Speculating on Flash

I rewatched the first two episodes of Flash season 3 with ellenmillion today, over fish tacos from a local takeout place, and that was super fun. Looking forward to doing more episodes next week. :D

Meanwhile, I'm having Thoughts about where the season is going. It's fun to be up to date on a currently-running show with lots of plot threads to speculate about! Under the cut is some plot speculation, with spoilers for Flash up to 3x06.

... although I'm not getting my hopes up TOO much that it's all going to make sense in the end, since this is Flash, after all. I'm pretty sure they just make up the time travel rules as they go along, and I still don't think that having Jay turn out to be Zoom made any sense whatsoever -- it all felt terribly shoehorned into the earlier parts of the season.

But it's still fun to guess!

The main question marks right now are:

#1: Who is Alchemy?

I think the show is setting up Julian a little too obviously. On the other hand, if Alchemy is going to turn out to be someone we know, there aren't very many new suspects this season. It's basically gotta be Julian, HR, an alternate-Earth version of someone we've already met, or a suspect who hasn't been introduced yet. And I really don't think it's someone from another Earth (including HR) because of the way the timeline shenanigans work -- it is almost certainly someone who was caught up in the altered timeline instead of someone from an Earth that wasn't affected by it.

But I still don't think it's Julian.

My #1 completely crazypants theory is that it's Eobard Thawne, who's still around because of going through the Flashpoint reality with Barry. However, that doesn't explain why his powers are completely wrong for Eobard, or why he doesn't really seem to have it in for Barry in the specific way that Eobard does.

#2 crazypants theory is that the demon ... speed ... thing? that's seen at the end of 3x06 is a rogue version (or possibly an enforcer version) of the Speed Force entities Barry met near the end of the previous season, and what's going on is something like the time wraiths -- it's a timeline self-correcting measure, personified. And it's working together with Alchemy to unify the two timelines. That doesn't explain what's under the Alchemy mask, though it still could be Eobard even if this is true.

(Side note: If Barry forgot his old timeline in Flashpoint, why does he remember the original events after changing the timeline a second time?)

I'm also halfway convinced that Julian is going to turn out to be either one of the people who had powers in the other timeline (therefore becoming a victim of Alchemy later on), or if I'm right about the enemies in this season being Speed Force related, he's their opposite number - some kind of Speed Force investigator. If that's the case, though, then everything he's told Barry about his life is made up, and he just doesn't seem duplicitous enough. Though again ... Jay.

(Maybe there WAS a Julian, but now the real Julian is dead and he's been replaced by a Speed Force construct that's trying to figure out what Barry is up to and fix the damage to the timeline somehow?)

And it's also entirely possible that Julian is just what he appears to be, a regular guy who ended up in Barry's life by total accident because of timeline shenanigans. Still, I think there's something weird about him ... just not the weird that the show's red herrings are pointing us towards.

#2: What is HR up to?

Because he's darn well up to something. His backstory is a little too tidy to be believable - I'm guessing that it's either considerably shadier or more tragic, or both, than what he told the team. And I don't think we've heard the last of his mysterious business partner by a long shot.

Crazypants Alchemy theory #3: Alchemy is Randolf Morgan, and HR came to Earth-1 to find him.

HR contacted THEM, after all, and they only have his highly dubious word for how and why. He could easily be here on a mission of his own, nothing to do with redeeming himself but actually trying to find someone (his partner?), collect an important piece of science to take back to his world for Reasons, or something along those lines. Right now that's my leading theory on HR - even if it has nothing to do with Alchemy, I think he's here on a personal mission, possibly something to do with dire happenings on his earth and/or with a personal failure that he's trying to fix by finding something/someone here. I don't think he's outright evil, but I do think he's much shadier than he's pretending to be.

So yeah, that's the state of my Flash theories so far. Story developing, check back after more episodes. :D

This entry is also posted at http://sholio.dreamwidth.org/1111184.html with comment count unavailable comments.
I agree that Julian being Alchemy seems a little too pat, but there aren't a lot of other options, so...will see I suppose? And yeah, the speed demon at the end I was also thinking was another personification of the Speed Force (...which is still the most ridiculous concept, even for a comic book. Though given its propensity for making heroes I keep thinking it's a first cousin of God/Time/Fate/orWhatever that was quantum leaping Sam Beckett around...)

Mostly am commenting in regards to HR, the best thing about him so far is that my housemate, who didn't care about Eobard but was also pretty meh on Harry, thinks HR is fantastic and hilarious and loves everything that comes out of his mouth. If this goes on for long enough, SOME version of Harrison Wells will be everybody's favorite character! XD (must be interesting acting when you're on the show as someone different every time!)

(HR is fun but I miss Harry *sniffle*)
... how could anyone be "meh" on Harry. How is that POSSIBLE. :O

Okay, I jest, I know that different people get into different kinds of characters, and I'm glad your housemate likes HR! :D But ... Harry. I miss him SO much. It's nice that the actor is still around, because that means they can bring back Harry anytime the plot allows for it, and I also love that if we never see him again he basically got the best of all possible endings (he and Jesse are happy and well-adjusted, saving people on their Earth, safe from the writers messing with them or Barry screwing up their timeline, but still with the option of seeing their Earth-1 friends again whenever they want) -- but I'm having to struggle somewhat with a NOT HARRY!! reaction to HR. Though I do like that he's a very different character with a very different relationship with the team. I think it's interesting that while Harry together any of his younger teammates is a powerful anti-ship for me (there's just too much of a "dad" vibe), I don't feel that way about HR -- he relates to them in a very different way and seems ... younger, I guess? Less of a mentor type, and more of an equal.

It's also fascinating to me how incredibly different Tom Cavanagh is in each of his versions of Wells. I'm going back and rewatching the season one episodes I skipped the first time, and it's SO WEIRD seeing him as Eobard after getting so used to seeing him as Harry, because he's very clearly a different person -- he even LOOKS different!

And yeah, the speed demon at the end I was also thinking was another personification of the Speed Force (...which is still the most ridiculous concept, even for a comic book. Though given its propensity for making heroes I keep thinking it's a first cousin of God/Time/Fate/orWhatever that was quantum leaping Sam Beckett around...)

ngl, my reaction when the anthropomorphic Speed Force started showing up was hysterical laughter. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought of that with the demon, though.

I've also been thinking about Eobard's insistence that he's the time-travel expert and Barry doesn't know what he's doing -- definitely agree on Barry not knowing what he's doing (Barry, I love you because you're a darling puppy, but your life choices are the worst), but it makes me wonder how much more Eobard knows about how to manipulate timelines than anyone else does, and just how catastrophic Barry's interactions with him are going to turn out to be. I really don't think we've seen the last of him AT ALL.
.... oh, and also, having watched 1x01 for the first time just recently, I was rewatching 3x03 and noticing the strong parallels towards the end of the episode between Wells/Eobard relating to Barry when he first got his powers, and Harry to Jesse in the same situations, and had the World's Most Horrible Thought, namely that Eobard has now replaced Harry the same way he replaced Harrison Wells 1.0.

I am going with the optimistic interpretation that they did the paralleling between, say, Eobard-Wells's "Run, Barry, run" and Harry's "Run, Jesse, run" for a fun callback to the earlier episode and also for a heartstring-tugging compare-contrast between their situations (that Jesse is going to get to learn to use her powers with a mentor who genuinely loves her, instead of one who's pretending to while manipulating her for his own ends). And I don't think he could've faked Harry's genuine-ness throughout the two episodes in which he appeared this season (that, I think, is why I love Harry in a way I don't love either HR or Eobard-Wells, because for all his flaws, Harry is genuine -- he wears his fear and anger and love openly). I can't see Eobard effectively pretending his way through all of the banter and worry for Jesse and so forth that went on in 3x03 and 3x04. It's complete conspiracy-theorizing/worry that they've killed off my favorite character, that's supported by very little in the show. But then there's the back-of-my-mind worry that everything with Jay seemed genuine too, and then he turned out to be evil, and WHAT IF ...

Edited at 2016-11-18 12:23 pm (UTC)
no way, I don't think they'd want to repeat the 'stealing his face' thing with the same character. If anything, I could see him stealing someone else's face. I'm surprised the Team hasn't tried to get some kind of a watch-detector built to figure out if the person is who they claim to be after that little experience.
haha, true. That face-changing tech is BOUND to come into play later in the season.
While I agree we haven't seen the last of Eobard (he seems to be Barry's arch-nemesis, they never go away for good) I don't think they would make him Wells again? Or at least not Harry. Especially since the major thing going on there was Harry with Jessie, while Eobard is always so focused on Barry. And both Eobard!Wells and Jay's shtick was pretending to be really nice helpful guys who were seeeecretly evil, while Harry never pretends to be a nice guy.

HR is fun and so far I'm enjoying his brand-new dynamic with the team...I just miss Harry! They're separate characters, after all (though I admit I loved the whole 'well if you need a Wells, why don't you just find one!' -- for all the series I've seen with AUs, I have never seen anyone just suggest that before!)(also awww to Harry immediately being jealous of his alter-self, awww Harry, you having friends for the first time ever is the cutest!)
eeeheee, yeah, I loved Harry's little freakout about being replaced, and also that the team recognized what was going on with him, and were sympathetic to it and reassured him about it. His whole storyline, from tech billionaire in pursuit of money and fame, to friendless vigilante who's lost everything, to valued and loved member of the team, just pushes my buttons SO HARD. All the huuuugs~~~!

But yeah, I'm fairly positive that it's just me being paranoid about it, because there really isn't much in the show to suggest that something sinister is going on with him. And agreed about Harry not pretending to be nice ... like I said above, it's that genuineness about him that really makes me like him, especially since as abrasive as he can be normally, he's also entirely capable of pushing himself past that and telling his friends how he really feels about them too.

At least with the actor still on the show, bringing back Harry isn't impossible -- and they have dimension travel capabilities in both directions, so we can always just headcanon that they drop in on each other periodically to say hi. After Harry goes to all the trouble of finding them a new Wells to help look out for them while he's gone (and agreed on that as a really cool AU-twist), I could definitely see him deciding to pop back in to see how things are going with nuWells ...
another personification of the Speed Force

ooooh that could be something they might do!

Mostly am commenting in regards to HR, the best thing about him so far is that my housemate, who didn't care about Eobard but was also pretty meh on Harry, thinks HR is fantastic and hilarious and loves everything that comes out of his mouth. If this goes on for long enough, SOME version of Harrison Wells will be everybody's favorite character!


That's hilarious. I'm rather indifferent to HR so far and miss Harry.
Yeah, HR amuses me but I want Harry back full-time! Even if he is getting a happy ending elsewhere...it's a happy ending without all his friends, awww!
Yeah I really miss Harry!

I really like how somewhere at the end of S2, Jessie was telling him that she should go back to earth 2 but he should stay here, because he's happy with his friends and he can live his own life for once. I thought at the time it was a setup towards him staying on earth 1 permanently (with an easy way to go to earth 2, of course). I think in a way that it still is, they just needed to wrap up some interesting plotlines that couldn't work with Harry around, solving them. Also I do like that he still feels the need to take care of his now-power-having daughter.

On the side-npte:

1) Perhaps he remembers the original events because the current timeline is "closer" to the original'
2) Or perhaps it has something to do with the presence of Alchemy and the God of Speed in the current timeline.
Your first one makes a lot of sense to me -- that the timelines are similar enough that it's not causing the same effect as the radical changes in Flashpoint. There's definitely some major cross-timeline weirdness going on with Alchemy, though.
I like crazypants theory #3 because every Harry in every universe is Up To Something.

I was watching 1x15-16 last night, and got all sad that we never got to meet earth 1 Wells who was so in love with his wife before their car accident. I haven't watched non-Harry eps of S3 in enough detail to actually understand what's going on with HR (I even missed that Barry forgot his old timeline in Flashpoint....whut? I thought he was pretending ), but I like the idea of him being shadier (though not necessarily evil). I doubt they'd make him evil again after S1 and the whole first half of s2 being Team Good Guys getting used to working with someone who looks like him again. (By the way, do they have a better team name than that? Cisco should get on that.)
I'm sad about Earth-1 Wells, too! He's such a cutie and so sweet. That particular Wells appears to have been both nice and non-evil (like Cisco was saying of HR in 3x04, hee). Poor guy.

I'm still not sold on HR yet (I want Harry back!) but I do really like that he has a very different relationship with the team, and a different set of obstacles to overcome in making friends with them.
In Flashpoint Barry was forgetting the old timeline in spurts -- he remembered it all to begin with and was just faking going along with the new timeline, but his memories were slowly getting rewritten. It wasn't clear how the process was happening though, and changing the timeline back seemed to reverse it, and it seems whatever mechanism was changing his memories isn't in effect now, due to *handwaviness*?
I love your theories. Not sure if I buy into much of anything yet, but yeah... what *else* is HR up to has definitely crossed my mind, as well as what the heck is the deal with Julian so far, too? (And sorry, but the HP fan in me was dying laughing when he had to spout off his family backstory and it was about "old money, only son, supposed to go into family business." I'm sure they've tried to NOT bring in anything Malfoy-esque, but I couldn't help but laugh just a bit.)

And also... I don't want to give a spoiler if you/your other friends don't want it, but.... are you watching Legends of Tomorrow at all?? I've got it all recorded, but haven't watched all the ep's yet, but I'm trying to get caught up b/c they'll tie in with the big 4-way crossover that's happening this month (between Legends, Flash, Supergirl and Arrow), and... there are a couple of "baddies" there now who are from other shows (not specifying so I don't spoil anyone who might want to catch up). I mean, when I first saw them was the first episode or two of this season, so it's not like it was this week's episode, but... it just does make me wonder about more things, too ;-)
I'm a few eps behind on Legends of Tomorrow, but I think I know the spoiler you mean. I'm pretty sure some things about LoT skated right over my head when i watched the first couple eps of the season, since I hadn't seen any of Flash and Arrow yet, so I need to get caught up, and go back and rewatch for stuff I missed. :D

LOLOL at the Malfoy-ness of Julian, too. XD He is totally "leather pants Draco" ... or at least he appears to be so far. I'm about 50/50 undecided on whether he is exactly what he appears to be, or whether he's hiding some kind of major non-Alchemy secret, but either way I think he's an ally rather than evil.
Yeah, I'm a few eps behind still, too, so we're probably thinking of the same thing :-D And yeah, there are an awful lot of tie-ins, though I can't think of anything terribly huge in the first eps of LoT, but I don't remember a lot of those first eps well, either :-P

LOLOL Yep, *totally* that version of Draco, at least so far. (And given Tom's level of awareness of fandom stuff, I wonder if he knows that exists?? LOL) And yeah... me, too. I can't decide if he's got some deep dark secret, or if he's going to end up somehow joining the whole Team Good Guys -- or both ;-)