After facing perhaps his most dangerous adversary, opening up the world to the multiverse, it looks like when The CW hit series The Flash returns in the fall Barry’s world will be dramatically different…
It certainly felt like Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) had no other choice but to confront the evil ZOOM! in a battle to save the multiverse as the second season of The CW’s hit show The Flash spiraled toward a relentless climax. The closing arc had left our hero with very little to lean on, especially after having lost his ability to tap into the Speed Force, then regained his powers after gaining a better understanding of the energies that now course through him ever since the particle accelerator experiment that turned him into the fastest man alive.
But with every action, there’s a reaction, and even though Barry and his friends at S.T.A.R. Labs had every good intention especially of bringing down the tyranny of ZOOM! in the end the villain made haste in a final escape that ultimately cost Barry dearly. His only living parent Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp) was fatally struck down by his enemy, and ultimately lead The Flash to one final race — the race of his life — to stop ZOOM! from putting in play a plan that would ultimately destroy the multiverse. The Flash and his friends were able to stop ZOOM! and even freed his prisoner on Earth-2…
It was revealed that “the man in the iron mask” was another speedster, one whose identity ZOOM! had assumed, and whose powers he had stolen — Jay Garrick! To long time DC Comics readers, the name is synonymous with the legacy of “The Flash”. Garrick is the original Golden Age version of the hero, where the more commercially popular Silver Age version (Barry Allen) is more widely known. For the #DCTVU in an even more brilliant twist, the true Jay Garrick bares a striking resemblance to Barry’s father Henry.
Jay Garrick, the “original” Flash is now played The CW show by actor John Wesley Shipp, the “original” Barry Allen/Flash from the 90’s CBS show The Flash. The strange twist of fate, as anyone can imagine, comes at a great shock to Barry having just recently lost his father so violently to ZOOM! and now seemingly found a kindred spirit in his parallel-earth doppelgänger, but before the two Flashes have time to bond, Garrick decides to resume course to his own world — Earth-3 — and leaps through a breach.
Feeling alone and abandoned, although his future may be the brightest its ever been… Barry saves his friends, rescues the multiverse, and even gets the girl. He and Iris (Candice Patton) finally profess their love to one another and decide the time is ripe for them to follow their hearts. Unfortunately Barry’s heart — and mind — are at present unaligned and all he can think about is the one fatal mistake he made once before. He had the perfect opportunity to prevent the Reverse-Flash from murdering his mother.
Now all Barry can think about is making things right! At least by himself! He decides that he has no other alternative but to travel back to that very moment, some 14 years ago, and save Nora (Michelle Harrison) from death, but in doing so, The Flash irrevocably alters the entire timeline, initiating a “FlashPoint” effect that will have as yet unexplored consequences for our hero. Today, Grant Gustin has been teasing fans via social networking. Slipping back into “Barry Allen’s skin” and preparing for Season 3’s new arc.
In the comic series FlashPoint was the catalyst event that ultimately lead to the DC Comics publishing reboot that launched The New 52. The storyline revealed the consequences of Barry’s actions after saving his mother’s life. The Flash unleashed a “butterfly effect” that plunged the planet into a world war between super-powers, revealed a dangerously tortured Batman let loose on Gotham along a fatal trajectory towards annihilation! Yes…it’s a bleak future indeed. In the end Barry has no choice but to make things right.
Even without the benefits of an expansive DC Comics Universe, the television landscape that has evolved over the course of the last several seasons on The CW largely in part to the efforts of Greg Berlanti, Marc Guggenheim, and Andrew Kreisberg has exceeded fans expectations and created a serialized narrative that spans four network television series (although the latest to join the fold Supergirl has yet to address its place in the convergence to The CW) that have captured our imaginations in primetime.
If Barry’s actions have a relevance beyond his own Tuesday night 8pm EST time slot, or if his “FlashPoint” affect will transcend to the companion series Arrow (returning in the fall to its Wednesday night slot) or the third spin-off DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (Thursday night’s lead-in) and whether The Flash — which has journeyed over to CBS to visit Supergirl — has affected that series’ continuity are all questions, audiences of the show are eager to have explained. We can only speculate — and what fun is that!
What are some things we might want to see happen as a result of The Flash “FlashPoint” that could happen on the primetime series? Well…for starters:
- Nora Allen is alive! How great would it be especially for Barry if his mother played by Michelle Harrison has an opportunity to interact with her son? Having prevented her murder Barry’s family would remain intact. His father Henry played by John Wesley Shipp wouldn’t have gone to jail and been there for Barry’s formative years. In the comic Barry rescues Nora, but at a great cost, including his superpowers. Having the Allens back would also resonate with their next door neighbors…
- The West Family! Although he’s pined after Iris West (Candice Patton) the daughter of his surrogate father Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) for most of his life, how will not being raised by Joe affect Barry’s development? In the comics, Iris has moved on, gotten married and has a daughter of her own. Perhaps this would give the writers an opportunity to bring Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett) back.
- The Father Figure! Sure Henry Allen may be alive as well seeing as Barry completely altered the timeline, but a heart surgeon isn’t going to necessary be able to make things right when his “super hero” son starts to realize that things aren’t as clear and present as they should be. In the comic series, Batman (Thomas Wayne) helps Barry recreate the accident that turns him into a speedster in the first place. Batman (at present) doesn’t play a part in the #DCTVCW Universe (not yet) but there’s a character from the 1990’s original series, based on a classic Golden Age hero that could be fashioned into an alter-ego for a detective turned vigilante! Introduce Joe West as the Deadly Nightshade which is based on the DC Comic’s character of Sandman a member of the Justice Society of America.
- The Flash of Two Worlds! And speaking of the Golden Age of heroes, it was of course revealed in the season finale that ZOOM! was impersonating Jay Garrick (also played by John Wesley Shipp). At the end of that episode Garrick resumes his name and title of “The Flash” and whisks back to his own parallel-earth, but what if he returns to help Barry set things right, after all as we’re learning in the current “Rebirth” series, the consequences of that butterfly effect left the world dramatically changed and the preservation of its heroes legacies must be maintained.
- What about that particle explosion? With The Flash no longer in the picture, Reverse-Flash doesn’t have a reason to threaten the past and murder Harrison Wells. The particle experiment can go as is and not bring Barry together with his eventual colleagues at S.T.A.R. Labs leaving Cisco, Caitlin and even Ronnie Raymond (Firestorm) unaffected.
Just a few things to think about, as we all contemplate over the summer and wait for the announcements that are sure to come with San Diego Comic-Con 2016 starts to roll around. In the meantime start counting down to Tuesday, Oct. 4 with The Flash returns to The CW for its premiere of Season 3 “FlashPoint” emminent!