In ‘The Flash’ recap for the season 3 debut, Barry is at peace in his new life after saving his mother but he soon finds out the ramifications of his actions…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
If there’s one indisputable truth when it comes to science fiction, comic books, TV or movies, you never mess with time.
Barry Allen found out when he first learned how to travel through time that one very simple act changed in the past can send reverberations that affect any number of people around the world.
In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is a term used when a small change in one state can have far reaching and larger consequences in another. In this instance, Barry saving his mother Nora from being murdered by the Reverse-Flash when he was just a child gave him back his parents, but he never imagined how it might damage the lives of everything and everyone around him.
So as ‘The Flash’ season 3 picks up, Barry is living an idyllic life with his mom and dad still very much alive and after three months pining over her while drinking a lot of coffee at Jitters, he’s even found the gumption to introduce himself to Iris West and ask her out on a date.
It all seems so perfect but like a small crack in the glass that soon splinters and then shatters, Barry’s world isn’t far from falling apart.
With that said, let’s recap ‘The Flash’ season 3 debut titled ‘Flashpoint’…
Kid Flash vs. The Rival
Three months have passed since Barry traveled back in time to save his mother’s life and he’s as happy as can be in this new world. He wakes up every morning and hugs his mother like it’s the first time he’s seeing her in forever and his dad is right there by her side for breakfast and dinner each day.
When Barry finally asks out Iris after stalking looking at her from afar and when she immediately says yes, he’s over the moon with excitement. He’s even become a casual sideline observer to a new Flash — called Kid Flash by the media — as he battles a new speedster named the Rival, who is currently haunting Central City.
Unlike the ‘Flashpoint’ storyline from the comic books, Barry has retained his speed and while he’s kept an eye on things, he’s stayed out of the crime fighting business and instead left things up to the new Kid Flash protecting.
Of course, not everything and everyone is perfect in this new world.
Barry finds that Joe is now a drunk, who can barely make it to work on time and he’s estranged from his son and daughter in this universe. Barry also has to live through constant taunts from Eobard Thawne, who he has locked up in a speed proof cage on the edge of town, who constantly warns him that messing with time will end badly because time eventually messes right back.
Everything is going great and Barry ends up on a lunch date with Iris when something strange happens. Just when Barry starts to remember a past moment in his life with Iris, a blinding pain strikes and the memories start to fade away. Barry doesn’t have time to react before the police call goes out — Kid Flash and the Rival are fighting again!
Iris rushes off and Barry does the same — of course no one in this world knows that he’s a speedster — and as much as he wants to stay on the sidelines, when Kid Flash is tossed from a building by the Rival, he’s forced to intervene. Barry saves Kid Flash and removes his mask to reveal that he’s really Wally West!
Wally takes Barry back to his not so secret hideout where he discovers that the new Flash is also working with his sister Iris in an effort to save the world from metahuman threats. Barry plays off his knowledge about the speed force and even Wally’s identity by saying that he figured things out because he’s a forensic scientist, but it’s clear that something is off and Iris is picking up on it.
For now, Barry is part of the team but Wally tells him the only way to stop the Rival may be to enlist the help of an unwilling participant.
Getting the Band Back Together
Wally and Iris take Barry to Ramon Industries — the building that once housed STAR Labs but has now been turned into billionaire inventor Cisco Ramon’s personal stomping ground. Of course, Barry is taken back to see a slick, rich version of Cisco, who really wants nothing to do with the Flash or saving anybody’s lives and would rather spend his time counting the stacks of cash he’s making.
Barry tries to convince Cisco that deep down inside he really wants to help because they were meant to be great friends, but before he can finish his thought, he’s once again struck by the blinding pain of memories fading away.
Barry has to leave and get answers from Thawne, who has to break the bad news to him.
The more Barry uses his speed in this world, the faster his memories are fading away and the shift in the time continuum that he made by saving his mother will eventually become permanent. With that permanent change, Barry will no longer remember anything from his former life and his mind will adjust to the memories from this new timeline.
Barry is starting to realize that Thawne might be right but he’s got to help solve the problem with the Rival before he can focus on fixing what he may have broken by saving his mother.
Back at Ramon Industries, Barry shows up in his Flash suit and reveals to Wally, Iris and Cisco what he did by traveling back in time and the changes that have been made in this new world. Everyone is skeptical except Iris because she admits that something felt off in her life until the moment Barry walked into it and then everything seemed right again. She felt the connection they shared and Iris believes that Barry is telling the truth.
Before they can figure out a solution, Barry decides to recruit one more team member to help with the problem — so he runs and brings back Caitlin to assist. There’s only one problem — in this world, Caitlin is a pediatric ophthalmologist and not a brilliant scientist. Still, she manages to figure out a way to track down the Rival and Barry is encouraged that maybe the pieces of the puzzle are starting to come back together so he can stay here and stay happy.
The Battle is Won and Lost
After finding the Rival, Barry and Wally run to confront him and that’s when the villain reveals his true identity. His name is Edward Clariss — who comic book fans will know as the original Reverse-Flash first created in 1949.
The Rival fights Wally at first and gets the upper hand when he stabs Kid Flash with a pipe and leaves him bleeding on the ground. Barry steps up to fight him next and it appears that he’s doing better, but then his memories start to fade again and he can’t remember what to do. Rival creates a pair of tornadoes to take out the Flash, but Barry finally focuses with the help of Iris’ voice and he thwarts the bad guy and knocks him out cold.
Just when it seems like the day has been saved, the Rival nearly goes after Barry until two gunshots ring out and he falls dead. Enter Joe West — who arrived just in the nick of time but then discovers that his son Wally was really Kid Flash and he’s in bad shape after being stabbed.
Barry takes him back to the lab but there’s one big problem — Wally isn’t healing fast like he should be thanks to the speed force. Barry can’t figure out why this is happening but he realizes that this timeline is officially a disaster and there’s no way around it.
He has to return things back to the way they were.
Barry returns to his parents’ house where he hugs them both and says goodbye for the last time. Of course they have no idea what’s happening, but Barry had to see them both before returning to free Thawne from his cage so the timeline could be reset.
Barry kisses Iris as they share one last moment together before he tells Thawne what has to be done. Thawne demands that Barry say it out loud, which means he has to tell him to go back in time to kill his mother. Thawne gets some kind of sick pleasure out of torturing Barry but when he passes out as another ill effect of flashpoint, it’s time for the Reverse-Flash to spring into action.
Thawne runs back in time to see the Flash stopping him from killing Nora West in the alternate reality but then he changes things again. Thawne picks up the knife and kills Nora Allen before Barry wakes up just outside his old home with Joe West.
Barry walks inside and finds Joe and Wally standing there just like when he left the room before creating this entire shift in the timeline. He hugs them and feels back at home but when Barry mentions Iris, Joe grumbles and leaves the room in a huff. When Barry asks Wally what’s wrong, he explains that Joe and Iris don’t talk to each other anymore. Remember, when Barry left this timeline, he was sitting on the porch with Iris where they shared a kiss. This time when he returned, she wasn’t there.
Thawne warned Barry that even by resetting the timeline with the murder of his mother that things would never completely go back to the way they were before and this is clearly evidence of that. So now Barry is back to what he believes is reality but things still aren’t the same as they were before.
In the post credit scene, Edward Clariss wakes up to an ominous voice taunting him out of bed. When Clariss gets to the mirror, he sees the world “ALCHEMY” being scratched across the glass and that’s when it fades to black. We know Dr. Alchemy will be a featured villain this season on ‘The Flash’ but it appears Clariss will play some role in that as another famous face from the comic book universe shows on this season.
‘The Flash’ returns for a brand new episode next Tuesday night at 8pm ET on the CW.