Flashpoint may have ended, but the timeline chaos continued on The Flash Season 3 Episode 2, “Paradox.” Instead of returning to the original timeline and his life, Barry entered an alternate timeline. This new reality was closer to the first, yet it included several differences, including a broken Team Flash.
The cohesive family was troubled when the team members couldn’t forgive each other for decisions made. Iris never forgave Joe for faking her mother’s death, while Cisco resented Barry for not time traveling to save his brother’s life. This new reality didn’t seem to have affected either Caitlin or Wally, though.
Yet the most distressing thing? Cisco wasn’t jumping at the chance to name the new metahuman caught by Barry. “The Thief”? What a lame name. That was the saddest part of this new timeline. Cisco’s spunk was gone. While it’s understandable given his brother’s death. It was more disturbing to see this sullen Cisco than the confident, rich mogul from the Flashpoint timeline.
Though Barry tried to bring the family together and fix all of their problems, he failed. Instead of harmony, he only made the situation worse by manipulating everyone while they saw through his lies and realized he was keeping a big secret.
Outside of Team Flash, another major change was the introduction of Barry’s new CSI lab partner, Julian (Tom Felton), whose speciality was metahuman science. While Barry and Julian did not get along at all, Julian’s introduction was a highlight of the episode. More on this later.
Barry’s decision to undo the Flashpoint timeline had more far-reaching consequences with the rise of a new villain, Alchemy, who awakened Flashpoint’s Clariss and returned powers to The Rival in this timeline. As Barry has become accustomed to doing, he tried to fix the timeline yet again only to be stopped by his father’s doppelganger, The Flash.
No matter how many times Barry tried to fix what he did, he wouldn’t succeed due to the Paradox of Time Travel, he was told by Jay Garrick / the Earth-3 Flash (and his father’s Doppleganger). Ultimately, Barry realized he had to accept what he had done and come clean with the truth. Only it didn’t go over as well. Cisco was furious Barry attempted to save his parents, but wouldn’t save Dante. Ouch!
The voice of reason in Earth Prime came from Iris. She brought the team together and open their hearts to forgiveness when she admitted it was silly to stay angry at her father. She convinced everyone that Barry made mistakes, but they all had their own secrets and made their own mistakes too. Iris’s plea came in time for them to rally and save Barry.
Alchemy used The Rival to face off against The Flash. The master villain’s plan isn’t clear yet, but he has the ability to give people who had powers in Flashpoint their powers in this new reality. And he claims to be “preparing this world.” For what?
Cisco and Barry took down and captured The Rival, but Alchemy remains at large and powerful enough to be renamed by Cisco as Doctor Alchemy. If this villain can give Flashpoint powers, does that mean we’ll see Kid Flash again? Will he try to recruit Wally to his side? This holds a lot of promise for an intriguing storyline.
That possibility is almost as fascinating as the tense relationship between Barry and Julian. With most of the main characters in the know about Barry being the Flash, Julian’s ignorance returns some of the subterfuge that’s been missing.
While “Flashpoint” only lasted one episode, the divided Team Flash thankfully only lasted one episode as well. It wouldn’t be enjoyable to watch this family fight each other any longer. There are enough alterations to keep us on the edge of our seat, plus there are surely more surprises to come. It’s going to be an exciting ride.
Rating: ★★★★ Very good
– Barry: “I’ve kissed Iris twice and I’ve managed to erase both times from existence.”
– Felicity: “Everyone loves Barry Allen. You’re like pudding, and everyone loves pudding.”
– Barry’s shenanigans has affected Arrow too! Diggle doesn’t have a daughter, Sara. Instead, he has a son, John. Does this mean he’s not married to Lyla in this timeline too? What other changes will come up throughout the CW’s DCTV shows?
– The Flash from 1998 (John Wesley Shipp): “We’re not gods, we’re men, who, for whatever reason, have been given extraordinary abilities. The question you need to ask yourself is, what kind of hero are you gonna be? Are you just gonna take a do-over every time make a mistake? Or will you live with them and move forward?”
– Did you see Dawson’s Creek playing on the TV when Barry was taken to 1998? Didn’t Shipp’s Flash echo a little bit of Mitch Leery’s fatherly advice?
– How did Team Flash end up at Star Labs in the new timeline? What happened to Eobard Thawne? Is the real Harrison Wells still alive? Inquiring minds….
– Iris: “You’ll always be Barry and I’ll always be Iris. And we always find each other.”
– Will Iris finally remember this kiss? Hopefully!
– Julian: “I don’t trust you. I don’t like things that I don’t trust.”
– Killer Frost? Will Caitlin go bad or could this version use her powers for good?