So, the storyline for the CW's The Flash ended in episode one?
Yes! Well, maybe...
But how is that possible? I've seen a total of nine episodes so far and the story has only just begun!
But, time travel. What?! Time travel!
This is just a fan theory of course, but since there are so many out there I thought I'd condense the most plausible theories into one MEGA-THEORY.
WARNING! SPOILERS FOR SEASON 1 OF THE FLASH AHEAD!
So far the question on everyone's minds is, What is the identity of the Reverse Flash? The two most popular characters theorized to be Flash's main villain are Eddie Thawn and Dr. Harrison Wells. I'm here to tell you that both characters are one in the same!
Detective Eddie Thawne:
It’s hard to call this theory a surprise, since the writers knew exactly what they were revealing when adding "Eddie Thawne" (Rick Cosnett) to their cast. Eddie may have been introduced as a romantic rival, or egotistical cop in The Flash‘s first episode, but has defied expectations ever since. Portrayed as a well-meaning detective and an eager friend to Barry Allen, a villainous turn has seemed like a long shot. Until recently...
With Eddie’s sudden distrust of Central City’s guardian blur, there’s no question he’ll feel betrayed if The Flash’s true identity is revealed – by both Barry and his partner, Joe (Jesse L. Martin). Now that Barry has made his true feelings for Iris (Candice Patton) clear, it’s also possible to see a future in which Eddie loses the woman he loves, and his faith in his friends. If the circumstances are traumatic enough, that’s definitely grounds for revenge.
The show’s interest in time travel means that fans won’t have to wait around and watch as Eddie becomes the Reverse-Flash. He may be wearing the suit already. Or, a future version of himself, that is (hence why Reverse-Flash may have spared Eddie without a scratch: he can’t kill his past self).
It’s hard to believe that any hurt feelings or betrayal would push a man like Eddie to hunt down and kill an innocent woman, unless the traumatic transformation that waits in his future is tied directly to a decision made by Barry. If The Flash is forced to choose between Eddie and Joe (we all know how that would go) and leaves his romantic rival permanently scarred, is that grounds for vengeance? It could be, if Eddie suspects Barry’s feelings for Iris played a part.
Dr. Harrison Wells:
Although the casting of the good-will-he-go-bad detective Eddie Thawne threw up red flags for comic readers, it’s been Dr. Harrison Wells at the center of suspicion since episode one. Being shown willing to kill, lie, spy and manipulate Barry into becoming "a better hero," Wells has followed Thawne’s playbook closely. Add in teases of a missing past, and a strangely personal connection to the Flash, and you've got what looks like a supervillain.
Some have theorized that Wells is, in fact, a future Thawne having travelled back in time to build Barry into the hero he’s destined to become (or the hero he needed to be to prevent a massive crisis). While that’s entirely possible given the comic book history, and Geoff Johns’ claim that The Flash is DC’s most faithful adaptation ever, one problem persists: Wells knows what the future holds. But this is thanks to a future newspaper, not personal experience.
The mid-season finale including a fight scene between the Reverse-Flash and Dr. Wells complicates things further. Theorists can argue elaborate misdirections, or a future version of Dr. Wells that shifts to more direct means of manipulating events, but given that his role as villain is almost too obvious at this point, we would argue that he’s exactly as he seems.
Could viewers of the finale’s last scene be witnessing not a reveal of the Reverse-Flash’s identity, but the creation of the speedster’s suit at the hands of Dr. Wells? Then how would that explain his chilling “Merry Christmas” in the Reverse-Flash’s voice? I'm nearly certain that Dr. Wells is Reverse Flash from the future.
Not one but TWO speedsters at the death of Barry's mother:
Now this is where things get even trickier. Assuming that time travel is involved, and that Eddie Thawne will one day become Reverse Flash, and that he goes back in time to kill Barry's mother, the show begs the question as to why there were two speedsters at the scene of the crime.
Barry is always claiming to have seen not just yellow, but also red lightning when describing the death of his mother. This suggests that not only was Reverse Flash there, but also Barry Allen's red suited Flash!
If Reverse Flash can go back in time, it's safe to assume that so can Barry Allen. While in the present time, Eddie's powers have yet to be given to him and Barry's powers are not that far developed, it certainly doesn't mean that eventually it can't happen.
While not trying to get into scientific areas, the idea makes sense. When you look at an object, it is taking a certain amount of time for the light that the object is giving off to reach your eyes. This means you're seeing everything about .000000000001 seconds ago (not a real figure, lol). Eventually Flash's powers develop to a point where he can run faster than light can travel. This implies that he can run away from light and through time itself.
So, this means that Barry can go back and save his mom from being killed by Eddie! So now, why doesn't he?
Answer: He already has.
DC comic lovers have likely heard of or read one of The Flash's most pivotal stories titled, "Flashpoint Paradox." In this story, Flash goes back in time to save his mother, and in doing so alters the future. Think Ashton Kutchers Butterfly Effect, but this time the butterfly flapping its wings is actually a human being who can run faster than the speed of light.
In the comic, when Barry returns to the future, its completely different. Certain heroes no longer exist. Some exist but are completely different. Amazonians are at war with Atlantans. It's a whole thing...
While it's safe to assume CW's The Flash won't pull other heroes, besides maybe Arrow, into this altered future, it certainly doesn't mean Flash's future wouldn't be altered if he saved his mom. His father wouldn't go to jail, he doesn't become a hero, and has no link to Iris West or a job with the CCPD.
If the show goes this route, future episodes could show Barry saving his mother, and then returning to the altered future. It would likely be a terrible future, filled with war and death. Barry would inevitably come to the realization that the only way to save the world, is to allow the death of his mother by the hands of the Reverse Flash.
Barry goes back in time first to save, and then to kill his own mother. This reverts the time stream back to how it was, and though Barry gets some time with his mother, he is forced to lose her again and relive the most traumatic moment of his life.
Then what? Surely Reverse Flash won't figure all this out and just be cool with it? It's very possible that Flash and Reverse Flash engage in a massive final battle following the events of the altered timelines. Flash will come up with a way to take Eddie Thawne's powers from him, trapping a younger Eddie about 20 years in the past.
Being stranded in the past, Eddie assumes a new identity as Dr. Harrison Wells and begins his plans to take down the Flash once and for all. Thawne's previous travels to the future and past give him more knowledge throughout the years on how to develop futuristic technology that could alter his world, thus eventually (As Dr. Wells) creates the Particle Accelerator and thus the Flash.
Remember, without the Flash and other meta-humans, Joe's partner would never have died, and Eddie Thawne would never have been transferred to CCPD. He'd never have met Iris, and Eddie just can't live without the love of his life.
In conclusion, time travel truly is complicated. I believe the Pilot is not only the first episode, but also the last! At least, for this current storyline. But, don't forget about Gorilla Grodd!