The Arrowverse is rapidly expanding every year. We now have four shows that all exist in the same continuity. Black Lightning is also on the way, but the details on its relevance to the other shows have been spotty at best. Still, Green Arrow, Supergirl, the Flash are all characters that bring in new viewers with each season, and their audience only seems to grow. However, like with all good things, they aren’t without their flaws. While we could spend time pointing out the dialogue, acting, or CGI, those all go without saying. They’re low-budget TV shows and are going to have these issues out of the gate. That’s not what we’ll be discussing here.
Instead, we’ll be talking about the serious plot holes that have occurred in each of the shows. Not many people seem to discuss them, but we’ve noticed and we can’t exactly get past them. While the writers have admitted to their mistakes, there are still plenty of continuity problems that exist. This exists for one of two reasons: the writers contradicted something in their shows, or they changed something in the Arrowverse that doesn’t exactly make sense. For further proof, read on for 20 problems everyone seems to ignore about the Arrowverse.
There are spoilers for all Arrowverse shows ahead.
20. ARROW FIGHTS THE ATOM
The first entry on our list is an event that was directly addressed by the writers of Arrow. In the latter half of the third season, Ray Palmer takes to the skies of Star City in his new Atom suit. However, he gets on the train that the Green Arrow is a bad guy and seeks to bring him down. Then, it’s up to Oliver and Roy Harper to team up and fight the billionaire’s tech.
At the end of the battle, they realize it was a big misunderstanding and become somewhat good friends in the end. What they forgot was that Roy took a hit during the battle and was never brought up again. What happened to Arsenal? Is he okay? We’ll never know because it was never addressed on screen.
19. BARRY ALLEN SAVING HIS MOM
In the first season of The Flash, the arc of Barry’s character was that he could find his mother’s killer and bring him to justice. Things got a little heated during the finale when Barry had the opportunity to save his mother from ever being murdered in the first place. After some reflection, he decided that saving his mom would change too much for him to actually do it. It was a beautiful scene.
However, the writers decided that not of that mattered with the finale of the second season. After his father was killed by Zoom, Barry decided to go back in time and save his mother’s life. Not only did this seem like several steps back for the character, it also produced a “problem” called “Flashpoint” that never went anywhere and was ultimately meaningless.
18. METAHUMAN PRISON
Staying on the topic of The Flash, something that still hasn’t quite been addressed is the metahuman prison. In Star Labs, there exists compartments in the Particle Accelerator that are just big and padded enough that you could store a superpowered person in there.
There are a few problems that arise because of this (most of which have already been pointed out). First of all, because it’s a padded cell, there’s no way for the prisoners to get food. Secondly, Barry and his friends are essentially running their own illegal prison. It’s been proven that ARGUS and Iron Heights are capable of storing metahumans in this universe, so it’s probably time for Team Flash to send criminals there.
17. VANDAL SAVAGE’S RESURRECTION
In the second crossover between Arrow and The Flash, the writers used it as a way to set up Legends of Tomorrow by introducing Hawkman, Hawkgirl and the show’s antagonist: Vandal Savage. His power seemed to be unmatched as he used years of experience outmaneuver and outsmart the various heroes.
However, through teamwork, a little bit of time travel experience from Barry and quick thinking, the heroes are able to work together and defeat Savage. As a matter of fact, they kill him and turn him into dust. Then, at the end of the episode, Malcolm Merlyn collects his ashes. Yet, nothing is ever done with this information. Better yet, it’s not even addressed how he came back to life in Legends of Tomorrow. We’re just supposed to accept it without an explanation.
16. BIZARRO KIDNAPPING JAMES
We’ll ignore the fact that Supergirl is basing a lot of its villains off of popular Superman characters for the time being. One of the villains, Bizarro, was trying to get at Kara personally to try and lure her into a trap. She was instructed to kidnap someone Supergirl loved, and you’d think her sister would’ve taken the hit. That’s not the case.
Instead, Bizarro took James because Supergirl was in love with him, which is fine and all, but it had never been admitted to the public. Supergirl was still trying to admit it to herself. There was no way Bizarro could’ve known to snag James away, but nonetheless, that’s the conflict that we got in the episode. It could’ve been much worse.
15. FLASHPOINT CONSEQUENCES
When the writers of The Flash announced that season three would be dealing with “Flashpoint”, we wondered how that would factor into the show. After going through the third season, we’re a little jaded that it was even called “Flashpoint” at all. They only called it that as a means of fan service to get people interested.
“Flashpoint” only lasted one episode and the original timeline was restored after that. However, the problems occurred when things were slightly different. Caitlin had powers, Iris and Joe weren’t talking, and Cisco’s brother died. Yet, it wasn’t long before each of these things (minus Caitlin) was dealt with and we were back to the original Team Flash dynamic in no time. There were no real lasting consequences for Flashpoint, at least not enough to call the event “Flashpoint.”
14. SAVITAR REVEAL
We’re going to stay on The Flash for a bit. Savitar was the speedster god introduced in season three and seemed to be more powerful than Barry could ever hope to be. After all, in the comics, that’s exactly what he was.
Then, it was shown that Savitar was a future version of Barry Allen. Alright, we’ll bite. Yet, the way that it was explained doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Barry went evil after Iris died and then went back to ancient times to become a god then doubled back to present day to torment current Flash and kill Iris to create himself in the first place. The entire event is a time loop, and if that loop were to be broken, then Savitar could never exist. That said, Iris West was saved and Savitar was still running around without having completed his master plan to stay alive.
13. ZOOM REVEAL
When you start to get into crazy Speed Force powers, it’s easy to confuse your audience, and that was exactly what happened with the villains for season two of The Flash. Throughout the season, Jay Garrick (Earth 2 Flash) was helping out our friends until it was revealed that he was actually the villain known as Zoom.
But how did he appear as a villain and a good guy at the same time? Moving extremely fast? Nope. He got a time remnant to masquerade as himself which he then killed in an attempt to make things more streamlined, but in that, it should’ve caused his own death because it was a past version of himself. You get the point. It also gets more complicated when you put together the fact that Garrick was well-known on his Earth for being the speedster hero.
12. HOURMAN’S DEATH
At the end of season one of Legends of Tomorrow, the team is surprised by the sudden appearance of a future Waverider. Out of it comes a man named Rex Tyler (Hourman) who gives the Legends a warning about an event they shouldn’t go to. One would think Rex Tyler would have more to do in season two, but he doesn’t. They meet him, as he’s part of the Justice Society, but it’s a past version and he doesn’t know them. Furthermore, he gets killed very early on.
This complicates things when you remember that he and Vixen had a relationship. Without that, her lineage is instantly changed, but they don’t address that until she gets interested in Citizen Steel and stays on the Waverider. Then, if Rex was dead, wouldn’t that change the Legends’ memory of being warned in the first place? Time travel is full of holes.
11. VIXEN ON THE WAVERIDER
Vixen was first introduced in the Arrowverse as the star of her own animated show. She then appeared on Arrow as a guest and has never been heard from again. The character was popular enough to land a spot on Legends of Tomorrow, albeit as the grandmother of the one we saw in Arrow.
Having the ancestor of a character who exists in present day appear on the Waverider holds many problems that have yet to be resolved. The future has already changed, and despite Vixen learning that her village gets attacked, she decides to stay and be with Citizen Steel. This will either change the future, which hasn’t been fully dealt with, or it will be as if she was always meant to be with Citizen Steel. If the latter is the case, then this presents a fundamental contradiction with how the show handles time travel.
Another aspect of dealing with manipulating time, the Reverse-Flash was the main antagonist of season one. The way he was beaten was by his ancestor killing himself, therefore erasing the Reverse-Flash’s existence. Yet, he still “existed” in the timeline, killed Barry’s mom, became the villain of the future.
Had the timeline remained this way, it would’ve been passable. Yet, it wasn’t the end. Reverse-Flash began causing chaos in Legends of Tomorrow season two as he started looking for the Spear of Destiny. The problem is that there was no change to elicit his change in behavior. We already know what he did in the main continuity, and the Spear of Destiny was never part of it. Thankfully, he was taken by the Black Flash, so we won’t have to deal with the headaches anymore.
9. DINAH DRAKE’S APPEARANCE
After Laurel Lance was killed at the hands of Damien Darhk, Oliver and the rest of Team Arrow were looking for a proper replacement to uphold the Black Canary name. Halfway through season five, they found their answer in the form of Dinah Drake. She was given a sonic scream after the Particle Accelerator explosion and has been operating on her own since.
While we like the character, there is a big problem with her existence. If Oliver and the rest of the team were taking notice of people similar to Black Canary, wouldn’t they have heard of Dinah Drake beforehand? Furthermore, she worked with the Central City Police Department, so wouldn’t it also make sense for Barry Allen to have heard of her at some point?
8. THEA’S TRAINING
Thea Queen has been through a lot. She discovered that her father wasn’t Robert Queen, but Malcolm Merlyn (Dark Archer). After discovering this and being betrayed by Roy Harper, she decided to leave with her biological father, who then trained her how to be an excellent fighter.
However, in the few months that she was away, Thea somehow learned to fight on the level of Oliver and Malcolm himself. Remember that it took Malcolm to train with the League of Assassins and Oliver to train with Deathstroke, the Bratva, and Nyssa al Ghul to get as good as they were. Yet, Thea was ready to jump into the fray after less than a year of training. It’s almost like the writers aren’t sure what to do with her character anymore, considering that training was pointless now that she gave up on being Red Arrow.
7. DOMINATORS INVADING EARTH
In the third crossover, this time between Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl and Legends of Tomorrow, Barry Allen discovers that a race of aliens known as the Dominators is coming to Earth to conquer it. After some battles and investigation, they found out that the reason for this is that they detected the changes in reality because of “Flashpoint” and were afraid that the humans had too much power.
The problem with conflicts like these is that, in theory, “Flashpoint” means change to an entire reality, not just a single planet. The Dominators wouldn’t be able to detect something like that because they would’ve been a part of it. Had they existed in another universe, that would’ve been a little more believable, but even then, that gets kind of complicated.
6. NO TIME ABERRATIONS IN THE FUTURE
This is a pretty general point, so let us explain. In season one of Legends of Tomorrow, the team learns that the reason Vandal Savage came to power is that the Time Masters allowed it. They allow this due to an incoming alien invasion in the future that only Savage’s forces could effectively handle.
Fast forward to season two, and the team is detecting anomalies in the timeline and hunting them down. The big question is why haven’t they detected a time aberration in the future? There is no Vandal Savage to protect them from an alien invasion (no, these aliens aren’t the Dominators), so isn’t it safe to assume that the Earth is once again in danger of being destroyed? They might deal with this in the future, but we’ll see.
5. GIDEON AND RIP HUNTER
On the Waverider, there exists an AI who both serves as a plot device as well as an exposition dumper: Gideon. While there are ties to the first season of The Flash with this AI, it seems that she was only included to give fans something familiar to latch onto.
The problem is not the fact that she exists. The problem comes in season two, where Rip Hunter is in a fight against his own mind. It’s there that Gideon manifests herself as an actual person. Despite being an AI, the two of them fall in love and even share a kiss. When Rip Hunter returns to reality, he thinks about what occurred and Gideon stated that she remembered everything that went on, despite not really being a part of it. How does this make sense again?
4. TOLKIEN AND GEORGE LUCAS
We’re glad that Legends of Tomorrow is beginning to embrace its nerdier side of storytelling, but by having episodes focused on Tolkien and George Lucas (and time travel), they bring more problems to the mix. For example, in the episode featuring George Lucas, the Legends talk about Star Wars and even quote it to Lucas in order to convince him to be a filmmaker again. However, by talking about his project, wouldn’t they have changed the final result? Wouldn’t Lucas have done things differently when looking at the whole picture?
In a way, Tolkien’s storytelling would’ve also been changed by the events of Legends of Tomorrow. By seeing what transpired, The Lord of the Rings may have ended up a sci-fi novel rather than high fantasy. That would’ve been a sad day for us.
3. VIGILANTE VERSUS PROMETHEUS
Before the reveal of Prometheus and Vigilante, most people were fairly sure on the identity of them. Yet, there was a battle between Vigilante and Prometheus to showcase that they were different people and that the writers had thrown us a red herring by throwing the former into the mix.
The problem here is that after that battle, Vigilante is thrown off of a roof and never heard from again. If memory serves, he only appears one time after that event, and he holds no weight. We understand that the writers had to go all out on Prometheus at that point, but it’s like they setup Vigilante, but after they revealed Prometheus’s identity, just put him in the fridge to use him again in season six.
2. DAMIEN DARHK’S RAID ON STAR CITY
There were a lot of problems with the finale to Arrow season four, but the more we think about it, the more problems we notice. Of all of them, the fundamental flaw was the battle between the citizens of Star City and Damien Darhk with his horde of Ghosts.
Despite being military trained soldiers, the Ghosts didn’t use any guns whatsoever, instead focusing on fighting with their fists to get the job done. Even then, it would’ve made sense for the Ghosts to lay waste to the citizens of Star City, but that wasn’t really the case. We’re glad that it gave Oliver the chance to kill Darhk, but the entire fight was trying too hard and was poorly parodying the climax that occurred in The Dark Knight Rises.
1. PLANS FOR JESSE QUICK
In the most recent season of The Flash, Savitar tricks Wally West into getting trapped in the Speed Force. After that, Jesse Quick spirals down a path of grief and decides to go after the God of Speed herself. When she finally centers on the villain’s location, the two engage in a very one-sided battle.
During that time, Savitar states that he knows everything Jesse is going to do and that he “has plans for her.” What are those plans exactly? We don’t know! Jesse leaves to go to Earth-3 and is never heard from again. Savitar never revealed the plans he had for her nor will we likely ever know. It seemed like the writers were going to take the season one way and then decided to change their minds late into it.
Did we miss any other glaring Arrowverse plot holes? Let us know in the comments!
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