'The Flash' Theory: Barry's Time Traveling Could Have Grave Consequences For Cisco's Family

Who doesn't love a good do-over? Last week's twist-packed episode of The Flash ended with a literal time leap and the opportunity for a little course correction. Thank goodness, because Cisco Ramon is not allowed to die, ya hear? There should be a "most beloved" spectrum or threshold for television characters. Once a character crosses it, they can't die, no matter how much the writers want to raise the stakes or actors want to get out of their contracts and be movie stars. Anyway, by the looks of Tuesday's episode "Rogue Time," Cisco will live to pun another day.

I'm guessing, from the picture above, that Cisco will go to his brother's dinner instead of staying at S.T.A.R. Labs to investigate Harrison Wells (and getting stabbed in the front). It was so clever, the episode planted all of these alternative plans for our characters so that they would have them if they needed them. Based on those bonds the boys are sporting under the dinner table, the brothers Ramon will be attacked. Captain Cold, his parka, and his cronies are returning in the episode, and they've got major history with Cisco. Poor guy can't catch a break!

Here's my theory. Time travel, to steal a magical catchphrase from Once Upon a Time, always comes with a price. Cisco has already died in the present timeline. That's just a fact that we have to accept. Barry Allen may be able to save him by changing the past. However, there must be consequences. I think that creating a timeline in which Harrison Wells does not kill Cisco will result in the death of his brother, Dante Ramon, and Barry will learn a valuable lesson about time travel. It's not always fun with time turners like Hermione Granger. I'll never understand why she was so exhausted — she had unlimited nap time!

My reasons for thinking a different Ramon is doomed go further than raising the stakes for Barry, Caitlin, and Cisco. As the Arrow characters love to point out, they need to toughen up and realize the seriousness of their situation. However, I'm sure all three of those scientists came into their jobs will a decent understanding of the space-time continuum. This relates to the mythology as well.

Remember how Cisco and Joe discovered an older Barry Allen's blood at the scene of his mother's murder? Now that we know that Harrison Wells is Eobard Thawne and probably not carrying Barry Allen's DNA (who knows how incestuous the future will be... other than Wells, of course), we can assume that Barry traveled back in time to save his mother's life but failed. Perhaps he didn't fail. Perhaps this incident with Cisco's family stopped him from trying to save Nora Allen's life. What's done is done, and all that.

Finally, did you catch the Quantum Leap reference in last Tuesday's episode? When Barry Allen discovered he had gone back in time and said "oh boy," that was an allusion to Scott Bakula and his character's catchphrase on the old time travel series. Even if the consequences get darker on The Flash, this assures me that the show will never lose its lighthearted spirit.

Images: Dean Buscher/The CW (3)