ByS.C. O'Donnell, writer at
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S.C. O'Donnell

(Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers for The Flash Season 3 Episode 16 'Into the Speed Force')

The focus of The Flash Season 3 has been on Barry Allen’s relationship with time – mostly how he can’t stop fucking it up. As the season marches on, we are realizing that Barry’s constant molestation of the timeline has not gone unnoticed, and time is beginning to push back against poor Barry Allen – mostly in the form of Savitar.

Season 3 Episode 16, titled “Into the Speed Force”, is another episode dedicated to Barry trying to clean up the mess he made. During Episode 15, Wally West became trapped in the same Speed Force prison that Barry trapped Savitar in. Barry does exactly what the episode’s title suggests, and he goes into the Speed Force — but he managed to cause more damage to the timeline along the way.

The Flash [Credit: The CW]
The Flash [Credit: The CW]

You might be asking: How did Barry mess up the timeline while he was in a place that exists out of time? The answer: by releasing an unholy abomination like the Black Flash from the Speed Force. Now That is loose, he is going to cause all sorts of havoc to the timeline, and directly impact the folks aboard the Wave Rider on .

Barry Allen Releases Black Flash

Since Legends of Tomorrow takes place outside of the linear format of Supergirl, The Flash, and Arrow, sometimes we witness something on Legends that has a direct causation to an event we haven’t seen yet. Black Flash is a perfect example, as he's been wreaking havoc on Legends for weeks, but we didn't yet know why; but now, we know it was all Barry Allen’s fault!

Barry helped create the Black Flash at the end of Season 2, but until now, Black Flash was trapped inside the Speed Force – unlike the comic version if Black Flash who can move in and out of the Speed Force at will. During Barry’s time in the Speed Force, the physical manifestation of the Speed Force (in the form of Ronnie Raymond), set Black Flash on Barry and a fight ensued. Barry was about to lose the fight, but managed to attach the tether Cisco made (which would've allowed him to escape the Speed Force) onto Black Flash.

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To some, it might look like Barry destroyed Black Flash, but we know from Legends that Black Flash is zooming about, alive and well. Instead, it appears Barry let him out of the Speed Force, and Black Flash is now free to hunt down speedsters in the real world. If you watch Legends of Tomorrow, you know Black Flash is currently hunting down Eobard Thawne, and he is causing a lot of damage to the timeline in the process.

Black Flash On 'Legends Of Tomorrow'

As it has been explained on Legends of Tomorrow, Eobard Thawne is a time remnant; because of Eddie Thawne's selfless sacrifice, Eobard should not exist. But thanks to Flashpoint, Eobard Thawne is alive, and because Black Flash is part Time Wraith, he naturally seeks out time remnants to destroy them.

On paper, the concept of Black Flash killing Eobard Thawne does not sound like a bad idea. But Eobard Thawne does not want to go quietly, and he is tearing apart the timeline to stay alive. In fact, the whole plot of Season 2 of Legends of Tomorrow revolves around Eobard Thawne’s quest to change reality using the Spear of Destiny.

How Is Barry Allen Responsible For The Time Aberrations On 'Legends Of Tomorrow'?

The Flash [Credit: The CW]
The Flash [Credit: The CW]

Ever since Black Flash appeared on Legends of Tomorrow, most of us knew that Barry held a good part of the blame for his existence. But in that case, Barry did get a bit of leeway, since Hunter Zolomon/Zoom was terrorizing the multiverse and the time wraiths were the only viable way to stop him – short of Barry breaking his moral code and killing Zoom.

Now that we have more information, it appears Barry receives a lot more of the blame for what's happening on Legends of Tomorrow than we previously thought. Flashpoint is always the #1 offender when it comes to Barry’s time mishaps, but he continues to make decisions that negatively impact those around him.

Legends of Tomorrow [Credit: The CW]
Legends of Tomorrow [Credit: The CW]

Barry had noble intentions when he went to rescue Wally from the Speed Force; however, by releasing Black Flash into the world, he is indirectly responsible of all the time aberrations on Legends of Tomorrow. Everything that has happened so for on Legends is directly linked to Eobard Thawne trying to rewrite history to escape the wrath of Black Flash.

If Barry Allen never went into the Speed Force to get Wally, he would have never released Black Flash, and all the crazy adventures on Legends of Tomorrow would have never happened. This includes the deaths of most of the Justice Society of America, and changes to history including Apollo 13 landing on the moon, and Mick Rory being a Revolutionary War hero (statue and all).

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To be fair, Barry isn’t the sole cause of the problems on Legends of Tomorrow, but he was the catalyst for Eobard Thawne to travel through time and wreck shop. At this point, it appears that Flashpoint, and everything that follows, have far reaching implications that we couldn’t have dreamed of at the beginning of the season. This also answers fan questions regarding why the Legends aren't vilified (like Barry) for changing the timeline; because they aren't, they are cleaning up the timeline in the wake of .

Barry so far has affected all of Earth-1’s timeline, and because of that, the Legends are forced to clean up after him (whether they realize it or not). Be sure to check out The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow starting at 8PM/ET Tuesdays on The CW.

Do you think Barry's responsible for this whole mess, or should we give him a break? Let your voice be heard in the comments section below!


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