Things are back to how they should be for Eobard Thawne, or are they?:
Spoilers for Flash Season 3, Episode 1, and episodes of S1 & S2
One thing that bothered me about the premier episode of the Flash Season 3, Flashpoint, is one line of dialogue, right near the end, spoken by the Reverse Flash.
“Things are back to how they should be, well for me anyway.”
I enjoy watching the Flash a lot. I really love Barry and his adventures. I love the crossovers with Arrow, and I love the whole universe really.
However, when I think about time travel, it makes my head spin. As Cisco says in episode 20 of season 1, “This is so trippy.”
Eobard Thawne’s words to Barry before he speeds off, after he leaves Barry on Joe’s doorstep, seem true at first glance. Barry’s mother has been murdered at Eobard’s hand again, after all.
But what about the fact that Eobard Thawne still has his powers, his speed, and the ability to carry Barry back to the future?
As we know from the past two seasons, Eobard Thawne travelled back in time to kill a young Barry, and failed because of another Flash. Eobard then killed Barry’s mother in a rage, to try and traumatise Barry so that he would not become the Flash in the first place.
After Nora’s murder, Eobard chased after the other Flash, but not for long. They both ran out into the street, and in the next shot, in what looks to be that same street, Eobard loses his powers. Gideon explains that this happened because of the latest time jump against the Flash, and goes on to say that this caused a massive drain on Eobard’s powers.
Eobard’s cells no longer contained any trace of the speed force, and his ability to travel at super speed and travel through time had been completely depleted. (Season 1, Episode 17)
This loss of his powers, and his inability to return home as a consequence, was the reason Eobard killed Harrison Wells, assumed his identity, and worked to create the Flash, Barry as we know him, earlier than 2020, when Barry would get his powers otherwise.
If Eobard had not lost his speed, then he would not have needed to create the Flash, because he could have gotten home himself. So why does Barry still have his powers in 2016 when Eobard returns him? If Eobard does not lose his speed after Nora’s murder, how can Barry in 2016 be the Flash?
My theory is that Barry’s imprisonment of Eobard made it possible for Eobard to keep his speed: maybe because it was dampened, or maybe because Eobard had time to recover after all the time jumps against the Flash, which initially caused him to lose his speed.
I believe that Barry is now in an alternative version of Flashpoint, perhaps a ‘Reverse Flashpoint,’ created because Eobard did not lose his speed after Nora’s murder. It is evident that there are changes to Barry’s time line when he returns, and Eobard seems pretty smug about that.
If some form of Flashpoint has continued, can we expect that, as in Flashpoint, Barry’s memories will start to fade the more that he uses his speed?
As far as I can work out, the reason that Barry started to lose his memories of being the Flash in Flashpoint was because he saved his mother and took Eobard out of the equation. As a result, Barry would not have gotten his speed until 2020, or any of the memories associated with it, therefore he started to forget that he was the Flash because the Flash hasn’t been created yet. A similar memory loss could happen if Eobard does not lose his speed or create the Flash to get home.
Could other events affected by Eobard Thawne’s influence slowly change or undo if Eobard maintains his speed and goes home after Nora’s murder? The repercussions could be drastic and far reaching. If Eobard Thawne does not become Harrison Wells, would Central city have it’s STAR labs by 2016? Would there be any meta-humans? Would Harrison Wells and Tess Morgan live to see their dreams completed? Would Eddie be alive and still living in Keystone? Would the singularity form to bring Zoom to Earth 1? Would Barry even meet Caitlin and Cisco? The list goes on.
If Barry begins to lose his memories again, or things begin to change, the only way for Barry to fix things would be to find Eobard and make sure that he loses his speed the night of Nora’s murder. This could be possible with a device similar to the one Earth 2 Wells made in season 2 to drain Barry’s speed slowly as he used it. The Barry we saw chasing Eobard originally the night of Nora’s murder could be Barry from season 3, trying to force the Reverse Flash to use his speed as much as possible so that it is drained and the time line can go back to normal. This would explain that Barry’s shake of the head when he first sees himself trying to save his mother, as if to say, ‘Please, don’t do this, it’s not worth the heartache.’
Who knows what we can expect later on in season 3 now though?
Only time will tell.