I am usually very annoyed when leading male characters have a dead wife, girlfriend, or mother in their backstory to give them angst. This becomes even more troubling when the female characters around them have little to no development. Unfortunately, The Flash is no exception, besides one specific deceased character. The death of The Flash's mother, Nora Allen, is so integral not only to Barry's emotional development, but to the very plot of the comics, that taking it out would alter the entire story arc. Fans of The Flash who never read the comics will come to know that Nora's death is the key to everything, but what do we know about it so far on The CW series?
The important thing to know is that it involved two speedsters: one in yellow we now know as Reverse-Flash and the other in red. Now that we know Harrison Wells is the Reverse-Flash, it's safe to assume he killed Barry's mother. Well, until The Flash breaks out a crazy plot twist that adds a further wrinkle to the story. In regards to the second speedster who seems to be trying to save Nora, I think we're going to find out it is Barry Allen himself who traveled back in time to save his mother. Besides his speed, The Flash's most important power in the comics is time travel, and Cisco finding adult Barry's blood on the wall near where his mother was killed certainly points to this being true. Expect an upcoming episode of The Flash to focus on time travel and reveal a lot of important things about the past and future of our favorite Scarlet Speedster.
If my theory that Barry Allen was the other speedster is correct, that could explain why he goes missing in the future, as revealed on the newspaper Harrison Wells loves secretly glowering at in his lair. But Barry time traveling to save Nora would just be the tip of the iceberg in terms of what else could have happened that night.
Barry traveling through time offers not only a glimpse at the truth of his mother's death, and even his future relationships, but it can also spurn several timelines. When asked by Entertainment Weekly about the time travel episode, The Flash star Grant Gustin said, "It’s really confusing because now we’re playing with timelines and we’re having to shoot things a couple different ways. It’s like a Groundhog Day-type element. It’s really funny and really exciting."
Mentioning the film Groundhog Day definitely makes me think we'll be seeing a multitude of different scenarios. The Flash can handle a lot of interesting questions that way. What if Barry Allen saves his mother? What if he never gains his superpowers? What if Harrison Wells isn't the only Reverse-Flash? Earlier in the season, I thought that maybe Harrison Wells was future Barry Allen. It sounds a bit hard to believe given everything we've seen from him at this point. But for all we know, he's a version of Barry Allen from another timeline that lost or never gained his powers and is now going a bit mad in the hopes of putting his younger self on the right track.
We also can't rule out Eddie Thawne, whose name shares a very close resemblance to Eobard Thawne, aka Professor Zoom, the Reverse-Flash of the comics who serves as Barry's greatest nemesis, as well as his mother's killer. There's definitely a chance that Eddie will be revealed to become a future Reverse-Flash or have some involvement with Nora's death. Keep in mind, once The Flash introduces time travel, anything is possible. When asked about Eddie's potential link to the Reverse-Flash executive producer Andrew Kreisberg told TV Guide, "His name is not an accident. Eddie's connection to the Reverse Flash lore is going to pay off big time in the back half of the year."
In the comics, when Barry Allen travels back in time to save his mother from being killed by the Reverse-Flash, it has disastrous effects that rewrite the entire universe. Superman, The Flash, and the Justice League no longer exist. Aquaman and Wonder Woman are locked in a bloody war. It's pretty brutal. Sure, Barry is able to get things fixed thanks to the help of that new timeline's Batman and Cyborg, but it still has ripple effects. The Flash obviously can't pull off creating the "Flashpoint" arc, at least on the scale it is in the comics, since most of the heroes don't exist on the television show (yet). But whatever new truths are revealed about the different scenarios of Nora's death, they're bound to disrupt much more than Barry's emotional state.