Review: The Effects of Flashpoint Are Revealed in This Week’s Episode of The Flash

Tuesday, 11 October 2016 - 10:15PM
DC Comics
The Flash
Tuesday, 11 October 2016 - 10:15PM
Review: The Effects of Flashpoint Are Revealed in This Week’s Episode of The Flash
Though the CW's version of the Flashpoint story may have been nothing like the comics, it was definitely an emotional ride and a great start to season three. However, the big question was always, "how will Flashpoint change the Flarrowverse moving forward?" And though it was implied in tonight's episode that the show is just getting started with the answer to that question, there were still several effects revealed in episode two of season three, entitled "Paradox."

This week's episode starts with Flash visiting Felicity at the Team Arrow HQ, giving a recap of all of the things he came to find out were different in his new reality. Not only are Iris and Joe not speaking, but Dante, Cisco's brother, was killed in a car crash just weeks ago. Likewise, Cisco is angry with Flash because he's apparently been refusing to go back in time to save Dante. Just as well, Barry has a new partner at the CCPD, Julian Dorn, played by the famous Harry Potter alum Tom Felton. Barry and Felicity then discover that the effects of Flashpoint have reached Star City as well, when Flash learns that Diggle now has a son instead of a daughter. 

Throughout the rest of the show, Barry deals with these consequences and tries his best to correct them. When the old fashioned way doesn't work, he reverts back to tampering with time. This time, however, Jay Garrick stops him from messing everything up again and has a heart to heart about how time travel ends up making things even worse every time a speedster tries to use it to fix their mistakes. In the end, Barry heeds his advice and decides to move forward, despite the fact that so many things have evidently gone wrong in the new timeline.

Upon returning from his conversation with Garrick, Barry reveals to the team why it is things seem so bad, though he gives them the choice to know what things were like before he went back in time and screwed things up (they choose not to know). And even though a few of them were reluctant at first, they forgive Barry for his honest mistake and resolve to move forward with him. Ironically, Barry reveals to Caitlyn that she's the only one that seemed to be unaffected in each timeline, and Caitlyn is shown immediately after on screen with ice emanating from her hand.

While all of this was going on, the new villain, Dr. Alchemy, was at work restoring the Rival's powers to him. The Flash also comes in contact with Alchemy for the first time, and when Barry questions the gas-mask weirdo's motives, he replies by revealing his plans to "prepare the world" by helping those like the Rival reach their potential - the implication being that he intends to make everyone who was a meta in the Flashpoint universe a meta in this universe. At first, he and the Rival get the best of Barry, but Vibe steps in at just the right moment to help bring down the new speedster. Alchemy, on the other hand, escapes. 

Though "Paradox" started off slow, the pace picked up about midway through and the show ended up being yet another thrilling episode of The Flash. The writers made a wise decision by having the immediate effects of Flashpoint hit close to home for Barry. This helped to raise the stakes, and it fit perfectly with the aesthetic that The Flash is known for. Likewise, making a villain like Dr. Alchemy the apparent big bad for season three is a nice change of pace, and though having a villain with a veiled identity might seem repetitious after season two, the writers make it work anyway by altering the context.

Of course, The Flash delivered on everything it's known best for in "Paradox." The show's big heart was shown yet again by having the resolution of the episode being the mending of the team's damaged relationships (the amazing part is that it accomplishes this without seeming sappy), and the romantic aspect with Barry and Iris is arguably better than ever - the last two years of buildup and tension between them are really paying off. Just as well, though the action took a backseat in "Paradox," the Flash/Vibe team-up undoubtedly made up for it, with a thrilling tag-team takedown of the Rival.

There was room for improvement with a couple things, however. Though it was great to see Jay Garrick again, he should have been given a bit more screen time to warrant his character's appearance in the episode - it almost feels like a waste to include such a major player for a super-quick diner conversation. The same thing could be said of Felicity's appearance, as the short scene of Flash at the Team Arrow HQ would have undoubtedly fit better in Arrow. The dialogue also seemed a bit unpolished in a few places, but the actors do such a good job with delivery that it's somewhat forgivable.

Overall, The Flash continues to dominate as it always has. The first two episodes of season three have been very promising, and it's reasonable to think that the trend will carry on. Though it was around this time in the show that Arrow started to make its decline, The Flash is a different beast, and hopefully it keeps delivering on everything that fans have come to love about it.



The Flash will return next Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on the CW.
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