If you follow TVGrimReaper on Twitter, you’ll know that the popular view for ratings is that once a show is renewed for Season 3, they are pretty much guaranteed a Season 4 because S4 is where the syndication money kicks in. My question is more “Is Season 3 good enough to keep pumping money in or will we do S4 on a small budget to eke out every last dime no matter what it does to the show” (Hello, Andromeda, I’m talking to you!).
The reason I mention this is that Season 3 of The Flash can either be “swing for the fences” with conservation and judgement or go crazy and do whatever you want. With the S2 season finale where Barry goes back in time and messes with the timeline to save his Mom, S3 was looking like “anything goes” might be the order of the day.
In this timeline, Barry is still a CSI but because Mom and Dad are alive and well in an idyllic world for Barry, he was never adopted by Joe, never grew up with Iris, etc. Instead, there is a “kid Flash” that turns out to be Wally and a rival Flash battling it out. Barry doesn’t even have to be the Flash, cuz someone already is.
He goes out of his way to meet Iris, sets it up so he can ask her out on a date which she surprisingly says yes to, and tries to help Joe (who’s a spiraling drunk). The problem is that Barry’s memory of the alternate reality is fading, and as he tries to let the new reality take hold, Wally gets hurt to the point of near death. In other words, Barry has traded his mother for Wally, Joe, Iris, Cisco, and Caitlyn.
In the end, he has to go back in time and let the other Flash kill his mom after all. Then when he returns to the new timeline, Reverse Flash basically teases him that it won’t be the reality he was expecting. Everything starts off the same, and then he finds out Iris and Joe don’t talk. Not the world he left. Reverse Flash changed something, which looked like how he killed the mother (perhaps a knife instead of a vibrating hand).
I confess I was shocked they reversed the timeline that quickly. I was sure it would run several episodes at least. But overall good yet not awesome.