The Flash: Shouldn’t The Season Finale Have Affected Arrow Too?


(Note: this article contains fairly big spoilers for the Season 1 finale of The Flash, “Fast Enough.” We recommend you watch that first, because it was pretty awesome. If not, at least we warned you first.)

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Let me get something out of the way up front. I loved the season finale of The Flash. It was not only a great end to the show’s debut season, but one of the more exciting hours of super hero television aired to date. Thus, when I talk about things that confuse me or need further explanation, it’s coming from a place of love, not criticism.

Also, I fully appreciate the fact that any series that tackles time travel has its hands full. You have to establish the rules and either live by them or make it clear why there are exceptions. Considering that it was only halfway through Season 1 that Barry Allen found he could run fast enough to break the time barrier, we’re still very much in the “establishing the rules” phase, and “Fast Enough” introduced a whole new twist thanks to the wormholes.

That being said, I couldn’t help but think that the erasure of Eobard Thawne, a.k.a. the Reverse-Flash, from existence thanks to the suicide of his ancestor Eddie Thawne should have had massive consequences. Not only can’t we be sure that Barry Allen’s origin is the same — though Thawne did mention early in the episode that the “proper” timeline had Barry becoming the Flash eventually, just not as soon — but there should be a host of smaller effects that could even spill out into the other super hero show on The CW.

Follow along with me here. In episode 22 of The Flash, “Rogue Air,” Oliver Queen takes some time out from his personal problems to aid Firestorm and the Flash in battle against Reverse-Flash. After they defeat Thawne, Oliver asks Barry for a favor, and in the Arrow Season 3  finale, Ollie calls it in, having the Flash free his imprisoned friends from Nanda Parbat. It’s a small but significant part of the final battle against Ra’s al Ghul.

If there’s no Thawne to battle, then Oliver and Barry never have that conversation. And then … well, Team Arrow might be in a bit more trouble.

Sure, there are simple explanations that can easily reconcile this paradox. Oliver could have just snuck out of the fortress for a few minutes (he did something similar in the previous episode of Arrow) and called Barry to set up the rescue effort. Or Malcolm Merlyn could have had a Plan B that went beyond simply keeping the Arrow’s friends safe from the Alpha/Omega bioweapon. By itself, it’s not a huge deal.

What it does do is show how eliminating a fairly significant character from the time stream can have wide-ranging consequences. I’m sure the writers and producers are keenly aware of this and have something in mind, even if it’s just as simple as Barry figuring out a way to defeat the singularity and thus preventing other ripples from reverberating back through time.

All I’m hoping is that Season 2 makes some effort to lay out exactly what did and did not happen, because otherwise, it’s going to be hard to understand how things work going forward. Otherwise, we might need to have a dry erase board with us when we watch the DC super hero shows on The CW next season.

Next: More Flash: Five Big Questions After the Season Finale

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