“FLASHPOINT” – Review of THE FLASH Ep 3.1

We’ve been waiting all summer for this…the third season debut of THE FLASH! When we left season two, Barry had run all the way back to that pivotal moment in time to save his mother. “Flashpoint” Promo ClipWe knew there would be consequences…and with an episode titled “Flashpoint” we knew everything would be different. What does the TV version of the “Flashpoint” world look like? How awesome is this episode? Want to learn more? Follow us after the jump!

NOTE: This review is being posted prior to the airing of THE FLASH on the West Coast of the US. If you haven’t seen the show yet….PLEASE wait until after you see the show to read on!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

We begin with a recap of how we got here…then move to the new reality where Barry has never met Iris. He’s getting ready to remedy that when the news breaks that Kid Flash (!) is battling The Rival. Barry speeds off to join in, but realizes that he may not be needed…and that’s just great with him.

Everything in the early part of the episode leads Barry to believe he’s made the right choice. His parents are alive and deliriously happy (though they are ready for him to grow up and leave the nest). He gets a date with Iris, and there is a speedster in a yellow and red suit who seems to have things under control. Thawne is trapped in a cage that keeps him from escaping, but that doesn’t keep him from trying to get under Barry’s skin.

Thawne knows that everything has changed…but he knows something more. The more Barry uses his speed, the more memories he will lose…and if that continues this new “Flashpoint” world (Thawne’s term in this show) will become fully cemented in place.

Barry wants nothing of that, even though things begin to show that aren’t so pleasant. Joe West appears to be an alcoholic in this existence. Cisco may be the world’s richest man, but he’s a real jerk. Caitlin is a pediatric ophthalmologist, though she does play a role in parts of the effort to stop the Rival. And Wally?

Oh yeah, Wally is Kid Flash…of course!

In this Flashpoint world, it’s Wally who gains speed. He wants to be known as The Flash, but his sister Iris named him Kid Flash in the papers – and she is helping him in his crime-fighting efforts. Cisco did contribute the uniform but wants nothing more to do with stopping bad guys.

Eventually, Barry realizes what he is losing…his memories from his life before…and then things go from bad to worse. They do eventually stop The Rival (named Edward Clariss, just like in the comics)…but Wally looks to be dying. Barry eventually realizes that his happiness is coming at the expense of almost everyone and everything else.

The one good thing…besides seeing his parents? Iris in this reality realizes what she and Barry meant to each other. They do share a moment…then go to visit his parents one last time. All that’s left is to “make things right”…by letting Thawne loose to kill Barry’s mother!

The scene that follows is every bit as intense and frightening as you could possibly imagine. What follows leads us back to…no, not the New 52 (though there was a report from “News52” at the beginning – thanks to Joe “Geronimo” Gagel from TMStash.com for pointing that one out to me). But, it’s not last season’s continuity completely intact either.  Thawne foreshadows that when he leaves Barry at the West’s door…and when Barry goes in he learns that Iris and Joe don’t talk anymore (?!)

In the epilogue, Edward Clariss is being told “time to wake up” by….someone scrawling the world “Alchemy” on a nearby mirror….YES! It looks like we are already getting ready for some “Big Bads” for this season.

SUMMARY: This was a great visit to a “Flashpoint” world…and handled in just the right way. Once again we get to see this outstanding ensemble cast portraying alternate versions of their characters flawlessly. The core of each character is still there…but you see the significant ways their now-different life experiences have affected them.  This episode avoided the easy traps that could have turned “Flashpoint” into a gimmick – no attempts to stretch the alternate “Flashpoint” timeline into multiple episodes, and yet we still realize there are consequences to changing the past. Not everything will neatly fall into line, and we are only beginning to see what that means. Here’s where we know we are…Thawne is still alive and still has his speed. The Rival is being called to “wake up” by what we presume to be Doctor Alchemy. There is a very different dynamic in the West family, for reasons we have yet to learn. And…we have the beginning to another amazing season of THE FLASH!

For this Flash fan, it was the perfect beginning to Season Three – it more than lives up to every expectation, and this reviewer cannot wait for what is coming up next!

That’s my take – what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

16 thoughts on ““FLASHPOINT” – Review of THE FLASH Ep 3.1

  1. Lee H

    Great season opener – much stronger than season 2’s.

    Something that might be noteworthy – originally, Thawne got stranded in the year 2000 after murdering Nora. This time around he seems to have escaped that fate. (The Thawne that got knocked unconscious faded away.)

    If Thawne never got stranded in the 21st century, then he’d have no reason to kill Harrison Wells and take his place. So is the original Wells still alive? According to Thawne in season 1, the real Harrison Wells didn’t complete his particle accelerator until the year 2020, which would negate pretty much everything of the past two seasons.

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  2. Golddragon71

    One of these days I want Barry to have a confrontation with Thawne where he refers to their conversation in Reverse Flash returns and basically tells Thawne that he let himself become the villain rather than be the Flash of his own time. granted it won’t change anything that happens when he tells him this but it will pretty much dig at Thawne because he’ll see Barry was right all along.

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  3. Tim B

    No mention of “Captain Mendez” the Flashpoint police captain? Played by Alex Desert … Julio Mendez in the original Flash with John Wesley Ship!

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    1. Kelson

      I kept thinking, “I recognize this guy’s voice, but I can’t place him…” Once I realized who he was, I thought it was a perfect way to bring him in. I like the idea that the current series and original series are connected just enough that some of the same people are living similar lives.

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    2. Golddragon71

      I was going to say something but I had to double check it first. The funny thing is that Desert was not credited as Julio/Captain Mendez on imdv Tuesday night when the episode aired. It wasn’t Until Wednesday Morning that he was added to the cast list (probably so as not to give away the surprise.) I for one was very Happy about it and Posted a comparative picture on the Tv Show’s Facebook page. This of course leads us to ask what happened to Captain Singh? (was he killed during Zoom’s big metahuman army attack? is he on his honeymoon with his husband? etc…)

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  4. Dallin Turner

    I was underwhelmed. The Flashpoint world didn’t seem that bad at all. So Joe’s an alcoholic, so what? Both of Barry’s parents are alive and well, and now he has a fellow speedster to team up with. In the comics, you clearly saw the pressing need for Barry to set things right since billions of people were being killed in a world war. Here? I think things were fine. I’m serious — just stay in this reality. Let those past memories go, learn to accept this new world, get Joe the help he needs, and everything will be nice and peachy, right?

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    1. Kashmira

      Even though Barry was extremely happy with his new life in this alternate timeline he would have lost his memory of being the Flash if he continued to live in it and I guess that’s where we see he realizes that being the Flash is his life. Even though his parents are dead, he would rather have his old life of being a hero and saving everyone over his new life.

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    2. Kelson

      Let’s see, we have:

      – General public: about the same as far as we can tell.
      – Allen family: Much better (2 of them alive instead of dead)
      – Iris: About the same
      – Wally: better until he’s severely injured
      – Joe: Worse
      – Caitlin: Vastly different career, but we know nothing about her personal life or which she would prefer given the choice.
      – Cisco: Super-successful, but a bit of a jerk
      – Wells family: We don’t know, but apparently he sold the STAR labs facilities before finishing the particle accelerator that was to be his life’s work. Then again, that may be better than being killed and impersonated.

      So really it comes down to the Allens or the Wests: Barry saved his parents at the cost of Joe & Wally – though we don’t know if Wally would have recovered, and they’re all *alive* at this point.

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      1. Kelson

        Speaking of Caitlin, I liked the fact that even though she became a specialized MD instead of a PhD, she still had the insight that made her part of the superhero support team.

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      2. Dallin Turner

        Yeah, the show did not provide a compelling reason to go back and change things. I’m convinced that everyone would have been better off in this new reality. They could have healed Wally if they wanted. And Joe could have recovered, as well.

        I also want to complain about the weak ending of this episode. When everything is allegedly back to normal, Barry is shocked beyond all belief to learn that Iris isn’t on speaking terms with her father. Oh no! Dramatically collapse on the couch and wonder, “What have I done!” Guess what, Barry, that is a very fixable problem on this show. Remember how Wally wasn’t on speaking terms with Joe? And how long did it take to fix that? You just need a couple of heart-to-heart conversations, shed a few tears, and everything will be back to normal.

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  5. Rob

    The last two seasons were an alternate timeline created by Thawne when he travelled back in time and murdered Nora Allen and Harrison Wells and his wife. For all we know, this new alternate timeline that Barry created by saving his mother may be closer to the original timeline than the one Thawne created. I guess it’s a mute point now. Sucks for Barry though.

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  6. Kelson

    After last season’s finale, I wanted them to get through Flashpoint as fast as possible. After this episode, I wished they’d explored it more thoroughly, maybe another episode or two to put more weight behind his decision to let Thawne go back. (But seriously, how much worse is it to let a killer finish the job than to prevent yourself from having stopped him?)

    The inconsistent rules for time travel have been frustrating with this show. I know they’re no less consistent than the comics, but in a less sprawling continuity it’s more annoying. The one thing I do like is that there are always unintended consequences to it. It should keep it from being overused as a deus ex machina.

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    1. Dallin Turner

      I was hoping Flashpoint would be a three-episode EVENT. Considering how big a deal it was in the comics, and the animated movie, I assumed it would be equally as important in this show. But in the end, I don’t think you could even call this Flashpoint. It’s just your run-of-the-mill alternate timeline story.

      And my head starts to hurt when I try to consider how many times Barry and Eobard went back in time to kill or not kill Nora. But the ironic thing, though, is we still haven’t seen the original Barry/Eobard fight that led to the murder in the first place.

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  7. Steve

    They totally chumped Wally throughout this entire episode. Disrespected by all the other characters as being the inferior Flash and then killed off very quickly. This episode will disappoint anyone looking forward to Wally’s first in-uniform adventure. Glad the original came back in the comics, because otherwise these would be some bad days for Wally fans.

    Reply

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