Okay, not my cleverest title ever. Being frustrated will do that. I know this diatribe may be long overdue – I have no idea when these originally aired but I only just saw the two episodes of The Flash I’m going to rant about so if you’ve gotten over the disappointment just move along. Similarly, if you follow The Flash and have not seen the finale of Season 1 and the opener for Season 2 you’ll want to skip this, as there will be spoilers. If you don’t follow the show you can also disregard this post. Or not. I’m not the boss of you (to borrow a line from Wil Wheaton).
Still here? Alrighty then.
Yes, I am a grandmother and within a month will be 59 years old, but I still like comics, from the comics page of the newspaper to actual graphic novels. And I especially enjoy the movies and television shows based on said comics. Like the aforementioned Flash. Unfortunately, suspending disbelief for the sake of entertainment isn’t always easy for me. While we’re watching a show, my brain insists on jabbing me with snide little comments like “That would never happen in real life” or “You know there aren’t really any zombies, right?” But I kick my brain to the curb and continue on because the shows are my brief escape from the “real world.”
However, at the end of the Season 1 finale and throughout the Season 2 opening episode of The Flash I couldn’t shut up my stupid brain. The minute Eddie shoots himself my mind starts throwing out the problems with that scenario. Ever hear of the Grandfather Paradox? I bet most of you have whether or not you know it by that name. Briefly, if you travel back in time and kill your grandfather before he fathers your parent then you should cease to exist. If you don’t exist to travel back in time to kill him, he lives on and fathers your parent, etc.
If Eddie (who is the great, great – I forget how many greats – grandfather of Eobard Thwane, the time traveler from the future who assumed Dr. Wells’ identity) kills himself before he becomes a father then the future Thwane should not exist, correct? Well, Thwane disintegrates before everyone’s eyes right? (See? Spoiler right there.) But that isn’t a complete resolution of the paradox. Shouldn’t everything Thwane did not have been done? The real Dr. Harrison Wells should still be alive, as should his wife. Barry’s mother wouldn’t be dead, his father wouldn’t be in prison for killing her and Star Labs wouldn’t be built. Okay, there could be some debate about that part because the real Dr. Wells intended to build Star Labs, but wasn’t going to be able to do so for some time. After Thwane killed him and assumed his identity he accelerated the timing for that project in order to get home (back to the future – HA! See what I did there?).
The writers of the show try to distract you from these paradoxes by creating an unstable black hole which Barry has to stop, and ending the season by killing off another character.
Season 2 opens six months later to find Barry vowing not to put any of his friends in harm’s way ever again. However, the paradox continues because while Eddie’s sacrifice removed Thwane from existence everyone still remembers him as having existed. For all intents and purposes, he’s just dead, or I guess, technically Dr. Wells is dead. But if he never existed how does everyone still remember him? Why would he need to leave Barry a videotape confessing to the murder of Barry’s mother thus clearing Henry Allen of the crime? Say it with me: She. Should. Not. Be. Dead. And he shouldn’t have been there to make the damned video either!
To continue would be to beat a dead horse, or a dead time traveler if you will. But I had to get this off my chest, or out of my head or something. Whether or not I will continue to watch is up in the air. This may have ruined it for me. At least the logical part of my brain hopes so. After working all day in the really real world the escapist in me still looks forward to suspending disbelief, if only for 45 minutes.
Of course I’m way behind on Agents of SHIELD and Arrow, eventually Daredevil will be back and of course I need to get caught up on The Walking Dead! I hardly think I’d miss The Flash. Yeah, right.