THE FLASH “Paradox” Review

– by Michael Connally
Passing the Torch

Passing the Torch

Can you live with the mistakes you make?

Last week we saw the emotional impact of Barry making the decision of going back in time and saving his mother from dying.  With an alternate timeline, created by Barry, we saw a life where Barry had his family and wasn’t the hero of Central City but after some time in that life he realizes that the new reality is not much better.  His selfish decision to save his mother and then reverse that event has altered the timeline to create a blend between the original and Flashpoint timeline.  It is not until the end of last week’s episode that Barry realized that he would never be able to go back to the original timeline.

After Barry realizes the present timeline he returns too is not the timeline he originally left he makes the decision to go to Felicity and confide in her of the changes he has made to the timeline.  This is the part of the episode where I had the hardest part understand the direction the showrunners and writers went with.  With “Flashpoint” having such a huge impact on every character in the DC Comics Universe we saw that Barry’s decision to reset the timeline only had an impact on DC TV Universe was Diggle’s child being a boy instead of a girl.  This was such a wasted opportunity that could’ve made television history.  Also out of all the people that Barry could’ve gotten advice from I didn’t like that it was Felicity.  This was a wasted opportunity for Barry to get advice from Oliver who has gone through the same type of problems (ex. Not killing Slade on the Island would’ve kept his mother alive, Not telling Felicity about his son ruined his chance at marrying Felicity, Not telling Thea that Malcolm was her real father almost ruined his relationship with his sister) could’ve seen these two heroes bond over their decisions that have altered their life.  Barry could’ve have even went and gotten advice from Rip Hunter since he was a Time Keeper and the decision that he had to let his wife and son die to preserve the Timeline. 

The saving grace in the episode is when Jay Garrick pulls Barry out of the time portal and shows Barry that he will never be able to repair the mistakes he has made.  I am glad to see the writers of the show find a way for John Wesley Shipp to still have a role on this show.  He truly has grown in his role on the show as Barry’s true conscience and advisor.  I hope that we get to see more of Jay Garrick’s Flash on this show.  As a fan of the original Flash TV show it is always nice to see John Wesley Shipp in a Flash costume.

It seemed that the major butterfly effect from Barry’s actions were the different arguments going on throughout the team.  Pre-Flashpoint everyone was relieved that Zoom had been taken down with Barry being the only one hurt from his actions.  Post-Flashpoint Barry was the only one who seemed at peace with all the events that had taken place.  The biggest change amongst the team was Cisco’s anger towards Barry for not going back in time to save his brother Dante from killed by a drunk driver.  The argument between Iris and Joe didn’t really make sense to me since the discovery of Iris’s mom being alive was addressed so early in Season 2 that would’ve made this argument last more than a couple of weeks.  Barry focused so much on Cisco and Iris that he didn’t notice that his actions had an affect on Caitlyn as well.  It look’s like we will see Killer Frost once again at some point on the show. 

The Post-Flashpoint Cisco seems to have the biggest impact from Barry's decisions.

The Post-Flashpoint Cisco seems to have the biggest impact from Barry's decisions.

Another Flashpoint effect was the introduction of a new character Julian Albert played by Tom Felton.  The introduction of Julian is a mystery since he is not in Barry's life pre-Flashpoint but we do know that he is an expert in meta-humans.  Something that is different about Julian as well is his disdain for Barry which is something new since every character on this show has loved Barry.  Their exchanges throughout the episode really showed off the tension between the two and will result in something big this season.

 Just like every major villain that has been introduced on these show the introduction of Alchemy left more questions to be answered.  It seems that Alchemy like Barry is trying to combine all of the timelines Barry created into one massive timeline where all the meta-humans are back.  If Alchemy is successful we may see some of the meta-humans who were either killed or lost their powers come back to the Flash universe.  The first of Alchemy’s meta-human return was Rival whose time on last week’s show was small as the same as this week’s.  The important concept to understand is that Barry’s alteration to the timeline seems to have an affect on more than just Barry’s close friend and relatives.  Edward Clariss who was the Rival in the Flashpoint Timeline seemed to have mental/dream affects in the new timeline similar to what Cisco was going through when Barry altered the timeline back in Season 1 where Harrison Wells killed Cisco.  With Alchemy unleashing Edwards power from Flashpoint it seems that he is trying to build an army to go up against Team Flash.  With two years focused on speedsters being the main villains it is nice to see a different villain to challenge Barry.

Overall this show and episode really does show the impact of time travel and how changing the past for selfish reasons doesn’t really make life much better.  For two full seasons we have seen Barry live his life in the past always living in guilt with his decisions in the past.  Now it looks like Barry has finally come to a point in his life where he has to live with the decisions he makes right or wrong.  My hope for this show is that we begin to see Barry start traveling to the future and we get to see events that we may not get to see in the show.

TV, Reviews The Flash, The Flash Season 3, Flashpoint, Pardox, Barry Allen, Alchemy, Rival