I’ve said on here before that I will never write a story that involves time travel. There are way too many holes that can come up and way too many variables to consider. I was content just sitting back and enjoying the time travel stories that I either watched on TV or read in a book.
Now, I can’t even do that anymore.
Let me give you an example (WARNING: THIS WILL CONTAIN THE EVENTS AT THE END OF THE FLASH’S FIRST SEASON AND THE FIRST EPISODE OF THE SECOND SEASON. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW, STOP READING NOW).
The main bad guy in season one of The Flash is the Reverse Flash. He came back in time and killed Barry Allen’s (The Flash) mother, a crime which got pinned on Barry’s father. Throughout the season, the Reverse Flash had injected himself into Barry’s life in a mentor role. At the end, however, it’s revealed that the Reverse Flash really wanted to kill him, but needed The Flash’s speed in order to go back to his own time. That’s why he was helping Barry develop his powers.
In the season finale, in order to stop the Reverse Flash from destroying the city, a police detective, who was engaged to the woman Barry loved and who also happened to be an ancestor of the Reverse Flash, kills himself. Because he killed himself, the Reverse Flash disappears because his ancestor’s death means he no longer gets born. By that time the wormhole that was forming from the Reverse Flash’s machine was growing and The Flash needed to stop it.
Cut to the first episode of Season Two. The Reverse Flash left a video with his lawyer that was to be given to Barry upon his death. In the video, he confesses to killing Barry’s mother, allowing them to get Barry’s father out of prison.
That’s when it hit me. It was something that I should’ve caught when I watched the season finale. For whatever reason, I didn’t.
If the ancestor dying caused the Reverse Flash to cease to exist, how did he go back in time to kill Barry’s mother?
The answer: he couldn’t. So, everything that happened after the Reverse Flash came into the past should’ve been erased. Barry’s mother would still be alive. Barry’s father wouldn’t have gone to prison. And Barry would never have become The Flash.
If Barry never becomes The Flash, he never fights the Reverse Flash. If he never fights the Reverse Flash, the Reverse Flash’s ancestor never has to kill himself. If he never kills himself, the Reverse Flash is now back in existence and is now able to go back in time to kill Barry’s mother.
See? Do you see how convoluted and confusing that shit is? Time travel stories are like that. They’re never straightforward. There’s always at least one or two things that will pop out at you because they don’t make sense. It’s frustrating as hell.