Spoilers for The Flash
Barry Allen may have tried to restore the original timeline, but not everything remains the same. Iris and Joe don't talk, Cisco isn't himself, and Barry has a new lab partner. As Barry tries to maneuver this third timeline, he encounters a new villain who shouldn't exist at all.
"What kind of hero are you going to be? Are you just going to take a do-over every time you make a mistake? Or will you live with it and move forward?" -Jay Garrick
What I LikedFelicity
I was so happy to see Felicity in this episode. One of my favorite things about the CW superhero shows are the character crossovers. Plus it was perfect that Barry went to Felicity to express his frustrations and problems with the new timeline. Adorable.
(Oh my goodness.--source)Flashpoint 2.0
Okay, so I'm intrigued by the changes that this second--or I guess, third?--timeline reveals. Things are different and can't go back to normal. Barry trying to fix everybody's problems was adorably hilarious. Also, John Diggle has a baby boy named John instead of a baby girl named Sarah, which means this might be the timeline that the Legends of Tomorrow encounter in the future Star City! Could it be a connection point to that show? (Or am I just making things up?) I'm stoked to see if Barry's choices affect the other CW shows. (Hey, maybe, that will help link Supergirl as well. Apparently, anything can happen when time travel is involved!)
Yes! Jay Garrick might be sticking around. I think Barry needs someone--a speedster someone--to help mentor him. He's still kind of young and inexperienced. Jay Garrick, being the doppelganger of his father, seems to be the perfect person to help Barry become an even better speedster. His explanation of the time travel is spot-on as well.
"We're not gods. We're men, who for whatever reason have been given extraordinary abilities." -Jay Garrick
The new character, Julian Albert, is interesting. He's a meta-human specialist for the CCPD. He's Barry's new lab "roommate." They don't get along, which is perfect. And he's British. (He's also Tom Fenton, who played Draco Malfoy in Harry Potter, so that's exciting!) I like his character so far. (I mean, he's British.) I think it'll be good for Barry to have a sort of adversary that isn't a meta-human. At least as far as we know. I'm looking forward to see how his character affects the season. (Also what is the whole "husk" thing? I'm confused!)
(I can SEE his British accent.--source)Vibe and Killer Frost
While I was a little sad about Cisco in this episode (more on this later), I was delighted to see him using his powers to help Barry fight the Rival. There's hope that he will continue to grow into his abilities and maybe join Barry out on the field. Look at my little Cisco growing up and saving Central City (*wipes tears*). Caitlin, on the other hand, seems to be pretty normal in this episode--until her hand started freezing over! Will this be the origin of Killer Frost on Earth-1 or a new hero for Central City? Either way, I'm stoked to see what's next for her!
(She looks so worried. Oh, Caitlin.--source)
What I Didn't LikeCisco
I was really sad that Cisco didn't seem like himself. In the Flashpoint timeline, he was more himself as a billionaire than he was in this new timeline. We learn his brother, Dante, died, and Barry refused to change the past to save him. Cisco is harboring a lot of hurt and bitterness, and I don't like it. Toward the end, he starts to lighten-up, but I was worried for a while. Hopefully, he can learn to move forward like Barry has.
Iris and Joe
I was also sad to learn Iris and Joe weren't talking because Joe kept Iris' mom a secret from her. While I can understand why she would act like that, I don't know why she's doing it now since she didn't in the original timeline. However, my biggest complaint is that by the end of the episode it seems like they are on good terms again--although nothing significant changed that. I was hoping there would be a larger process to their reconciliation. But whatever.
Alchemy and the Rival
The Rival thread is just confusing at this point. In this timeline, Clariss doesn't have any speed powers until Alchemy--or Doctor Alchemy?--gives them to him. He's also very determined to be Barry's rival, but we don't know why. Is it just because he has visions of another timeline and he wants that timeline? Why? Why does he want to be evil? Why is Alchemy giving him powers to be evil? It doesn't make sense, and I don't like knowing. (*pouty face*) Calling himself the "Rival" because he's the Flash's rival is super lame. Also, why does his voice change when he puts his mask on? And why does he look like Eddie, but he's not Eddie? I'm. So. Confused. (And I'm a bit tired of the "another evil speedster" routine. Can Captain Cold come back or what? *sigh*)
Just like with the first Flashpoint timeline, I'm still a bit skeptical about the changes to the timeline. Why does Barry's mother dying or not dying affect certain outcomes like Iris reacting differently to her mother being alive or Dante getting in a car crash or that Caitlin suddenly is exhibiting her frost powers? I like the time travel and the paradox ideas, but I feel like there still needs to be genuine reasoning behind why certain things change.
(See? The timeline is broken not dramatically changed for plot reasons.--source)
Overall, I think this episode was good. It wasn't great. It wasn't bad. It was a standard TV show episode. I'm hoping as the season goes on we'll get more exciting things, but for now, I'm okay with how this is turning out. Barry is learning a lesson; he is growing as a speedster and a hero.
What did you think of "Paradox"? How do you feel about this new timeline?