Warning! Spoilers ahead for the finale of The Flash season 2.
The Flash's second season came to a dramatic halt this week, as Team Flash finally managed to take down Zoom and save the multiverse - not bad for a night's work! (Read a full recap of the finale here
But that brief moment of peace was shattered at the end of the Season Two finale - by Barry himself! In the final moments of the episode, Barry ran back through time to the moment that his mother was killed. It's not the first time he has been there - he attempted to save her previously, before realizing that he had to let her go. This time, however, that lesson was lost. Filled with rage and grief over the loss of his father, Barry burst in to take down the Reverse Flash, saving his mother... and watching the previous version of himself fade away to nothingness.
So what does this mean for the next season of the CW's hit show? There are so many directions that the series could take when it returns - especially as the timeline is no longer sacred to the fastest man alive. With the existing two seasons filled with twists and turns, there's no telling where it might go. But wherever Berlanti & Co choose to send Barry, there are a few things that we definitely want to see.
5. Less Time Travel
The Flash and time travel go together like peanut butter and very, very confusing jelly. But since the concept has been established in the Arrow-verse, the complexities have been building up. Time remnants, Eobard Thawne being erased from the timeline, Gideon predicting a future that may or may not happen, Cisco being killed far more than he deserves... it's all getting a little bit much.
In Season Three, we hope to see the writers focus on a new element of the Flash mythology. The Speed Force, having recently been introduced, would be a great option to explore further - and should be one that is somewhat less paradoxical. Barry's ability to enter the Speed Force and see glimpses of other times could also tie in well to Cisco's Vibe abilities - another thing we would love to see more of in the coming season.
At this point, time travel is at risk of becoming a crutch for the writers, and The Flash deserves better than to go down that path. Legends of Tomorrow, being a (hugely underrated) show all about time travel, is the perfect vehicle to go full sci-fi. Team Barry, meanwhile, should keep their (very fast) feet a little more firmly planted in the timestream for now.
4. More Supergirl
Supergirl launched on CBS this year, but with a distinctly mediocre fan response and sky-high licensing costs, the show will be joining the CW superhero family for Season Two. Given that the highest ratings for the season came when Barry Allen swung by National City for a visit, and the fan excitement over a Justice League-style universe, having Kara Zor-El join the Arrowverse seems like a fantastic idea for all involved.
Still, this will involve some big changes. The crossover episode placed Kara firmly on a different Earth to Barry, Oliver and the Arrowverse crew, so for Supergirl to become a regular player in their adventures, she may well have to move. This could even come as the result of Barry's timeline meddling, but we will have to wait and see just how she appears on Earth-1.
However it happens, we definitely want to see more of the sunny charm and chemistry that Barry and Kara had when they first met. More than that, if the rest of the cast also tags along to Earth-1 (and we hope they do), there are going to be some interesting friendships and connections that develop. A full crossover between Arrow, Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl has been confirmed as "imminent" by the network, and seeing all of these heroes work together is going to be epic!
Fans of the comics have been impatiently waiting for Barry and Iris to finally realize that they are meant to be, but something always seems to get in the way. One or the other always seems to be with someone else, getting over someone else, or even unable to remember that they admitted their feelings because Barry went back in time and changed the timeline.
Most recently, Barry and Iris did decide to try and make things work, but after the death of Barry's Dad, he told her that he wasn't able to be with anyone right now. Which seemed like a relatively mature thing to realize, as Iris vowed to wait for him... until he ran back in time, leaving viewers everywhere shouting at their televisions.
For Season Three, we want to see Barry and Iris actually get together. Even just start to get there, at some point. If the timeline has been completely re-set, Iris will presumably not be aware of everything that has happened between them, but this perfect pair should still be able to make something work. Linda was interesting and Patty was fantastic, but the time for Iris is now!
2. Kid Flash and Jesse Quick
Since Wally first showed up on the West doorstep, we've been waiting for him to get some speed powers and turn into Kid Flash. It seemed as though Season Two was hinting at that possibility, too. Nearly every episode, some reference was made to Wally's need for speed, with later episodes talking about his desire to go good and his admiration for the Flash. When he was hit by the explosion that sent Barry into the Speed Force, powers seemed inevitable. But the season wrapped up with a power-free Wally, and some disappointed fans.
In Season Three, it's time for Wally to get a costume of his own. However his speedy powers manifest, we need to see Kid Flash appear - and not just with hints and winks to the audience.
On the subject of speed powers and comic book characters - it was revealed this season that Jesse's (Harrison Wells's daughter) last name isn't Wells. It's Quick. To comic book fans, that (and her getting a dose of the same blast that struck Wally) can only mean one thing: another speedster. Although Jesse and Harrison headed back to Earth-2 at the end of this season, the show is clearly leading up to something with this one, and it's bound to be speed powers.
Of course, the biggest thing that we can take from that nail-biting finale is that Flashpoint is coming. In the comics, this massive event was the precursor to the New 52 - the complete reset of the DC comic book universe. Because of that, it's vastly complex and involves every character who has ever graced the pages of a DC comic book. The long and short, however, is that Barry went back in time to save his mother, and when he did that, everything changed.
Barry wakes up to find that heroes are villains and vice versa (but somewhat randomly, not in an evil-twin-doppelganger way), that some of the people behind the masks are not the ones that he expected, and that his own powers are gone. So far, we can assume that we will see this at the start of Season Two. Much of the breadth of the original Flashpoint won't be included (for practical reasons, as much as anything!), but we can potentially expect to see very different versions of the entire Arrowverse at the start.
Investigating the changes, Barry comes to realize that he is the reason that the universe has changed. His meddling with the timeline pulled the Speed Force into him, disrupted time, and is now destroying the multiverse. (Oops) He manages to go back in time again, merging with his younger self to undo the damage done, and merging different potential timelines into one.
In the show, we can expect to see much of this happening, and this may be how Supergirl is folded into the Arrowverse - with a little timeline trickery. However, with all four shows so closely linked, we can assume that the alternate reality will not last for the entire season. After all, there are three other narratives that need to move forward as well. This could still reset several elements of the universe (for everyone), and promises to be another Earth-2 style alternate reality jaunt. Perhaps this time, Barry is powerless, living with Felicity, and attending Iris and Eddie's wedding! Even more exciting - the potential destruction of the world could be the thing that brings all four shows together for what promises to be one of the most epic episodes in the Arrowverse so far.