With The CW’s The Flash set to return to screens this month for its third season, anticipation is high amongst fans of the show at what could prove to be a truly special season of television if the actual viewing experience can match the hype. To date, the show’s two seasons have made for some brilliant viewing as the series hit the ground running and delivered something of a remarkably high standard from its very debut.
As Season 2 came to a close, we saw Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen speeding back in time to stop the death of his mother at the hands of the villainous Reverse-Flash. Whilst that may all seem well and good, the repercussions of Barry’s action are something that will completely change the game as we know it for the Scarlet Speedster and his world.
Changing the past means that we’ll be seeing a completely altered present-day Central City in Season 3, and that in itself means that all bets are off when it comes to what Barry thought he knew about actual reality itself. And then, of course, there’s the prospect of new heroes and villains on the horizon.
Much like it’s done with its previous two seasons, The Flash is looking to up the ante once more with this upcoming season, and from what information we know so far, everything is in place to continue the trend of making the series must-see TV.
So with that said, as Season 3 is nearly upon us, let’s take a look at 15 things you need to know ahead of The Flash’s return.
First and foremost, the most notable thing that viewers will see about Season 3 of The Flash is just how different everything is. Well, at least initially.
As Season 2 came to a close, Barry Allen sped back in time to save his mother from dying at the hands of the Reverse-Flash. Unfortunately for Barry, though, him changing the fate of mother Nora means that a whole new timeline has played out in the present day.
This is something that comic book fans have already seen in Geoff John’s iconic Flashpoint arc, with Barry’s actions in that tale leading to a present where Aquaman and Wonder Woman are at bloody war with each other, Bruce Wayne died that night in Crime Alley, Thomas Wayne is an abusive Batman, Martha Wayne is The Joker, Superman is nothing more than a lab test subject, and Cyborg is the world’s main hero.
In The CW’s The Flash, Barry’s changing of the past will similarly lead to a majorly altered ‘present’ for the Scarlet Speedster and the world that he thought he knew. Despite this being a major part of Season 3’s publicity, however, expect the changed-up present day to only last for the first four or five episodes before things return back to a relatively recognizable state.
14. The Allens
Not only does Barry going back in time to save his mother mean that Nora Allen is alive and well, it also means that the Allen family as a whole is in a much more stable condition than what we’ve seen over the past two seasons.
If you remember back, the death of Nora by the Reverse-Flash led to Barry’s father, Henry, being blamed for the murder of his wife and subsequently locked up for this crime. As a result, young Barry Allen grew up with one parent in the grave and one parent in prison.
Now that Barry has stopped Reverse-Flash from killing his mom, that means that there’s no death for Henry to be framed for, meaning that he won’t be going to prison. What we’re given now is what appears to be an Allen family who have simply enjoyed a regular, normal, content live.
A happy family unit is the order of the day now for the Sultan of Speed, but we all know that this is something that sadly can’t last. Eventually Barry is going to have to make the decision to go back in time to try and revert the present back to ‘normal’, in turn making the heartbreaking decision to sacrifice his idyllic family life.
13. The Distant Wests
In The Flash as we know it, we’ve seen Barry Allen become a bona fide member of the West family. Following the death of his mother and the incarceration of his father, the young Barry was taken in by Joe West and treated like a surrogate son.
When we pick things up in Season 3 of The Flash, we’ll find that this altered timeline that’s in place means that the Wests are more-or-less strangers to Barry. With the Scarlet Speedster never having ended up as a part of the West household, Joe pretty much has no idea who Barry Allen is.
As for Iris, her relationship with Barry isn’t as strong as it is in the ‘regular’ timeline, although she vaguely knows who he is. Still, the minds behind the show have already indicated that the special bond between Barry and Iris is something that will always exist, regardless of timelines and altered worlds.
And in a major plus point for Barry, this changed timeline means that he won’t have spent a decade growing up as a faux brother of Iris’, meaning that his chances of a romantic relationship will have been upped.
12. Mother Issues
Whilst Barry Allen will start this new season with his mother now alive and well, all isn’t going to be quite as straightforward for Danielle Panabaker’s Caitlin Snow.
Sure, the concept of Barry’s mom being resurrected is something that we all know ultimately won’t last, with ‘Flashpoint’ only set to last for four or five episodes, but Caitlin’s mother is a whole different ballgame.
During Season 2, we saw the Earth-2 Caitlin, aka Killer Frost, discussing her/their mother with the Earth-1 Caitlin. What was most shocking about this talk, though, was that Killer Frost made mention of having a brother who died. Back over in Earth-1, the ‘regular’ Caitlin has never heard mention of a brother.
Going forward, executive producer Andrew Kreisberg has confirmed that Season 3 will indeed see part of Caitlin’s story arc involve her relationship with her mother (played by Susan Walters) and the possibility of potentially having a brother.
11. The New King Of Central City
Previously, we were led to believe that Harrison Wells was the billionaire at the forefront of anything and everything to do with Central City. That was the lay of the land during the standard, regular timeline, at least.
In the altered ‘Flashpoint’ timeline that’s in place when we pick things up in Season 3, all will be very different and the richest man in Central City will be none other than a suited, smooth, successful Cisco Ramon. Similarly, rather than S.T.A.R. Labs ruling the roost, it will be Ramon Industries leading the way when it comes to sciences and advanced technology. In fact, it’s not even known at this stage whether S.T.A.R. Labs will even exist in this new timeline.
With the Flashpoint timeline only lasting for four or five episodes, it won’t be long before we’re back to seeing Cisco without billions of dollars at his disposal. In fact, the uber-rich Ramon will actually help Barry to reset the timeline.
10. The Return Of Harrison Wells
When it comes to stealing the show, few do it as well as Tom Cavanagh. As two different versions of Harrison Wells, Cavanagh has been one of the standouts of The Flash’s two seasons to date.
Even though the finale of Season 2 saw the Earth-2 version of Wells head on back to his own world, that wasn’t the last that we’ll see of Cavanagh. With the actor confirmed to be returning as Wells for Season 3, the bigger question is just which Harrison Wells we’ll see.
Obviously the Earth-2 Wells could easily pop back over to Earth-1 at some point, but the more intriguing prospect is to explore the standard Earth-1 Harrison Wells.
The Earth-1 Wells previously ran afoul of Eobard Thawne/Reverse-Flash. After Thawne had killed Nora Allen, he sped off into the distance before killing Harrison Wells shortly after. The logic here was that Thawne did this so that he could take on the Wells persona and kickstart the particle accelerator explosion that ultimately gives Barry his superspeed. Barry was always destined to become The Flash, but Reverse-Flash needed him to get his powers earlier than initially planned so that Thawne could get back to his own time.
With the Scarlet Speedster having now gone back in time to stop Thawne from killing Nora, Season 3 sees Reverse-Flash safely locked up. As a result, Earth-1 Harrison Wells is alive and well… meaning that Cavanagh could just as easily play that version of the character.
9. Kid Flash
Whilst Joe and Iris West’s status as key figures in the life of Barry Allen remains up in the air, another West will be making far bigger waves in the world of the Sultan of Speed.
The buzz and anticipation surrounding Wally West’s role in Season 3 of The Flash is huge right now, with the show confirming that this new season will, at least initially, see Wally becoming his own speedster: Kid Flash.
Ever since Keiynan Lonsdale’s Wally debuted last season, longtime DC fans were immediately speculating on if and when Wally would become Kid Flash. After all, the comic book Wally West began life as Kid Flash, the sidekick to Barry Allen’s Flash, before he’d eventually even take over the Flash mantle as his own after Barry sacrificed himself to save all reality.
In the altered reality that Barry finds himself in during the new season’s initial episodes, Wally will be the sworn protector of Central City. Of course, we know that this Flashpoint-altered world won’t last, but it’s expected that we’ll be seeing plenty of Wally as Kid Flash throughout Season 3.
8. Jesse Quick
Much like Wally West, as soon as Violett Beane debuted as Jesse Chambers, speculation was rampant amongst fans as to whether she’d become the show’s version of the comic book speedster known as Jesse Quick.
Those rumours and speculation were only amped-up further when both Jesse and Wally were hit by a bunch of rays from the particle accelerator explosion that took place towards the end of Season 2.
We know for definite that Violett Beane is returning to the show for the third season, and recent reports claim that the actress has been spotted on The Flash’s Vancouver set in an outfit that supposedly looks mighty similar to the attire often seen on Jesse Quick in the comic book realm.
Whether it’s part of the temporary “Flashpoint” timeline or something that’s to become a staple of the season going forward, expect to see Jesse Chambers whizzing around with some superspeed of her own in The Flash’s third season.
7. Welcome Back, Kevin Smith
Lifelong comic book fan Kevin Smith delighted many viewers last season when he directed an episode titled The Runaway Dinosaur. And the good news is that Smith will be back for Season 3.
In his previous Flash episode, the helmer of the likes of Clerks, Mallrats and Chasing Amy gave viewers an episode that was humourous, fast-paced, well-rounded, poignant, and emotionally-striking as Barry Allen found himself trapped within the actual Speed Force whilst Team Flash battled a zombified version of Girder.
No details are known on what will play out during the Smith-directed episode of Season 3, but it’ll be the season’s seventh episode, meaning that it will seemingly take place in the ‘regular’ timeline as oppose the Flashpoint timeline. Then again, it has been previously stated that the events of Flashpoint will bleed through to the entire third season, so we may still see present-day Central City a little skewed to what we’ve become accustomed to over the past two seasons.
5. Taking A Trip To Gorilla City
The last time we saw the psionic-powered Gorilla Grodd, he was being sent off to Earth-2. But not just anywhere in Earth-2, for he was seen at what appeared to be Gorilla City. And in Season 3, we’ll get to take a trip to that hugely intriguing new locale.
As soon as Grodd debuted during The Flash’s first season, he instantly became a character who fans were desperate to see more of. Upon the show giving viewers Grodd, that basically meant that all bets were off in terms of what other comic book heroes and villains may turn up in the series. After all, if you can realistically bring a hulking figure like Gorilla Grodd to life for the show, then that means that pretty much anything is possible.
Ahead of Season 3, it’s been confirmed that we’ll be getting a two-episode story that will see Team Flash taking a trip to Gorilla City, which throws up all kinds of awesome possibilities as we look to see how things now stand with Grodd.
5. Not The Last We’ve Seen Of Jay…
When it was revealed that Season 2’s ‘Man in the Iron Mask’ was really Earth-3’s Jay Garrick, as played by John Wesley Shipp, many comic book fans rejoiced at seeing the man often labelled the very first speedster. But just like that, off Jay sped.
Fear not, though, for the second season finale looks like it wasn’t the last we’ll be seeing of Garrick.
It’s already been revealed that Jay will definitely be popping up again in The Flash’s third season, with the dynamic between he and Barry being explored – remember, Jay Garrick looks identical to Barry’s now-deceased dear old dad. There’s also suggestions that Jay will actually be turning up in sister-show DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
Legends will be featuring the Justice Society of America in its new season, and given Jay’s comic book ties to the original JSA, it seems like a given that he’ll be appearing to help out Rip Hunter’s Legends team.
Where The Flash is concerned, executive producer Greg Berlanti has said publicly how he doesn’t want the show to become a series based around a team of speedsters, so don’t expect to see Jay as a permanent fixture of The Flash when he does return.
Where Barry Allen is concerned, he’ll actually be getting two crossover adventures during this next season of television.
The CW has already announced that December will see a four-show crossover event featuring characters from Arrow, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl, and recent reports have revealed that the threat that brings these heroes together will be the ominous alien menace known as The Dominators. When this alien race set their sights on Earth, it’s down to some of DC’s finest to step up and protect the planet.
But that’s not the only time that we’ll be seeing the Sultan of Speed partaking in an adventure alongside a fellow superhero, for we’ll also be getting a special musical crossover between The Flash and Supergirl. Yes, as in an all-singing extravaganza.
That may sound a little bizarre initially, but given that Grant Gustin and Melissa Benoist both appeared in Glee, not to mention how the likes of Jesse L. Martin and Carlos Valdes have musical backgrounds, the concept of a musical crossover maybe isn’t all that crazy.
3. The Bad Guys
As ever with The Flash, a new season will be bringing about new villains. I’ll get to the heavy-hitters of Season 3 shortly, but for now let’s take a look at some of the other bad guys who’ll be causing chaos for the Sultan of Speed and Co.
First up, and arguably the most hotly-anticipated villain of the upcoming season, is Mirror Master. A longtime Flash foe, Grey Damon will be bringing the reflective surface-manipulating rogue to life… even if The Flash’s take on the character won’t have his (in)famous mirror gun at his disposal. Still, the fact that Mirror Master has the ability to actually open portals to other worlds means that he could well play a part in any shenanigans that take place on an Earth-2 or Earth-3.
Joining Mirror Master in what has been described as a Bonnie and Clyde dynamic will be Ashley Rickards as a female take on another longtime Flash rogue, The Top. With the ability to whizz up to such a speed that she gives herself increased intelligence and psionic powers, Top will be teaming with Mirror Master in the fourth episode of the new season.
One other confirmed Season 3 villain is Magenta, a metal-manipulating meta-human played by Joey King. Expect her to be a villain-of-the-week sort during one of the third season’s early episodes.
2. Villainous Speedster
Much like Season 1 saw The Flash tangling with Reverse-Flash and Season 2 saw him up against Zoom, the upcoming third season will also see the Sultan of Speed having to battle a villainous new speedster.
This newcomer will be the nefarious Savitar – a character pulled directly from the comic book world. In the comics, Savitar is a pilot whose aircraft is struck by lightning, which in turn gives him his powers. Seeing this as almost a gift from the Almighty, this speedster eventually ends up making himself into a God-like figure of his own, complete with a cult following who adhere to his every whim.
What also makes Savitar a unique rogue is that he can actually use his powers to steal superspeed from fellow speedsters and also to create a force-field of sorts around himself.
And whilst Savitar will be a villainous presence that will torment The Flash throughout Season 3, we’ll also initially see The Rival – a no-good, nasty speedster who is primarily a comic book foe of Jay Garrick’s Flash. In The Flash, The Rival, played by Todd Lasance, will appear as a villain of Wally West’s Kid Flash during the ‘Flashpoint’ timeline.
1. The Doctor Is In Session
Whilst Savitar will be a superspeed-fuelled ‘big bad’ of The Flash’s third season, he’s not the only overarching threat who will be prominent throughout Season 3.
As well as Savitar, the Sultan of Speed will have to deal with the arrival of the villainous Doctor Alchemy. What’s even more worrying for Barry Allen and Team Flash, however, is that the duo of Savitar and Doc Alchemy will be working together during Season 3 in order to use their combined skills to wipe out The Flash for good.
In the comic book realm, Doctor Alchemy is someone who has been around since the 1950s, using the Philosopher’s Stone and his expertise in chemistry to cause all kinds of chemically-driven debacles for The Flash. He also has multiple sides to his personality, making him an erratic, unpredictable opponent for the Scarlet Speedster.
At present, nobody has been confirmed to be playing Doctor Alchemy… although certain speculation suggests that Tom Felton’s Julian Dorn, a newcomer who will be a CSI cohort of Barry Allen’s, may eventually be revealed to be the man under the ominous mask.