Coming off the heels of Season 2, the much anticipated Season 3 of The Flash announced that their first episode was going to be called Flashpoint! The popular DC animated film Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox left a big impression, so fans were very interested to see how that story would translate to television. Personally, I did not expect a complete rehash of the comic book series because of various broadcasting rights, as well as production costs, but I was expecting a little bit more from The Flash season premiere. I could really go either way on this one, it was just “ok” to me.
Episode 1 “Flashpoint”, begins with Barry going back in time to save his mother. This act creates a completely new timeline and alternate reality. Joe West is an alcoholic, Wally West also known as the Kid Flash is parading as the Flash with behind the scenes help from Iris, Cisco is a billionaire who runs his own tech company in the place of Star Labs, and Caitlin is an eye doctor. This team of friends and lovers are now strangers living out their own unique lives.
When a new threat called “The Rival” threatens the city, Barry knows that he must help in some way but chooses to keep his distance at first. It is then revealed that Barry is holding the Reverse Flash captive in a warehouse. Barry brings his captive some food, when the Reverse Flash warns Barry of the damage he has inflicted on the timeline and himself. Barry naively shrugs off the warning and believes that everything is how it should be – Barry has his Mom and Dad back, a date planned with Iris, and is free of the responsibilities of being The Flash, what could go wrong?
Barry starts to lose the memories from the original timeline, and for some reason or another, this is a bad thing. So Barry creates a new timeline to live in, but is distressed when he starts to lose the memories from the old one? Now, remember the reason Barry goes back in time to save his mom in the first place is because he wasn’t happy with his current timeline, so this makes us wonder: what timeline is Barry happy in?? Barry cannot accept the fact that his memories are fading and feels responsible for those who were not positively effected by the new changes in reality, like alcoholic Joe West.
In a spontaneous battle with The Rival, Wally West is injured and Barry comes to his aid. He starts to get closer to Wally and Iris even though they have no idea who he is. They realize they need to defeat The Rival and seek help from Cisco and Caitlin. Now this unlikely group of strangers bands together on a whim to defeat the ongoing criminal threat. Barry and Wally team up to face The Rival and are outmatched. The Rival stabs Wally, before Barry stops him.
Things start to look bad and Barry’s memories are still fading. This leads Barry to eventually ask the Reverse Flash to go back in time to kill his mother… again. The Reverse Flash accepts and takes Barry back in time to do the deed. When the original timeline is restored Barry reunites with Joe and Wally, but finds that some things are still not as they were. Iris and Joe are apparently not on speaking terms, indicating to Barry that not all is back to normal.
Although this episode was a little disappointing, it has some good qualities.
Starting with the bad – I was disappointed in the lack of source material they used for the episode. I didn’t expect much, but some fanfare, a cameo, or something would have been nice. I was also uninterested in Barry and Iris’ relationship. I feel like their interactions were cheesy, full of awkward one liners, and took up far too much of the episode. The villain, The Rival, was also dull and without much introduction or depth. The battle scenes were reduced to flashing blurs running around the city and anti-climatic finishes. The episode was unique, but just not anything special.
This episode does succeed in some interesting ways. I think the storytelling sets up an interesting path for the new season that is unique from what they have done in the past. This will entice old viewers to tune-in while attracting new ones; which is ultimately the main goal of a television show. We also get some awesome scenes with the Kid Flash in costume and I am looking forward to seeing him again. Alternate reality Cisco was also a lot of fun and added levity to an overall lackluster episode.
I definitely think it is worth a watch and I am interested to see where things go from here!
The Flash Season 3 Episode 1: 6/10