So the CW Superhero Fall Lineup starts with Season 3 Premiere of The Flash, entitled “Flashpoint”, the show got off to a great start, setting up conflicts for the upcoming season not just with new enemies but with the allies that Barry has come to know and love since the beginning of his crime-fighting career. The episode started off apparently, because time travel is always an interesting concept to keep track of, with Barry having lived 3 months in the new timeline he created in which his mother and father are both still alive, he’s still a CSI, and he’s no longer the Flash. Well, he still has his powers, but someone has taken up Barry’s fight against crime and is the new protector of Central City. Wally West is the new ‘Flash, or as Barry likes to playfully call him, ‘Kid Flash’ and I got to say, the costume looks pretty damn good and comics-accurate, almost a bit better than Barry’s, in my opinion. The new Big Bad for the season, however, looks like a Power Rangers villain reject and is called ‘The Rival’, I mean saying it out loud just makes it sound cornier. The Reverse-Flash has also been imprisoned by Barry for the last 3 months, kept as a prisoner and kind of allows Grant Gustin to show off a bit more of his playful cockiness that embodies what the Flash is all about. Little does he know that his actions, very selfish at heart, would have repercussions that would affect everyone around him. Cisco is now the richest man in America and an obnoxious douche, Caitlyn is an eye doctor who’s possibly even more stoic and polite than her original timeline counterpart, and Joe is an alcoholic who doesn’t take his job as a Central City detective too seriously.
Throughout the episode, there are little instances in which Barry has his memories practically forced out of his mind by the timeline he’s created and he is warned by Eobard Thawne that eventually this timeline would become permanent and his memories as the Flash would be gone forever. Thawne, aka Reverse-Flash, is played to perfection by Matt Letscher, such a menacing and dark performance that makes you hate him but also admire just how evil a villain he can be. Barry eventually reveals himself to both Iris, Wally, and Cisco as the original Flash and that they’re all part of an alternate timeline that he created. He also ‘kidnaps’ Caitlyn for good measure because after all, he has to complete Team Flash. The one scene in this sequence that stood out to me was Iris realizing her connection to Barry in essence, transcends time, and that it “escapes definition”, as Barry put it. Both Grant Gustin and Candice Patton really had their chemistry working in this scene more than any other one before in the last two seasons and it makes up for all the times where Barry was always dodging his feelings for her. Barry and Wally team up against the Rival, Wally holds his own till he eventually gets punctured in the rib by a pipe and then Barry has to get another classic pep talk from Iris to save the day when he has two F3 speedster twisters heading towards him, courtesy of The Rival. The pep talks are cliche at this point, but you really felt hyped up when you hear Barry tell himself that he is the Flash, an identity he was seemingly happy to get rid of in exchange for having his family alive and well. The special effects in the episode were top-notch as always, and if I didn’t know any better, I’d say the effects got a bit of an upgrade this season as the Twister Turnbuckle punch Barry delivered towards The Rival was a pretty cool sequence. With Wally in dire condition, Barry realizes he has to let go of his fantasy life and revert things back to the way they were, which means releasing Thawne, who taunts him into actually saying that he wants him to kill his mother again. The ending leaves a lot of questions to be answered, but we have a general idea the main villain this season isn’t a new speedster, but rather time itself. The consequences of changing time will be something that Barry will have to face constantly throughout the season and this premiere was an excellent way to start it off.
- Matt Letscher as Reverse-Flash (kind of makes you hope he actually becomes a Big Bad again for this season.)
- The Iris-Barry romance(finally, we get some actual proclamations of love going on, instead of just teases!)
- Flash/Kid Flash/The Rival fight (a bit more talking than I’m used to, but awesome special effects and great slo-mo.
- The Rival (the costume looks tacky, the acting reminds me of Weather Wizard in Season 1, and why did he just stand there and let Barry punch him?!)
Episode rating: 9/10
Season 2 of The Flash is now available on Netflix