After All That, Does Flashpoint Only Last for One Episode?

Friday, 23 September 2016 - 11:09AM
DC Comics
The Flash
Friday, 23 September 2016 - 11:09AM
After All That, Does Flashpoint Only Last for One Episode?
At the end of the second season of The Flash, Barry Allen went back in time to save his mother, triggering the famous Flashpoint paradox from the comics. And ever since, Flashpoint has been central to the marketing for season three, and is arguably the single most-hyped storyline of the season. We already knew that it wouldn't last too long, maybe just a few episodes. But now, it looks like our expectations might need to go down even further, as Flashpoint might only last for a single episode.

At first, with all the marketing surrounding Flashpoint, it seemed like we might be in a parallel universe for the whole season, and that would be the focus of season three. But then, Grant Gustin went out of his way to tamper down fan expectations:

Opening quote
"I think we can state Flashpoint does not last all season long," Gustin told IMDb at SDCC. "But there are permanent ramifications."
Closing quote

Over time, and after further interviews with the cast and producers, it became clear that Flashpoint wouldn't even last until the midseason finale. But we still expected it to last for at least a two or three-episode arc, and as it turns out, that might not even be the case.

The CW has released summaries for the first two episodes of the season, and the first, called "Flashpoint," is exactly what you'd expect:

Opening quote
WHAT WOULD YOU SACRIFICE TO HAVE EVERYTHING YOU'VE EVER WANTED? - Barry is living his dream life – his parents are alive, he's asked Iris West on a date and he can finally be a normal guy as Central City has another speedster, Kid Flash, running around saving the city. When Barry starts forgetting parts of his old life, the Reverse Flash taunts his nemesis and tells him that there will be serious repercussions for Barry and the ones he loves if he continues to live in this alternate universe. In addition to losing his memories, his powers will also start to fade. When disaster strikes, Barry must decide if he wants to continue to live in this world as Barry Allen or return to his universe as The Flash.
Closing quote

Okay, so far, so good. This episode is clearly kicking off the Flashpoint paradox, which lasted for five issues in the comics miniseries. But then, the newly released synopsis for episode two, called "Paradox," seems to preview the aftermath of Flashpoint, rather than a continuation:
Opening quote
THE AFTERMATH - Barry (Grant Gustin) realizes the effects from Flashpoint are much greater than he thought. Meanwhile, Barry meets new co-worker Julian Albert (Tom Felton) and is surprised by Julian's immediate disdain for Barry. Ralph Hemecker directed the episode written by Aaron Helbing & Todd Helbing.
Closing quote

This certainly sounds like Flashpoint is already over, although that could be misleading. It's possible that the reference to "the aftermath" refers to some devastating event within Flashpoint, and Barry "realizes the effects are greater than he thought" while he's still in the throes of it. But then again, considering that the summary for the first episode says Barry "must decide" whether to stay in Flashpoint or return to his own universe, it certainly sounds like the second episode explores the "aftermath" of his departure from the Flashpoint universe. Plus, Tom Felton is a series regular, so it would be strange if they introduced his character during the Flashpoint paradox, since he presumably wouldn't still be there when Barry returned to his old life.

We'll have to wait and see when The Flash premieres on October 4 at 8pm on The CW.
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