TV Show Review

TV Review: THE FLASH: Season 3, Episode 1: Flashpoint [The CW]

Grant Gustin Keiynon Lonsdale Flashpoint The Flash

The Flash Flashpoint Review

The Flash: Season 3, Episode 1: Flashpoint had high expectations as the show tried to tackle the famous comic book storyline Flashpoint Paradox. The second season finale ended on a major cliffhanger that would soon have repercussions for Barry Allen (Grant Gustin). After losing his Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp) to one of his enemies, Barry decided that enough was enough and went back in time to save his mother from Reverse-Flash. After that shocking end to season two, most comic book fans immediately knew where the next season was leading into. Season 3 kicked into high gear with their version of Flashpoint. For those who loved the comics, don’t expect the episode to run exactly like its source material with the only relationship being the circumstance of the event.

What could’ve been nice would be if the storyline for Flashpoint incorporated the other three DCTV shows on The CW by making this a multiple-episode installment. The Flash could’ve utilized their other heroes like Green Arrow and have him replace Batman’s role from the comics and have Supergirl fill in for Superman. All of these heroes would end up working together with Barry to help undo his mistake in rewriting history. Once that was settled, we could have a new DC Universe that merged two Earths from both the Arrowverse and Supergirl’s to create a new reality just like the New 52.

However, with all the information that the executive producers provided in the last few months, this was obviously something that won’t happen. This version of Flashpoint ended up being much more personal and less life threatening than we thought. This would be considered a much simpler version of the famous comic book storyline. This was something that everyone would be fine with. This whole episode wasn’t treated like this big event with all these heroes coming together. It was all about Barry’s personal journey on what matters most: Fulfilling his own needs or those around him.

Even though we didn’t get the big team-up or dangerous world that we saw in the comics, but it did give us an emotional outcome due to Barry’s actions. The show managed to tap into the important aspects of Barry, which is his relationship with his parents. By changing things in the timeline, Barry managed to create this perfect world where both his parents are alive. It was the only good thing that could’ve possibly happened to Barry. After all he faced during the past two seasons, it was great to see Barry happy and finally at peace.

The problem is, there was also something missing in this new world that Barry has become a part of. He got his parents back, but he lost the other important relationship that his old life made it worth his while. His relationships with Joe West (Jesse L. Martin), Iris West (Candice Patton), Cisco (Carlos Valdes), and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) have disappeared. Instead of protecting Central City, Barry has left that part of his life behind and gave the mantle to Kid Flash. What was great about this version is that it wasn’t just about changing one’s life but more on accepting the emptiness in this new reality. Grant Gustin has done a superb job in his performance. While he was happy, there was that uneasiness that grew inside of Barry throughout the episode.

‘Flashpoint’ had some fun showing how everyone’s lives were different in this alternate universe. Just like Earth-2, it was enjoyable to see the cast in a different persona. We got Joe who has become an alcoholic and always not doing his job. Cisco has become this obnoxious billionaire. Caitlin is now a simple entomologist. Iris and Wally have become what is the new Team Flash. Carlos remained as the comic relief of the show with his new role. Even getting to see Jesse as this colder version of Joe was fun to watch.

The only character who hasn’t changed so much in this new timeline was Iris. Candice Patton got to play the same character but with some noticeable differences. Iris on this alternate world is more confident and aggressive than what we usually see in her character. It would be a step in the right direction if the show pushed Iris into this kind of a person on the show to give her more of an edge. This also gave Barry a chance to finally get together with Iris with this fresh start.

One of the biggest highlights of the episode was Wally West (Keiynon Lonsdale) who got to dress up as Kid Flash for the first time. It’s great that the costume was taken straight out of the comics mixing both the original Wally West and some of the new version as well. It was entertaining to see Barry and Wally not getting along when they first meet. Hopefully this is something that we get to see in the normal timeline if Wally becomes Kid Flash over there.

The only complaint that fans have with the show is introducing too many speedsters. It was hectic when they introduced a new speedster named The Rival (Todd Lasance). It’s already bad enough that we will be getting another evil speedster this season rather than using this whole batch of other villains that The Flash mythos has. There’s no problem with Lasance in the role, but hopefully we get another villain in the mix that doesn’t have speed. Luckily we have Dr. Alchemy about to come in the picture this season on top of speed demon Savitar.

Matt Letscher pulled off another fine performance as Reverse-Flash in the episode. It’s a difficult job to pull off playing a costumed villain, but Letscher brought in so much anger and rage in his character. He’s definitely someone to look forward to seeing in other parts of The CW DCTV shows this season.

Overall, ‘Flashpoint’ ended up being an event on a much smaller scale than it’s comic book counterpart. ‘Flashpoint only shared a common thread with the source material. This would’ve been better as a two-episode storyline rather than cramming it into one installment. Putting a big storyline into one hour came out as a hasty character arc for Barry. We got to see Barry realize that this perfect life he made for himself can’t stick forever. Having Barry make this realization felt rushed and the show could’ve invested more time into that journey. More build-up could’ve been done for Barry as he was about to make the most difficult decision of his life. The best part of the premiere was seeing the characters in different personalities and Barry’s emotional journey. Even though we didn’t get to spend enough time in the alternate timeline, there was still plenty to like about the premiere.

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About the author

Mufsin Mahbub

**Fired from FilmBook for Plagiarism**
Mufsin is a freelance writer from New York who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism at Long Island University. He has written for publications like HollywoodLife, Clubplanet, and Heavy. He is an avid lover for everything related to TV and film. He has gone to dozens of film screenings, press events, and loves to attend New York Comic Con every year. He gives an honest opinion on every TV show or film that people are going to be talking about.

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