The Flash Review: “Flashpoint”

The Flash returns, as Barry Allen comes to terms with the alternate timeline his actions have created.

Title: “Flashpoint”

Directed by Jesse Warn
Written by Brooke Roberts, Greg Berlanti, and Andrew Kreisberg

Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash
Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West / Kid Flash
Candice Patton as Iris West
Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon
Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West
Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow
John Wesley Shipp as Dr. Henry Allen
Michelle Harrison as Nora Allen
Matt Letscher as Eobard Thawne / Reverse Flash
Todd Lasance as The Rival
Alex Désert as Captain Julio Mendez
Tobin Bell as the voice of Doctor Alchemy

Premise

Barry happily exists in a new timeline where his parents remain alive, Wally West is the Flash, Cisco Ramon is wealthy, and Eobard Thawne has been restrained.

However, Iris remains a relative stranger to Barry, who just wants her to know who he is. Far worse, another evil speedster plagues the city, Joe’s life has fallen apart, and Thawne warns of dire consequences if the new timeline remains intact.

High Points

Whatever my issues with the basic premise of this episode, Thawne actually seems quite menacing, and they’ve opened up a number of possibilities for changing the series reality without throwing aside everything we’ve watched in the previous two years.

Here’s hoping Kid Flash becomes a part of the Team.

Low Point

It isn’t easy coming to terms with the plot-logic of time-travel. Was the new timeline really so bad? Cisco may be a dick, but he finally has the wealth he should, by rights, have earned in the original timeline. Barry’s parents are alive. Wally got to be a hero, even if he died in the process. And the world doesn’t appear to have waves of evil metahumans. Does any given timeline have to happen, other than in service of the series? It’s not like the comic book Flashpoint, where the death of Barry’s mother prevents a war that saves millions (billions?) of lives.

On a more positive, if ominous note, things haven’t worked out quite yet for Barry Allen….

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 The show borrows from the comic’s long history of time-travel shenanigans, and pits the Flash (once more) against villainous speedsters.

It’s also that episode where an SF/Fantasy hero has to set the timeline right, at great personal cost.

Effects: 5/6

Acting: 4/6 The acting is uneven, though Carlos Valdes shines as Rich Jerk Ramon.

Story: 4/6

Emotional Response: 4/6 Time Travel’s effect on death holds here: we cannot feel too much for anything likely to be undone. Even Barry’s decision to let Thawne go back in time feels weaker than it should. Perhaps we should have seen more of him with Nora beforehand?

Production: 5/6 Vancouver’s Central City looks solid as ever.

Overall: 5/6 While I don’t plan to watch every CWDCU show or episode, I am looking forward to the inevitable four-series crossover.

In total, “Flashpoint” receives 29/42

Note

I’ll be reviewing the premieres and select future episodes, most weeks will feature a general CW DC-verse discussion, posted on Wednesday. We encourage your reviews and comments.

4 replies on “The Flash Review: “Flashpoint””

  1. Fez says:

    I liked seeing Thawn again and some actual consequences for time travel. Though the handling of time traveling and memory has always been a weird point to think about. Iris was not quite as annoying as usual in this episode, too. But that ending has set things up well for future episodes to deal with other reactions. Hopefully between all the other differences, it means Patty will come back. I liked her.

    Unfortunately it seems like TV execs have jumped on the idea with at least two other time-focused shows this year — Frequency and Timeless. I don’t plan on watching Timeless but I did watch Frequency last night. It was OK, the movie was clearly better but it could be self-contained. I fear they’re going to stretch the premise much too far. I’ll give it a couple more episodes but I’m not hooked yet.

    • JD DeLuzio says:

      I wonder if in the revised timeline, Iris and Wally haven’t switched places in terms of their relationship with their father. It might help sell Barry ‘n’ Iris if they weren’t de facto siblings, and it would help establish a Flash/Kid Flash rapport.

      Of course, it all might get reset again.

      I also wonder if they would be so bold as to have an actual merge with Supergirl Earth?

      • Fez says:

        My money is on it all being reset again except for the merge with the Supergirl universe by the end of the season, probably by the 4-episode crossover.

        I’m still not sure if I’d rather Supergirl (and a couple of her crew) should move to this universe, taking up shop in the E1 equivalent of their current city, or if somehow she is just considered to exist in the same universe after whatever “event” happens. The latter may be much more difficult to rectify in terms of prior events on each series, but the former would be much more difficult when considering actors’ contracts, sets, etc.

        • They don’t have to unite the universes. They’ve already written it so they can hop between universes as easy as they can cities, so why bother putting them all in the same universe? It wouldn’t help with Legends of Tomorrow, anyways.

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