Everything has changed for Barry Allen in the touching, thrilling and shocking season three opener…
Things were left blown open by the final moments of season two – when Barry changed the timeline by saving his mother. It was a massive change to the show and it was all on season three’s premiere episode to deliver on that promise. Thankfully, it did. If not in scale, then in character beats and emotion.
First of all, just like the Earth-2 episodes from season two, it was fun to see the differences in the Flashpoint timeline – as well as Barry’s parents being alive, Joe is an alcoholic, Cisco is an obnoxious billionaire and Wally is Kid Flash. The real heart of the episode, though, is Barry’s growing understanding that something is missing from his life in this new world. In changing time to save his biological family, he lost the one he had made for himself. Telling such a transformative arc in one 45 minute episode did leave things a little truncated, but mostly it was well handled. The less said about the Rival, though, the better.
Apart from Barry, the episode also made use of two often underutilized characters. First of all, this is my favourite appearance of Matt Lescher’s Reverse-Flash so far. It has always been difficult for him to match Tom Cavanagh’s take on the role in our affections but here his pure hatred for Barry and the sickening delight he took from his tragedy was made plain.
And for WestAllen fans, much time was dedicated to Barry and Iris finding each other again. And for once it worked. The show has struggled to convince us of the pair’s intertwined destiny before but here Grant Gustin and Candice Patton’s chemistry really came through. It looks like they might have finally fixed any lingering issues with their relationship.
On the other hand, I have to admit that, when Reverse-Flash returned Barry to the West house at the end, I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get to spend more time in the Flashpoint world. But then I realised that we have a whole season to explore this new timeline – one that is mostly the same but with some key differences. The big one we know right now being that Iris and Joe don’t get along. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait til next week to see what else is new.