Welcome to season three, where we can finally find out just how bad Barry screwed up the timeline! We know that we’ve entered Flashpoint, but what exactly will that entail? Just how bad is bad?
We start in our favorite coffee spot, Jitters, where Barry Allen is being ignored by our favorite journalist, Iris West. Maybe in season one this would fly, but we just left them with a heartfelt moment. Barry needed time before dating again, but the love was there! Quickly, we find out what Flashpoint really means. Iris doesn’t know Barry at all, and he completely fails at even saying hello to her! This feels like some weird fever dream–everything seems to have gone back to how it was.
Can’t think about that for too long before we’re dragged onto the scene with The Flash and The Rival While Barry still has his red streak, it turns out he’s no longer the Flash of this timeline, which means Barry doesn’t have to worry about the city anymore. He’s just the forensic wiz kid at CCPD–who is incredibly nervous to ask out Iris. We haven’t seen this Barry in so long and it’s refreshing to head back to season one’s lovesick Barry. At least he has success in this world! Grabbing a date with Iris has to mean this is a perfect timeline, right?
We quickly learn Barry’s “new” life comes with some strings attached. It turns out that when Barry saved his mother from being killed by Eobard Thawne by running him to a factory to keep him locked up… forever? I don’t know Barry’s plan, other than that he brings a good burger to keep Thawne alive now and then. While Thawne’s powers are diminished inside his glass prison, we’re given a warning of what’s to come–a hint that it won’t last forever.
Barry has everything we always wanted for him: a perfectly happy and content life with two loving parents in a great home. It’s obvious that he’s a little spoiled by looking at those large fluffy croissants, and the fact that his parents are ready to kick him out.
Now that we have a little more background on the bad (hopefully that’s all that’s bad), we learn that Detective Joe West isn’t at the top of his game in this world. He’s late, for what seems like the hundredth time, and this new chief isn’t happy. Where is the loving, supportive, hard working, awesome father we know?! Passed out drunk at home surrounded by food. Barry remembers his Joe, and can’t help but intervene by cleaning and dressing him for work. It’s quickly apparently that Joe has no idea who Barry is, and would rather keep it that way. It seems that we have at least two timelines where these two don’t get along, which is a shame when they make such a good father-son pair!
Okay, to heal the pain of losing this pair, Iris and Barry are finally going on their date! This I can handle. It begins so nicely–less awkward than their first interaction. All goes smoothly until Barry, thinking of his Iris, begins to lose memories of her. That can’t be good. We don’t have time to think about this tiny hiccup too long because The Flash and The Rival are at it again, and suddenly Iris must take a rain check. Hmm, this seems familiar… The secrets of this timeline are unveiling themselves. As The Flash falls from a building and Barry fails to save him, his secret identity becomes clear. It’s Wally West! Okay, we all knew that one, but seeing Barry surprised is always fun.
In this world, Iris and Wally make up a brother-sister duo taking on Central City’s metahumans head-on. Iris being a reported for CCPN makes it easier for her to put the word out that The Flash means business. As for Joe… we’ve all seen him. He’s a drunk who has no idea what is going on.
By now I’m itching to find out what Cisco and Caitlin’s roles are in this timeline, and we jump into this new Cisco’s world by walking into Ramon Industries! Uhm… what? You mean Star Labs, right? Nope. Cisco is a high-powered billionaire of this huge science company with a beautiful lady on his arm, but seriously lacking fashion sense (guess this world isn’t so perfect). He’s brash and quick to cut off our new trio, reminding them that they aren’t welcome. Barry can remember a different Cisco, one who cares about family and friends, bringing up a memory that is shared in this timeline as well. However, just as quickly as it’s there, it’s gone!
Barry is losing his memories of his own timeline, becoming more permanent in this one. Thawne, laughing because this is some sick joke, tells Barry that in order to preserve his speed and memories he must be returned to the time he killed Nora Allen. This poor kid relives his mother’s death as much as Bruce Wayne.
Barry, being Barry, decides to ignore all of this and throw himself into helping Iris and Wally defeat The Rival. He reunites the team of Cisco, Caitlin, Iris and Wally to get this problem down. He explains how his world works, and how this one came to be. It’s a little overwhelming for this newly formed group. Despite any complaints, the group seems eager to help.
The gift of this episode is something I’ve waited two seasons for: Iris talking about her love of Barry. It’s an incredibly sweet scene that gives beautiful relationship development. Hearing Iris speak from the heart about Barry reminds me why I’m into this ship for the long haul. As beautiful as the scene is, it’s a bit misplaced in terms of how it fell into the episode.
Back to plot! It’s time to take on The Rival. With The Flash and Kid Flash hitting him head-on together, they’re sure to finally bring him down! Or so one could only hope, but Wally becomes seriously injured, leaving Barry to take on The Rival on his own. With encouraging words from Iris, Wally finds the inner strength to take down The Rival and end this conflict.
Barry has ruined so much for his own happiness–Wally won’t make it–and he has finally realized how selfish he’s been. Barry has to grow up, return the timeline to the way things were, and work through his pain in a way that won’t destroy everyone else’s life.
And we have to see Nora Allen die one more time. Every season we relive her death over, and over, and over. Barry, please look into therapy so we can move onto healing.
Part of his healing begins with taking Iris to meet his mom and dad. It’s bittersweet, but Barry is lucky that he’s allowed to live in this fantasy world of what could have been.
Thawne gets his way, we have to see Nora die, and Barry has to face a world where he has lost both his parents. If this is a sign of the roller coaster of a season we’re about to have, I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle it. Thawne leaves us with one last warning: Barry will have to wait to find out how things have changed in this timeline.
While it seems like an empty threat at first, a flurry of actions proves that to be wrong. Iris isn’t at the West household (she doesn’t talk to them), The Rival is awoken in this timeline, and we’re left wondering how can this get any worse?