In ‘The Flash’ recap, Barry comes clean about his time travel experiment gone wrong and he runs into a new big bad haunting Central City…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
The short lived ‘Flashpoint’ storyline on ‘The Flash’ left more than a few viewers upset that the show didn’t delve deeper into the reset timeline after Barry raced back to save his mother from the wrath of the Reverse-Flash.
A great many people felt like ‘The Flash’ did a disservice to the ‘Flashpoint’ story by not spending at least a few episodes in this new reality, even though much of the comic book or even animated version could be adapted for the show.
Of course with ‘Flashpoint’ comes repercussions for the other shows in the DC Extended Universe, which means ‘Arrow’ would change and so would ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ as well as ‘Supergirl’, which debuted on The CW on Monday.
So in a flash (no pun intended) the timeline was changed again and everything was reset to normal. Or was it?
As witnessed in the latest episode, Barry’s actions may have taken some things back to the way they were before he left there have been reverberations that reached far and wide including the death of Cisco’s brother, Diggle on ‘Arrow’ having a son instead of a daughter, a new CSI tech suddenly appearing at the Central City police department and apparently a few new people being handed powers — including Caitlin, who suddenly had an icy touch just like her doppelganger from Earth-2.
It’s not exactly ‘Flashpoint’ like we expected, but things aren’t as normal as they once seemed.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘The Flash’ titled ‘Paradox’…
The More Things Change
Barry knows the reality he’s returned to isn’t quite the same as the one he left, but he’s trying to put back together all the pieces of the puzzle. Sadly, there are some things he can’t fix. For instance, Cisco’s brother Dante was killed by a drunk driver while Iris never forgave Joe for keeping the fact that her mother was still alive a secret.
There’s also a new CSI tech at the Central City P.D. named Julian Albert, who specifically works on metahuman cases and he doesn’t like Barry very much. As it turns out without even remembering this guy, Barry finds out quickly that he feels the same way about Julian.
Barry races off to Star City for a chat with his old pal Felicity Smoak, who he tells about his time traveling mishap and how so much has changed upon his return. That includes altering the ‘Arrow’ universe after John Diggle’s daughter disappeared and now he has a son. Felicity tells Barry that he needs to go back and fix this somehow so he’s no longer messing with the timeline and he can go back to being like pudding (you know, cause everyone likes pudding and everyone likes Barry just as much).
Barry is trying his best to put things back together, which is why he organizes a family dinner in an attempt to get everyone in the same room so he can somehow forge a bond between his friends and family, but it explodes in his face.
Iris isn’t willing to forgive Joe and Barry finds out that the reason why Cisco has been so stand offish and cold towards him was because he refused to travel back in time to stop Dante from being killed because it would upset the timeline. Considering what Barry just did to try and save his own mother, Cisco’s anger slices through him like a knife.
Barry is failing at putting things back together organically and things only get worse when he finds out there’s another speedster that’s arrived to terrorize the city.
Of course, Barry is truly shocked when he finds out that the speedster is The Rival aka Edward Clariss — the same speedster he first met in the ‘Flashpoint’ timeline a week ago, who shouldn’t even be a part of this universe. It turns out that mysterious sign from the last episode — ALCHEMY — is actually a calling card for a masked villain who helped Edward regain his powers and his memories from the other timeline before sending him after the Flash.
The Flash bests the Rival in battle, but can’t capture him and it leaves Barry with far more questions than he has answers.
Barry is called into a crime scene where a human size husk — a snake like skin that’s been shed — is found and Julian is already on the case. It seems a few of these shells have been found around Central City and they believe it has something to do with the metahuman surge they’ve been seeing recently. Barry has to steal a piece of the husk due to Julian’s selfishness about controlling the case and he takes the sample to STAR Labs to be examined.
When the DNA matches Edward Clariss, Barry is beginning to realize that the ‘Flashpoint’ universe is somehow bleeding over into this one.
Iris also realizes something fishy is going on when she sees footage from the encounter with Clariss and she calls Barry out on it and tells him to come clean or what they have together — even in the earliest stages — will come to an end. Instead of telling Iris the truth, Barry promises to fix the problem and he races back in time yet again to find out what went wrong when he reset the timeline.
Before he can make it to the night his mother was killed, Barry is pulled out of the speed force by Jay Garrick from Earth-3.
It turns out following the events last season, Jay has been keeping an eye on Barry after learning that he was the Earth-3 doppelganger to his father. Jay tries to explain to Barry just how dangerous time travel can be, especially when constantly tampering with it. No matter how much Barry wants to put things back the way they were, each time he travels back in time, another crack splinters out and more changes will occur. In other words, Barry needs to go back to the timeline he’s created and live with the consequences of his actions.
So Barry returns and tells the group what he’s done and how his choices affected everyone’s lives. Needless to say, no one is all that happy with him.
The More They Stay the Same
Barry can’t offer anything but apologies for what he’s done and he offers to tell everybody the differences between this current timeline and the reality of now, but first he has to find the Rival and put a stop to him once and for all.
Barry has to build a bridge to appeal to Julian to get his case file on this latest husk to find out where it originated. Once he figures it out, Barry races off to stop Clariss but soon finds out that his old enemy from the ‘Flashpoint’ timeline isn’t alone.
Barry ends up meeting Alchemy, who blasts him with some sort of energy beam before sending the Rival to finish the job. Just when it looks like the Rival is going to finish Barry in the same manner he stabbed Kid Flash back in the other world, he gets blasted by Cisco.
It turns out in this universe, Cisco has already started to build and develop his Vibe uniform and he teams up with Barry to stop Edward Clariss and put him away at Iron Heights Prison before he can do anymore damage. Barry is glad to have his friend back, even if they have a lot of work to do before getting back to where they were before he reset the timeline.
Once he’s in prison, Clariss gets a visit from Alchemy, who is none too pleased that he failed to take out the Flash and it appears that he kills the alt-world speedster before disappearing again.
Meanwhile back at STAR Labs, the gang tells Barry that they’ve all decided that they don’t want to know about the other timeline and would rather just live in this new world. They have plenty of work to do, however, because it appears Doctor Alchemy — as he’s now named by Cisco — has the ability to give powers to people who were metahumans in the ‘Flashpoint’ timeline. Whenever Alchemy passes out these powers, the people affected go into some kind of cocoon and re-emerge as the ‘Flashpoint’ version of themselves.
With at least four more husks popping up, Flash and the crew know they have their work cut out for them. Before leaving the lab, Barry does say thanks to Caitlin for being on his side this entire time, especially considering she’s the one person who hasn’t changed much at all since he’s been back. Of course he doesn’t see Caitlin’s hand ice over just like her Earth-2 counterpart Killer Frost.
Back at the lab, Julian questions Barry about his inquiry into the Edward Clariss file and tells his CSI counterpart that he knows there’s something he’s hiding and one of these days, the secret will get out. This interaction only further cements my theory that Julian is Dr. Alchemy.
Before things come to a close, Barry and Iris end up on the porch again just like the timeline he left after Zoom killed his father. On both occasions in the past when Barry has kissed Iris, he managed to reset the timeline and it was like that never happened.
So the two of them share one more first kiss and this time Barry is going to make sure Iris never forgets it.
‘The Flash’ returns next Tuesday night at 8pm ET on the CW as Harry and his daughter come back to Central City on Earth-1