The Flash is currently in its third season and the show has already gone in some truly unexpected directions. Barry Allen's (Grant Gustin) decision to change the course of time at the end of the second season has left ripples in the timeline that may never get fully rectified. This has given all the actors on the series (aside from Allen) a chance to redefine their characters and the show as a whole.
Every show has its own specific formula or template for its success. In the first two seasons, the showrunners decided to focus on the mysterious secret identities of The Flash's adversaries. Both speedster villains were handled as season-long mysteries that had the show's antagonists, the Reverse-Flash or Zoom, get their masks pulled off Scooby-Doo style near the end of the season.
For the show's third year, the writers decided to shake up the formula and cut to the chase. For the first five episodes, another masked villain named Alchemy has been the puppet master behind a lot of the meta-human attacks. However, it seems that he is simply the first major threat to Team Flash, but not the Big Boss of the season. That title belongs to Savitar. Producer Greg Berlanti gave fans a little bit to chew on in a recent interview with EW. The showrunner briefly addressed both villains and what we can expect in the near future:
“People will have seen him [Savitar] before the crossovers. He appears in episodes 6 and 7. ... You’ll find out who Alchemy is."
Dr. Alchemy has been a mysterious presence in Central City this season. He was seemingly born out of Allen's changes to the timeline and possesses the power to awaken people's latent meta-human powers. He's also enacting a plan that seems equal parts anarchy, revenge, and careful calculations.
Part of the fun of The Flash is that the science fiction elements, combined with the superhero entertainment, makes Alchemy's identity hard to predict. It's fully possible that when Alchemy's mask is removed it will be a totally unfamiliar actor. However, judging from past reveals, it will be someone that is close to The Flash or STAR Labs. Additionally, the presence of alternate dimensions and realities allows for anyone in the cast to be playing the villain.
There is a large range of people that could ultimately turn out to be Alchemy. It could prove to be anyone from Captain David Singh to Cisco Ramon. However, new addition Tom Felton (Harry Potter), who plays CSI investigator Julian Albert, has been positioned as the most likely culprit. Albert has already proven to have an obsession with tracking down meta-humans that's motivated by a deep-seated inferiority complex. It's easy to imagine that Alchemy is his mirror image from another Earth.
One thing that has proven to be consistent over the first three seasons of The Flash is that showrunners and writers have always managed to be one step ahead of their viewers with their storytelling. The fact that the signs point so clearly in one direction could be a red herring for both fans of the comic and show. However, luckily we only have a matter of days until the mystery begins to unravel itself.
The Flash returns on November 15 with ‘Shade’ @8pm on The CW.