Oh, Barry why do you insist on making so many terrible decisions? I asked myself this question as I settled into the season premiere of The Flash. With the cliffhanger of last season, I spent the whole summer biting my nails and wondering just how much Barry Allen messed up the timeline. Well, I got my answer with Flashpoint, the first episode of Season 3 of The Flash. Yep, Barry Allen is an idiot and has ruined everything with his good ole Barry logic.
Last time we saw Barry, his father had been murdered by the villainous Zoom, leaving a devastated Barry unable to work through his grief. After exacting revenge on Zoom, getting a confession of love from Iris West along with a sweet kiss, Barry decides that messing with the timeline will solve all of his problems. Without saying goodbye or consulting with his friends and surrogate family (Cisco, Caitlin, Joe, and Wally), Barry makes the decision to go back in time to stop the Reverse Flash from killing his mother.
This decision essentially creates an alternate reality where both of his parents are alive, he still works at CCPD, and he is free to pursue the love of his life, Iris West, without the excess baggage that followed the would be couple in the previous timeline. He also seems to enjoy the fact that he has an imprisoned Reverse Flash in this new reality who is the only other person beside himself that remembers the original timeline. Reverse Flash, as evil and conniving as he is, tries to drop wisdom on Barry on the severity of his actions in regards to fiddling with time. He tells Barry that this new reality is simply a mirage, calling it Flashpoint, and warning Barry that there will be severe repercussions to his actions. Barry doesn’t take the evil speedster’s warnings to heart, seemingly set on killing the Reverse Flash slowly with an endless supply of Big Belly Burgers. Instead, he spends time stalking Iris West (not my words, these are Barry’s mother’s words), ignoring hints from his parents that he needs to get his own place, and observing the fighting skills of Kid Flash, the protector of Central City and the brother of Iris West.
It’s not long before Barry realizes that his Barry Logic has once again created more problems than intended. After an interrupted date with Iris West (the chemistry between Barry and Iris is tangible and oh so cute), Barry starts to feel strange. He begins to lose his memories, and after consulting with the Reverse Flash, he realizes that every time he uses his powers, the more memories of the original timeline he loses. This is disconcerting to the scarlet speedster, who finally starts to recognize that his decision to change the timeline might have been unethical (duh!). This new reality might just be a mirage after all.
For one, his close relationship with Joe West is non-existent, with Joe being a terrible alcoholic who does not have a relationship with his children. This fact bothered me. I loved Joe West so much, and so when Joe came on screen as a mere shell of a man, I wanted to punch Barry Allen square in the face! I kind of think Barry wanted to do the same thing, especially when he sees that not only has Joe changed into a totally different person, but so has all of his friends. The new Cisco Ramon is the richest man in America (pretty cool), is a genius, arrives to work in private helicopters, and has an incredibly cocky attitude (not cool). Caitlin Snow still wears a lab coat but has no connection to any of her former friends and works as a pediatric eye doctor, while Wally and Iris West essentially have lost the loving father they once had. All these changes! Ugh! Not cool Barry, not cool at all.
Barry finally starts to come to his senses when Wally West, the new Flash or Kid Flash of Central City, is mortally injured. An evil speedster, The Rival, injures Wally and when Wally’s healing abilities fail to kick in, Barry makes the decision to return things to the original timeline, finally accepting that his mother has to die and that everything that happened in the original timeline was meant to be. The Reverse Flash obliges Barry’s request to kill his mother (poor lady, how many times does she have to die?) and uses the speed force to catapult them back to Joe West’s porch in the original timeline.
Once the Reverse Flash drops Barry off (Barry’s powers were weakened in the alternate reality) at Joe’s house, he laughs and makes a remark that things might not be exactly the same, as messing with time has serious repercussions. The Reverse Flash then zooms off, leaving Barry to greet Wally and Joe who are in the midst of sharing a beer in remembrance of Barry’s father, Henry Allen. This is when things get really interesting, folks. Iris West isn’t anywhere to be seen, and when Barry asks where she is, Joe storms off blaming Barry’s insensitivity on his grief for the deceased Henry Allen. Confused, Barry asks Wally what is going on, and Wally reminds Barry that Iris does not talk to Joe anymore. Horrified, Barry finally understands the Reverse Flash’s warning about the repercussions of messing with the timeline and asks himself what he has done. Yeah, WHAT have you done Barry?!
What will happen next week? Will Barry and Iris pick up where they left off? Or will their relationship suffer more erased kisses and roadblocks? Can Barry fix Joe and Iris’ relationship? Will Barry tell his friends what he’s done, and if he does, how will they react? Oh, and what was up with the ending scene where an invisible force etches the word alchemy into mirror of the Rival’s doppelganger? Is a new villain about to make his/her grand entrance? I have so many questions, and I’ll be biting my nails until next week to see what happens.
Jahkotta Lewis is a professional archaeologist, an amateur astronomer, and an aspiring writer. When she is not documenting Pacific Island archaeology, she spends her days hiking through native forests, spelunking within the depths of an active volcano, and watching/reading all things fantasy and science fiction.