[WARNING: This post contains SPOILERS for The Flash series premiere, and potential spoilers for future episodes]
The series premiere of The Flash has come and gone, leaving viewers with one heck of a cliffhanger ending, and hints dropped at plenty of potential story lines - some of them downright Earth-shattering if the comic book source material is anything to go by. It's expected that fans will be asking some serious questions the more they mull over the premiere: What lies in Barry's future? What really happened in his past? And most importantly, who can he trust?
Thanks to the wealth of marketing and hints dropped by the producers and writers prior to the episode's airing - and having had plenty of time to debate these questions since the pilot's airing at Comic-Con 2014 - we've come up with a few possible theories in lieu of concrete answers.
We would obviously recommend viewers wait until they've seen the premiere for themselves so as to make their own judgements, and be warned that potential spoilers lie ahead (the show is based on a comic in print for half a century). But if you have a nagging question, hopefully we've got some possible explanations.
What's With The Floating Water?
One of the first visual effects to appear in the premiere was the water floating up and out of a young Barry's fish tank; revealed to be linked to the presence of a speedster within his home. That connection is likely accepted and forgotten by most viewers, but makes little sense when the effect is later seen moments before Barry is struck by lightning. And since the effect isn't seen during any other use of superspeed in the show, something more is clearly at play.
Those familiar with Barry's comic book history - specifically Geoff Johns' "Rebirth" reboot - may know that the murder of Nora Allen and the lightning that struck Barry have something in common: a change in history. We'll steer clear of spoilers since they're not necessary to grasp the concept, but it seems plausible that the liquid effects are a sign not of superpowers, but that the fabric of space and time itself is being warped - or re-written.
If that's the case, then the writers are biting off an even bigger chunk of time travel fiction than the premiere's cliffhanger implied. Not to mention establishing a clear sign to viewers of just when Barry (or his enemy) is risking a serious ripple through history.
What's in a Name?
Even lapsed fans of The Flash will know that the speedster's arch-nemesis is - fittingly - the Reverse-Flash, while more dedicated readers will know that his real name is Eobard Thawne. So when Rick Cosnett was cast as 'Detective Eddie Thawne,' fan speculation spiked, presuming that the series - and Barry - had found its central antagonist. But the premiere depicts Thawne in a very different light; and that's gotten us thinking.
Some might still believe that Thawne is actually 'Professor Zoom,' having already travelled back from the 25th century, and simply hiding in plain sight until the opportune moment. But given that Eobard Thawne isn't born for a few centuries, it seems just as likely that Eddie simply is an ancestor of the iconic villain. His romantic relationships may give Barry a few headaches (or heartaches) but for fans looking for the central antagonist, we'd recommned looking elsewhere.