Season 3 of The Flash picked up right where the second season ended -- with Barry face to face with (both of) his parents, alive and well. However, it doesn't take long for Barry to realize that things are altogether different in this new timeline. The premiere speeds through several encounters that leave viewers thinking the person who is changed the most by the time travel is Barry Allen himself.
DC's Flashpoint comic run was massive in scale and touched just about every inch of the DC world. As far as CW's The Flash goes, it has always been said that Flashpoint will have an effect but won't last all season. Surely no one expected the major arc to be over in just one episode.
In an interview with CB, Executive Producer Todd Helbing addresses the brevity of being in the alternate timeline. Given the sheer amount of material The Flash has to work with, Helbing believes that, "with the character restrictions that [the show] had, [Flashpoint was] going ot be different than everybody expected." He goes on to reiterate that TV is a great avenue to condense content, noting:
"I think for us from a story point, when we talked about it originally it was going to be more episodes. But what happens more often than not, is that when you break the story you find that it would be a lot better and a lot more satisfying if you pulled up a lot of that information and put it in that first episode."
Aside from Flashpoint consequences, Helbing also points out that the relationship between Barry and Iris will be a big factor in this third season. In the span of the second episode, "Paradox," Barry and Iris come full circle and it seems like the rest of the relationships and friendships are on the mend as well.
The EP also notes that cutting Flashpoint short meant they could, "kickstart the rest of the season," instead of wasting a handful of episodes on the topic. With Barry back in his own timeline, perhaps fans will start to see building up toward the upcoming crossover, which will feature the Dominators. For those who felt cheated out of a more in-depth exploration of the alternate Flashpoint timeline, Helbing promises that effects will be felt throughout the season, saying:
"I think with the breadth of the Flash comics, there's so much to pull from. We like the pace of the show, where we've dialed in, is faster. For us it's really exciting to just get on with it. Personally, I feel like the speed that we're going is the best version of the show. But Flashpoint or not, there are consequences going forward for Barry for what he did, and those ripples he's going to explore throughout the third season."
Supergirl season 2 airs Mondays at 8pm on The CW, The Flash season 3 airs Tuesdays in the same timeslot, Arrow season 5 on Wednesdays, and Legends of Tomorrow season 2 airs on Thursdays.