Rating 4/5 – Wow, that was a good episode of The Flash. What made it a good episode? It actually got past one of the most annoying genre TV tropes on the planet – the “if characters would just talk to each other 90% of the problems would get solved.” I’m almost driven to head banging into wall madness with how often TV shows pull this one. It goes like this: Character A from TV Show A gets into some kind of trouble. Character A decides not to tell Character B, C and/or D about the trouble and because of that the trouble becomes bigger and more of a problem for everyone. It’s comes in many different flavors, but adds up to “If people would just talk to each other, all of this BS could have been avoided.” And writers have to come up with some mind-numbing reasons for why characters can’t simply talk to each other. One character makes a mistake and can’t bring themselves to admit their mistake. Character A is a “lone-wolf” who thinks they can handle everything on their own and feels no need to tell the other characters what going on. Or the character has a wife/husband/son/brother/sister/schoolmate who in put in jeopardy because of the problem and somehow telling everyone else would put that person in more danger. There’s a time it works and there’s a time it’s overused – and the overused part comes fast and furious. In this episode of The Flash they not only stopped it in it’s tracks, they did it in the most intelligent way possible. And Flash had to do what he should have done in the first place – tell everyone else what he did. But I’m getting ahead of myself because I was so glad the Flash Writers decided to shut that stupid trope down in this episode, any other problems the episode had simply got washed away with the bliss of seeing it gone.
Oops Flash Did it Again
I cannot believe how many blogs I’ve read or YouTube videos I watched where everyone was complaining that Flashpoint only lasted one episode, especially since there were so many bigger problems with them trying to do Flashpoint on the TV show. Not to mention everyone complaining was acting like those problems did not exist. First of all, within the logic of the TV show Flash has already gone back in time, changed something and come to the present and found he completely screwed things up with that change. So no matter how much he was hurting, the fear of making such a big changes again should have stopped him from ever saving his mother. Maybe in a later time when he thinks he’s got a complete handle on his powers, but right from the day his father was buried? It just seemed too forced. Secondly Flashpoint was a huge story. It required the presence of characters the CW has not introduced nor looks like they are going to any time soon. It not been made clear if Supergirl is even part of Flashes reality. There’s no Wonder Woman, Batman or Aquaman, let alone Cyborg and or Teen Titans. Flashpoint was a good event but it lead to New 52 and no matter how hard people make excuses for it New 52 sucked huge donkey balls. Flashpoint hasn’t marinated long enough to be considered an actual classic, therefore doing it in a TV show wasn’t anything anyone was asking for. For these reason I was glad Flashpoint was only one episode and it was resolved by the end.
Except there’s a bit of a twist. Even though Barry Allen went back and let his mother die to fix things, things were not exactly the same. In an interesting surprise the effects had changes on Arrow as well. This episode opens with Flash confessing to Felicity about trying to save his mother and having to go back to let her die only to come to the present and find changes. Cisco’s criminal brother died and Cisco is mad at Barry for not going back in time to save him. Iris is mad at Joe for not telling her mom was back and alive, oh and dying. Barry has a new co-worker in the forensic office who makes his job life a living hell. In the Flashpoint reality Wally was a speedster only he’s not. . .okay, yet. (It’s obviously coming.) And, shock and surprise, Caitlin Snow is on her way to her true Killer Frost self. (Oh face it, Danielle Panabaker makes an awesome Killer Frost, and I can’t wait to see where they take the character.) Flash finds out that another little change was that instead of having a daughter Diggle has a son. That was cute.
At first Barry tries to fix things by repairing relationships, only he does so while not knowing exactly what all the changes were. He tries to bring the crew together for a dinner to settle things between them only to find how bad things actually are. They get a notification on the meta-human app and Flash rushes off to find Edward Clariss, the Rival is back. Apparently there’s a cult leader in some underground S&M lair calling himself Alchemy who knows Edward Clariss was the Rival in the other timeline. Alchemy gives Edward back the memories of that timeline and his speed powers. Edward tells Barry he knows of the other timeline and that Flash is responsible for changing it. Flash manages to over take The Rival but Edward vanished before Flash can take him in. Realizing he has two problems Barry and comes to a decision when Iris confronts Barry about hiding something from everyone. Barry attempts to go back in time to put things right and is knocked out of the speed force by Jay Garrett. Both land in 1998 where they have a Dawson’s Creek moment. (That last one was priceless. They went into a diner similar to scenes from Dawson’s Creek and the damn theme song was playing in the background.) Jay explains to Barry the problems with his plan; no matter how many times Barry tries to fix thing something will change every time he goes back in time. (Wasn’t that the point of the other time travel episodes?) Barry actually listens and goes back to present day Star Labs and tells everyone what happened. Of course the crew is put off at first but Iris and Caitlan rallies them to see the bigger picture and not be so quick to judge considering everyone in the room either has secrets, have hid secrets or done completely stupid shit the almost got people killed so they are not in a position to judge Barry. When Flash confronts The Rivial again Alchemy is there helping and he almost gets taken down, but Cisco steps in with full command of his Vibe powers and they take the Rival down together. Back at Star Labs everyone’s beginning to repair their relationships, Cisco renamed Alchemy to Dr. Alchemy while Barry let’s the crew know that Dr. Alchemy knows about the other timeline as has the ability to restore people’s powers from that timeline. Also when Caitlan is left alone she looks at her hand and ice begins to form on it.
Too Many Likes
There were just too many things to like about this episode. The fact Barry actually gave everyone the information they needed to deal with the threats of the season, Barry and Iris not doing that idiotic “will they/won’t they” thing. The new British guy, play by Drako Malfoy himself Tom Felton, who acts like a stuck up jerk is actually a fun British guy who acts like a stuck up jerk. I’m glad they are repairing Barry and Cisco’s relationship because I like fanboy tech geek Cisco and over pampered super rich Cisco. Mopey, brooding, angry Cisco is a pain in the ass and if they kept him on that I would have been the first to campaign for DC to put up an 1-900 number so I can vote for the Joker to kill that version of Cisco. I’ve been waiting two season for Caitlin Snow to become Killer Frost and the fact they’ve made Caitlin such an adorably likable character will make this transition a lot more interesting. In the comics Killer Frost is transformed and cannot live unless her body stays at a freezing temperature, but in order to stay at the temperature she needs to absorb heat and human bodies have a lot of heat when she can’t get to a furnace or a nuclear power plant. The bi-product of her affliction is that she can also control ice like Iceman only on a bigger scale. . .in the comics. The Flash has a great supporting cast around him, and everyone love Caitlan, so if they go the tragic figure route that would be awesome. The possible changes to the time line is interesting as well and we get out first glimpse in the preview for next Tuesday where we are going to meet Jesse Quick. It was a good show, hit all the fanboy hormones and I think the third season of The Flash it off to an excellent start.