In its first two seasons The Flash has, for the most part, been able to balance the quirky humor and fun with more serious issues and ideas. The show has invited us in to its world and made us actually care about the characters and what goes on in their lives. The season three premier continues with this trend and while it wasn’t a jaw dropping episode by any means, it laid down some interesting ideas on where the show might be going.
We pick up right where season two left off, with Barry coming to grips with the new reality he has created by yet again, changing the timeline. He becomes comfortable with Wally West as Kid Flash, starting a romance with Iris and of course, his parents being alive and well. However, time travel is always unpredictable and Barry soon realizes that his wonderful little life has one giant problem, that being the Flashpoint. It begins to affect those he cares about and soon he realizes that maybe changing the timeline for his own selfish reasons wasn’t such a great idea after all.
While in this new timeline, we meet a villain speedster named The Rival, who comes across as a lame version and overconfident version of Zoom. His actual importance to the whole Flash universe has yet to be determined but really, he didn’t do much for me in this episode. Conversely, the evil ass hat that is Eobard Thawne is wonderful and has some great dialogue with Barry. I hope they keep him around for quite a while as he makes a lot of sense and intelligent enemies are hard to come by at times in this show.
The humor kicks in full force with Cisco as cocky billionaire who wants nothing to do with Barry, Kid Flash or anyone else unless it will make him more money. Barry’s idea to kidnap Caitlyn and reunite the team, all in an effort to defeat The Rival is a lot of fun, as is his trying to explain the Flashpoint theory, especially to Iris. It was a great reminder of how these groups of actor’s works so well together and are very believable, warts and all.
In the end, Barry realizes that things must go back to the way they were and to add insult to injury, needs Thawne’s help to make it work. Having to reset the timeline and it’s brutal reality, plus watching Thawne speed away was a bitter pill to swallow for Barry but he did it. It was very comforting to me though, to see that he couldn’t just waltz back into his normal life without there being some consequences from his little experiment with time. Again.
The final clip let us in on the name of the new villain as well who for once is not a speedster. As much as I love Reverse Flash and Zoom (for the most part) this is a nice change of pace.
While the episode was solid, I found the whole ‘Flashpoint’ story line to come and go far too quickly. I don’t know what they plan to do with it going forward but it seemed a bit too tidy for me. I mean really, when has screwing with the timeline ever ended up being a good thing?
Four out of five stars
- Actors continue their wonderful chemistry together
- Great balance between humor and serious plot lines
- New villain looks intriguing
- Screwing with the timeline is getting a bit old
- Iris is back to being annoying