Spoiler alert: Flash Season 3 Episode 1, Flashpoint. Also for past episodes from S1&S2.
The premier episode of the Flash Season 3 felt like it was almost completely disconnected from the series that I have seen so far, with Barry and Eobard Thawne being the only constants. This may have been intentional, seeing as Barry made a selfish decision and deserved to feel both whole and out of place at the same time.
Barry seems to have been so wrapped up in how good things are for him, that he hasn’t taken the time to seek out, and find out, if anything else is different for the people who used to surround him. Instead, he has spent his time nervously following Iris, (stalking: if his mother has anything to say about it), and trying to get what he had always wanted but felt unable to have at the end of Season 2.
I loved seeing Barry trying to get the courage to ask Iris out, it was adorable. Using his powers to steal Iris’ purse just to talk to her was typical Barry: whenever things are hard, he uses his powers to speed things along or try to put things right with a quick fix. The fact that Iris didn’t remember Barry’s name speaks volumes: clearly her and Barry would never be close at this point in time if Barry’s mother survives. It makes me wonder how they ended up married in the 2024 time line.
Barry does appear troubled that Joe is struggling. He has always loved Joe like a father, so I am shocked that seeing Joe late for work and getting in trouble doesn’t make Barry pause for thought, and maybe feel a little bit of regret over his actions to change the past. It seems that Barry’s optimism and determination to fix everything, such as when he tries to help Joe, blinds him to the reality of the situation. Things have changed and he can’t control everything.
Cisco is a billionaire in Flashpoint! (and was that Lisa Snart on his arm?!)
I was wondering how Cisco knows what happens when you mess with a speedster, when he has been keen to avoid getting involved in Wally’s crusade. His comment about vibrating hands makes me wonder if Cisco will always remember parts of alternative time lines, even subconsciously, as perhaps he does here. If Cisco does remember previous time lines in future, this could add a lot of friction later on in the series, so it will be something to watch out for.
Barry appears uncomfortable with his imprisonment of Eobard, but will go to great lengths to protect his family. He has not lost his sense of goodness: Barry still feeds Eobard, even though he doesn’t need to and the conversations are clearly awkward each time Barry sees him. Deep down, the hero in Barry must realise how messed up the whole situation is, especially as Eobard keeps trying to warn Barry that there will be consequences. Time will catch up to them and take them both down. Barry will forget that he is the Flash and the new reality will overwrite the old reality. Ironically, by dampening Eobard’s speed, Barry has protected Eobard’s powers and memories.
With the introduction of the Rival, another speedster, there are a lot of parallels between season one. Tornadoes, (two of them this time), Joe shooting the bad guy, Cisco commenting about Weather Wizard, and Iris inspiring Barry, believing in him just as she did when he was fighting Grodd. I hope that the Rival doesn’t set a precedent for the season. It would be refreshing to see an overall enemy who was not another speedster, one who could keep up with Barry and always be one step ahead, despite Barry’s speed. Perhaps, whoever or whatever Alchemy is, they will be someone else, something else.
Barry’s memory losses are upsetting and disturbing, but it takes Wally’s critical injury to make Barry realise that everyone else is paying for his happiness. Where it was once exciting to have another Flash, so that Barry did not have to worry about being a hero, it has now become real and scary. Wally, presumably, is dying or losing his powers, and when that happens, and Barry eventually loses his memories, there will be no Flash to defend Central city. Who else will pay for Barry’s happiness if this reality continues? When it comes down to it, Barry cannot bear the thought of others suffering because of him.
Although the Reverse Flash makes Barry ask him to kill his mother, he actually behaves pretty decently, considering he is supposed to be the villain. He lets Barry say goodbye to Iris, and it doesn’t look like he makes Barry watch him kill his mother. According to Eobard, when he drops Barry back in 2016, things are back to how they should be for him, but for Barry? We will have to wait for episode 2 to see what else has changed.
So far, it seems like aspects of Flashpoint are leaking into the world that Barry returns to, such as tension between Joe and Iris. From the preview, I can guess that Cisco’s brother died, and Barry wasn’t there to support him through it: which created a distance between them. It also seems like some aspects of Earth 2 are bleeding through into Barry’s world: Caitlin looks like she will get Killer Frost’s powers, which will be really interesting to see.
Flashpoint clearly hasn’t ended, it has only just begun.
Things to look forward to in episode 2:
The new CSI. I am really looking forward to Tom Felton’s debut, although a part of me suspects that he will be a bad guy because of Harry Potter! I have the same issue with Supergirl and Katie McGrath, because to me she will always be Morgana, from BBC’s Merlin.
Harrison Wells. Will we get Earth 2 Harry back, with Jesse? Or something else entirely? Perhaps a baseball player instead of a scientist? At this point I feel like anything goes.
In contrast to S1E1:
Season 1, episode 1 is one that I have watched over and over, because I loved it. It never gets old watching Barry gain his powers, having no one believe in him except the Arrow, and seeing an honest and good hearted Barry with good intentions, despite a bad past. I find it interesting how in Flashpoint, the contrast is clear. Flashpoint Barry is living in his ideal world and caring little about the consequences his actions have had on anyone else, because he is finally, finally, happy. It takes Wally’s critical injury for Barry to realise how selfish he has been, and to see just how many consequences his actions have had, and could have, in the future.
Honestly? Who can blame Barry for trying though? If you had the power to change the past and prevent a tragedy, wouldn’t you be tempted?
I think that, all in all, Flashpoint was a strong beginning. (If you ignore one major thing, concerning Eobard Thawne, which I try to explain here: One thing that bothers me about Flashpoint)
What do you think?