TV Review: The Flash [S3Ep1] “Flashpoint”

ORIGINAL AIRDATE: 10.4.16

The Flash is back! And things will never be the same…

Everybody’s into time travel on television these days, but we comics fans know one thing: Barry Allen did it first. Except now, he’s learning some very tough lessons.

Barry is enjoying his new life. His parents are alive and happy, there’s a new Flash in town (Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West), Reverse Flash is locked up and things have never been better. Barry ironically still has to introduce himself to Iris, but when he does, they immediately connect. That’s when things start to go wrong.

Not between Barry and Iris mind you, but with Barry’s brain. He begins to feel his memories of the original timeline slip away. Reverse Flash (Matt Letscher) reverses the gloating that Barry was doing earlier by explaining to him (and by extension the audience) exactly what’s happening. This is one of the best uses of exposition I’ve ever seen. If there’s anyone watching the show that’s coming in cold to this season, Eobard Thawne explains exactly what’s going on. He keeps it all in context as well. This was really well done.The Flash Season Three Episode One Flashpoint

Nothing’s free in this world

Barry comes to understand that the cost of this new life is the old one. Every single thing he experienced in seasons one and two is going to go away. Including even his knowledge of his speed powers. Once that happens, this new timeline (and everything that comes with it) is going to be set in stone.

Barry doesn’t have a problem with that at first. His brand new relationship with Iris is going super smoothly. Wally is in action as the Flash (although everybody really thinks of him as Kid Flash). Then he meets Joe in this timeline. His stepdad is now a drunk, perpetually hungover and always late for work. Joe didn’t raise Barry in this new reality, and the cost of that seems to be Joe’s stability.The Flash Season Three Episode One Flashpoint

That old gang of mine…but not really.

Our hero starts making decisions for everyone else. As usual. He decides, after talking with Wally and Iris in the Flash Cave, that Wally needs his help to take down The Rival. He then seeks out Cisco, and quasi-kidnaps Caitlin. All while revealing Cisco’s now private lab to everyone, along with both his secret identity and Wally’s. And Team Flash? They instantly gel and start flowing as a team like they did in the original timeline.The Flash Season Three Episode One Flashpoint

It’s all good! …Maybe.

Team Flash will save the day! Some things never change, however, as Barry falters against The Rival. He doesn’t know what to do, nor how to do it. Iris gives him a pep talk, tells him that if she loves him in the other timeline, she believes in him in this one. Then Barry becomes the little engine that could, and tears down The Rival’s speed created cyclones. Joe West then shoots him, just like he shot Weather Wizard 1 in the Pilot. Barry reveals to Joe that The Flash is really his son Wally, and he’s been critically injured. Caitlin has the unfortunate task of telling the team that Wally’s super metabolism is not healing him. Barry realizes that other people are going to have to pay for the utopia he’s created. Barry decides to let Reverse Flash loose to go kill Nora Allen (Michelle Harrison). Again.The Flash Season Three Episode One Flashpoint

Flashpoint moves fast, but it’s just the beginning.

What’s clear once Eobard brings Barry back to the original timeline, is that it’s not completely the original. Joe is now bitterly estranged from Iris in this supposedly “restored” version. It’s then that we as the audience understand what’s going on: Barry has created a Butterfly Effect scenario. No matter what he does now, no matter how many times he changes the timeline, things will never be exactly like they were before.

Questions/Concerns

  • Did Barry do this, or did Eobard Thawne tamper with the timeline again?
  • Is this the last we’ll see of Caitlin? Certainly hope not.
  • This show isn’t the same without the magnificent Tom Cavanagh.

Barry’s going to have to work through all the stuff he changed, knowing that he’s the only one that remembers it being different. YIKES. Can’t wait for next week!

THE FLASH AIRS ON TUESDAY AT 8|7 CST ON THE CW.

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