BEWARE: SPOILERS AHEAD!
The cat is out of the bag after last night’s Season 1 finale of the ‘The Flash,’ the show is not only doing time-travel, but also parallel timelines, i.e. Multiverses. In the finale we learn that the show as we know it is actually a parallel reality to the true reality where the Reverse Flash came from, caused when Eobard Thawne travelled back in time to kill Barry Allen, and instead killed Nora Allen. And it seems the multiverse-ness is not going to end when the show returns in the fall. According to star Grant Gustin:
“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.”
After the shocking death of Eddie Thawne in the finale, many fans were speculating on the repercussions of that action, as ostensibly it would erase Eobard Thawne (the Reverse Flash) from existence, thus negating the whole timeline which started when Reverse Flash killed Nora Allen. (trippy huh?) The fact that, as far as the audience could see, the only change to the timeline was Eobard’s erasure from the present (and the ginormous black hole forming over Central City), does confuse things something, though we may actually get to see the real changes when ‘The Flash’ returns in the fall.
The real worry is that if ‘The Flash’ is altering timelines and creating multiverses, how does this affect the other shows in the CW’s DC universe? Would things change on ‘Arrow’ if Barry Allen’s past was altered? Do the changing timelines explain why Rip Hunter travels back to start the ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ team? I have faith in the writers and show runners though, as they’ve managed to make all the story lines work (relatively) seamlessly between ‘Arrow’ and ‘The Flash,’ but next year will be the real test. Three shows, all in the same continuity, with two of them mucking about with time-travel, will truly show how well the writers and producers can keep it all straight, and will either confuse the hell out of audiences, or continue to be the best comic-book based television shows on the air at the moment.
Ironically enough, only time will tell.