If Barry alters the timeline on Earth One, does that mean Earth 2 gets a do-over? It’s almost inevitable that Evil Fun Laurel, sorry, “Dark Siren” is going to be popping up on Arrow next season. Is Killer Frost back? Is the real Jay Garrick still around?
How Long Before The Other Shoe Drops?
Finally, there’s the big question: How long before Barry has to undo this? If there’s one thing this show is consistent about, it’s that whenever Barry uses his powers for his own gain, emotional or otherwise, it blows up in his face. It won’t be terribly surprising if this causes some sort of wormhole or other space time anomaly a certain Kryptonian will fly through as she gets comfortable on the CW. That said, we hope that whatever happens, Barry learns his lesson; the last thing the Flash needs is to keep running in circles.