Warning: spoilers for last night’s episode of The Flash are ahead!

Last night’s episode of The Flash, a.k.a. “Flash Back,” marked the fourth time Barry Allen time traveled in the DC TV universe. This time, however, his messing around with the time stream brought a new problem: Time Wraiths. As Barry attempted to get some answers from Eobard Thawne about how to increase his speed the year before when the S.T.A.R. Labs team was dealing with Pied Piper, that ghoulish creature was flying around Central City trying to find Barry. Its goal: neutralize anyone who goes back to alter the past. However, their main targets are speedsters, which is why it’s doubtful we’ll see them on Legends of Tomorrow.

Questionable CGI aside, these freakish Time Wraiths now make time travel even more complicated on The Flash. It may be a while until we see them again, but for now, we thought we’d go over what we learned about them on “Flash Back” and how they might play into the show at a later point.

They Aren’t From The Comics
The Flash has done an excellent job of incorporating characters and elements from the comic books, but these Time Wraiths are one of the show’s few completely original creations. The closest thing they resemble are the Black Flash, a manifestation of death in the DC universe that only appears to those connected to the Speed Force when their demise is near. They also share the same M.O. as the same-named Time Wraiths in the Doctor Who episode “Father’s Day,” only in that case, time itself was also trying to correct itself. As for why The Flash’s Time Wraiths haven’t been seen before when Barry went back into the past, our only clue came from Eobard Thawne, who said that Barry “ran out of luck.” That doesn’t really clear things up, but just as a guess, maybe the Time Wraith only targets those who are trying to change the past, as opposed to just the speedsters who go back in time and go about their lives. When Barry traveled back in time before, he either stayed in the past (thus merging with his younger self) or didn’t change anything. This isn’t the greatest explanation, but hopefully we’ll get more answers later this season or in Season 3.

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