If you thought keeping track of Earth-1 and Earth-2 characters on The Flash was difficult, get prepared for an even more complicated season 3. With Barry (Grant Gustin) going back in time to save his mother at the end of season 2, he's created an alternate timeline that will change everything about the world he knows. Those changes include different versions of Central City's heroes and villains, and even the return of characters who died in Barry's original reality.
The Flash fans are already familiar with seeing a different spin on their favorite characters, which have included evil Earth-2 versions of Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) as Killer Frost and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) as Reverb. The confrontation with his alter ego made Cisco realize that his "vibing" powers might be just the start of something greater, which is something that will be explored further in season 3.
We've already gotten a glimpse of how Cisco can combine technology with his gifts to discover new powers, like opening a new breach to Earth-2. As Valdes recently revealed to Collider, we'll be seeing more of that this October.
"This character I’m playing is still Cisco Ramon, but it’s obviously an alternate reality version of him in which he is still a genius and still possesses a technological prowess about him. Now though he’s able to cash in on that prowess and build his way up the ladder to become the richest man in America. He’s a billionaire! He’s created all these things and these apps at Ramon Industries — which looks a lot like S.T.A.R. Labs — and he’s ostentatious, not afraid to flaunt his wealth which makes for interesting colors and relationship dynamics. Barry has to struggle with the fact that this is not the Cisco he knows and there’s a bit of an antagonistic energy to this Cisco. It’s what makes the beginning of Season 3 so interesting."
We've seen a hint of Cisco's new attitude in a promo for season 3, but it sounds like there's going to be more in store than just a personality change. As Valdes pitched it, "Powers grow. That’s what they do." So, along with Barry's struggle of facing the loss of a more good-natured version of his friend, he also might do battle against -- or alongside -- an ever-more-powerful Cisco. It's an even more exciting prospect if you read into Valdes' "No comment" in response to him getting a superhero Vibe costume.
Timeline complications can really mess with a show's dynamic, and this Flashpoint storyline will have effects along the entire CW DC universe, including Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow, and possibly the already-alternate-universe Supergirl. The Flash fans have understandably been worried that everything they've been invested in for two seasons will be gone, and let's face it, that all these alternate timelines will create plot holes big enough to fly a Waverider through. Valdes had some comforting words to offer, however:
"I think it’s important to stress that the altered timeline of Flashpoint will not overtake the season. I think this season is more focused on the repercussions of the creation of that timeline and it being opened. I think a lot of fans are expressing concern at their favorite characters and relationships being gone, but without giving too much away, I can assure fans that is NOT the case."
Executive producer Andrew Kreisberg has also said that a theme of The Flash season 3 will be about "power, what you do with that power, and is power ultimately corrupting?" It looks like Cisco will be a part of that, with his greed and ambition coming to the forefront in his alternate-reality character. It remains to be seen if his new powers will change him completely, of if ultimately the Cisco we know and love will stay true to his desire to do the right thing.
The Flash season 3 will premiere Tuesday October 4th at 8pm on The CW, Arrow season 5 will premiere in the same timeslot on Wednesday October 5th, Supergirl season 2 on Monday October 10th, and Legends of Tomorrow season 2 on Thursday October 13th.