The Flash Season 3: Barry Saved His Mom! — What Happens Next?

TVLine hits rewind on the TV season’s biggest “What Happens Next?” finales, then invites you to predict the cliffhanger outcomes.

“Mom” was the word as Season 2 of The CW’s The Flash came to a close. But was traveling back in time to save Nora a bit of a “parent trap” for Barry, who likely has significantly altered his fate? Is the new word, heading into Season 3, “Flashpoint”?

For the uninitiated — and I will simplify this greatly, while omitting a few spoilers — Flashpoint was a massive DC Comics library “reboot” facilitated by Barry’s trip back in time to save his mother. After doing so, he wakes up back in Central City, confused by the changes to the world that he gradually lays witness to. For one, Barry doesn’t have his powers, since there was no tragic past/wrongful incarceration of his dad to steer him in the direction of forensic science and thus land him in his lab with those chemicals at the time of the fateful lightning strike.

Also in Barry’s immediate orbit, in the absence of The Flash a different hero protected Central City — Citizen Cold. (Is that a reason why Legends of Tomorrow‘s Wentworth Miller was switched to a series regular “across all Greg Berlanti superhero shows”? Because they knew he’d be needed on The Flash?) On the flip side, Reverse-Flash/Eobard Thawne is alive and well, which could account for Tom Cavanagh maintaining his series regular status, even though Harry just returned home to Earth-Two.

In Flashpoint, Barry eventually decides he must undo what he undid. And yet he’s powerless. So, with help from Batman, he recreates the circumstances through which he became a speedster — extremely akin to the final episodes of The Flash‘s own Season 2, so if the TV show goes that route, it will be interesting to see how they avoid treading identical ground.

All of which is a 200-word way of saying that when The Flash Season 3 opens, Barry is very likely in for a huge shock (will he have even ever met the Wests?), and he may be powerless to make things right once he realizes all that went wrong. The easiest question to thus pose to you is: How long will The Flash take to serve up its spin on this major comic-book arc? Especially with the epic four-way crossover with Arrow, Legends and Supergirl on the calendar for December? (Unless Barry from the original timeline takes part in that event, though such a workaround would be super-confusing and dramatically unsatisfying.)

Rewatch Season 2’s closing sequence, then vote on your predicted timetable.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. DJ Doena says:

    I seriously hope it’s not a two episode gag.

    Barry royaly screwed up by playing God and there have to be major consequences for it.

    As for Cold: Isn’t there a Prison Break in the making? Can Miller be in two places at once? (Same goes for Purcell though).

  2. Joey Padron says:

    Think alter timeline will last until big crossover event episodes that will fixed the flash’s timeline back to normal. I’m excited to see Snart/Captain Cold on The Flash again!

  3. Roger says:

    What happens next. Bruce is murdered. Thomas Wayne becomes Batman, Martha Wayne becomes the Joker.

    Wonder Woman slept with Aquaman and then killed Mera when she found out. Aquaman got pissed. Aquaman is at war with Wonder Woman. They destroy the world.

    I could go on.

    • Keith says:

      and Superman has been a malnourished prisoner/science project since his arrival on Earth, kept under a red sun.

  4. Jaz says:

    I’d love for Eddie to be back… I miss Rick Cosnett on my screen, even as a guest star. It would make sense that he’d be around CCPD somewhere even if it’s not as Joe’s partner or Iris’ boyfriend

  5. Mo says:

    It will at most be resolved by the crossover, but I think seven episodes of an AU timeline that’s not gonna matter afterwards outside of teaching Barry a lesson is too long. I’m leaning more towards 3 episodes at minimum and a month at most.

  6. Let’s not forget though–this isn’t Flashpoint. The writers are NOT obligated to do Flashpoint, and to be honest, I hope they go in a completely different direction.

    When we first met Barry in Season 1, Reverse Flash traveled back in time to kill him as a kid. He killed his mom instead and due to actions by a different version of Barry, presumably the original version, Reverse Flash didn’t kill the whole family.

    However, what this means is that there was a version of Barry, who was every bit the same hero that our Barry is, that was the ORIGINAL Barry, in the UNALTERED timeline. Barry’s mom’s death was the result of time travel.

    Reverse Flash did screw up, and found himself stuck in the past, and the only way to get home was to make Barry become the Flash at an earlier age.

    He did that. But that’s the Barry we know.

    That doesn’t mean the original Barry was from some messed up timeline.

    I think it would be even more interesting if Barry found that life was good in his time period. However, due to his meddling, Barry is now a time remnant and the original Barry is out there, doing Flash things being the hero he is.

    What might be even MORE interesting is if this becomes permanent, and maybe the original Barry dies, leaving our Barry as the only Barry of that timeline.

    And yes, this will affect Arrow too, AND Legends. Yet we can say that due to the Legends being time traveling outside of the time stream when Barry did what he did, they are in tact as well.

    • 134sc says:

      I hope the creators remember that our Flash is technically an alternate timeline. And now that he saved his mom, original Barry should still be out there, with powers, doing his thing as you have already suggested. That’s why “Flashpoint” (as I understand it at least) cannot be the route season 3 takes. Really just as season 1 Barry vanished, season 2 Barry should have vanished as well.

      • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

        Nope, original Barry clearly/literally “vanished” from the scene of Nora’s would-be murder, once she was saved/his Flash fate erased.

        • Sam Beckett says:

          I think you may be mistaken. We have never seen the original Flash’s story. Before Reverse Flash went back in time to kill Barry’s mother, Barry was The Flash. Reverse Flash killed Barry’s mother to prevent him from becoming The Flash. Once Reverse Flash got stuck in the past he had to make sure Barry became The Flash, only he caused it to happen earlier then it originally did. By saving his mother Barry may have restored his original history which we will now see.

    • cmmorgan32 says:

      I disagree. It can still be Flashpoint as long as the basic premise remains the same. No superhero show/movie (or any show/movie that’s based on something else) is 100% faithful to the source material. There’s a reason why artistic/creative liberties exist at all. What ultimately airs on TV is just going to be one (of a few) different visions of a single storyline (comics, TV, animated movie, potential DCEU).

  7. Roger says:

    CW should get EXTRA meta and merge iZombie as well since Flashpoint merged Vertigo Comics into the DC Universe.

  8. Luis says:

    It will be interesting to see whether “Flash” writers are interested in doing a true homage to “Flashpoint,” and committing to it over an extended period. Given the restrictions of the DCEU, the show obviously won’t go into the larger implications of Barry’s actions (the Atlantis/Amazon war, for example,) but there are so many possibilities to be explored within the show itself (and perhaps the Arrowverse?) One encouraging possibility is the possible return of Tom Cavanagh as the now un-murdered Harrison Wells, who could take Batman’s place as the agent Barry uses in his quest to regain his speed. Given Barry’s encounter with the Speed Force last season, it would be interesting to see the SF”s reaction to Barry’s actions, as well.

  9. Anthony says:

    i think it should be 10 episodes so that it wont just be something crappy like him regaining his powers than fixing everything it should actually be a story that people can get into

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      It really is a head-scratcher. They should spend some time with it — and I do think they are “going there,” otherwise why recreate the exact same set-up for Flashpoint — but then how do you have a powered Barry taking part in the crossover? Unless the crossover is to “fix” things, but they aren’t quite successful? (Which would be the saddest crossover ever.)

      • Roger says:

        They shouldn’t be quite successful. Flashpoint is a HUGE multiple franchise event. It merged Vertigo Comics, Wildstorm and rebooted the whole DC Universe into the New 52.

        It should fix Arrow seasons 3 and 4 while having lasting consequences throughout the DCTV universe. Barry needs learn just how DANGEROUS his time meddling is, he NEEDS a gut punch even after his father died.

        The first seven episodes should be ample time for him to come to grips with his decision and it’s consequences. Episode 8 is usually crossover episodes and allows them to “fix” things while allowing all other shows to deal with their after effects and consequences.

        Long term, this can build the DCTV to their version of a Crisis event.

      • Sam Beckett says:

        As I mentioned in response to one of your previous posts, Barry’s mother not dying was part his original history and he became the Flash in his original history. Only question would be when did it originally happen? It maybe it hasn’t happened when Barry first returns but by the time of the crossover he is struck by the lightening.

        Also Barry mentioned that he had a crush on Iris before he started living with the Wests. That is what made it awkward for him at first. So Barry would know the Wests but he would not have a father son relationship with Joe. The probably would go more with Earth 2 relationship between Joe and Barry with Joe not happy Barry is with his daughter.

        • kaliber says:

          If I remember correctly, Eobard Thawne—in all of his machinations—moved up the timeline for Barry to become the Flash by five years. So we wouldn’t be there yet, going into season three.

        • coneyro says:

          You take, and combine, the best parts of Back to the Future, The Butterfly Effect, Groundhog Day and that great TV show Sliders, and you wind up with the “guess what’s going to happen” aspect of the Flash , in its most interesting form. The timeline explanations arge a little confusing to me, but who cares. I LOVE this show.

          Can’t wait for the epic crossover with the other shows. How Supergirl will figure into all of this something I am SO looking forward to finding out.

          The one thing I do regret, is that Constantine wasn’t originally aired on the CW. Chances are, it would still be on. At least they played it smart with Supergirl. She should be around a long time.

      • tvjunkie says:

        I just wonder how they are going to get Supergirl into the crossover. When Barry arrived on her Earth is was by accident and he needed her help to get back to his own. They would seem to make it difficult to replicate. I wonder if they knew months ahead of time that Supergirl was going to move to CW, did an excellent job keeping it secret and what happened with Barry was a way to facilitate integrating Supergirl into the fold to make for easier to explain crossovers.

  10. coneyro says:

    Honestly, this time travel scenario is giving me a headache. It IS interesting, but trying to figure it all out is just too confusing.

    Waiting to find out how the world changes from Barry’s interference in
    the timeline.

    • Isabella says:

      Thank you!!! I was starting to think that I was the only one that wasn’t thrilled with this ending. Reading all these comments about Flashpoint I’m getting the feeling that it’s going to be hard to follow for anyone who isn’t familiar with the comics and it’s kinda putting me off the show t.b.h.

  11. St Kos says:

    I would enjoy a 4 episode “mini-Flashpoint” story arc. The first two episodes would show how Barry’s world has changed, the next two episodes to set things right.

    The show doesn’t have the budget or the licensing to do a true to the comics Flashpoint. I think we will see a limited version on how Barry’s life is effected. Maybe Francine took young Iris when she left, leaving Joe alone. Over the years, Joe becomes a heavy drinker and never makes detective and Barry barely remembers Iris.

    I do hope they take advantage of Citizen Cold.

    • Mo says:

      This is exactly what I want! I’d love to see Barry dealing with the new universe, Iris actually getting to chase down leads and investigate Citizen Cold alongside Wally (and maybe even Hartley like the comics?), some apocalyptic situation Barry’s gotta fix, and then he tries to bring his team back together in order to restore the timeline by episode 4.

    • Mo says:

      Oh, amendment to my previous comment: we know Barry will remember Iris because Grant tweeted that Barry’s going to remember their kiss and conversation no matter what. But I do think Iris in the new timeline won’t know him very well because she moved away with Francine – or because Barry/Nora/Henry moved away years ago. Whatever works.

      • kaliber says:

        I agree that they probably won’t be as close, but they will still be friends in this timeline.
        *Flashpoint spoiler*
        I wonder if they will have Citizen Cold kill Wally and have Iris and Pied Piper take him down (would be a good way to bring back Hartley Rathaway for a few episodes).
        …and have that be part of the reason why Barry decides to fix the timeline back.
        I think that this alternate timeline would also be a good way to have Matt Letscher back for a few episodes as Eobard Thawne and have Tom Cavanaugh play the real Harrison Wells. Wells can take Thomas Wayne’s place in helping Barry get his powers back, but I do hope they don’t replicate what was done in season two.
        All-in-all, I echo others’ sentiments here and hope that this is only a short arc before an early-season crossover event to put things back. Unless they want to save the crossover for a separate event which finally merges Supergirl into the Flarrowverse.
        Mostly, I am just curious as to how this will affect Arrow in the early season. Without Barry, Team Arrow is toast. They wouldn’t have been able to defeat Deathstroke (at least in the manner in which they did) without Snow and Ramon, whom they wouldn’t have met without Barry’s interaction, and they would have stayed completely incinerated by Vandal Savage without Barry going back in time to get a do-over.

        • Gail says:

          Citizen Cold could take Barry’s place in the new timeline. All of the things Barry did with Arrow could have done by Citizen Cold. It won’t be exactly the same but it could allow Arrow to exist in the new timeline without much change. If the particle accelerator hasn’t happened yet there will be no meta humans on Earth yet . Captain Cold of course is one of the Flash’d few rogues who was not effected by the particle accelerator

          • Gail says:

            It would be fun if they reshot some of the Flash/Arrow scenes with Citizen Cold replacing Barry. Like when Ollie shot Barry when training him or having Citizen Cold coming to Starling City to get help to free his sister from prison and meeting Felicity.

          • kaliber says:

            The reshooting of some scenes could be cool, but that particular one wouldn’t be necessary since Oliver was trying to teach Barry to be more aware of his surroundings and to make a plan—something Snart never had a problem doing—instead of just rushing in and doing everything on the fly, expecting his speed to cover for anything. And the only reason Olive shot Barry is because he healed fast. I don’t think he would have done that to a regular person.

        • Sarah says:

          It is a good excuse to bring back some killed-off characters in alternative scenarios, but the Berlantiverse hasn’t always been all that concerned with logic and continuity so I wouldn’t assume that all the “therefore…”s will add up. I imagine they’ll pick and choose who to bring back as guests, and which storylines are affected, based on actor availability (and maybe budget) rather than consistency and common sense.

  12. coneyro says:

    Honestly, this time travel scenario is giving me a headache. It IS interesting, but trying to figure it all out is just too confusing.

    Waiting to find out how the world changes from Barry’s interference in
    the timeline.

    Should be interesting.

  13. Jason says:

    i feel like people say that would love this storyline but will quickly sour on it if they drag it out for long time. I hope it last no more than 10 episodes.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      That is the sticky wicket: As fun as it might be to explore this alternate timeline (Jitters is now a Blockbuster!), people will carp that we’re spending time on relationships that don’t matter.

      • Luis says:

        I wouldn’t expect them to spend more than 3 episodes on it, even if they commit to it. They still have to set up the S3 villain and prepare for the big 4 way crossover.

      • PatriciaLee says:

        People will carp no matter what. If relationships are fun, they should go there. Remember, Melanie was to be the main relationship in GWTW, but Scarlett took over and the rest is history.

      • kaliber says:

        Come on, there is no universe where Blockbuster is still in business.
        It’s like the anti-Big Belly Burger.

  14. kevb62 says:

    If it’s not all resolved within 4 episodes, it’s run the risk of severely affecting the ratings. Comics fans are going to eat it all up; your everyday, average TV viewer will want a quick resolution to it.

  15. ndixit says:

    I don’t think it should and I don’t think it will last more than a few eps. The CW doesn’t have access to the roster of characters to make Flashpoint for a for a half season story arc. Anyways, I think the Flashpoint paradox movie showed how the storyline can be effectively done in a little over an hour. Maybe 3 eps should do the trick. But they can’t stand removed from the reality that we know for long.

    • Gail says:

      You could just as well say the are doing “Back To The Future” instead of Flashpoint. What happens to the present when you change the past. Most of the characters used in Flashpoint don’t exist on the TV Flash world. They will use the Flash TV characters with different histories. The problem is this would seem to be too much like Earth 2. In fact Barry could come back to the present and think he is on Earth 2 only to find out somehow that it is his Earth.

    • cmmorgan32 says:

      They can work with the characters they already have in the “Arrowverse.” Artistic liberties exist for a reason. It all depends on whether or not the writers (on all shows) can come up with enough compelling content for however long the story arc is supposed to last.

  16. Gail says:

    I do like the idea of Citizen Cold being Central City’s hero with Cisco and Caitlin not knowing Barry and Cold being in charge of Team Cold. It was something I had not thought of when the said Wentworth Miller was going back as a semi regular on The Flash. It makes perfect sense and I hope that is what they do.

  17. I think Barry will realize his mistake in the first episode and use the second to figure out how to fix it. Depending on the premire dates of ‘Arrow’ and ‘Legands of Tomorrow’ could determain how long it take Barry to correct this screw up. Supergirl is in another demention so it would likely be unaffected by Barry antics and Legands deals in time travel and if the the Legands are on the Waverider, in flight, when Barry went back the likely avoided the changes. Arrow is the only one that should see and effects from Barry saving his mother but most time it goes unnoticed. Granted this is over ten years of history being altered, so we may see changes to the make-up of Arrow.The big four-way cross over in December sounds like the best time to have Barry hit the undo buttom but I would want to see ‘The Flash’ without the Flash for that long. Would anyone?

    • Gail says:

      Barry becomes The Flash whether his Mom dies or not so I don’t think you have to worry about The Flash without the Flash. I also don’t think they would do that as he just lost his powers towards the end of season 2. He would also be stuck in the past if he lost his powers. I don’t think they would go with a 50 year old powerless Barry in the present having had to live another 25 years to get home.

  18. Jane says:

    To quote the Doctor, “people assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint – it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly… time-y wimey… stuff.” So who knows the heck will happen.

  19. kaliber says:

    This may have been commented already, but… Of course he would have met the West family. Barry was already Iris’ best friend when his mother died.

  20. William says:

    I have just about lost patience with Barry Allen’s stupidity and hubris. He never seems to learn from each stupid decision he makes.

  21. Tony says:

    Now with Barry having pure control of the Speed Force, he can time travel seemingly at will.
    How will this affect his day to day decisions about life and death. Not just his mother but other
    characters moving forward?

  22. Rich says:

    One thing I must have missed along the way, when did Barry learn to time travel like that? So far, the only way he could go back was in short bursts only a matter of days or hours (that’s how he created his time remnant for the finale, right?) or to go WAY back they had to do the whole particle accelerator thing (risking another singularity). But this time he just ran back to that moment like it was no big deal. Huh?

  23. Mark Marks says:

    Wait am i getting this time travel thing mixed up or something. if barry from the future (with powers) went back and saved his mother then went forward in time then he would still have his powers because him having powers wouldnt change just everyone and everything he knows

    forget the whole comic book and animated Flashpoint for now. the way i see it is he would be travelling from the past to the future so everything he did and everyone he knows would be different when he returns however he would still have his powers.

    • Sarah says:

      Not necessarily- what you’re describing requires him to time-travel again in the opposite direction. If, like in the comics, what he does creates some sort of massive time-disturbance (ie, the “Flashpoint”) and he “wakes up” in 2016 he could, in theory, be returning to consciousness with an altered history. What I’m not sure of, however, is how they would explain him having the memories from the other timeline when that version of Barry would no longer have experienced the same things. Time travelling back to the future might explain him keeping his powers, but then would there be 2 different Barrys a-la Earth-2? Seems any way they do it something would take some fancy explaining (or some convenient omissions) to get away with.

    • Gail says:

      In the Flashpoint comics and movie I don’t believe there was any explanation of how Barry got back to the present after saving his mother and not becoming the Flash. He just wakes up in the present and knows everything is different. There was also no explanation of what happened after Barry stopped himself from saving his mother. There were two Barry Allens in the past and then the story shifts to the present and he thinks everything is back to normal . I suppose the TV show could start next season with him just waking up in the present and leaving out how he got there. Another possibility is that the Flash who saved his Mom also disappears in the past when the next season starts but then the Barry who grows up in the new reality wouldn’t know anything has changed.

      • Gail says:

        Or Barry goes back to the present after saving his mother and there is another Barry in the present who grow up in the new reality who is not the Flash. The Flash never existed on Earth 1 but Zoom did come from Earth 2 and killed many people. Everyone thinks Barry is like Zoom and so Barry has to go into hiding.

  24. Jimmy Gross says:

    I’m looking forward to Season 3!

  25. ScottJ says:

    So long as the season doesn’t start with a time jump I don’t care what they do. Although I suppose technically everything would count as a time jump from where the show left off.

  26. cmmorgan32 says:

    The storyline will go through sweeps if it’s just Flashpoint. However, I think that they’ll connect it to the crossover by including elements of the “crisis” storyline. It would give a reason for Supergirl/Earth TBD to get involved, it would explain some of the new “Legends” characters (specifically Rex Tyler), and it would explain Wentworth Miller’s deal.

  27. Flashpoint was one of the biggest mistakes in DC Comics history that they are only now starting to fix.

  28. kenderz says:

    I think Harrison will be the proper one that RF killed because there would not be a flash in this time line, so there would be no need for him to travel back to kill him, Barry WILL know the West, still, because he was best mates with Iris before his mum was killed, I think and hope it will only be up to 2 eps of him not having his powers and the rest of the first bit of the season up to December will be him righting his wrongs and the 4 way cross over will be a huge battle sequence going on and getting Barry to undo the mess he made and getting the timeline back to the way it is spose to be, thats what i think, but i hope thats not what the 4 way crossover will be, I am hoping it will be like a 4 part mini justice league movie where they are taking on some big bad dude, that would be pretty cool

  29. Brock says:

    Eobard Thawn isn’t alive – Harrison Wells from Earth 1 is. Without Barry as the Flash, there is no Reverse Flash! It’ll be Barry, for the third time, getting to know a Harrison Wells!

  30. What if nothing happens? Wally takes his mother to the present. in the past she is missing presumed killed by Barrys dad because there is no body.History is preserved. A few loose ends sure, but nothing that can’t be explained away.

  31. Moin says:

    Flash is One of the best drama series I have ever watched….
    Waiting for season 3 abruptly.

  32. I really wish that I read comics when I was a kid! I have to refer to sites like this to get the inside scoop. God my childhood was lame! I hope they don’t keep the alternate timeline going too long though, for real. I didn’t like it when it was just for a day, it seemed like a waste of an episode. I guess we’ll see!!

  33. Jess FB says:

    I’m hoping that it doens’t last the whole season, it just lasts half of it at most – it either ends in time for the crossover, or the crossover resolves it. I’m just worried that we’ll see different versions of the characters I’ve grown to like from the first 2 seasons, and I don’t want it to be too long – if ever – before the timeline is restored and we see the versions of the characters we all know and love again.

  34. Varun says:

    I somehow get the feeling that it wont be Batman but Arrow who plays a major role in Barry getting his powers back…

  35. Zeus says:

    If you’ll watch watch comic-con sea.3 preview Barry has his powers at some point with wally as kid flash and locked up is the reverse flash so who know what’s there up to they can and will go in a different direction cause there will be no batman to help him. But anyway like the rest of the flash fans it suck to wait but gonna be alsome when October runs around

  36. Anthony says:

    I know a good way Barry can fix his mess up. Since The Flash and Reverse-Flash where in the house that night when Nora was killed and now since Barry erased that timeline. He and Reverse-Flash can go back in time exactly when that event took place and have a little relapse. Barry can save his younger self while The Reverse-Flash can do his thing.

  37. Geoff says:

    Personally, I think all 3 DC series should feature “Superboy”, either Kal-El as a kid, or Superman’s son (Jonathan White/Kent)