The Flash has been teasing the possibility of “Flashpoint” since Season 1, threatening to splinter timelines whenever Barry entertains the notion of saving his mother. Why then, after Season 2 seemingly made the leap, did Season 3 open with a slightly-modified timeline, then walk it back by the hour’s end? Turns out, that wasn’t always the plan.

You’re warned of Flash Season 3 spoilers from here on out, but even as “Flashpoint” has created a number of lasting changes Barry has come to discover in recent episodes, fans of the comic arc might have wondered why the survival of Barry’s mother didn’t create more notable alterations to the world we saw in October’s premiere. Granted, it was always out of reach for The CW to depict the same Aquaman vs. Wonder Woman battle that ravaged the globe, executive producer Todd Helbing explained to that a decision was made to hasten the “Flashpoint” exit:

I think anytime you do a story like Flashpoint, something as iconic as that, with the character restrictions that we had, it’s going to be different than everybody expected. I think for us from a story point, when we talked about it originally it was going to be more episodes but what happens more often than not is that when you break the story you find that it would be a lot better and a lot more satisfying if you pulled up a lot of that information and put it in that first episode. […]

It just became a much stronger episode if we just made it one as opposed to four or five, and then we could really kickstart the rest of the season after that. But Flashpoint or not, there are consequences going forward for Barry for what he did and those ripples he’s going to explore throughout the third season.

As much as we’d like to have seen Barry spending a bit more time in a reality removed from his own, one also has to wonder how the other CW series might have complicated that. Flash premiered first, removing the need for either Arrow or Legends of Tomorrow to consider drastic alterations to their timelines, with the exception of minor changes like the gender of Diggle’s child.

Not to mention, Flash Season 3 has both had, and eaten some cake with “Flashpoint” providing a source of new heroes and villains this year, similar to the particle accelerator of Season 1, and Earth-2 invasion of Season 2. Producers also dispelled the notion that Supergirl might come to join the Arrow and Flash universe full-time, despite the comic “Flashpoint” similarly serving to merge different DC worlds into the consolidated “New 52” universe.

Season 3 will continue to explore the consequences of its own Flashpoint, but did The Flash miss its chance for a more appropriately epic event?

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