The Flash is DC’s television adaptation of the comic book of the same name. It airs Tuesday nights at 8/7 Central on The CW. Our writer, Nicole Drum recaps the series each week updating you on the latest episode here in The FlashBack.
Season three is finally here! Unfortunately, despite the collective cry of “Barry, don’t do the thing” from everyone in the fan-verse, Barry did the thing from the last season and raced back to the night of his mother’s murder, stopping it. I’m sure Barry thought he was doing the right thing but everyone knows you can’t just mess with the past and expect the present to be perfect. Last night, Barry got his perfect world and we got to see just what that looks like. Brace yourself, Flash fans, because we’ve got spoilers after the jump. Welcome to Flashpoint.
Central City. We’ve even got a speedster battle! However, that blur isn’t the Scarlet Speedster. Nope, it’s a young man in yellow and our Flash’s in street clothes. Barry’s not the hero here. Barry does have his speed, though, which we see him use as he strolls into Jitters and runs into none other than Iris West. Barry uses his speed to manufacture a reason to talk to introduce himself in meet-cute fashion. Barry, still himself, is adorable and goofy as he asks Iris out. And Iris? She says yes. Happy day!
Not a happy day? Something’s weird at the police department. Barry’s still a CSI, but Joe doesn’t seem to be around and it’s annoying the Captain. There’s not too much time to ponder that, though, because Barry has to handle some things. Remember Reverse Flash? Yep, Barry has him locked up and needs to take his time prisoner some food. Our Man in Yellow tries to talk sense to Barry, explain that time’s coming for them, that Barry jacked things up hard when he did the thing, but Barry? Not listening. He loves this life! His parents are alive!
They also want him to move out of their house, something they hint at during breakfast. After, Barry goes to work and Joe’s not there. This lack of Detective West is a problem for the Captain so Barry decides to use his speed to go get Joe. This, fellow fans, is where the first big gut-punch of the episode comes in. Joe’s not at work because Joe’s passed out drunk on the couch. Barry gets him cleaned up and gets him to work, but it’s something’s wrong. The two men have almost no relationship, a point driven home when Iris shows up to meet Barry for their date. Joe doesn’t approve and Iris doesn’t care. That relationship is broken, too.
On the way to lunch that meet-cute turns into brief, but deep, conversation about this budding relationship they have. It’s almost as though Iris senses something, but it’s cut short before she can sort it out. The Flash is battling the bad guy from the opening, the Rival. Cops are clearing the neighborhood for safety and Iris, well, she has to hurry away. Barry accepts this because he does, too. He runs toward the conflict and tries to offer help to The Flash of this world. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work. The Flash crashes into a garbage dumpster out cold. Barry takes the opportunity to unmask him and it’s Wally! Once awake, Wally and Barry are in what passes for The Flash’s lair chatting when Iris shows up. Yep, she’s in on her brother’s secret. She also agrees with Barry’s calling Wally “Kid Flash.”
Kid Flash or not, the heroes have a real challenge with the Rival. They need help, which means turning to the man who build the friction-free suit, Cisco Ramon. In this world, Cisco is a billionaire, owns what we once knew as STAR Labs, and appears to be super into juicing while super not into heroics. Barry uses his memories to appeal to Cisco’s heart, and it works. The band’s starting to get back together. Of course this is when we really recognize something’s wrong. Barry’s forgetting. Every time he accesses a memory it vanishes. Why? Reverse Flash has the answer, the timeline is setting. Soon, Barry’ll forget it all. He’ll lose his speed. This world will lock, something Barry is fine with. And the more he uses his speed? The faster it happens. So what does Barry do? Yep! He decides to reveal his speed, tell everyone what’s going on, and even kidnap Caitlin to come work on the team.
And now we roll towards the episode’s conclusion. Iris believes Barry’s tale and recognizes that the core of her loves him. She believes in him. This faith lets Barry spring into action as the Flash when Kid Flash is mortally wounded by the Rival in their final battle. The Rival almost gets the best even of Barry, though, until Joe shows up and shoots the Rival dead. With the enemy down, Barry reveals to Joe that Kid Flash is Wally and in bad shape. Back at the lab, Wally isn’t regenerating the way Barry does and it’s then that Barry gets it. Yes, he has his parents, but everything else is different. Barry can’t let this happen. Barry won’t let this happen. He and Iris go to see Barry’s parents one last time before going to fix things. Reverse Flash makes Barry ask for the death of his mother to set things right before Iris and Barry get a sweet, meaningful goodbye. She’ll see him soon, Iris says. They kiss, and a weakened Barry is literally dragged back to the past by Reverse Flash.
Goodbye, Flashpoint. Barry doesn’t stop the Man in Yellow from killing his mother. Nora dies, time snaps back into place with things being rewound to where they are supposed to be. Barry ends up back on the porch of the West house but Reverse Flash is there, not dead. Barry’s not shaken, though. He goes in, hugs Wally and Joe, happy to be home and at peace. Life’s good, and then he asks for Iris. That’s when we see that things aren’t right. Joe and Iris are on the outs. Some things are still broken.
And remember the Rival? Here in the correct timeline he’s awakened by some creepy disembodied voice calling to him and scratching “Alchemy” into the mirror. Hello, season three villain!
Were you surprised that they resolved Flashpoint so quickly? I know I am, but now I’m curious to see just how badly Barry really broke things. Next week it looks like we’ll start to see more about how things are different, so I’m interested in how things will develop. What are some of your theories about what will happen this season? Let us know in the comments! Until next week!