Warning: This article contains spoilers from Legends Of Tomorrow Season 2, Episode 7 "Outlaw Country." This is me laying down the law.
This week's installment of Legends Of Tomorrow may have primarily focused on the team's mission in the old West and subsequent reunion with Jonah Hex, but the real story was undoubtedly what was happening with Professor Martin Stein, who spent the episode suffering from inexplicably severe headaches. And those headaches were accompanied with images of a mysterious woman whom he had never met.
Stein and Jax both initially concluded that it could be a side-effect from the Professor's consistent travels through time. However, it's very likely that the images aren't a result of him running through time, but could be down to Barry Allen's trips through time. Barry created an alternate timeline, in which things were drastically different. When he returned to the original timeline, some things there too were also drastically different.
Is Professor Stein Suffering From Flashpoint?
When Professor Stein began being plagued with these unusual headaches, he would see images of a woman he never met. However, at the conclusion of the episode, he remarked that he was pretty sure that he was in love with her. It's almost as though these headaches were filling his head with memories of moments he never experienced and feelings he never had.
The last time we saw this happen in the Arrow-verse was in the Season 3 premiere of The Flash, when Barry changed the timeline and prevented his parents from ever dying. However, after doing so, he suddenly experienced splitting headaches, much like Professor Stein, and his memories would be replaced by new ones — images of a life he never lived. Furthermore, when Barry changed the timeline back to the way it originally was, not everything returned to its original state.
The effects of #TheFlash's decision ripped outwards affecting other #TV shows in the shared universe — including #Arrow which saw John Diggle's baby daughter Sara be replaced by his toddler son John. Could Barry's timeline alterations have finally begun to affect the Legends as well? You would think with them being in the time-stream that they would be immune from the effects of another time-traveler, but there's a strong possibility that they are, in fact, going to be facing the possibility of altered lives thanks to The Flash himself.
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Did He "Flashpoint" Himself?
The Flashpoint timeline was created as a result of the Flash's timeline meddling with the past. However, he's not the only one who's done such a thing. Professor Stein himself actually engaged in a little inadvertent timeline meddling in Season 2, Episode 5 "Compromised" in which he ended up in yet another confrontation with his younger self.
During this time, he confronted the young Stein over the lack of attention he was showing their wife Clarissa, rebuking him for focusing all his time on his research instead of her. In fact, he ended up helping the younger iteration out by keeping the younger Clarissa company and covering for him by telling her the most truthful thing he could say — Martin Stein loved her very much.
In practically every single time travel film, the protagonist is always warned to never interact with an alternate version of themselves for risk of changing their future or past. As Martin Stein did this, there's a strong possibility that he's ended up changing his past. However, Marty may not have given Clarissa the attention and love he promised that he would and perhaps ended up falling in love with someone else.
It's likely that Legends won't go down the route of Stein almost losing Clarissa again, as they already covered that ground in Season 1, during the team's last run-in with Marty. But we have to wonder, will there be a Clarissa waiting for Professor Stein when they return to 2016?
Is It A Result Of The Flash's Message?
We first learned of Professor Stein's headaches when he was having a private conversation with Jax in the hallway. This season, anytime that Stein and Jax have private hallway conversations, they are discussing the Flash's cryptic message from the future. In fact, they were once again discussing this subject when Stein had his first headache attack.
Barry Allen's message from 2056 was solely intended for Captain Rip Hunter as he warned Rip not to share it with anyone else — not even his own team — for their own safety. Thus, the fact that Stein and Jax ended up hearing the transmission could perhaps have changed the timeline and, as a result, created a rogue timeline in which this woman exists in that Professor Stein's life.
Furthermore, it is Stein who keeps insisting that both men do not tell the team what they heard. Despite all of Jax's attempts to convince him otherwise, Stein has stood steadfast in his decision. However, his most recent refusal to tell the team led to his first significant headache. Could this be a result of his refusal? Perhaps the team are destined to discover what 2056 Barry Allen is trying to tell them, but Stein's refusal is creating a separate timeline. If this is the case, Professor Stein needs to stop being so stubborn!
With the sudden headaches that poor Martin Stein has been suffering from on Legends Of Tomorrow, we have to assume that they are somehow related to a change in the timeline. Additionally, the memories of the mysterious woman that flashed before his eyes certainly must be side-effects to a major change that has taken place somewhere. But the question is, what has caused that change?
Could it be a result of Barry Allen's actions in the Flashpoint timeline, that are now starting to ripple out into the wider Arrow-verse? Or could it have been Stein himself, who's good intentions in 1987 ended up setting his younger self on a different path of life? Or could the change have taken place in the present, when Rip Hunter's mysterious disappearance led to Professor Stein and Jefferson Jackson hearing The Flash's message from 2056? Whatever happens, our favorite time-traveling #superheroes have a lot of work to do in order to figure out what is happening to our beloved Professor Stein.
Do you think Flashpoint is responsible for Professor Stein's visions? Let us know in the comments below!