Tuesday night saw the season one finale of The Flash airing over in the US, and by all accounts it was a superb end-cap to one of the strongest debuting shows of recent times. It still completely boggles my mind though that we’ve actually only had this one season, as so much has already happened to the characters. It’s a true credit to the writers that despite all the character development, plot twists and big reveals that we’ve seen in this world, nothing has felt like *cough* it moved too fast.
And it’s because they’ve done such an incredible job with all this world-building, that I completely trust them with their plans to introduces some more worlds. Yes, worlds, plural. From the moment that Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen managed to run so fast that ended up in the past and was able to change events to create a new timeline (see: episode 15, “Out of Time”), fans have been speculating that the show would be delving into the Multiverse – DC Comics’ term for their collection of alternation timelines/universes. And now that speculation has been confirmed by Gustin himself, as he spoke to TV Guide about what’s to come in The Flash’s second season.
“What’s fun about this show is that there’s going to be multiple timelines as we move forward, I think we’re going to start showing Earth-One and Earth-Two in the near future. There will be kind of different dimensions going on.”
And while all the geeks are busy foaming at the mouth (my inner geek is currently screaming like Nick at a One Direction concert), allow me to explain to everybody else. Before there was a DC Multiverse, there was just what was known at the Golden Age characters/stories created circa WWII. After a few decades though, DC decided to modernize several of their heroes (this was now known as the Silver Age), including the Flash, who was now a young forensic scientist named Barry Allen, as opposed to an old war vet named Jay Garrick. DC continued printing stories featuring both sets of characters, but they were kept completely separate. That all changed in 1961’s landmark “The Flash #123” when Barry Allen accidentally matched the vibrational frequence of an alternate universe and found himself running alongside Jay Garrick.
To keep things from getting confusing, DC dubbed the “modern” Silver Age universe as Earth-One and the Golden Age universe as Earth-Two. Since then though, the DC universe has gone through multiple reboots/revamps with many new timelines added, and at last check we were sitting Earths-One through Fifty-Two. The Flash on-screen is closer to the latest timeline. Earth-One itself was also revamped to now show an even more modern contemporary take on characters, though only this version of Batman and Superman has been seen.
The current The Flash TV series hews closer to the latest major rebooted timeline, which is referred to as the “New 52” or Earth-0. The New 52 came about after Barry Allen discovered that his arch-enemy the Reverse Flash had actually been the one to murder his mother after he had traveled back in time, prompting Barry to also time travel and stop him (any of this sound familiar yet?). Barry managed to stop the Reverse Flash (this event became known as the Flashpoint), but the changes he left on the timeline, resulted in him returning to a vastly different modern time that would eventually give birth to the New 52 version the universe.
And if you’re still reading at this point and haven’t got confused yet, then I may just be a decent enough explainer of things. That’s a skill that writer/producers Greg Berlanti, Andrew Kreisberg and Geoff Johns have definitely shown that they have, which is why Gustin is confident that audiences won’t get lost with all these alternate universes.
“It gets a little Rubik’s Cube-y in terms of keeping consistency between all these timelines and whatnot, but the writers have their stuff together. If I were to trust anyone, it would be them.”
I’m yet, to watch the season one finale, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the writers actually gave us a slimmed down version of Flashpoint, which sets all these other timelines up. If that is the case, and they did it well – which by most accounts they have – then this already incredible show somehow just managed to get even better!
Now if only this would lead to my theory of how the TV series would reveal that the DC Comics movie universe is just another one of these alternate timelines, and that they would all eventually crossover with each other.
UPDATE: Since writing this, I have actually watched the season one finale, and while I won’t give away any spoilers here, can I just say HOLY CRAP! What an episode! So many emotional highs, fantastic performances and a feature-film level climax that sets up some serious things for the second season, including giving us our first glimpses at those alternate timelines. When (highlight to read)Jay Garrick’s signature helmet and the Flash Museum showed up on screen, it took nearly everything I had to not jump up and start hollerin’.
As if it wasn’t clear before, this show is undoubtedly the best comic book series on TV and I cannot wait to see what’s coming next season!
Last Updated: May 21, 2015