After many months of waiting, “The Flash” season 3 premiered on The CW, and it had the immense challenge of trying to combat some fairly intense expectations. The Flashpoint Paradox is one of the biggest stories in DC Comics lore, and we do feel like there is something that probably kept the network from going all out and spreading this across all of the shows as a lengthy event. Not all “Arrow” fans watch “The Flash,” so for that crowd, this probably would’ve been confusing.
With that, the writers did all they could to summarize their version of the paradox in an hour, and we’ll say that for the most part, it was fun. The show could’ve done more to explore various parts of Barry’s new, happy life if there was time, but it hammered down most of the important points to the best of its ability: Barry’s parents were still alive, and while he realized that he was happy, he did start to realize over time that the longer he stayed in this world and used his powers, he would not be able to remember his own past.
Eventually, he also realized that he needed to be a hero. A speedster known as The Rival was terrorizing Central City, and not long after connecting with Iris — who realized that something in her life was missing before meeting him — he teamed up with Kid Flash from this world (Wally) to take him on. The problem was that Wally was a little reckless, and that is something that he had to deal with in the throws of battle. Sure, The Rival is a bit of nothing villain insofar as this show goes, but the episode wasn’t really about him. We also had the Reverse Flash already out there antagonizing him.
The Rival eventually was defeated, and while Wally was badly injured, he was okay in the end. As for Barry, he had to go through even more emotional trauma: Going back in time to allow the Reverse Flash to kill his mother, and to change everything back to the way it once was. He realized that in the end, there was no escape from the pain of his present, and that’s a pretty darn emotional thing to realize. He made it back to his home, but there were changes. Specifically, Iris and her father Joe are no longer speaking. As for that cliffhanger, how’s that for a Dr. Alchemy tease?
As for some other odds and ends from “Flashpoint”…
-How could you not love Cisco’s billionaire montage, and him kissing someone who may have been Caitlin’s sister?
-Seeing Caitlin being a seemingly interest eye doctor not interested in any of this was also fun.
-Of course, this episode was a WestAllen ‘shipper’s delight.
This episode was fairly satisfying. We do think that “Flash” premieres are never as good as the finale when you’ve got a little more momentum, but we’re very happy with what the show managed to do here, even with a weaker villain in a relatively short amount of time. Grade: B+.
If you want to read our preview right now for next week’s “The Flash” episode, you can do so over here! Meanwhile, sign up over at this link to get some other TV news on everything we cover, sent right over to you via our official CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: The CW.)