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The Flash's Season 2 finale was packed with a lot of exciting moments, but it was the episode’s final minutes that especially paved the way for what’s coming in Season 3. Traveling back in time to the year 2000, Barry rushed to his childhood home and prevented Reverse-Flash from killing his mother. Now Nora Allen is alive, and while viewers who are unfamiliar with the comics were left wondering where the show goes from here, comic book fans know what’s likely coming in Season 3. We're likely to see Flashpoint, the 2011 story where Barry took the same action and it resulted in the DC universe becoming a much worse place.
Those who have read Flashpoint or watched the animated movie, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, know there’s no way that the TV show will be able to adapt the story word for word. That’s a fact. However, much like how Captain America: Civil War took liberties with the original Civil War story while still retaining its basic themes, there are directions The Flash can go down and still remain true to the spirit of Flashpoint, either directly or indirectly. Here are the seven best ways The Flash can properly adapt the Flashpoint story for Season 3.
Bring Captain Cold Back As Citizen ColdLet’s start with someone who can easily be included: Leonard Snart, better known in Flashpoint as Citizen Cold. In this timeline, Cold is publicly regarded as a hero rather than a villain, and he’s the one who is Central City’s official protector. Legends of Tomorrow fans saw Snart die in Season 1’s penultimate episode, but thanks to Wentworth Miller’s new DC deal, he’ll be recurring on both that show and The Flash. So you can be almost certain that in this new timeline on The Flash, Snart will still be alive and operating as as a Citizen rather than a Captain. That said, those who read the Citizen Cold tie-in miniseries know that this version of Snart not only still loves money, but is arguably more ruthless. If Snart ends up working with Barry in this adaptation, don’t be surprised if he double-crosses him, whether it’s for a quick payday or other reasons.
Substitute Green Arrow For BatmanWhen Barry Allen woke up in the Flashpoint timeline and learned he didn’t have his speed, he went to get assistance from Batman; only it wasn’t Bruce Wayne wearing the cape and cowl. It was his father, Dr. Thomas Wayne. The Flash would benefit from a similar dynamic, and even though it’s unlikely they’ll use Batman in their Flashpoint story, there’s a great alternative: Green Arrow. Some of you might remember in The Flash Season 2 how Robert Queen (seen above) was outed as The Arrow on Earth-2, and Flashpoint would allow us to see him as this timeline’s Emerald Archer in person. Barry will go to Star City to find Green Arrow, and even though it’s Robert carrying the bow, he’ll convince his friend’s father to help him change what’s happened/avert a coming crisis. Much like how Thomas wanted to revert the timeline so that his son Bruce would still alive, Robert will want to do the same for Oliver, even if it means his own death.
Have Vibe As This Universe’s Top HeroIn the original Flashpoint story, Cyborg was the United States’ top hero, but for The Flash, we recommend that Vibe take that spot instead. Even though Barry isn’t the Flash in this timeline, let’s assume there was still a particle accelerator explosion, and Cisco Ramon was still hit by the wave. However, this time, his powers awaken much earlier, and by the time Barry finds him during Season 3’s Flashpoint story, he has the same level of control over his powers as his Earth-2 doppelgänger, Reverb. Now Cisco is fighting crime as Vibe, and when Barry notices a newspaper or TV report showing him using his vibrational powers on the bad guys, be it Central City or elsewhere, he’ll seek out this version of his buddy for some much needed methauman backup. After Barry changes the timeline back to normal, he could tell Cisco what his alternate self was doing, leading Cisco to take more steps to becoming the main timeline’s Vibe.
Feature Firestorm As The Powered PrisonerAfter Barry recruited Batman and Cyborg to his cause in the original Flashpoint story, they went to find Superman, who in this timeline had been captured by the government immediately after crashing onto Earth as a baby and had been kept locked up for most of his life. Aside from Superman not being available for The Flash, the show itself hasn’t had any aliens pop up, so it’s doubtful the Flashpoint arc will suddenly include one. That’s why if they do include a superpowered prisoner, it should be Firestorm, with Robbie Amell back as Ronnie Raymond. After the particle accelerator went off, Ronnie and Martin Stein were merged like before, but this time, the government (presumably General Wade Eiling) captured them. Barry, Green Arrow and Vibe break Firestorm out, and while he immediately flies off to enjoy his new freedom (like Superman did), he returns near the story’s conclusion to help out his fellow heroes in whatever conflict they’re wrapped up in.
Lower The Global StakesOne of the reasons that the Flashpoint timeline was awful was because Aquaman and Wonder Woman were at war with each other, and the destruction caused between the Amazon and Atlantean forces led to Western Europe being sunk. Once again, we have two characters who can’t be used on The Flash, and when you combine their absence with the show’s smaller budget (compared to a movie, that is), there’s no way that this conflict can be properly realized. So that means this version of Flashpoint shouldn’t put the world at stake, at least through something like global war. Maybe just limit it to Central City and a few other notable DC locations, like Star City. At most, find a way to include the entire United States, but don’t expand this version of Flashpoint so that the entire world is involved. It needs to embrace that it will feel more personal when told on television.
Give Barry One Final Conversation With His MotherFor two seasons, we’ve watched Barry struggle with his mother’s death, and that’s not counting all the years before The Flash kicked off. At the end of “The Runaway Dinosaur,” he finally seemed to make peace with her being gone after his time in the Speed Force, but after his father was killed by Zoom, that was the final straw. Now she’s alive, but her survival will result in the timeline being fractured. Barry was glad to see his mother alive in Flashpoint, but when he ran back home as the world was ending, it was his conversation with her that made him realize he needed to undo his changes. TV Barry is going to come to this same realization, and he needs to have one last moment with his mom before he goes back to stop his past self. That doesn’t mean we should never see Nora again on the series, but this needs to finally close the book on Barry wanting to prevent her murder again in future seasons.
Make Sure There Are Changes To RealityFlashpoint isn’t just a mere time travel event where everything reverts back to normal once it concludes. There are lasting changes to the main timeline, which in the comics were represented as the New 52. While we don’t expect a massive continuity overhaul on The Flash, there does need to be some permanent consequences to his actions on the show’s main timeline. These could range from slight changes to past events, just like Barry’s previous time travel escapades or even a character or two previously dead being brought back to life. Some are even speculating that Flashpoint will be the way that the Supergirl universe is merged with Earth-1, a.k.a. the main universe where these other CW DC shows reside. That remains to be seen, but regardless, whatever these changes to reality are, they can’t just be highlighted on The Flash. They will need to be felt on Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow, too, which is why the four-part crossover in the fall would be the perfect time for The Flash’s version of Flashpoint to conclude, or at minimum tie into the other DC shows on the network.