‘The Flash’ Season 3 Premiere Recap: “Flashpoint” — Fast and Furious

     October 4, 2016

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[Editor’s Note: Readers, please welcome our new Flash recapper, Carla Day! Our former Flash recapper Kayti Burt has moved over to Arrow, and will also be recapping Westworld]

Flashpoint. That happened in a flash!

After the long summer hiatus, The Flash returned a little different than we left it after Barry saved his mother from the Reverse Flash (Eobard Thawne). The premiere started out a little like Pleasantville in tone (with a metahuman twist) until the mirage of paradise quickly faded. Barry was living the happy life with both his parents alive and well, working at the police station and admiring Iris on the side. While his life was perfect on the surface, the timeline change was not nearly as kind to others.

Central City had a metahuman, The Rival, wreaking havoc, while “The Flash” attempted to stop him. The introduction of Kid Flash in the alternate timeline was a way to get Wally in the suit without having him permanently added to Team Flash with speed.

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Image via The CW

Kid Flash had a spunk and arrogance that fit Wally’s personality and provided a contrast to other speedsters we’ve seen before. And though the timeline has been altered, that shouldn’t discount the possibility of seeing Wally suit up at some point again. He’d be a welcome addition.

In contrast, Detective Joe West was a mess. This is a Joe that we don’t ever need to see again. (How weird was it to hear Barry call him Detective West?) But given the final moments and the problems between Iris and her father, I fear we may get more of this morose Joe. He’s much more interesting when he’s a family man and the rock of the show.

Rich Cisco and Eye Doctor Caitlin were both intriguing versions of their characters. I missed the lovable, quirky Cisco though. Cisco as the jerky guy doesn’t work as well, though to know that potential is within him is fun. If there’s one reason to be happy that Flashpoint only lasted one episode, it’s that we’ll get the fun Cisco back.

The best part about Caitlin’s appearance was the joke about whether she was kidnapped or not. She was underutilized in the episode, though that’s understandable given how much story was fit into the hour. Caitlin’s always been on the sweeter side, though this was pushing the limit.

The best aspect of this new reality, though, was the connection between Barry and Iris. Throughout the first two seasons, the love between the two floated between sibling love, a crush, attraction, bad timing, and finally an acknowledgment of love for each other. During “Flashpoint,” their chemistry and destiny were clearer than ever before. Iris and Barry are meant to be together in every timeline. She felt his absence from her life and he was drawn to her, even if it did take him three months to go to her. The timing was rather convenient for the story, though I can overlook that since it worked so well.

Iris’ realization that Barry’s simple appearance allowed her to feel love was what all WestAllen fans have been clamoring for and what should turn skeptics into believers. If that moment didn’t succeed, then the revelation that Iris is. in Lost terms. his Constant should. When he lost his speed and hope in defeating the Rival, Iris encouraged the remaining power from within him.

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Image via The CW

Their innate love and devotion made Barry’s return all the more painful. He gave up life with his mother and father to give his friends and adopted family their lives back. Instead, he brought them more pain. What happened between Iris and her father? Did Thawne alter the timeline to get back at Barry in the worst way possible?

Barry and Iris may not get their happily ever after right now, but the main takeaway from “Flashpoint” is that they will get their fairy tale ending. It may just take while, so buckle up and enjoy the ride.

One disappointment in “Flashpoint,” though, is just how fast it came and went. While I didn’t necessarily want to spend hours in the fake utopia, I do feel cheated. Barry’s shift from wanting to live in this timeline to giving into Thawne’s outcome was too fast. I would have liked to have spent more time with this new Team Flash as well. We barely got to know them or how they could have contributed.

One fear I had was that once the timeline reverted that everything would go back to the way it was before, without any ramifications from “Flashpoint.” While I’m not thrilled with the Iris reveal, it has sparked my interest. Where will it go from here? I’m ready to find out.

Rating: ★★★★

Miscellanea:

— Barry: “Don’t worry about it. You’ll get him next time, the Flash.”

— Smooth move with the purse, Barry. The banter between Barry and Iris was there from the go.

— Thawne: “This isn’t your home, Barry. This is a mirage, a fiction, which will end us both unless you let me out of this thing!”

— Barry: “Speed has always been my problem.”

— Barry’s comment about anyone walking into Wally and Iris’ place was hilarious. Given the frequency of unexpected visitors at Star Labs and the Arrow Lair, their hideaway was probably the most nondescript and therefore secure.

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Image via The CW

— Cisco: “I don’t know you String Bean.”

— Iris: “It’s love because this is what love feels like.”

Barry: “Since the day that I met you.”

— The final showdown between The Flash, Kid Flash and The Rival was visually on point. That almost makes up for the stupidity of both Barry and Wally in turning their backs on The Rival. Seriously? What were they thinking?

— Iris: “I believe in you and you can stop this guy. Be the Flash, Barry, because that’s who you are. You’re the Flash.”

Barry: “I’m the Flash.”

— Barry: “I need you to kill my mother.”

Thawne: “With pleasure.”

— The Rival is not forgotten in this reversed timeline. A creepy voice wakes him up, “It’s time to wake up.” And, Alchemy is scratched in the mirror.

— In the original timeline, Eobard Thawne took over Harrison Wells’ body after killing Barry’s mother. In this revised timeline, what will he do? It seems likely we’ll get to see Tom Cavanagh play yet another version of Wells.

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