Warning: MAJOR spoilers for the third season of The Flash ahead, only continue reading if you're caught up on the Scarlet Speedster's solo series!
For fans of The CW's The Flash, the promise of the Flashpoint arc quickly became one of the most talked about stories of the summer. After all, Barry Allen went back in time to save his mother, and irreparably changed the Arrow-verse timeline in the process. However, many fans were surprised to find that the actual Flashpoint event only encompassed a single episode of the series' third season. According to executive producer, Todd Helbing, it all has to do with the economics of storytelling. He explained:
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.... It just became a much stronger episode if we just made it one as opposed to four or five, and then we could really kickstart the rest of the season after that. 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.
While speaking with Comicbook.com about the third season of the Scarlet Speedster's solo series, Todd Helbing admitted that the creative team behind The Flash initially wanted to do a multi-episode Flashpoint arc to kick off the new story. However, they eventually realized that the arc worked better when it was packed into the season premiere. This resulted in a narratively dense first episode, and it afforded the writers the opportunity to get to the meat of the season much sooner than expected. Considering everything that we have seen so far, it seems that the gambit worked.
It's probably for the best that Flashpoint only lasted one episode. The season premiere wasted no time hitting all of the necessary beats, and the show can now thoroughly explore the ramifications of Barry's decision to go back in time, rather than rehash specific Flashpoint story beats that die-hard fans could easily predict. Fan service can quickly become tiresome if used too often.
Those ramifications have become more and more obvious with each passing episode. From the death of Cisco's brother, to the complete erasure of Sara Diggle from the timeline, Barry keeps learning that every one of his actions will have untold consequences. The Flash's "Flashpoint" timeline is even having ramifications on some of the CW's other DC-oriented shows.
Although Flashpoint is over, there's still plenty of story left to tell. Barry restored the timeline, but nothing ever completely goes back to normal. The Flash airs every Tuesday night at 8 p.m. EST on The CW. Make sure to check out our fall TV premiere guide for more information regarding all of the most highly anticipated fall television debuts.