Thursday, October 6, 2016

The Flash - Flashpoint

After choosing to go back in time and stop the Reverse-Flash (Matt Letscher) from killing his mother (Michelle Harrison), Barry (Grant Gustin) has settled into his new reality. With another speedster fighting crime as the Flash, Barry's life is mostly good. Both his parents are alive and in good health, his arch-enemy is locked up and can do no further harm, and he and Iris (Candice Patton) hit it off when he finally gets the nerve to reintroduce himself to her. The only thing troubling Barry are visions of his true timeline which is slowly slipping away, a version of Joe (Jesse L. Martin) he doesn't recognize, and missing the chance to play the hero for Central City.

In choose to reveal himself to Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale), AKA "Kid" Flash, and Iris, Barry dons his red suit again and reassembles the team including a billionaire Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and a less-successful Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker). Working together to stop another speedster (Todd Lasance) the two Flash's first team-up doesn't go well as Wally is critically injured. Given Wally's injury, Iris' concern, and Joe's alcoholism and depression, Barry chooses to release his enemy and reset the timeline before this "Flashpoint" reality becomes fixed.

Named after DC Comics' Flashpoint event in which the DCU was completely turned upside down by Barry racing back in time to change the past, this version is far more low-key (no Atlanteans and Amazons threatening to destroy the world). While Caitlin's less impressive career path can be understandable (there's no Harrison Wells to help guide her in this reality), Cisco's rags to riches story is a bit too over-the-top. Aside from Wally (who would likely heal) and Joe (who is a dickish alcoholic but otherwise fine) people are doing pretty good in this new reality. I'm not sure the episode adequately inspires Barry to reset time and effectively kill off both his parents.

If Barry's choices become rushed the outcome offers new opportunities to explore. Even after setting things right Barry returns to a reality that isn't quite the way he remembers. Just how the Flash will go about fixing things this time (more time travel?) will be interesting to see. One final note - with neither the original nor Earth-2 version of Harrsion Wells present the team does feel like it's missing a vital piece. The CW has confirmed Tom Cavanagh will be returning, but given Barry's time-reset we still don't know which version of Wells we are likely to get.

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