The Flash Paradox Review
The Flash: Season 3, Episode 1: Paradox served up as a great follow-up to the season premiere ‘Flashpoint’ as we learned the aftermath of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) trying to reset the timeline back to normal. Barry learns during the episode that always trying to fix the timeline won’t always work the way he wants it to be. After going through time to fix what he had done, there’s going to be unprecedented consequences for that. The repercussions of the timeline became the focal point for this episode. We also got to find out how the timeline has affected Arrow as some changes were made but not as serious as we thought.
Barry pretty much has a lot on his mind as he tries to adjust to this new timeline that he created and the changes that took place. We find out that Iris West (Candice Patton) and Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) have drifted apart after Joe lied about her mom being dead. Cisco (Carlos Valdes) isn’t much of himself after mourning his brother’s death. We also have this new CSI named Julian Albert (Tom Felton) who is working at Barry’s lab. There’s also the return of The Rival (Todd Lasance) along with a new metahuman baddie by the name of Doctor Alchemy. That is a lot to handle for Barry.Seeing that Barry’s memories from the old timeline remain in tact shows that he’s just as surprised about the changes as the viewers. It was entertaining to see Barry realizing all the weird alterations in this new timeline. However, this new universe had become much darker than the one we are used to. That was because characters like Iris and Cisco are going through some heavy stuff in their lives and Barry has to deal with the fact that he has ruined their lives. The episode gave Barry a very well thought out arc for him. Barry understood that messing with the timeline is unpredictable, dangerous, and selfish on his part. If he just let the timeline take it’s course, none of these changes would’ve taken place. It will be a heavy burden for Barry to carry, and it will definitely affect the chemistry he has with the team.
Barry got to learn about these consequences through Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp). ‘Paradox’ was a great return for John Wesley Shipp as he got to play a different character from his other role as Barry’s father. Even though he only had a few scenes, the episode managed to develop this new bond that Barry and Jay share as speedsters and hopefully the show can build on it more down the line. It may have been weird for Barry to chat with the man who looks just like his dead father, but Jay acted more of a father figure to Barry when he passed on some life lessons to his young protégé. Shipp managed to pull off playing Jay as a man who is different from Henry Allen but had the same mentality as him.
It was even more enjoyable having Emily Bett Rickards appear as Arrow’s Felicity Smoak. It’s great that the Arrowverse are working so closely together this season. Adding to the fun of having Barry and Felicity interact, the episode also got to show how much of an impact Barry’s actions has on Arrow as well. It makes us wonder what sort of other changes Barry has created due to his time meddling.
‘Paradox’ managed to put in some great drama into the episode. Cisco’s storyline was very personal, as we never got to see him in a depressed state. It was even better seeing Cisco suit up as Vibe and helped Barry against The Rival and Doctor Alchemy. It was weird that Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) didn’t get affected by the new timeline, or so we thought. After seeing that Caitlin has started developing powers, we can start to see her sudden transformation into Killer Frost pretty soon.
Nothing dramatically changed with the Wests, which was quite disappointing. We kind of expected Iris to have a major change after how the premiere ended. ‘Flashpoint’ would’ve been the perfect way to alter Iris’ personality just like her Earth-2 counterpart. It was kind of a drag that the only change that occurred was Iris ceasing communication with her father after lying about her mother. With these two finally moving past that, it’s like nothing really changed for them.
The episode stood out by bringing out two new villains for Barry’s new world, adding to The Rival coming back. In the workplace, we have Barry’s bad-tempered new co-worker Julian Albert. With Felton having experience playing the rival to the protagonist in the Harry Potter films, it seems like this role was made with him in mind. There’s also a mystery to this guy, which makes him a very good addition to the cast. He could be connected to Alchemy or he just doesn’t like Barry so much.
We got to finally meet Barry’s second villain Doctor Alchemy, who is voiced by Saw’s Tobin Bell. His costume needs some work, but his ultimatum does stand out. He seems to be the only one besides Barry to notice changes to the timeline. However, he is determined to make sure these changes stay in the new universe. We may want to know why he recruited someone like The Rival. Perhaps both Alchemy and Savitar may be enemies to each other?
‘Paradox’ overall served as a great way to continue the ‘Flashpoint’ storyline. There were some funny moments as Barry finds out the small changes that are happening in this new universe. But the episode mainly focused on the fractured Team Flash as Barry tries to fix things. Even though the episode didn’t go too deep into the drama, it still gave some nice plot points to add. The changes in this new timeline may be endless, so it will make us wonder how much of a change Barry has caused to those around him.
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