After a thrilling season full of twists and turns and more than a few losses, our expectations couldn't have been higher for the The Flash Season 2 finale. And somehow "The Race of His Life" fulfilled all our hopes, and then some. Teasing a Crisis on Infinite Earths adaptation right until the very end, we were fully expecting Zoom to succeed in his plan and bring all the Earths crashing together (which would neatly explain the addition of Supergirl to The CW's fall roster). But at the last minute Barry foiled Zoom's plan, with a little help from his time remnant of course.
Everything seemed perfect; the villain was defeated, Earth-2 and the multiverse were saved, and everyone was as happy as they could be, considering Season 2's ordeals. But then, Barry just had to go back in time and save his mother, essentially erasing everything that happened in Seasons 1 and 2!
This Flashpoint paradox sets up a really interesting situation for Season 3, and the consequences will no doubt ripple out into the other CW shows — Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl — too.
Back To The Future, Again
Remember the timeline that the Reverse Flash originally came from? That's the timeline that will now happen thanks to Barry's reset. In the Season 1 finale there was a lot of discussion about whether this was the way things were supposed to be, making the timeline we know just an alternate version of how events originally unfolded.
In the original timeline, Barry didn't become the Flash until several years later, when the real Harrison Wells's particle accelerator exploded. To speed things up, Eobard Thawn assumed Wells's identity and the rest is history. Or at least it was.
Now that Barry has saved his mother, his younger self is free to grow up with both his parents, which changes everything. Forget the Flash, Barry may not even become a CSI, as he wouldn't have the same drive to fight crime. We'll probably see a Barry closer to the Earth-2 version than the one we know and love.
As for the rest of the characters, it's safe to assume that Harrison Wells will still create the particle accelerator, but a few years later than Thawn did in Season 1. Iris might be a police officer, like on Earth-2, rather than a reporter, and we might even see Ronnie alive again with Caitlyn at S.T.A.R. Labs — but what about Cisco?
The first hint of Cisco's powers came in Season 1 after Barry traveled through time — Cisco retained his memory of Wells/Thawn killing him. Because this was such a small time reset (just a day as opposed to 14 years), Cisco was already a metahuman when this happened.
Assuming that Wells hasn't created the particle accelerator when Season 3 begins, Cisco might not get his metahuman visions about the timeline change. But with Vibe all bets really are off, as he has the power to see beyond time changes and the limits of multiverse barriers. Suffice it to say, whatever happens with Cisco in Season 3 is bound to be really cool.
Here's hoping Cisco can remember the timeline before Barry's reset, because otherwise our Barry will find himself very, very alone.
Two Flashes, Two Zooms
The Barry we know is now a time remnant, and it seems likely that he'll race back to the present to find out what happened. He'll be a man out of time, still remembering his own timeline, but unable to tell anyone the truth of who he is and where he's from.
And it's not just Earth-1 that was affected by this Flashpoint — Earth-2 will have changed too. The upshot of this reset is that everything Zoom did on Earth-2 still happened, only this time Barry didn't defeat him.
Without Barry creating the breach at the end of Season 1, that means that Earth-1 is cut off from Earth-2. Of course, Zoom has the ability to create breaches himself, so will he journey to Earth-1 just like he did in Season 2?
But the Zoom from the timeline we know isn't totally done for. We watched as the time wraiths claimed him, and they seemed to turn him into one of them (fans are already wondering if Zoom will become the Black Racer). This could mean that we'll see two Zooms in Season 3 — the Zoom from Earth-2, and the one who was turned into a time wraith. And we have to wonder: Will the time wraiths be after our Barry now that he's created a Flashpoint paradox?
Phew. Suffice it to say that the repercussions for The Flash Season 3 are enormous, and the other CW shows are bound to be affected too.
Leading Up To The Crossover
Barry's impact on Arrow has been significant, but minimal. It's probably safe to assume that this time reset won't actually change much about what happened in Arrow, apart from the crossover episodes of course. And that's where another show comes in, as the latest crossover acted as one giant setup for Legends of Tomorrow.
Legends of Tomorrow Season 1 saw multiple changes to the timeline, as the Legends leapt backward and forward through Earth-1's history, just kinda screwing up in every era they travelled to. The Waverider's travels through the timestream have the knock-on effect of protecting the Legends from Barry's reset, with one notable exception: Leonard Snart.
When Snart died in Season 1, fans were distraught, but an announcement quickly followed that actor Wentworth Miller would be a regular in both Legends of Tomorrow Season 2, and The Flash Season 3. And now, we know how this will (probably) happen.
It's seems likely that Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 will see the return of Snart after he died destroying the Oculus. And again, the Oculus probably protected Snart from the Flashpoint. But because of Barry's reset, it's likely that Wentworth Miller's appearance in The Flash Season 3 will be as the the version of Snart who never joined the Legends. In fact, we could see a very different version of Snart; in the comic Flashpoint Paradox, the time change causes Captain Cold to be Central City's greatest hero.
Are you confused yet? I'm confused. Thankfully, Supergirl is the least likely to be affected by the Flashpoint, as this show takes place on a completely different Earth.
Of course, there's the question of whether Barry's reset erased the crossover with Supergirl, meaning Kara might not remember the Flash's visit to her world.
Ultimately, it looks like Barry's choice to save his mother won't just affect The Flash Season 3, but also all the other CW shows. It's possible that all of this will come to a head in that big crossover episode we've been promised, which could partially adapt the comic crossover Flashpoint Paradox. But honestly, there's only one thing we can expect from here on out, and that's the unexpected.