Without the decades of elaborate DC Universe continuity to muck with, the butterfly effect from Barry Allen's most recent trip through time on The Flash will be significantly smaller than it was in the comics.
That isn't to say the impact is insignificant, especially for Barry and those around him, but don't go expecting Jamey Sheridan to show up as a bow-slinging Robert Queen, however cool that might be.
“All of that stuff is not at our disposal, which is fine with us, because we really wanted to do something personal to Barry,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg told Entertainment Weekly in an interview that ran today. “The stakes in the comic book in Flashpoint were global and the stakes in this episode are very much just about Barry, his existence, and the people that he loves.”
It's interesting that Kreisberg phrases Flashpoint as just an episode; we've heard from executive producers Todd and Aaron Helbing that it will be over by four or five episodes in, but this is the first possible indicator that it might not last past the finale.
Of course, either way, producers have said that depite its relatively short duration, the events of the Flashpoint paradox will reverberate throughout the rest of The Flash season three.
(It will also have an impact on John Diggle over on Arrow, although just what that impact is, isn't yet clear.)
While the Flashpoint timeline “looks like our world,” Kreisberg explained, “Most of the changes are to Barry’s life and him being at the nexus of these changes. He’s put all of the people that are in his life — Joe [Jesse L. Martin], Iris [Candice Patton], Cisco [Carlos Valdes], and Caitlin [Danielle Panabaker] — and spun them into different ways.”
He added that “In some ways, Barry has sacrificed his relationship with Joe for his relationship with his birth family, and that’s one of the challenges that Barry has to overcome in the episode,” Kreisberg teases. But that also means Barry has a clean slate with Iris and can actually woo her. “Barry says in the episode, ‘Iris is always Iris,’ so their relationship and their connection seems to be able to survive any changes to the timeline or any universe. There’s always something between them.”
Of course, that's not entirely dissimilar to what series star Grant Gustin told ComicBook.com during Comic Con International: San Diego in July.0comments
"Barry's still a CSI, but he never went to move in with them, obviously, since his mom never died, so they don't have that father/son dynamic at all," Gustin said of Barry's relationship with Joe West. "They work together, they're barely acquaintances. Iris and Barry went to school together, they're also barely acquaintances. But Barry also remembers that conversation on the porch did take place, and he's going to try and force those relationships to happen."
The Flash returns to the airwaves on October 4. Arrow comes back October 5. Supergirl will return on October 10 and DC's Legends of Tomorrow starts back up on the 13th. Each of the series will air at 8 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.