In S02E17 "Flash Back" Barry

travels through time and when he returns things are a bit different but Barry is the same. So where did the other version of Barry go? The one that remembers being attacked by the future self and probably befriended with Hartley?

Were they merged somehow or did he just disappeared?

2 Answers 2


As usual, the show does not clearly explain their time travel theory (likely on purpose, since any explanation is guaranteed to have holes in it). But in this case I think there's a simple answer:

That "other Barry", in the new timeline, still traveled back in time to get Thawne's help getting faster, he just "came back" a different Barry.

We have already seen cases where Barry is able to remember alternate timelines when no one else can; this is at least the fourth time he's traveled into the past (though he didn't always change things every time). We should probably just write off any such inconsistancies as "the Speed Force did it", since that excuse tends to work well in the comics.

As for everyone else, note that Cisco and Caitlyn were obviously waiting for Barry to come back forward in time, which means "their" Barry must have done the same thing "our" Barry did. They were also prepared for the time wraiths when he showed up. It's possible, for example, that "their" Barry decided to time travel because he knew he was supposed to to close the loop, or something similar.

  • 1
    "It's possible, for example, that "their" Barry decided to time travel because he knew he was supposed to to close the loop, or something similar." Like Bill & Ted telling themselves to remember to come back and set traps in the jail at some later time.
    – phantom42
    Commented Apr 20, 2016 at 22:07
  • Great one "the Speed Force did it", one day it will beat down wizard quote Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 6:39
  • That's the point, he came back the different Barry. So the version of Barry of the new timeline kind of just disappeared and that bothers me a lot. Thank you. Commented Apr 21, 2016 at 18:00

The Flash tv show unfortunately does not answer a lot of questions when it comes to Barry time traveling, and leaves us to guess the answer until it's revealed later or left alone. Sadly, this leaves us without an answer. However, given what typically happens with the time traveling duplicates he finds, Barry has likely "merged" the timelines so that the old version is still him, but he personally doesn't remember it.

Sort of like X-Men: Days of Future Past. Logan doesn't remember all the history that happened after the change in the past, but he still experiences it because it's a part of him now.

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