When the second season of The Flash ended back in May, many people freaked out in real life and online at the thought that Flashpoint was about to happen. After watching the season opener, it is understandable why the changes in The Flash series did not affect the other shows. Given that it was the first-out-the-gate was not by chance — the series was able to stretch its legs in the opener, but leave the major changes behind, while subtle twists and turns will work their way into the main season’s storyline.
We pick up three months later with Barry trying to find the courage to talk to Iris again. It is obvious that there is more chemistry between the two that transcends
time and alternate realities. There are some other changes in this universe: Cisco Ramon is a billionaire, Caitlin is an eye doctor, and Barry’s parents are still alive.
For a majority of the episode, we can see Barry enjoying this life that he has carved out for himself. His own little piece of paradise, if you will. However, Joe West is not in the best shape and Barry is trying to help him out. In the meantime, Barry is following the new Flash running around town trying to defeat The Rival because he believes he is the fastest man alive.
The episode felt true and seemed to take its time letting people fill in their new existence, with the exception of Joe. All we noticed of him is that he was a drunk and unsure if he knew that Wally was The Flash or not. What we did manage to solidify in the episode was that he did not have a good relationship with his children.
Relationships are what make The Flash whole. The relationships between Barry and Joe. Between Caitlin and Cisco. Barry and Iris. All of those make the show worth watching. Seeing the disconnect of the main characters in this alternate reality, it is not a surprise that Barry would struggle to get the band back together to help out Kid Flash. Grant Gustin’s performance in the episode is stronger than we have seen before. You can spot the childlike awe when he looked around and his chemistry with Candice Patton was stronger than anything we saw in season two.
Eobard Thawne was the story’s foreboding character with nuances of truth and dark riddles, the true meanings of which, Barry would have to discover on his own. Matt Letscher’s performance as the Reverse-Flash is always so thrilling to watch and he seems to have fun in the role. It was unfortunate that he had limited time in the series during its first season due to Tom Cavanagh playing the character for a majority of the season.
The use of Thawne in the opener was better than many of the baddies used in the past two seasons. Many of the villains are used to help teach Barry a lesson and they are almost always the B-storyline. Using Thawne as a B-storyline benefited the episode as the undercurrent for not only what would happen in the episode, but what will transpire over the course of the coming season.
The idea that something would have to happen for Barry to want to restore the timeline would have to come at the sake of someone’s life. Barry had a sweet run without being The Flash, but he eventually discovers that he has been given this for a reason. The only thing that is a bit tired is that the main villains of the past two seasons have been speedsters and it seems that in season three there is going to be more of the same.
The compulsion of the Reverse-Flash to use Barry’s powers to get home made sense, but the overall Zoom storyline didn’t make sense until far later in the episode when many people stopped caring. We will see if the writers behind this season will note their mistakes from last season and take it in a different direction than they tried in season two. Season two was the weakest of the pair but there must have been something in the water because it was a pretty lousy season for Arrow as well. Maybe with all four series established, they will be able to focus on the growth and get back to basics.
All in all, I thought the season opener was solid and a definite improvement over the sophomore slump that many shows suffer. Season three for many shows is what will define a series. Anyone remember the first two seasons of Star Trek: The Next Generation? With a teaser of next week’s episode, it would seem that Barry has done more harm to the people around him than good for himself. Barry has the instinct to be selfish but when he does – it affects everyone else around him.