The Flash Season 3 Episode 1 Review: “Flashpoint”

The Flash Season 3 Episode 1 Review: "Flashpoint"

After another successful season, The Flash is back and Barry has, yet again, messed with the timeline. In the closing moments of the show’s sophomore season Barry Allen chose that he was done following the rules and wanted to finally do something for himself; saving his mother. The Flash is a very enjoyable show but the last season struggled with some repetitive plot points, a dip in the quality of dialogue and a weak villain in Zoom. With the announcement of the third season opening with the famed “Flashpoint” story, there’s a high bar to live up to now. One of Barry’s biggest flaws is his naivety in the rules of time and the speed force; despite seeing a speed force demon take out Jay last season, and hopefully “Flashpoint” will be the final time Barry has to learn this lesson. Yet, the one best thing about The Flash is that it never stops being a ton of fun, and an alternate future is, at the very least, going to be just that.

The premiere episode focuses on Barry’s life in the new timeline where he has both of his parents back and while that’s incredible for him individually, it changes around a ton of different stuff in the timeline as a result. In the three months that have passed (which is revealed to be how long Barry has spent in this alternate timeline) Barry has just enjoyed life as a normal person for once because there is a separate Flash to take care of the bad guys. It was actually really refreshing to see Barry operate normally for once without always having to worry about someone or something causing a problem. While he’s still a little naive for thinking everything could work out just fine, it’s nice to see Barry functioning in such a basic happy way where he is satisfied by simple pleasures like his job, spending time with his parents and mustering up the courage to ask Iris out. That’s one of the biggest reasons The Flash does so well, because of the charm and chemistry that the cast all have, which is highlighted in this episode in different ways than viewers are used to.

As for Barry and Iris, they have no relationship at all aside from having gone to school together as kids. She barely remembers him and even gets his name wrong, but Barry’s awkwardness wins her over in the end. “Flashpoint” actually nailed the relationship between Barry and Iris and included what was probably some of their best interactions ever. Essentially it seems like the two characters are truly fated to be together eventually, and to watch that falling into place so naturally when they have barely known one another in the timeline was charming. However, on the other hand it’s also a little upsetting that Barry so willingly accepted that he would have to completely reform his relationship with Iris and has no care towards the deep connection they shared in the previous timeline.

Really all Barry tries to do in “Flashpoint” is have the perfect life by reshaping things to include everything he needs to be happy. Both of his parents are alive and they are a happy family, he has reconnected with Iris and at least started a relationship with her, he has Thawne locked up in a speed-proof container, and Barry hasn’t even lost his speed, at least not yet. Despite the choice to exhaust a plot point even further and have Barry mess with time, it seems that this is going to be the grand finale for that lesson. Despite finally thinking he fixed things, the new timeline starts to overwrite the previous one and suddenly Barry cares about everything he’s lost. He will remember his former relationship with a character and in an instant his old memories disappear, right up to his memory of being The Flash and having super speed. Barry is one of the most selfless superheroes, especially on television, and while his character can prove to be very naive, he will always sacrifice himself for the good of others. He quickly realizes that his perfect reality is a nightmare for others; Joe is an alcoholic about to lose his job at the CCPD, Wally is killed the first night Barry discovers he’s Kid Flash and even Caitlin seems to be wasting the full potential of her brain.

It’s moments like this that make The Flash so great, because Barry will never sacrifice others for his own personal happiness. While he believes to have finally won, the episode forces the hero to aid in the murder of his mother for the greater good of everyone else. “Flashpoint” succeeds as an episode because it gives Barry proper closure and goodbye with both of his parents after they have been stolen away from him too early. His line about being okay when he returns to the (more) normal timeline is nice to hear because he has finally come to terms with the fate of his parents, but at least Barry was able to spend three normal months with them. Sadly though, this is no time for Barry to celebrate, because it turns out his fix didn’t fully restore his previous life and now it turns out Iris hasn’t talked to Joe for a long time, to the point where mention of her ruins Joe’s night and pisses Wally off. Yet, this is what makes The Flash season 3 seem so promising after it’s first episode; Barry fully witnessing the butterfly effect and the ramifications of his actions should finally push him to respect the rules of the Speed Force. They say, “you never really know what you’ve got until it’s gone,” and Barry is experiencing that first hand, because while the time spent in the alternate timeline may have given him the closure he desperately needed, what will it cost him going forward, and will he be able to fully restore everything to normal?

Other Thoughts:

  • Despite being rich and arrogant, it’s nice to see Cisco’s need to name villains is something subconsciously hardwired into him.
  • Thawne making Barry say he needs him to kill his mother out loud was pretty savage.
  • It will be lots more fun to see how the ripple effect comes into play with Arrow and Barry’s relationship with Oliver.
  • The Flash Season 3 Episode 1 Review: "Flashpoint"

One Response

  1. Tomc-Bost October 5, 2016

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