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‘The Flash’ Recap: “Paradox” (3×02)

Coming into tonight’s episode of The Flash (Air date: 10/11/16), we were most concerned with what has changed on this timeline.  How did Flashpoint impact this “new world”?  As the changes unfolded, we were given a sneak peek at what we can expect from Season 3 and man is it gonna be good!

WARNING-SPOILERS AHEAD.
Stop reading if you don’t want to know!

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Let’s start with what we know has changed thus far…because you know the writers will have more in store for us as the season unfolds.  We knew after the season premier last week that something had changed between Iris and Joe.  What we didn’t know was that in this timeline Iris didn’t know her mom was alive until after she died.  Not only did she seem less forgiving of Joe in this timeline, but she seems to have less tolerance for any deception…but why???  We will come back to this later.  Needless to say, this new Iris is not gonna take any crap from anyone. We like her new, tougher character, even though it was hard to watch.

Tom Felton as Julian Albert
Tom Felton as Julian Albert

Next we find out that Barry not only has a new guy working with him in Forensics for the Police (actor Tom Felton), but he is a metahuman specialist that apparently does not like Barry. We find out later in the episode it is because he doesn’t trust Barry (he knows he’s hiding something).  Ironically, we personally find this new guy super-shady and look forward to seeing just how his character will evolve this season. We’re sure there is more than meets the eye to this guy…as The Flash writers are notorious for this.  It will be interesting to see where they go with this character as he is not in the comic books so the options are limitless.

Something that may have deeper-reaching repercussions is that when Barry went to Star City to seek Felicity’s help, we stumbled upon the fact that Diggle now has a son named Jon that appeared to be at least 5 or 6 years old, NOT a daughter that is a baby. What does this mean? Could those in the Arrow universe have other changes and repercussions that we have yet to see?  Could the actions of Barry have caused the Arrow team to split?  We are not sure if or when we will get answers to this…but it is an interesting idea that could be further explored down the line on either Arrow or The Flash and is important to note.  Also, how will Felicity knowing about the changes affect things remains to be seen.  One thing we know, we love when they crossover shows, but when you add time travel to the mix, it gets messy.

THE FLASHProbably the most heart wrenching change is that Cisco’s brother, Dante, has died from a drunk driving accident in this new timeline.  It takes Flash a while to figure out why Cisco is so mad at him, and when he does we both immediately saw the potential for far-reaching effects (namely Vibe). While Cisco does not find out in this episode that it is Barry’s actions of saving his mother that caused Dante to die, Cisco is already upset that Barry would choose to save his own mom, but not his brother.  The Cisco in this timeline, while retaining a few sparks of the old, upbeat and witty Cisco, is much darker and angrier then we are used to.  When Cisco eventually finds out (because we are pretty sure he will), is this what will cause him to become Vibe?  While it seems that they are starting to mend their relationship by the end of the episode, we are sure there will be more to come of this whole thing down the road.

f2We also find out more about the characters Rival and Alchemy, which were introduced in the last week’s premiere.  We learned in this timeline that Dr. Alchemy (thank you Cisco for that name) is creating metahumans for some upcoming event which, as usual, is unclear.  We know that he somehow changes regular humans through a process that involves transformation that leaves behind their old selves (literally leaving husks-think like a snake shedding its old skin).  When they analyzed these husks, there is no dark matter found. Meaning, that the transformation is not a result of the particle accelerator.  This revelation, while seemingly small, is probably the biggest story of this episode. Why? Because Dr. Alchemy is able to create metahumans without the particle accelerator.  Is he an agent of the speed force trying to right Barry’s wrongs? Is this the speed force’s way of merging the two timelines?

While we may not know the full answer, we do know that it seems there is some merging of the people from Flashpoint and their doppelganger characters with this timeline.  How so?  Well, Cisco seems to have more of a dark side, as did his doppelganger in Flashpoint.  As we mentioned earlier, Iris is less forgiving then she was before, as her other doppelganger was in Flashpoint.  And the big news was that Caitlin apparently has the abilities of Killer Frost and has told NO ONE.  Oh yes, you read that correctly… Caitlin has Killer Frost’s abilities. Will she be Killer Frost or just a shadow of her with her abilities? Will Cisco turn into Vibe, the dark version?  One thing is certain… nothing is certain.  The cracks that Barry caused will be far reaching and permanent according to Jay Garrick of 1998.

Courtesy of IMDB and the CW

The great cameo we got was when Jay Garrick came in halfway through the episode while Barry attempts to go back and “fix” the things he messed up. It was awesome!  Jay literally pulls Barry from the speed force on his misguided attempt to fix the timeline to impart some wisdom and keep him from screwing things up even more.  Using the metaphor of a broken cup, he explains that you can put it back together, but it will never be the same; the cracks will always be there.  He implies that going back in time is an abuse of the speed force and that “we are not Gods, we are men” and that as speedsters they have to decide what kind of hero they will be.  Obviously, Barry listens and does not go back to “fix” it and decides to deal with the mess he has created…but the real question will be how big of a mess will he be left with?  We liked that the characters all decided not to know what the differences are. Even though you know they have to be curious, they realize knowing will only lead to more heartache.  It will be interesting to see if they eventually find out over time, because we know Barry can’t keep a secret to save his life.  The impact of those changes and the knowing will be at the crux of this season.

The episode ends by mimicking how the season finale ended in season two with Barry and Iris kissing on the porch.  Is this the merging of the two timelines or the timelines trying to fix itself?  These paradoxical questions will run rampant this season and will make for some great episodes to come.

Courtesy of IMDB and the CW

 

Our final rating in two words is: Well Crafted.

 

The Flash returns next week (10/18/16) with and all-new episode: “Magenta” (3×03)


The Flash 3×02 “Paradox” Extended Promo – Barry (Grant Gustin) realizes the effects from Flashpoint are much greater than he thought. Meanwhile, Barry meets new co-worker Julian Albert (Tom Felton) and is surprised by Julian’s immediate disdain for Barry. Ralph Hemecker directed the episode written by Aaron Helbing & Todd Helbing (#302). Original airdate 10/11/2016.

Garrett & Melissa Anderson
We are a mother-son writing team that absolutely loves the world of superheros and especially The Flash. With Garrett's comic book knowledge and Melissa's background in writing, it just made sense to team up and start a blog on something we both love together!
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