The Flash Season 2 came to a close last night and, is often the case with twist-driven superhero TV shows, “The Race of His Life” left us with more questions than answers heading into Season 3. We may have learned the identity of The Man in the Iron Mask, but that feels small in the face of Barry’s time travel manipulations. Here are 9 questions we have about the fate of the Scarlet Speedster, the Multiverse, and Team Flash as we head into the seemingly interminable summer hiatus.
How has saving Nora Allen’s life changed the timeline?
Is anyone thinking about anything else following that Season 2 finale? Personally, I’m desperate to find out how Barry’s decision to go back in time and save his mother’s life will change, well, everything. Theoretically, this means Henry Allen will never go to jail. It means Barry will never go to live with Joe and Iris. It means Barry might not become The Flash. (Editor’s Comment: Eddie Thawne could return! And Eobard’s version of Harrison Wells!)
Is that change permanent?
Whatever the changes Barry’s move made, it’s hard to imagine there isn’t a way to reverse them. Otherwise, The Flash would be committed to exploring this whole new fictional world and, as ambitious as this show can be at times, I don’t see it going there. The bigger question then becomes: if Barry does have the power to change things back, how long into Season 3 will it take for him to do it? Are we talking the end of Episode 1 or are we talking the end of the midseason finale? The answer to that question will shape how Season 3 plays out at the most fundamental narrative levels.
Why didn’t Barry disappear?
When Barry saved his mom, the circa Season 1 finale version of himself disappeared before his very eyes, presumably because, if Nora was saved, then that version of Barry ceased to exist. But, if that is the case, then why didn’t the Season 2 finale version of Barry cease to exist? He, too, was shaped by the presumably now defunct timeline. He shouldn’t be there. We have seen Zoom survive this sort of thing — e.g. he’s been killing of previous versions of himself all season — but I’m still not clear on the mechanics of it. Especially if Season 1 finale Barry ceases to exist.
How angry are the time wraiths going to be?
On a scale of one to Azkaban, what are we talking? Because you know the Speed Force and their police squad of dementors are going to be pretty pissed about this one. When they gave Barry his speed back, they trusted that he would use it to continue to do good and save people. Not to selfishly risk the lives of everyone and everything that ever existed within the Multiverse, then to go back and save his mom. What are the repercussions for such moves — and will Barry be able to outrun them?
Will we get to see both versions of the timelines: the unchanged and the changed?
Sometimes, when shows go the alternate timeline path, they’re kind enough to keep us grounded with a dual narrative that also shows us what’s going on in our timeline. It’s harder to pull off — after all, by one explanation, because Barry changed the timeline, the original timeline doesn’t exist — but it would make for more interesting viewing, in my opinion. Audiences are most likely going to get tired of an alternate timeline sooner rather than later, but it seems like a cop out for The Flash not to follow the consequences of Barry’s decision through. One possible solution: give us both timelines. Ours, in which Barry Allen is missing. And Barry’s new timeline, in which everyone he knows and loved has been altered by his decision to save his mom (also known, perhaps, as the Flashpoint Paradox?)
Will we see Jay Garrick again?
One of the big reveals of the finale came in the identity of The Man in the Iron Mask. He is none other than Jay Garrick, the real Jay Garrick. He also happens to be Henry Allen’s doppelganger. When last we saw him, he was jetting off back to home on Earth-3, but it’s doubtful that The Flash will keep him away forever. Only question is: when can we expect him back?
Do Wally and Jesse have speedster abilities?
Though this question wasn’t addressed in the Season 2 finale, it seems like a relevant one moving into Season 3 — especially in Wally’s case. Though it’s unclear whether or not Jesse will be back from Earth-2, we know Wally will be around and The Flash was teasing his potential speedster abilities hard in the last few eps of the season. With Barry potentially gone, will Wally step up, speedster style, to protect the people of Central City?
Will Earth-2 continue to play a major role in Season 3?
Season 2 very much belonged to the people of Earth-2. Zoom, Harry, and Jesse were all major characters in this season — as were the various metahumans who popped over to say hello or, you know, to try to kill Barry via Zoom’s orders. With the Season 2 finale’s time travel-centric ending, it seems like the show might be moving in a different direction. Does that mean we won’t be visiting Earth-2 or the people we know there as much in Season 3? It seems easy for Cisco to pop back and forth and, with Zoom gone, the dangers of keeping breaches don’t seem nearly as high. Just saying, Flash. Tom Cavanagh better be a series regular in Season 3.
Does the timeline affect any other CW shows?
OK, I know Barry’s changing of the timeline probably won’t affect Arrow or Legends of Tomorrow (especially given that the latter changes the timeline as frequently as the rest of us eat lunch), but it would be pretty cool, right? Is it incendiary for me to say that I wouldn’t mind if Arrow got reset back to Season 2? Because I wouldn’t. But, seriously, especially Arrow takes place in the same universe which means, if The Flash’s main timeline has changed, then so, too, should Arrow’s. Probably not as intensely, as Barry hasn’t had as much as an effect over there as he has on his own show, but he has saved Oliver’s life multiple times — including resetting the Arrow timeline in order to save Team Arrow from being incinerated by Vandal Savage during the Legends crossover. And where will Supergirl fit in to all of this?
Oh, man. This is getting complicated. Let us know your questions and theories in the comments.