[WARNING: This article contains spoilers for The Flash Season 1 finale.]
The first season of The Flash made it more than clear that the show's writers had a long - long - term plan for the hero and series, with the final scenes of the season finale foreshadowed in the first scenes of the pilot episode. But the season finale didn't just wrap up the threads and mysteries of the past; it introduced plenty more, with the show's blend of the present and future largely to blame.
With parallel timelines and alternate universes outright confirmed, Barry's unlocking of the Speed Force revealed to him (and the audience) more than a few glimpses of the future, while elsewhere, cast members were shown to have their own metahuman abilities previously unknown to anyone. It may have been too much for casual viewers to keep up with, so allow us to explain just what was shown, and what it could mean for the future.
Harrison Wells' cryptic discovery that Cisco Ramon's (Carlos Valdes) ability to retain memories of his death from an alternate timeline - described as able to see through the "vibrations of the universe" - likely left many fans unsure of what to think. But for those familiar with the character's history in the pages of DC Comics know this to be a fairly obvious tease of his superhero alter ego, Vibe.
In the comics, Vibe is, as his name implies, able to emit and control vibrations. Apparently, his new powers in The Flash universe will come as a result of the particle accelerator disaster, just as the rest of the show's metahumans. His powers have clearly been below the surface to this point, but his ability to perceive other parallel timelines and universes could be the first of many new powers, both passive and offensive.
Ever since actress Danielle Panabaker was announced to be joining the regular cast as 'Caitlin Snow,' comic fans recognized the name as a potential supervillain hiding in the heroes' midst. That's due to the character's alter ego in the comic pages, Killer Frost - a "heat vampire" who requires energy to warm her frozen core, and able to launch ice-based attacks.
Panabaker and the showrunners haven't shied away from the obvious twist in Caitlin's future, but Barry's glimpse of the future showed her villain's final design. Since the character was originally a villain of Firestorm, it will be interesting to see how the writers pair the two metahumans blessed with powers of fire and ice (who also happen to be married).
The Flash Museum
Another nod to the comics was offered in the look at Central City's Flash Museum, dedicated to the city's guardian angel. The Flash Museum has been a longstanding feature of The Flash's comic book home, coming to define the superhero as one who is adored by his public like few others in DC's universe. It's possible it may take Barry decades to acquire the souvenirs and monumental moments needed to fill the museum's halls, but then, we don't know how far into the future Barry was looking.
Barry Gets Locked Up
Not all looks at the future are a blessing, as this one scene - held on for much longer than the others - shows Barry incarcerated in Iron Heights Prison, speaking with an unknown man. Barry had flirted with the idea of breaking the law to help his father escape the same prison in the past, but the Barry Allen of the comics universe is no stranger to the inside of a jail cell, either.
The comic hero would actually kill the Reverse-Flash in a time when murder was rare in superhero comics, eventually being placed on trail for the murder. While that may not be the case here, the change in haircut and stubble Gustin is sporting in the scene may imply it's years down the line, but with Allen's secret identity not public, it seems most likely that forensic scientist Barry Allen may run afoul of the law, not his super alter ego.
The Legends of Tomorrow
Certainly less shocking than the other glimpses, this look at the cast of DC's Legends of Tomorrow - like the cameo from Hawkgirl herself (played by Ciara Renée) - is a reminder that The CW's universe is highly interconnected. The exact scene was already shown in the Legends of Tomorrow announcement trailer, but the question now becomes just how far into the future Barry is looking (since the team's fight against immortal Vandal Savage could take them nearly anywhere in time).
A Familiar Helmet
The helmet mysteriously launched from the wormhole through time and space was impossible to miss for any DC Comics, Flash, or even Smallville fan (and was, sadly, spoiled ahead of time). The helmet, designed to look like that of the Greek/Roman god Hermes/Mercury, it's the signature headgear of Jay Garrick, the first DC Comics hero to bear the name of 'The Flash.'
Created from the WWI-era helmet of Jay's father, it's hard to know just how much to place into the helmet's sudden appearance. Since Eobard Thawne takes it as "his cue to leave" makes it sound like simply a gag, the comic history may shed some light. Initially seen as a Silver Age reboot of Garrick, Barry Allen eventually came to realize that Jay existed on a parallel Earth - perhaps the same parallel time that Thawne was looking to return to?
A Tear in Space... to Where?
The episode's final cliffhanger came in the form of a colossal black hole, gaining momentum and size as it moved from the bowels of S.T.A.R. Labs to the skies above Central City. Barry's final act was to courageously leap into the hole as he ran in the opposite direction, attempting to sap its strength like he had a tornado in the show's pilot. But what was the actual nature of the apparent hole torn in space?
Taking every detail and explanation offered over the course of the episode, it was Thawne's plan to open a wormhole that would allow Barry to travel to his past, and allow him to return top his own future (just one of many). Unfortunately, the black hole shouldn't have happened going by the information given. If the brilliant cast members are stumped, could it be more than just a singularity - and possibly a link between parallel worlds? With the showrunners confirming the multiverse will be explored in Season 2, fans have plenty to discuss.
Those are all the easter eggs, odd teases, and comic history that The Flash's season finale brought to our minds, but if you have any questions or nods to add, please share them in the comments.
The Flash return for its second season this Fall on The CW.