The fall television season can't get here fast enough, as there were numerous shows that left their viewers in cruel anticipation due to daringly dramatic cliffhangers. Supergirl made an eye-opening discovery, while the crew of Legends of Tomorrow were introduced to a member of the Justice Society of America. However, there isn't a show that left its viewers in limbo more than the second season finale to The Flash.
Last season Barry Allen broke his own rules by going back in time to prevent the murder of his mother, which effectively saved both of his parents' lives. However, it came at a great cost, as his actions caused a ripple in time that will have unforeseen consequences. The second season opener is titled, "Flashpoint", which is a direct reference to the DC Comics' storyline of the same name. The comic was co-written by DC Entertainment's president Geoff Johns and Andy Kubert, which found The Flash struggling to correct the timeline after saving Nora Allen and corrupting the future.
This is an opportunity for the showrunners to reshape the entire format of the show, or the DC universe on TV as a whole, even if for just a short period of time. In a recent interview with EW, actor Grant Gustin shed some light on what will be in store for Barry Allen after the shift in the timeline.
“He’s starting to have new memories of graduating high school and college, memories he never had with his parents, but those memories are replacing other things from the other timeline.”
It sounds similar to the fading pictures in the Back to the Future franchise, except it won't be Allen physically disappearing from existence, just his life experiences. Typically, time traveling paradoxes in fiction trap the subject in a world that is forever recognized as foreign from their own. However, the approach that they are taking in season three will ultimately make the viewer feel as though they are trapped in the same paradox as the Flash. As Allen slowly forgets the past, it should heighten the tension for the viewers, as they wait for the show to return to its recognizable form.
At San Diego Comic-Con, the trailer for The Flash season 3 was officially released, revealing that the characters that we know from the first two seasons of The Flash will be drastically altered. Time travel can be tricky because it's simply a theoretical construct. There really aren't many agreed upon laws for how it would actually operate, since it hasn't been proven to actually be possible. Which gives each program the opportunity to write its own set of rules for how time travel operates within its given universe.
It seems that the spin that the show-runners are taking on the third season of The Flash could potentially expand audiences' entire understanding of fictional time travel in brand new ways. Fortunately, we only have to wait a few short months to experience the paradox for ourselves.
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.