POLL: Would You Change the Past Like Barry Allen?

Nora, Henry, Zoom, Barry, Joe - The Flash

Time travel – always a tricky business. Despite the dangers, or maybe because of them, time travel makes for an interesting and compelling plot in an action-adventure program. There have been plenty of programs that have dealt with time travel in the past (no pun intended, but I’ll take it anyway), and currently we have a variety of new shows focusing on this topic. And, that is not even counting the programs that have an occasional time travel episode just to mix it up a bit!

After the events at the end of season two of The Flash where Barry went back in time and changed the past, season three has mostly focused on the effects of his decision. This got me to thinking about whether or not I would change the past if I ever had the opportunity, and I thought it would be fun to see what you all think you would do!

I Would Change History in a Heartbeat!

Barry, Nora and Henry - The Flash

Barry has been tempted more than once to change the past, and doing so can be a very attractive alternative to living life in sadness and regret. Maybe you want that one last moment to be with a deceased loved one, or that additional opportunity to say the things you did not say the first time around. Given an opportunity to save someone you loved from death or serious injury or prevent a horribly tragic event such as 9/11, some people would not only seriously consider it, but embrace the opportunity.

And frankly, one could argue that one timeline is just as good as another. Each one will doubtless contain its own shred of tragedy and triumph; tears and laughter. And, as General Landry said in Stargate: Continuum, who is to say which timeline is the “correct” one? What makes your timeline better than mine?

I Might Change History if I Had a Good Enough Reason

Zoom and Henry - The Flash

To be fair to Barry, he was not just a random history changer. In fact, he could not go through with his plan to change the timeline in season one just to save his mom. He did have a pretty good reason to do it, after all, having grown up without parents; his mom dead and his dad wrongly imprisoned for killing her.

But, we all know where Barry Allen stood on this issue after he witnessed his father die at the hands of Zoom. He was so stricken that he decided enough was enough, and traveled back in time to save his mother and prevent The Reverse Flash from ever hurting anyone again by imprisoning him in our time. Of course, this drastically changed the timeline, but it gave Barry what he most wanted; two living parents and a chance at a life with them.

So, maybe if you had a good enough reason, such as the loss of parents at a young age, or being able to change some horrible historical event, you would journey back in time and make the changes needed to stop the tragedy.

I Would Never Change History

Joe and Barry - The Flash

With time travel comes serious consequences. Most theories of the effect of changing the past seem to revolve around the concept that any change has repercussions. Sometimes these changes are huge, other times not so much. But, if you are aware of the changes, it would seem that any change would loom big to you!

Barry’s changing of the timeline created an alternate in which only he remembered the one he was originally from. So, he knew what was different, including the fact that people had changed. And, it bothered him. In fact, it bothered him so much, especially when he watched Wally die, that he went back in time yet again to try and put the original timeline back in place. Unfortunately, he was not able to completely restore the original timeline. Consequences, Barry!

I Am Undecided

Barry and Nora - The Flash

Maybe you feel like Barry – he really wanted to save his mom, something I think many people who have lost a loved one can relate to – but he also understood the ramifications of such an action. Deciding to save her in season one he traveled back in time, but ultimately realized that the warnings from Dr. Wells were too dire to go through with his plan, and he relented.

Despite the possible consequences, the desire to change the past looms large and so you are on the fence as to what exactly you would do! So, are you torn like Barry was?


Now it is time to vote. As for me, I would not travel back to change history, even though it might be painful. There are just too many problems associated with it! After you vote, bed sure to tell me how you voted in the comment section below.

  • Mark Trammell

    Boy would it be tempting to do so after this election, lol! 😉

    • ptjackson

      LOL… you know, Mark, it was not planned that this topic was posted the day after the election, but the timing was interesting!! 😎

  • scifi diva

    First of all, yes Mark, I agree with your answer.

    And to the question, I voted undecided because I think like you PT in that there are too many variables in changing one thing and it might not be the outcome you would want. I believe in science but I am also a spiritual person who believes God has a plan and there is a reason(so that is how I am dealing with the election). And hear hear General Landry for asking “how do we know which is the real timeline”. So, if you ask whether I would change history or not, I’d say No, even though tempting. If you ask if I would travel back in time, I would not want to because inadvertently we may change things such as in Timeless where somehow things changed.

    • ptjackson

      Hi scifi diva! You bring up an interesting point about Timeless! You know, the reporter still died, but in a different way, but because the whole scenario changed, it was only logical to assume that someone who died originally lived in the altered timeline or vice versa, and that does tend to ripple in time!

      If someone can create a time machine, like in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow or Timeless, then why can’t they invent a “time cloak” or something, that prevents anyone from messing with the timeline, but allows them to just observe? Sigh…