Tonight’s season three premiere of THE FLASH came speeding out the gate (no pun intended) wasting not a moment by showing us the best and worst of Barry’s utopia. Saving his mom brought forth the episode title “Flashpoint” which—as we can see—will have repercussions for the rest of the season (hell even the rest of the Arrowverse itself).
Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) has traveled back in time, saved his mother, and has built a makeshift prison for the Reverse-Flash aka Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher). But in doing so, the accident that gave Barry his powers has now happened to Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) with him being this world’s Flash. Iris West (Candice Patton) barely remembers Barry and her father Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) is practicing the deadly sin of sloth. Unfortunately, Barry’s speed and memories start to deteriorate leaving him no choice but to help Wally beat his nemesis The Rival aka Edward Clariss (Todd Lasance) and restore the order of the timeline.
Barry refusing the call of the hero had me at odds. I understood him being complacent now that he has both of his parents alive and happy. But at the same time for the first half of the episode he clearly saw that Wally needed help with The Rival. I also found it funny how everyone called Wally Kid Flash as a nod to the comics, since that’s how Wally’s known. Arrogant Cisco (Carlos Valdes) was awesome. Cisco being a tech billionaire in this timeline, buying S.T.A.R. Labs and turning it into Ramon Industries was hilarious and a nice detour from his usual geeky comic relief self. Though I’ll admit Valdes is the most underrated in giving comic relief performances and does the job effectively. Poor Danielle Panabaker doesn’t really have much to go on. In this timeline Caitlin Snow is an ophthalmologist, and of course Jesse L. Martin is still doing great work showing us a down and out Joe. Candice Patton continues to grow as Iris, a character who only gets better as the show goes on. I found it weird how there was not one mention of Harrison Wells. Tom Cavanagh is highly entertaining as Wells, plus Wells is always such an important part of the team. As a matter of fact, now that the present has been slightly altered the question remains just how Wells will be utilized this year.
This is one of the strongest episodes of the show to date. Compared to the two previous premieres this gets things moving faster than before (and the pilot episode was pretty quick in moving things along). Barry royally screwed up throughout the episode including the not so clear if it was or wasn’t kidnapping of Caitlin. Eobard directly calls Barry a villain and it is true. Barry is reckless and selfish. Eobard warned Barry throughout the episode that he was throwing off the timeline. So much in fact that when it came time to fix things Eobard called himself a hero, which was one of the those moments that made this episode so good. It was interesting having Eobard be the voice of reason in this episode.
And yes, the fights are just as good as the previous season’s episodes. As a call back to the pilot episode, Cisco mentions the Weather Wizard as The Rival makes not one, but two tornados. Wally thinking he’s the man, gets in over his head by not taking Barry’s lead (nice bit of banter about flanking by the way) and getting himself into mortal peril. I cannot deny though that Wally can fight though. I also cannot deny that Wally and Barry (especially Barry) need to stop turning their backs on their enemies. That’s twice this episode that they did that and got themselves into trouble.
Those unfamiliar with the title will should know that the big “Flashpoint” event from the comics changed the DC Universe significantly. So much in fact that it led to the much derided DC universe reboot “The New 52” which itself led to the recent universe reboot “Rebirth”. To be honest I really thought this timeline would stick for a few episodes, so I’m actually elated that the showrunners plan on getting down to business. At least so far. It is clear Barry’s actions will have major consequences the question is just how much? The only question that remains is how much this will shift the other shows as Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow exist on this Earth (Supergirl being on a different Earth).
As we head into the future episodes my questions are will Wally become Kid Flash again now that we know he’s Speed Force senstive? What exactly is going on with Edward Clariss in the stinger? And what exactly happened between Iris and Joe? Where is Doctor Harrison Wells? And can Barry make things right in this “restored” timeline? If the rest of the season is as strong as this episode we will be in for a very good season. Stay tuned true believers!
Season 3, Episode 1 (S03E01)
The Flash airs Tuesday at 8PM on The CW
A lifelong film enthusiast since he can remember, Brandon is a indie filmmaker/screenwriter and freelance critic who resides in Trenton, NJ. Feel free to hit him up on Twitter to talk movies, shows, and music (especially hip-hop) .
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Brandon Norwood | Contributor