The Flash: "Flashpoint" Comes Back to Haunt Barry in a Big Way

[Warning: The following contains spoilers for Tuesday's episode of The Flash. Read at your own risk!]

The first full night of the CW "Arrowverse" crossover is complete, and one thing is totally clear -- "Flashpoint" will go down as Barry Allen's (Grant Gustin) biggest mistake ever.

"Flashpoint" was a critical turning point for Barry in Season 3 of The Flash. It was a huge choice for him to decide to go back in time and save his parents from their respective deaths. It was an even bigger choice for him to decide to try and restore the original timeline, because the resetting caused fissures (and sometimes gigantic cracks) in the lives of those closest to him. However, the full extent of the consequences for his actions were swept under the rug after Episode 2.

Here's how Supergirl sets up the epic 4-show crossover

The ramifications of changing the timeline so drastically began to creep out with Caitlin's (Danielle Panabaker) Killer Frost powers and the schism between Barry and Cisco (Carlos Valdes), but the first installment of the "Arrowverse" crossover is making Barry face the music in a major way. Not only did the Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow crews find out what he did -- and how it affected them -- but the team also received an ominous message from future Barry warning them of how disastrous his decision was.

Now Barry is trying to lead a team against their most dangerous threat yet, but he can't convince any of them to trust him after he rearranged their lives. TVGuide.com talked to executive producer Andrew Kreisberg about what else "Flashpoint" has in store for Barry and whether the Scarlet Speedster will ever be able to make up for what he's done to his friends (and Earth-1 at large).

Do you consider this to be the button on Flashpoint, or will there continue to be more ramifications?

Andrew Kreisberg: There's a villain coming up who's another one of the husk villains that was created by Alchemy, so there's that to deal with. But the midseason finale, Episode 9, kind of creates a new problem for our heroes that they weren't anticipating, something that they've never faced before. It's so big, we're actually considering changing the saga sell from talking about Flashpoint to talking about that, because that's really what's driving the episodes for the rest of the season, actually. Flashpoint won't loom as large as the challenge that presents itself in Episode 9.

Flashpoint has had such huge repercussions on all the shows, but it was only one episode [this season on The Flash]. Did you consider spending more time there?

Kreisberg: We talked about never going back, we talked about it being two episodes, we talked about it being five episodes. There was some input from the studio and the network wanting to make sure that we weren't upending our show in a jump-the-shark kind of way. I think that ultimately for us as storytellers, it was the right decision to have that one episode be It's a Wonderful Life but then I think people thought that oh, it's over with, and yet obviously the ramifications of him having done it will reverberate throughout not just Flash but the other series forever. Dig has a son now, Sara's gone. So we definitely discussed doing it different ways. The closest we came to doing something other than what we did was having it be two episodes, and the second episode just felt like it ran out of steam. The resolution with the parents didn't happen in one, it would happen in two, and it just felt like we were just putting things off that we wanted to get to, but that doesn't mean we've seen the last of it. Just because we didn't do it all in the beginning doesn't mean it's gone forever.

Could that message from Barry in the future be a direct thing from Flashpoint, or is he talking about more changes he makes sometime in the future?

Kreisberg: Um, uh, the message from the future relates to "Flashpoint," but it also may relate to something else coming up.

The Flash: Warm hearts thaw a Killer Frost (for now)

The Wests were a much bigger part of this crossover than they were in years past. What made for that decision?

Kreisberg: I think one of the things we always try to do, especially with the crossovers, is not make it feel like all of a sudden we're in this evergreen world that's completely disconnected to everything that's been happening previous. At the end of [The Flash's "Killer Frost"], Wally became a speedster. That's huge. That's big news. To sort of gloss over that and not have anybody react -- considering the myriad of reactions Joe has had to Barry becoming a speedster and Iris finding out -- it felt like we'd be doing a disservice to the people who were watching The Flash and enjoying it.

We didn't want you to feel like, for the people that have been watching The Flash that suddenly their show disappeared for a week while we had all these superhero shenanigans. It was important to advance Wally's story. Also, this was a good opportunity to advance Wally's story in terms of -- they all kind of got over their, "Oh God, Wally is a speedster," within the course of this giant episode where, what was the point of making sure Wally stays out of danger if the world is going to be destroyed by aliens? Him stepping into the fray and getting a little taste of things felt like it was an opportunity rather than something that we had to service because the story was telling us to.

The Flash reveals Dr. Alchemy's true identity

Now that HR is going to train Wally, how big of a disaster will that be?

Kreisberg: It will not go well. [Laughs] As assumed. But I think HR, what I love about this version of Wells, and he's said it himself before but we actually show it rather than just tell it, he is a genius in his own way. He's not a mathematical genius and he's not a physics genius the way the other Wells' were. But he has the capacity to see it in other people. And he has the capacity to see other people's talent and how to mine it and how to grow it. He sees that in Wally. Like he says in an upcoming episode, there's nothing in it for him to help Wally but he sees that Wally is special and that's where he can shine, in helping other people discover their own value and helping other people develop their own gifts.

It's an interesting relationship because a version of Wells was so important to Barry in Season 1, and a version of Wells was so important to Cisco in Season 2, and then this year it's Wally who gets this version of Wells that on the face of it, may not be the world's greatest teacher and yet every episode we find that moment for him to drop this wisdom bomb on everybody else that shocks them, and it's kind of why they let him stay around when he's not providing any actual true value to the team, that he really does have this value in keeping the team together.

Will there be further complications with Iris' byline no longer being on the "Flash Disappears" article from the future?

Kreisberg: It's going to have further complications.

The crossover event continues Wednesday night at 8/7c with the 100th episode of Arrow.

(Full disclosure: TVGuide.com is owned by CBS, one of the CW's parent companies.)

This article originally appears on TV Guide.com.

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Dec 02, 2016
2 things I have had enough of...

1. I'm sick and tired of Cisco's whining about his dead brother. He's turning into a whiny selfish dick.
2. I'm sick of all the berlanti shows having this, "I had to lie to you to keep you safe.." crap. That has been played in these shows OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER... Please please please think of something else.
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Nov 30, 2016
So far? Seriously unimpressed. If you're going for a major quadruple crossover, shouldn't we have some seriously impressed bad guys? I mean, heck, even Barry said everyone gets mind controlled here and there.

The best thing about the episode was the show flat out admitting the strongest person in the team is hands down Supergirl. It's beyond dumb that the shows in the past tried to make everyone "equal" as a pointless powerless guy with some arrows can somehow be on equal footing with The Flash or heck even Reverse Flash.

To a certain extant, that is part of the problem with the episode in the first place. Why exactly is Barry gathering the team? Lila says he can't do it all on his own - says who exactly? Shouldn't he be able to outrun them all and call it a day in like 5 minutes or so?

The worst thing about this episode? Look, I don't care that he is going through stuff, Cisco meeting an actual alien that looks like Kara without going into full nerdgasm is just a missed opportunity.
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Nov 30, 2016
Okay, this article currently has 31 comments, but will it be in the triple digits? That's pretty rare around TV.com these days.
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Nov 30, 2016
Absolutely loved Diggle's reactions :D
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Nov 30, 2016
Nitpicks aside, I thought this was a great episode overall. Loved seeing Flash and Arrow going up against everybody else. But what I also really loved was the pep talk Oliver gave to Barry.

I'll admit, I recently stopped watching Arrow. One of the reasons was cause I was tired of how much a jerk Oliver still was. But that scene was great. Instead of lecturing him like almost everybody else, Oliver defended and comforted Barry. The way he talked about his parent's deaths and how he would have done the exact same thing in Barry's shoes was inspirational.
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Nov 30, 2016
Oh, definitely the episode was good if you overlook the whole time travel mess. And the annoying ongonig plot of Barry's guilt over saving his parents.

I'd pay good money (well, premium cable prices) to watch a weekly Supergirl/Heat Wave show.
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Nov 30, 2016
"The Odd Couple" - They could be roommates, perhaps even newlyweds! The possibilities are endless .
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Nov 30, 2016
I get that Cisco has every reason in the world to be mad at Barry. But I couldn't help but find him annoying in this episode.

"Here's a chance to make Barry feel worse! Who cares if it's going to screw with the team dynamic right before an ALIEN INVASION"

Maybe it's just me and my own philosophy. But I don't really think Diggle got it that bad with this time change. His perception is that he "lost a child." But from my perspective, his child didn't stop existing, she just changed gender.

And also, I want to preface this by saying that I haven't seen Legends of Tomorrow Season 2. Just watched most of Season 1. But if I recall, didn't the Legends carelessly change things in the past all the time? Maybe they've developed in Season 2, but do they really have that much moral ground to be lecturing Barry about this?
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Nov 30, 2016
Also, if you buy the time travel/alteration theory we get in The Flash, the Legends can never restore the timeline to what it was before the interference started. Literally. That's what Jay Garrick said earlier this season.

Once the futuristic plague created zombies during the Civil War, or Quentin Turnbull got ahold of a detector that led him to dwarf star metal in the 19th century... that's it for the original timeline. The people the zombies killed are still dead, the people Quentin killed that would have lived if he never found the dwarf star... they're still dead and history is still changed.

Basically the Legends do every week of the second season what Barry did once.
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Nov 30, 2016
Except the whole thing is even a bigger mess than that. Barry, for instance, in the pilot for Legends went back in time to stop Vandal Savage (in the Arrow Crossover) so it's okay to go one day back?
Nobody seemed to mind that.

So Barry is aloud to go back a day at a time? Why doesn't he do that more often. And if he is allowed, why aren't the Legends allowed?


The whole time travel thing is so messed up on this show. The consequences for altering the timeline constantly change.
Are there time wraiths coming after you?
Time masters come to stop you?
The Legends come to stop you?
Are things instantly change like with Eddie?
Or does nothing change at all like with Savage?
It's like every other episode they completely change the rules. No point in even following them anymore.
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Nov 30, 2016
I was looking more at the current situation. Which at least on Legends, to some degree seems designed to give us the viewer a clean slate on time travel alterations. Except... for how it contradicts The Flash. And really, that's only an issue when they cross over.

So since the Time Masters were wiped out last season, and Eddie isn't around, I didn't want to get into what happened with them. Although since it's a time travel show, there's no reason the Time Masters couldn't get involved in a point of their own timeline before they were wiped out. But Legends is assuming that the Time Masters are gone entirely, wiped out. So that's what I went with as it's the jumping-off point for this year.

So far this season, Legends has followed the principle of linear self-time, or whatever you want to call it. That the Legends, being outside of time, have a straightforward temporal progression. That there is a relative "now" for them to exist in. It's the same reason why on Doctor Who, the Doctor, the Master, and Gallifrey never double back on each other.

So the Legends can't meet a Time Master because the Time Masters were wiped out in their self-time. They haven't, and most likely won't, meet a Time Master from before the destruction of the Time Masters. Even though with time travel, they theoretically could.
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Dec 06, 2016
What I was wondering if anyone from LoT thought that some of the aberrations were from Barry changing the timeline? Regardless, seeing how much pain Barry & his friends were in due to the fact he changed the timeline why wouldn't they go back and stop him before the whole Flashpoint started? Especially now that they've heard the recording, they would have proof to show Barry how his pain caused so much destruction.

Am I missing something or are the writers that set on continuing down the path of misery one this show?

I'm hoping that what Cisco did with that Dominator in the crossover event and the fact that he referred to Barry as his friend at the end of LoT (I think) as they were wrapping everything up means they're going to start putting this behind them. Otherwise I think I'm going to start checking out of the Flash. Cisco is so whiny and annoying now. I get that Barry caused everyone pain, but this is TV, either get over it or just turn into a villain with a new plot line (not that I'd want that) but I'm sick of his constant jabs at Barry and whining..
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Dec 03, 2016
@JasonMelvil: I was referring more to original Doctor Who. But Davros isn't technically a time traveler (or even really one, I don't recall him ever time traveling, but I'm not as up on nu-DW)) so it wouldn't count for him in any case.
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Dec 03, 2016
@Gislef, actually, even in Doctor Who that's not the case. Time Travelers meet each other at different points.

Take the whole Riversong thing or even Davos where they met at different periods of their lives in non-linear order.
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Dec 03, 2016
@docspector, which Thea seems to be fine with. So is Sarah. Whatever they did with Constantine or whatever they can do again. It's not like it would be hard to track him down when you have a time machine.

That's why stupid things like resurrections and time travel should be avoided. There's always a plot hole.
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Dec 01, 2016
"Then how the bloody heck don't they get an alert about Reverse Flash going around with Dhark?"

They did, kind of. That's how they ended up at the White House in the 80s. Damien's actions were initially part of the original timeline. Then Eobard spoke with him, altering time and making Damien's altered actions... an alteration.

As I noted earlier, they're now in "absolute time" with Eobard. So they won't detect any aberrations until he and Damien create them. it's the Doctor Who model. All time travelers share an absolute time. It's why the Doctor and Master always meet each other in the proper order (at least in the TV series), and why the Doctor always returns to Gallifrey at a point after his last visit. Whether it's a natural property of time travelers, or something the Time Lords programmed into the TARDISes, isn't clear.
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Nov 30, 2016
Well, Flash contradicts itself so much on time travel there's no way to make sense of it.

But Legends isn't all that great about it either. For example, they are after aberrations. But what is that exactly? Anything that changes the timeline? Then how the bloody heck don't they get an alert about Reverse Flash going around with Dhark?

As I said elsewhere, what's exactly preventing Sarah from taking Laurel's body, take her decades in the past where the pit isn't destroyed yet and revive her, then bring her back just a little bit into the future so nothing in the timeline is really changed?
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Nov 30, 2016
That was one of the many reasons I stopped watching that show. The Flash has made such a big deal about the dangers of time travel. Rip Hunter kept stressing how important it is not to change anything. Yet the other Legends didn't seem to give a shit.
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Nov 30, 2016
Well, Rip didn't really care either, because the entire premise of Season 1 was that he change something pretty big. The implication there was that he couldn't possibly succeed in changing time. Rip had tried to save his family dozens of times and failed every time.

Barry doesn't seem to have much trouble changing things. Neither do the time travels that keep causing aberrations in season 2 of Legends.

In a sense, time travel ruins the TV suspense anyway. For instance, since we've heard Barry's 40-years-in-the-future message, we know he won't die between now and then. Kinda takes the suspense out of all those life-and-death scraps he gets into, doesn't it? :)
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Nov 30, 2016
@docspecter

"They could just reveal that Earth-2 Laurel isn't dead"
What are you talking about? Of course she isn't dead. She's a prisoner at the star labs. Unless Flashpoint changed it, but they never said that.
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Nov 30, 2016
Barry sounds 40 years older in the message, so it seems unlikely that near-present would zip into the future and record himself using a fake older voice, then zip back. Ditto for why a meta-human would voice impersonation would do it. And the question in both cases isn't so much how it could be done: there's no way you can eliminate every possibility in a super-heroic universe. The question is why anyone would do it?

The third option is a bit more possible. The problem is... the voice is right.

Regardless, the message we hear doesn't answer the real question. Old-Barry says a war is coming and there are a lot of guns: enough to outfit a small army. How does that tie not Barry being a jerk? That's the message I'd think they'd want to hear, and play for Barry and the others.
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Nov 30, 2016
I didn't mind that reveal that much. It's not remotely surprising to me that Barry and Oliver grow up to be old. Besides, timeline is constantly changing, so maybe that outcome will be different in the future.

The thing that really killed the suspense for me was the Lazarus Pit. Particularly how it revived Sara after she had been dead for an entire year. They mitigated that by destroying the Lazarus Pit. But now I'm still wondering if they'll eventually bring back Laurel (permanently).
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Nov 30, 2016
Legends is a time-travel mess in season 1, which they've pretty much ignored in season 2.

The whole concept of Rip trying to stop his family's deaths would have eliminated the events leading up to his going back and stopping his family's deaths. Apparently, he could have succeeded in saving them, but then would have created his own "Rippoint."

This season... well, you heard what Sara said tonight. If there's been any concern about casualty, it's mostly that Sara can't kill Damien to stop him from killing Laurel. Or if they do, it will cause an aberration or timequake or whatever buzzword they're using. Which kinda contradicts The Flash. Barry didn't create an aberration that could be sensed and stopped: he created an alternate timeline right out of the gate.

Although I'd like to see the Legends travel back and try and stop Barry from saving his mother.\
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Nov 30, 2016
1. Go **** yourself, Cisco.
2. Go **** yourself, Sara. Oh, she's fighting back not wanting to kill Damian? We saw her self control.
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Nov 30, 2016
And oh my god, I checked back to see what the new byline said, when Barry was reading the future headline in the chamber for the visually impaired.

The worst thing about the future? The black hole of charisma, Hawkgirl, will be there.



Just kill me now.
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Nov 30, 2016
Also the article says that it's "Starling City." So I guess the name change didn't stick.
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Nov 30, 2016
Perhaps the one good thing that will come out from Flashpoint will be that they have a way to recast another Hawkgirl.
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Nov 30, 2016
Or maybe she got them coffee from Jitters.

Did anyone mention recently that she was a barista?
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Nov 30, 2016
*shrug* I'm not really that impressed with the whole Barry has screwed up time thing.

For one thing, Oliver pretty much makes it clear in tonight's episode. Pretty much anyone would have done the same thing.

For another, only Barry knows about the alternate timeline. And given his memories in Flashpoint of the original timeline were disappearing, why does he still remember the original timeline now, in what is essentially Flashpoint 2.0?

But if he would just shut his mouth, nobody would be any the wiser. Yes, I know Barry has angst all over him like white on rice. But really, it isn't his changing time that has screwed people up, but his continual angsting about it and then blurting out why he's angsting.

Yes, it wouldn't be very interesting to us viewers if he didn't remember what happened and thus never said anything. But I just can't get into, say, Diggle going, "Wait, you wiped out the daughter that I never knew existed and don't remember existing, and I should be concerned about it because you told me it happened with absolutely no evidence to back it up."

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Nov 30, 2016
Well Barry did try to shut his mouth at the beginning of the season, but he couldn't keep that kind of secret forever. Him telling Diggle about what changed was cause Cisco basically forced it out of him.
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Nov 30, 2016
Plus, Barry kept the secret of his feelings from Iris about her for what, at least a decade? He seems to be pretty good at keeping deep emotional secrets.

Barry telling the others about their alternate lives helped them not at all. All it did was bring them emotional pain. It's actually selfish, when you think about it. To try and ease his guilt, Barry made his friends feel worse. That to me is what makes him a jerk that I have no sympathy for. Not his trying to save his parents without knowing what the consequences were. But his sucking everyone down with him over his guilt.

At the end of the day, Barry feels just as guilty as if he had said nothing. Maybe even more guilty because he not only has to live with the (supposed) guilt of making the original change, but the guilt of ruining his friends lives. But now his friends' lives are screwed up as well. So he took it from a one-fer to a three-fer.
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Nov 30, 2016
Well, the guilt of creating Flashpoint is pretty different from admitting a crush on your adaptive sister. I agree that logically, confessing all of this caused more emotional harm. But he had to confess about the time travel. He was in a completely different timeline that he didn't understand (e.g. the arrival of Julian) and everybody was noticing that. Not to mention Dr. Alchemy bringing all of the Flashpoint metas back.

As for confessing about what exactly changed between the timelines, Cisco's brother dying was cause Killer Frost outed Barry. Then after that, Cisco basically forced him to confess about the message from Future Barry. Since Future Barry was warning them about how things had changed cause of his mistake, Present Barry had to elaborate why that was. He actually has been trying to keep these secrets or confessing them to other people (e.g. telling Oliver about Diggle's baby, but not planning to tell Diggle himself). It's just that other people force him to confess the painful truth.
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Nov 30, 2016
That just means Barry was a lousy actor. If he had concealed his lack of understanding a little better... :)
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Nov 30, 2016
Why couldn't he keep that kind of secret forever? Heck, in Flashpoint they established that he'd originally forget the original timeline, so he would think that he didn't have to keep it forever: only until his memories aligned with the new timeline.

So he didn't have to keep that kind o secret forever: just until he forgot.

There's also the fact that Diggle didn't have two children and lost one. They were switched, as it were. Would he rather have had daughter than a son? Hes, the emotional shock of losing a child would hurt. But Diggle never felt that pain. He's only being told about the lost third-hand, as it were. I don't think that Barry ever met Sara, so it's Barry describing a child second hand and then telling Diggle about it third hand.

At least with Cisco, he lost someone and is still grieving, and didn't get someone else in return. But Diggle didn't have a child and then lost it to disease or murder or an accident or whatever. He never remembered having it: all he remembers is having a son.
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Nov 30, 2016
I hope Barry caves and ends up changing it to save Cisco's brother and have Time Machine ending and Ciso's brother dies in front of him. Can't escape death.
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Nov 30, 2016
That's temporal inevitability: that time will always tried to restore the original events if a traveler tries to change them. it's one way to avoid the grandfather paradox: No matter what you do when you go back in time, something will always stop you from killing your grandfather and generating a paradox. The blade will break, the gun will misfire, a car will run you over and kill you before you can get to your grandfather.

The "Back There" episode of Twilight Zone is a good example. the guy goes back in time to stop Booth from assassinating Lincoln. And fails.

The next step in the theory, although it's almost as paradoxical, is that the traveler inadvertently causes the event he came back and tried to stop. Say you went back in time to stop Booth from shooting Lincoln. And you discover that he had no intention of killing Lincoln. But when you try to stop him from going to Ford's Theater,, Booth decides that he should go there and kill Lincoln.

Neither really applies to Dante, though because in the original timeline he was alive. Temporal inevitably won't resurrect him from the dead.
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Nov 30, 2016
Thinking of the new Tme Machine he build to save his fiance death from the mugging, only for her to die from running horse cariage.
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Nov 30, 2016
"Can't escape death."

Unless you're referring to the Final Destination movies, which has that as their philosophy. But that's a whole other can of worms. ;)
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Nov 30, 2016
Well, Dante escaped life, so metaphysics aside there's no reason he couldn't escape death.

Wasn't it Dr. Manhattan who said that a living being and a corpse have the same number of atomic particles, doing roughly the same thing?

I do remember a time travel role-playing game (the tabletop type) where once you traveled through time, if you died you died even if you (or someone else) altered the timeline so you didn't die. Youmight get shot on a mission, then jump back to an earlier point and abort the mission. But you'd still drop dead of a heart attack at HQ at the same relative time.

It was a convenient out, since you couldn't save yourself or your teammates. But if the alien time travelers killed someone of the period (although they usually didn't: long story), you could alter history and bring them back to life.

But Dante (presumably) isn't a time traveler, so it's a moot point here. :)
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Nov 30, 2016
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