If it were a more perfect world, everyone involved with making The CW's The Flash a reality would share Barry Allen's signature speediness, so that episodes of the popular drama could be created on a weekly basis for entire years at a time for one of the most groundbreaking feats in television history. (I'm admittedly not sure if the math works out on all that.) Alas, we are limited to conventional hiatus-filled TV seasons, and we'll have to wait for Season 3 of The Flash to premiere so that we may once again light up our lives with orange lightning and explosions. But that wait doesn't have to be completely boring and absent of all things Flash-related.
Here, we've put together everything we know about Season 3 of The Flash for a look ahead that will be updated as new information, trailers, castings and more are unveiled. And this is a show that's fast and furious with conversation-starting announcements, so check back every time you see a blur go by that you can't quite explain, but you know it definitely isn't a mosquito.
When Will The Flash Season 3 Premiere?
It didn't require the brain power of someone like Harrison Wells (of any dimension) to wager a near-perfect guess on when Barry Allen would be heading to the starting blocks for Season 3's kick off, since both Season 1 and Season 2 debuted on the first Tuesday in October of their respective years. And so it shall be for Season 3, as The CW announced its fall schedule with The Flash zipping back into our lives on Tuesday, October 4, at 8 p.m. ET. And we already know that the premiere will be called "Flashpoint," so that should make the entirety of October quite exciting.
What Have We Seen From The Flash Season 3?
Currently, the majority of The Flash Season 3 exists within the brains of creators Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Geoff Johns, along with any writers or producers that they may have shared the information with. But Comic-Con thankfully brought us the first look at the season, which is kicking things off by putting viewers in a completely different universe. Even more different from what we're used to, even. Check out the first trailer below.
That all looks so very glorious, and at the time, less then two full episodes had been filmed. So we can only imagine that more amazing things are coming. Or maybe we don't have to guess, if some of us have already seen the entire season and have come back to the past to spoil it for our worst enemies. Stranger things have happened.
Who Will Be Returning For Season 3?
Considering how Season 2 ended with a major reboot for Barry's life, along with an entirely new life for Nora, it's unclear what in the hell will happen. But since Flashpoint isn't expected to go too deep into the season, we'll look at this as if the show will return to the status quo relatively quickly.
Grant Gustin will once again don the signature red suit and mask to play the titular hero in Season 3 and years beyond. As well, we'll once again see Carlos Valdes as tech genius Cisco, Danielle Panabaker as science master Caitlin, Candice Patton as the news-hunting Iris and Jesse L. Martin as the dutiful patriarch Joe. But expect those personalities and relationships to get shaken up in those first episodes. (Cisco is a bazillionaire badass in Flashpoint, for whatever reason.)
Both introduced in Season 2, Wally West and Jesse Wells survived the second particle accelerator explosion, and though it's not clear how her transition into her comic book counterparts will be handled, Wally will definitely be Kid Flash when Season 3 kicks off, though it's unclear if that super-persona will stick around throughout the season. Andrew Kreisberg has made it clear this show won't become team-based as far as its speedy heroes go, and that Barry will remain the narrative focus. Jesse isn't even from Earth-1 anyway, so that presents its own wrinkle, but Cisco and Barry can always take us over to Earth-2, so she'll be around when needed.
Because Flashpoint will bring Nora back to life, Henry Allen no longer goes off to prison, so John Wesley Shipp will definitely be back in at least that capacity, though our fingers are crossed multiple times over that he'll return as Earth-3's Jay Garrick at some point. Tom Cavanagh, meanwhile, will also be back in some big way, presumably as the original Earth-1 Harrison Wells, although there are other iterations that could pop up as well.
Now that there are four DC Comics shows on The CW, we're getting a massive four-way crossover event later this year that will see each show blending in with its network neighbors. (Gustin is locked up for several already.) And it probably has something to do with the four-show contracts signed by returning actors Matt Letscher (Reverse-Flash), Wentworth Miller (Captain Cold), Katie Cassidy (Black Siren) and Neal McDonough (Damien Darhk), who will team up to form the Legion of Doom for Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 and beyond. As such, we can also expect to see the likes of Stephen Amell's Green Arrow, Brandon Routh's Atom and other familiar members of Team Arrow and the Legends of Tomorrow are sure to pop by.
Oh, and expect Gorilla Grodd to return for what will hopefully be a kong-a-palooza of a trip to Gorilla City.
Who Won't Be Returning For Season 3?
On the opposite end of the spectrum from returning characters is a list of those that definitely won't be coming back, although the answer is extremely similar. The Flash's multiple timelines and dimensions allows for all manner of characters to return in a possibly infinite number of scenarios. That time travel can be some tricky business, am I right? I mean, we saw Nora Allen again in two different capacities just a couple of episodes apart, and she'll be back in a whole new way in Season 3.
Even Season 1's big bad Reverse-Flash returned for Season 2, and he's got an even bigger role in this universe moving forward, so we could very well see Zoom/Hunter Zolomon causing more havoc for Barry and Central City in Season 3, even if the villain wouldn't necessarily be around for long. (Time remnants going undercover to form a Zoom cabal?) It was recently reported that actor Teddy Sears isn't currently tapped to return to the show, presumably as Black Flash, but that could always change as the months go by.
Who Is The Flash Season 3's Main Villain?
Almost every piece of superhero fiction gets to a point where the ante is upped and the central protagonist has to face off against multiple major villains. (See: Iron Man 2 and Spider-Man 3. Or don't see them, really.) The Flash will go down that road as well in Season 3, where Barry Allen will have to sharpen his skills against not just one classic comic foe, but two. And one of them isn't a speedster, for once.
First is Doctor Alchemy, as seen above. This villain, who was seen briefly in the Comic-Con trailer, goes by the name of Albert (or Alvin) Desmond, a chemistry master who suffers from multiple personalities. The darker side of his psyche likes to tinker with chemicals to get his evildoing done, and that's helped out majorly by the Philosopher's Stone, which has the capability of changing some objects into other things.All we've seen of him so far was just a mask, but we're intrigued to see how this show treats a regular villain that doesn't run around all the time.
Then there's Savitar, who is a speedster, but has a different approach to using and manipulating speed than Reverse-Flash and Zoom. A test pilot, he who would become Savitar originally got his powers after his plane got struck by lightning while he was traveling at supersonic speeds. He took on the name Savitar after the Hindu got of speed, and so I guess his villainy will go a little deeper than the time-traveler and the dimension-jumper we've seen The Flash battle in the past. But he won both of those times, and I'm guessing neither Doctor Alchemy nor Savitar has what it takes to stop him. Yeah, that's a challenge.
What New Characters Will Season 3 Introduce?
With a plethora of comic book characters that haven't been seen in this universe just yet, The Flash has no worry of a drought in populating Central City and elsewhere. While no new names have officially been named yet, the creative team has hinted in brief at what we might expect.
When Caitlin and Killer Frost were both being held in Zoom's lair, they talked about their respective families, and both complained about their mother. At the time of that episode's airing, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg said that Season 3 will probably see a story play out involving Caitlin's mother. Killer Frost also mentioned having a brother who died, and because Earth-1 Caitlin doesn't have a brother that she knows of, we can expect that topic to be explored in more detail.
Speaking of families, we still haven't learned everything that's interesting about Barry's family, and we all know that's where the heart and soul of this series comes together. Only recently did Henry let it slip that the Garrick name is connected to his own mother's family, and there are bound to be other interesting sections of that family tree that the writers are holding back from showing us yet. After all, Earth-3 Jay Garrick was Henry's double, meaning there's a Barry Garrick (or something) also connected to the speedster world in another dimension.
Also, I know I'm not the only one that wants to see Tom Cavanagh return to take on a third version of Harrison Wells that has nothing to do with the other two. Or someone else. Anyone else. Just keep that guy around.
Where Did Season 2 Leave Things For The Characters?
Season 2 took this superhero story to places that were unthinkable in Season 1, from the incredibly exciting trips to Earth-2 to Cisco's new powers to villainous mega-twists. To be expected, the season pulled no punches as the end approached. Here's where Season 2 brought the major characters.
Barry accomplished quite a lot this year, from learning new powers to regaining those powers after losing them to going so fast that he ended up in a different series on a different network. It was also an emotionally fraught season for him, as his formerly jubilant nature took dark turns and he faced more agony and anguish than ever before. (Complete with a broken back and getting zapped into an other-world where the Speed Force can take on human form.) Season 2 ended with Barry and Iris seemingly making plans for a future relationship, at which point Barry went back in time and stopped Reverse-Flash from killing Nora, throwing everything into disorder.
To basically reiterate what was just stated, Iris found herself more drawn to Barry over the course of Season 2 as her role within Team Flash grew, but largely because of what the future and Earth-2 showed her and not exclusively her own strong feelings for him. Joe experienced the expected amounts of near death (and actual Earth-2 death) and he finally got to learn what it's like to raise a biological son. Wally, while not given a ton of stellar material, is now comfortable among all of the other major characters at S.T.A.R. Labs, so he's set up for what looks to be a danger-filled future.
Harry Wells came into Barry Allen's life looking to save his daughter from Zoom, and they accomplished that eventually. Barry even got to have his own Jesus moment by rousing Jesse from a coma by just touching her with a little bolt of Flash-ness. It was great to see Tom Cavanagh work for the greater good, even if he was amusingly standoffish most of the time, and as I stated elsewhere, I certainly hope he finds a way to return to Earth-2 for Season 3.
Caitlin started off the season by experiencing her hubby Ronnie's death, and her first post-mourning crush on Not Really Jay Garrick blew up in her face when it was revealed he was not at all who she thought he was. But his feelings for her were genuine enough, and that unfortunate affection landed her as his prisoner on Earth-2. Hopefully there are other universes where Caitlin's romantic life couldn't possibly be worse.
Throughout Season 2, Cisco discovered, resented and then embraced his own metahuman abilities, which allow him to access other dimensions through vibing. The progression was solid, and the fan favorite continued to become more interesting with each week that passed. He got to face down his Earth-2 self, Reverb, as well as his Earth-2 double's brother, who went by Rupture. (He even got to dress like Reverb.) Like Caitlin, Cisco's love life was unsuccessful, as he fell for the current reincarnation of Hawkgirl who just didn't realize who she was yet. Not the most comfortable situation.
Where Can I Watch The Flash Seasons 1 And 2?
At the time of this writing, the entire first season of The Flash can be found on Netflixto stream. Season 2 isn't so easy to find as a complete set of episodes, though, and you can currently only catch the latest five episodes on Hulu as well as on The CW's website. There's a good chance Season 2 will hit Netflix at some point before Season 3 gets here, but that day hasn't arrived just yet.