That word is synonymous with change in the DC Comics universe. And change is exactly how the first episode of The Flash’s third season begins. Picking right up where Season 2 ended when Barry Allen aka The Flash went back in time and stopped his mother’s murder. By eliminating that event, Allen has a new lease on life. For three months, he’s been spending quality time with his parents, in addition to stalking the woman he loves, Iris. He even has his super speed, but lets fighting crime go to another Flash in this new reality. Kid Flash, Iris’s brother Wally West, is Central City’s new hero and Allen is content just to live his new life.
But like all happiness, it can’t last forever. There is something just not right in Barry’s reality. The friends he had are all different – and some not in a good way. As the episode progresses, it becomes clear to Barry that he’ll have to make a decision. Either keep his present life or go back in time once more to save the futures of his friends.
The dilemma is a classic superhero crossroad. Will Barry nobly sacrifice his own happiness for the happiness of the one’s he loves?
If you know Barry, it’s a pretty easy question to answer. It’s what makes heroes like him special.
As a season opener, this episode was terrific. It had everything needed not only to keep viewers engaged throughout the entire hour, but also salivating until next Tuesday night. Barry’s world finally working out, at least in the beginning, was nice to see. As a character, he’d been tortured for two seasons, and everyone, even superheroes, deserve some happiness.
But if that continued, it would be boring. The episode is chalked full of ups and downs for not only Barry, but his entire posse. The action is fast, the plot is tight and the pace keeps eyes glued to the TV screen. And it just works better when Barry and Iris are together. The two actors, Grant Gustin and Candice Patton, have palpable onscreen chemistry, something that was sadly missing from Season 2. All the above was made possible by DC’s superior Flashpoint storyline.
Flashpoint was the brainchild of comic writer Geoff Johns. In 2011, a massive cross-over series tying the DC universe and its heroes to Barry’s new reality was released. Its basic plot was similar to the TV version of Flashpoint – Barry Allen existing in a new reality, one starkly different than his past life. While the TV version is much shorter and less complex than the comic series, Flashpoint has been just what this reviewer needed to reinvigorate my interest in the series. While I was genuinely surprised Flashpoint will not extend longer into Season 3, it created enough issues in Barry’s life to keep the show intriguing.
Hats off to series creators for bringing Flashpoint into Season 3 and for not waiting until future seasons to use such a satisfying event.