‘The Flash’ Ending Explained: What’s Next for the Scarlet Speedster?

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One of the things that we know is that the entire DCEU will now undergo a massive overhaul, even though there will still be a few more DCEU movies from the previous generation seeing release dates within the year. ‘The Flash’ is one of those movies as it delivered a good standalone movie for the Scarlet Speedster without necessarily committing to the franchise’s future.

The events of ‘The Flash’ allowed us to see more of Barry Allen and what he went through in life to become who he is. Of course, we know that he didn’t have the easiest childhood and that he isn’t necessarily incredibly open to other people. But the movie showed us just what he can do and how far he can take his powers, especially when the world’s fate is on the line. So, with that said, let’s look at what happened at the end of ‘The Flash.’ 

Clean-Up duty

The events of ‘The Flash’ open up with a look into the regular things that Barry Allen does as a civilian and superhero. We know that the Flash needs to eat a lot of calories daily to ensure he has the energy he needs to keep on going. And we saw that at work in the early part of the story when he was rushing a sandwich guy to make his sandwich so that he could get to work.

Nevertheless, Alfred came calling for his help in Gotham City because there was something that he only he could do. Not having enough time to wait for his sandwich, Barry rushed into his Flash costume and ran to Gotham to aid Bruce. That was when he found out he was called in to help evacuate an entire hospital building that was about to go down, all while Batman was busy chasing criminals in the city.

barry allen

The Flash showcased the limits of his speed in this scene as he could stop time in his head to think of a solution to a problem involving his hunger, falling babies, a nurse, and a dog. He could solve his problems without any of the people involved knowing that the Flash saved them instantly. And Barry understood right then and there that he was the clean-up guy for the Justice League because his powers were built for those situations.

Nevertheless, Barry had a brief conversation with Batman and Wonder Woman in what were cameo appearances for three of the four Justice League members with actors that were yet to get axed by the DCEU at that time. And Barry returned to Central City to resume his daily life as a crime scene analyst at the bottom of the food chain and was seemingly underappreciated by all his workmates.

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Barry’s history

Barry reconnected with his old college crush, Iris West, who was trying to interview him regarding the appeal of his father, who was still in jail due to being the suspect in the murder of Barry’s mom many years ago. Of course, we know that Barry’s dad had nothing to do with it, and that was something that he was trying his best to tell Iris.

Upon returning home, Barry received mail from Bruce Wayne and a call from his father from jail. They were talking about the appeal hearing that would take place the next day as Bruce helped Barry restore a ruined video of Barry’s father’s alibi. Barry’s dad was supposedly in the store to get a can of tomatoes just before his mom died. But the problem was that the older Allen didn’t look into the camera to prove that he was in the store at that time.

Barry felt hopeless about the possibility of him giving his father the freedom that he deserved. That was when we saw a flashback of Barry and the last memory of his mother many years ago. He had a good childhood with his parents. Barry’s mom asked his dad to go to the store to get the can of tomatoes that she forgot to buy, and it was during time that Barry was upstairs and his dad was still on his way home. Someone entered the home to kill Barry’s mother.

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Of course, the only people that witnessed Mrs. Allen’s death were Barry and his dad. Barry’s father had his fingerprints all over the knife inside his wife because he was trying to help her. As such, he was the one that was charged with his wife’s murder.

Changing history

Barry’s depression forced him to run fast while thinking about the past. This led him to a space beyond time where he could see into the past. Upon returning to the real world, he told Bruce about this, only for Batman to tell him that changing the past would have dire consequences for the present.

Nevertheless, a conversation with Iris allowed Barry to think of a way for him to save his mother without necessarily putting his fingerprints all over the past. He placed a can of tomatoes in her grocery cart so she wouldn’t have to ask Barry’s dad to go to the store. And because she wouldn’t be alone at home, the mysterious murderer couldn’t find her in a vulnerable situation.

But Barry, upon trying to return to his timeline, was pushed out by a dark speedster with a monstrous look. That was when he found himself back in the year when he was still 18 years old. He found his mother alive and was able to finally reunite with her. But he learned that he had an 18-year-old counterpart that was incredibly childish and dumb because he lived a good life with his parents.

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Barry learned there was no way for younger Barry to get his powers because he wasn’t interning at Star Labs in that timeline. And that was when he had to recreate the same event that gave him his powers, only to get struck by the same lightning bolt.

Older Barry lost his powers, while younger Barry gained the ability to tap into the Speed Force. The problem was that younger Barry was so childish and irresponsible that he was incredibly difficult to deal with. What made things worse was that older Barry learned that this was when General Zod attacked the planet during the ‘Man of Steel’ events.

Meeting Batman

Barry knew that his younger version wouldn’t stand a chance against Zod, who was about to destroy the entire planet to terraform it. And that was when he knew he needed to bring the Justice League together to defeat Zod.

The problem was that none of the Justice League members were in that timeline, except for Batman. Older Barry realized that he had changed many historical events by meddling with the past. Something as simple as changing the course of history led to the absence of all of the members of the Justice League except for the mysterious man, Batman, who was in Gotham City.

That was when Barrys went to Gotham to visit an old friend, as the older Barry discovered that Bruce was living in a mansion that he wasn’t even caring for properly. He met an older Bruce Wayne, played by Michael Keaton, who saw his success as the Dark Knight in the 1989 Batman movie and its 1992 sequel. Using spaghetti strands, Bruce explained how the multiverse worked and why Barry changed the entire timeline with one single act.

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Bruce, however, was a tired old man who no longer wanted to meddle with the affairs of the world, and that was when the two Barry’s snuck into the Batcave to use Batman’s resources to find out whether or not Superman was in that timeline.

Saving the Kryptonian

Despite how hard Barry tried, he just couldn’t find more about Superman and the possibility of him existing in that universe. What made things worse was that he lashed out at his younger self, who acted like an immature child. But Bruce saw his resolve and decided to help him with his problem.

Batman found out that a powerful Kryptonian was being held in Russia. The trio left for Siberia using Batman’s jet, as they were able to infiltrate a Russian facility that they believed was housing Superman. Despite the younger Barry’s stupidity, the trio managed to get to a large holding cell that they thought was keeping Superman in check, only for them to find a girl inside.

keaton batman

Older Barry decided to save the girl because he just couldn’t leave her there. Upon exiting the facility, the trio was surrounded by armed Russian men that an injured younger Barry couldn’t handle. Luckily, the girl they saved was Kryptonian, as getting exposed to the sun’s energy allowed her to regain her powers and use them to destroy the Russians. She escaped the facility together with Batman and the Barrys.

Becoming The Flash again

Back in Wayne Manor, they discovered that the Kryptonian girl was Kara Zor-El, who we know as Supergirl in the comics. That meant that the pod that crashed on Earth first was the one that contained Kara instead of Kal-El. And Kara left the mansion to try to see what was going on with Zod and the other Kryptonians.

The older Barry realized he needed to regain his powers because Kara wouldn’t be enough to defeat Zod and an entire army of powerful Kryptonians. Bruce asked him why he was trying hard to save the people in that timeline, even though he could always go to any other timeline if he had his powers. Barry told him that this was the timeline where his mother survived, as that was when Bruce realized that the younger Barry didn’t know that his mother died in the older Barry’s timeline. But the younger Barry was secretly listening in on the conversation.

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Barry decided to recreate the process that allowed him to gain his powers years ago, only for the initial process to fail because the first zap of lightning wasn’t enough. The contraption that Bruce used was busted as Barry was dying.

Kara arrived to lift Barry up so he could get zapped by one more lightning bolt to regain his powers. That was when the experiment was successful, as Barry now had access to the Speed Force once more. He rounded up his allies to save that timeline.

Confronting Zod

Younger Barry used an old Batsuit to copy his older version’s Flash costume. Together, they were motivated to save that timeline, especially because they had a strong Kryptonian on their side. And Batman’s firepower from the air was also a needed addition to their strength.

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They arrived on the battlefield where the US military was losing to the power of the Kryptonian army. The heroes’ arrival allowed the good guys to even the playing field, as that was when older Barry told his younger self that their goal was to keep the ground forces busy while Batman controlled the air and Kara targeted Zod.

Using speed as an advantage against the Kryptonians, the Flash duo could keep the ground forces at bay well enough even though these aliens were so much stronger than they were. But the battle wasn’t in favor of the good guys.

Zod told Kara that they found an infant Kal-El’s pod and tried to harvest the Kryptonian genetic code within him, only for him to die. He also told Kara that she was the one that held the genetic code of the Kryptonians in her blood, and that was why she was important to him. An enraged Kara tried her best to defeat Zod, only for the Kryptonian general to find an opening that allowed him to stab her and harvest her genetic material. Meanwhile, Batman died in an attempt to bring down the main ship of the enemies.

The endless loop

The Flash duo used their powers to try to redo things by going back in time. The first attempt seemed to work, only for Supergirl and Batman to die again. They did it again as the younger Barry confronted the giant Kryptonian named Nam-Ek, only for him to get a Kryptonian blade stuck in his arm. He used the blade to kill Nam-Ek but realized that Supergirl and Batman still died.

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Older Barry tried to convince his younger version that it was inevitable for Kara and Bruce to die, only for the younger version to keep trying. We didn’t see what happened, but the younger Barry got more blades stuck to his body as he always returned to space beyond time to convince older Barry that they could still find a way to save everyone.

That was when the dark speedster appeared to confront older Barry. This speedster had blades embedded in his body combined to look like a suit of armor. Younger Barry struck him and saw his face. Younger Barry, who had a scar on his face due to one of the wounds he suffered during the movie, realized that this dark speedster was an older version of him.

dark flash

The dark Barry Allen told his younger versions that he kept going back in time to try to find a way to keep their mother alive while ensuring that they won the fight against Zod, only for him to fail time and time again. But he believed that he was close to finding a way to save everyone, which was why he was trying to recruit older Barry and younger Barry to help him. He also revealed that he pushed older Barry back into that timeline so that he could create him.

Meanwhile, several different timelines and universes started converging as that was happening. This included the Superman universe starring Christopher Reeve and Helen Slater and the Nicolas Cage Superman movie that was never made a reality. That meant that the actions of Dark Barry were affecting the multiverse itself.

Older Barry realized that the only thing he could do at that point was going back in time to try to stop himself from saving his other. Dark Barry didn’t want that to happen, and that was when he proceeded to stab the original Barry. Younger Barry stepped in to take the attack as it was clear he had a change of heart. The death of the younger Barry led to the death of Dark Barry because they were the same person.

Barry corrects everything… sort of

The surviving Barry Allen returned to the time he saved his mother by putting a can of tomatoes in her grocery cart. However, before doing so, he had one final moment with his mother by hugging her despite the fact that his mom saw him as a complete stranger. Barry put the can of tomatoes back on the shelf and realized he could save at least one more life.

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In the original timeline, Barry attended the court hearing of his father’s appeal. It was revealed that he changed one minor detail in the past by putting the can of tomatoes on the top shelf so that his father would look up and allow the camera to see his face, thus giving his alibi credibility. This allowed Barry to save his father from a lifetime in jail even though he couldn’t save his mother from death.

Barry called Bruce to thank him for digitally restoring the footage of the grocery store. Wayne arrived to meet Barry in person, only for the Flash to see that the Bruce Wayne that greeted him was none other than George Clooney’s version of the billionaire playboy. In that regard, changing that minor detail about the tomatoes still affected the timeline, as this was an entirely different version of Bruce Wayne. The film ended with that scene, as we have no idea what’s in store for Flash or whether or not this movie was the one that resets the entire DCEU in time for James Gunn’s lineup of movies.

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