[WARNING: Minor SPOILERS for both The Flash and Arrow lie ahead!]
It would be an understatement to say that The CW launched its shared DC Comics universe with a bang, as Arrow continues to move along with its third season arcs - and The Flash seems to be playing its cards and star characters as if a single season is all the showrunners are going to get. Apparently, that's a trend that will remain in place when the shows return from their Spring hiatus.
Fans of either series may want to hold off watching the new sizzle reels released by The CW, since teasing the upcoming twists, crossovers, and new villains is impossible without dropping a few SPOILERS. But if this is what the showrunners are willing to reveal ahead of time, then the tricks up their sleeve are impossible to predict.
The trailers come courtesy of the 2015 PaleyFest, with the producers and cast of both shows on hand to drop a wealth of insights and tidbits into the remaining episodes of their respective seasons (as well as the heroes joining them next year). For The Flash, the marketing sizzle reel (embedded above) provides the first look at a number of characters and plot twists unseen before now.
That includes a look at Mark Hamill's Trickster - and his devious plan, pulled straight from the comics - the return of Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell) - with Cold's sister Lisa (Peyton List) joining in on the fun - and finally, what appears to be the first glimpses of Barry's attempts to re-write time. Also, more looks at Gorilla Grodd, as well as the planned Ray Palmer/A.T.O.M. crossover. And Weather Wizard.
It's also worth pointing out the new mysteries teased by the trailer, since fans have little idea of what to expect when Cisco Ramon learns Laurel Lance's secret identity, or who the skeleton being investigated by both Detective Joe West and Captain Quentin Lance may belong to (and whether or not it's related to Joe's ongoing suspicions of Harrison Wells' real motives).
In other words: it's going to be a race to the finish for The Flash's debut season, even if the time-altering mythology means the trailer's more shocking moments won't need to be adhered to.
Not to be outdone by their Central City colleagues, Arrow will see the streets of Starling filled with action as well. Not to mention facing Oliver Queen with a new fate as the leader of the League of Assassins:
The role played by Ra's al Ghul (Matt Nable) in this season of Arrow was teased as far back as Comic-Con 2014, though fans at the time didn't know that he would be used so sparingly up to this point (the footage and voiceover from this sizzle reel is the same used months ago). But it isn't another fight Ra's will be looking for: it seems Oliver surviving his sword to the stomach wasn't a cop-out or act of mercy, but the fulfillment of a prophecy placing Oliver as the rightful leader of the League.
That central plot will be set alongside Ray Palmer's attempts at superheroics, pursuing what looks to be another Arrow doppelganger (though fans have been warned that Ray's early adventures will be "sloppy"). Arrow may not look to include as many bombshells or twists as The Flash, but there is still the risk of losing another member of Team Arrow, and Diggle's return to Amanda Waller's 'Suicide Squad.'
The producers have confirmed plans for John Diggle (David Ramsey) and Oliver's relationship, and the trailer shows any number of events and plot threads to bring the pair closer, or split them for good. And if Oliver's base of operations really is discovered by the police, then there's no telling where the story will go from there.
What parts of these sizzle reels seem the most exciting/confusing to you fans? Do the trailers succeed in getting you hyped for the final episodes of the season, or do you think they reveal too many twists and turns? Sound off in the comments.
The Flash airs Tuesdays @8pm, Arrow Wednesdays at 8pm on The CW.