The Flash: Season Five, and A Time Traveling Legacy

The Flash: Season Five, and A Time Traveling Legacy

With a show like The Flash, time traveling is no rare occurrence. Barry Allen, Iris West and the team at S.T.A.R. Labs have been cruising the time stream since season one. One could argue it’s one of the primary vehicles in the show’s plot to throw foil into the characters’ storylines.
However, season five appears to be taking the show in an entirely new direction. While keeping time travel a major focus through Barry and Iris’ daughter Nora arriving from the future, The Flash ventures into new territory by entertaining the idea of Barry’s future legacy, seeking to unpack his future and how it impacts those closest to him.
WARNING: Spoilers Ahead
Time travel in the first three seasons of The Flash more or less served one major purpose: showcasing the inevitable problems that arose whenever Barry tried to change the past. A sizable number of his conflicts were in fact caused by some unintended effect caused by time tampering.
The final episodes of season one gave us our first glimpse of the danger of Barry’s time-tampering. The Reverse Flash confronted Barry and asked for his help creating a wormhole to the past, promising him he would be able to stop his mother’s murder in the past. Barry agreed to help create the hole and travels to stop his mother’s murder, yet decided against it at the last moment to prevent a time paradox. But the damage had been done: the wormhole reappeared in the present and forced one of the team’s closest friends to sacrifice themselves to stop it.
As an extension of these time mishaps, season two focused largely on Barry flirting with his newfound time traveling ability, incurring the wrath of time wraiths and returning to the past once again to stop Reverse Flash from murdering his mother. This event leads us into the timeline shifts referred to as “Flashpoint” in season three, where Barry must cope with the problems he’s caused in the lives of his friends, including a time-displaced duplicate version of himself who terrorizes the team as the self-proclaimed “speed god” Savitar. Barry ultimately sacrificed himself to rectify his mistakes and defeats Savitar.
A Change in the Formula
Season four invited us to explore the ramifications of actions in the present. When the team attempted to resurrect Barry from the Speed Force, they unintentionally overloaded a bus full of people with dark matter, giving them meta powers and placing them in the targets of The Thinker, a meta human with psychic abilities. The villain is only defeated with the assistance of Nora West-Allen, Barry and Iris’ daughter from the future.
Now that we’re in season five it appears the focus of the show has honed in on the idea of legacy. And nothing exemplifies Barry’s enduring legacy and it’s impact than meeting his own daughter from the future.
Season five begins with a brief introduction to Nora, an energetic, spontaneous speedster who claims she visited the past to see Barry. She explains that for some unknown reason Barry disappeared in 2024, leaving Iris to raise Nora alone. All she knows about his legacy comes from Iris and the monuments to him in The Flash Museum.
The pain from the disappearance of her father was great, but Nora still dedicated her life to the legacy he left.
Here we find the main difference between season five and the previous seasons. Instead of featuring present problems caused by meddling with the past, we see a glimpse of Barry’s actions in the present contributing positively to his future. We begin to learn what it means to leave a respectable legacy after we’re gone.
If not for Barry’s lasting impact as both a light of hope and defender of Central City, The Flash Museum would never have honored him, and Nora may not have been inspired to become the new Flash.
Legacy as a Christian Virtue
The idea of legacy has been prevalent in human societies since the beginning of time. A myriad of cultures have ways of honoring the legacy of their predecessors while doing their best to lay the groundwork for their own later on. In the Christian tradition, we see Biblical writers holding legacy as one of the most important virtues in the faith-filled life.
One of the key figures in the Christian tradition is King David. His influence and writings inspired much of the Psalms, many of which speak of the importance of living righteously in order to serve the generations after you.
If we look at Psalm 37:18, David highlights his unyielding faithfulness that God would grant life to the legacy of those who live virtuous lives:
The Lord knows the days of the upright and blameless, and their heritage will abide forever.
This Psalm claims God sustains the legacy of those who seek to do what is right, even after their gone. The heritage of their good works will continue throughout history as though it were an eternal flame. It’s also a reminder that living righteously is for the benefit those who will live in this world after us.
We can see how Barry has already instilled this legacy in the future version of Central City. Despite time-traveling mishaps, Barry always seeks to rectify wrongs and fight for justice. His love for Iris remains strong throughout their marriage and gives her the strength to raise Nora all by herself after his disappearance. And of course, Nora was inspired to continue Barry’s fight against evil. Because even if Barry is gone, his legacy continues to live on in the lives of those who love him.
by Corey Patterson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

WP2Social Auto Publish Powered By : XYZScripts.com