The Flash Season 3 Episode 1 “Flashpoint”

10 Overall Score
Writing: 10/10
Acting: 10/10
World building: 10/10

Great tone|Perfect pacing| spot-on acting

Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells is missed

 

The Flash Season 3 Episode One “Flashpoint”

Starring:
Grant Gustin as Barry Allen/The Flash
Matt Letscher as Eboard Thawne/Reverse-Flash
Candice Patton as Iris West
Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow
Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon
Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West/Kid Flash
Jesse L. Martin as Joe West
Todd Lasance as Edward Clariss/The Rival

Written by
Greg Berlanti and Andrew Kreisberg

Directed by Jesse Warn

 

Eboard Thawne, The Reverse-Flash, is back. In stopping the villain from killing his mother, Barry Allen has created a new reality, dubbed “Flashpoint, by a the imprisoned (and taunting) Thawne. In this world Barry’s parents are alive. Wally West is Kid Flash, who along with his sister Iris, fights meta-human crime in Central City.  Cisco Ramon is a tech billionaire, operating out of the building once known as S.T.A.R. Labs. And Caitlin Snow is living a seemingly happy life as a pediatrician. But all is not what it seems, as Thawne warns of repercussions if Barry continues to forget his old reality; when yet another evil speedster (The Rival)  strikes, Barry must decide whether to live as Barry Allen or return to his universe as The Flash.

Pardon the pun, but season 3 of The Flash has hit the ground running. This first episode harkens back to the pacing and joy of the excellent first season and drops some of the doom and gloom that bogged down the uneven season two. It brings back the pure fun I had watching this show during it’s premier year.

That’s not to say it’s treading similar ground, just a similar tone. The story here is a new and fresh, using the DC’s comics Flashpoint storyline in concept only. The rest, like the best of the shows mythology, pulls and grabs from the Flash’s rich comics history to create it’s own dynamic. We’re introduced to new villain The Rival aka Edward Clariss . On the show, in appearance at least, he resembles another character, the recent “Black Flash” from the comics. Also Cisco Ramon is now a Bruce Wayne type billionaire, who hides a kind and altruistic heart behind his 1%er public persona. And Joe West is, surprisingly, a drunk and  seemingly  lousy cop. I did have one lingering question during the whole hour. Where is Harrison Wells? I was hoping for a hint or mention, but we got none.

The cast has also found ways to inhabit and portray their characters in both a new way, yet completely recognizable on a core level. The chemistry among “Team Flash” is still evident. The nuances we’ve come to know are still there, identifiable despite the characters occupying a new narrative place. Cisco is still Cisco even if he’s sort of a rich douche, and his meta-human name callout of “Weather Wizard” is the perfect illustrative touch.

What surprised me most about the show was how quickly it pulled the rug from under me. I was expecting at least a handful of episodes before Barry revealed himself and the truth behind this world to the people he cares about, but it happens roughly at the halfway mark. I was also surprised at the direction the show took, opting for that particular news to bring the core group closer, each character falling into their original roles organically and with a sense of fate guiding them. Last season would have had everybody fighting and/or moping. Here they are having fun working together and it shows.  Again, like season one, it’s the show willingly embracing it’s silver-age comic book origins and the characters natural optimism;  it’s not afraid to have some fun (keep in mind also that the Barry Allen Flash is universally credited as the first Silver Age character).

Not that it’s all cheery and cheesy. Bad things still happen, and Barry (as usual) must carry the burden of making an impossible choice. And it’s after things seem to be wrapped up in a “done in one” episode that the show gut punches us. In the final minutes, we learn that Barry’s efforts to undo his selfishness might be futile, as he returns to a still changed world. And we are first introduced to what I think is this season’s true “Big Bad” with one word scratched on a mirror (a great visual metaphor). The word is “Alchemy” and long term Flash fans will know what or who that could mean.

Flash season 3, in its first hour, has made me excited for Tuesday nights again. After last seasons many missed opportunities, it seems the show was found it’s footing again. Let’s hope this race stays it’s course.

*I’m introducing a segment for my Flash reviews, observations/questions I will call “Flashbulbs”

Flashbulbs:

-What happened to Eddie Thawne in this reality?

-Did Barry’s actions affect the whole CWDCU (Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow)

-On a second thought, I can’t help but think not mentioning Harrison Wells is a genius move. He was at the back of my head during the whole hour, and any Flash fan must have been thinking the same.

-How does all affect Earth 2?

 

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8pm on The CW. 

 

 

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Author: Manny Gomez View all posts by
Manny Gomez is a freelance writer based out of Florida's west coast. He obsessively reads interviews, binge watches TV shows, loves comics, movies, punk rock, hip-hop, stand-up comedy, detective novels and the mythology of baseball. His best friend is a dog. Follow him on Twitter @Manny1138

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