Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Flash - Paradox

After altering time to save his parents and then attempting to reset things back to normal, Barry (Grant Gustin) finds home isn't the place her remembered. Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Iris (Candice Patton) are estranged, Barry still hasn't made a romantic move on Iris, Cisco's (CarlosValdes) brother is dead, and Barry has to deal with another Central City employee (Tom Felton) in his lab. Even a heart-to-heart with Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) doesn't calm the Flash's nerves or give him any insight on how to set things right. And his attempt to gather Joe, Iris, Cisco, Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale), and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) for a dinner party to work through their mutual problems doesn't go exactly as planned.

Barry also has to deal with Rival (Todd Lasance) who has retained memories of the other timeline and, thanks to the season's new big bad Doctor Alchemy (Tobin Bell), has regained his speed and is looking for a little revenge. Thankfully, Barry gets some good advice just when he needs it from an old friend - the real Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp). Although brief, the scene is an important stepping stone in the series by explaining how Barry's time traveling fracture reality and why he can't simply try another reset chasing a timeline he may never find again.

Taking the other Flash's advice to heart, Barry comes clean to his friends and family and helps to mend fences. I'm glad to see Rival's return is short-lived and that the show is embracing a major non-speedster villain this season. Although his true endgame isn't revealed, the fact that Alchemy is aware of the alternate reality and is responsible for restoring powers to those who had them in "Flashpoint" means new challenges for Barry... and a possible sidekick before too long. Cisco using his powers in public, Caitlin's hidden secret, and the return of two more supporting characters next week, also suggest things in the lab could get very interesting this season.

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