I feel like this entire time travel element of ‘The Flash’ needs to take a break, because it’s kind of depressing after a while and only makes us want to tear our hair out when Barry makes another mistake in changing the lives of those around him and he never seems to learn his lesson. Let’s hope Jay Garrick knocked some sense into him! Anyway with that little preface out of the way, “Paradox”, kept the entire…well…time paradox theme going when Barry discovers that while he did go back in time to let his mother die at the hands of Reverse-Flash again to reset the timeline, certain things were different in this new ‘Flashpoint’. Iris and Joe are apparently estranged, Cisco is upset with Barry over not going back in time to save his brother Dante, and there’s a new crime scene investigator in the form of Tom Felton’s Julian Albert, a character that I honestly think served no purpose but it’s only his debut episode. The way the episode started off though, had a bit of ‘The Usual Suspects’ vibe with Barry recounting his new experiences to Felicity in a much-needed, albeit short-lived crossover that also injected some humor into the early goings. There was a cool Easter egg in the revelation that Diggle had a son named John rather than a daughter named Sara in this new timeline, referring to the ‘Legends Of Tomorrow’ John Diggle Jr. that would become Connor Hawke and the future Green Arrow. May this possibly mean this is the new timeline that will stay for a while and possibly signal a potential story for the crossover with the ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ cast? time will tell…pun intended. Carlos Valdes really got to stretch with some dramatic scenes this week, particularly with Barry and everyone in this show really knows how to turn on the waterworks when it’s called for, and even make us sad along with them. Jay Garrick said it best as he lectured Barry on the dangers of time travel in a weird detour to 1998, “We’re not gods, we’re men.” Barry has these abilities but has to understand that he’s also a man who’s fallible, prone to making mistakes that he cannot always fix even with good intentions. Barry eventually tells the whole team that they are the product of a new timeline that he created as a result of going back to save his mother. Meanwhile, the Rival, who I’m already starting to get tired of, is drawn to another Villain: Dr. Alchemy who can apparently give him back his powers as a speedster and has a ‘Jigsaw’ kind of feel, ironic since the voice is none other than Jigsaw himself, Tobin Bell. The 2nd half of this episode kinda ruined things a bit in the sense that it was mostly the Rival talking trash, and doing dumb things like taking off his mask and then putting it back on while still keeping the whole vibrating voice thing going…like dude, Barry knows who you are, and you’re not scaring anyone with that voice. Doctor Alchemy has me kind of hopeful in the sense that he seems to work with magic, a factor that would be interesting to see against a hero such as the Flash. Seeing Cisco as Vibe and tag-teaming the Rival with Barry was also a cool sight, and one you hope to see in sooner future episodes rather than later. Barry admitting his selfishness and mistakes eventually brings the team to forgiving him and Iris reconciling with Joe, something I think couldn’t have lasted more than one episode because like I said, it’d be too depressing after a while. As the show wrapped up, the final tease was seeing Caitlyn reveal what was different about her in this new timeline: she is Killer Frost! though hopefully not as evil as her Earth-2 doppelganger. Dr. Alchemy apparently has use for the Rival too, though I hope they still somehow incorporate Reverse-Flash back into the fold. We got a preview for next week, as Jesse Quick comes back…with speed powers! So far, so good. Let’s see what next week holds in store for us!
- Dramatic acting on the parts of all actors, especially Carlos Valdes and Grant Gustin
- Iris and Barry finally kiss–and hopefully this one won’t be erased from existence!
- The Return of Killer Frost!?
- Tom Felton – just comes off like an ultra douche, a wanna-be Doakes to Barry’s Dexter by stating he doesn’t trust him.
- The Rival – again, just cheesy acting and dumb moves on his part, I get that Zoom did the same thing, but this guy is just a waste of cool speedster powers.
- Not enough time in the Arrow crossover to see what else Barry may have changed
- What were Wally’s changes….? They could’ve teased that too, although Dr. Alchemy may eventually restore his powers.
Episode rating: 8.3/10
Season 2 of The Flash is still on Netflix, but check out the CW app for recent episodes, available for free!
The Flash airs every Tuesday at 8 P.M. EST on the CW.