When we last left Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) he had ruined the entire timeline by saving his mother from the Reverse Flash. Cue the black out and gasps of fear.
Year, The Flash had really left us hanging there. If like me you had seen the Flashpoint Paradox animated movie, you were probably picturing something apocalyptic. Of course the TV version had to stay rather grounded in a reality familiar to the viewers so unfortunately we didn’t get to see any of other members of the Justice League. Instead what we got was a reality in which Irish West and Detective Joe West did not know Barry. This got rid of the whole brother/sister weirdness, but in this version of events Barry has been stalking Iris for a few months until he finally gets the nerve to ask her out. Ow, and he steals her purse to pretend she had dropped it. Did the director have to make Barry so disturbing?
Later we find out that Wally West is this timeline’s version of the Flash. Cue the Kid Flash jokes. Even stranger is that Cisco is a billionaire. I preferred him being a crime boss. It’s strange though that we had no Wells in this version of events. And Caitlin Snow is doing… something not as helpful as before. I mean she’s still a scientist, but it’s a different profession than before — something to do with eyes.
Wally Wests rival is called The Rival… because he has no rival. Did the writers really think that through? I know, he’s a villain who was created in 1949 (Thank you, Wikipedia), but that doesn’t mean they have to keep the name. He also has by far the worst speedster suit. I like the colours, but the mask is just so odd.
I think the most surprising that is embodied by a quote from Reverse Flash: “Who’s the villain now, Flash?”
After saving his mother from Eobard Thawne (Reverse Flash), Barry locks him up in an unbreakable cell. This added with Barry’s stalking really does make Barry look every inch the villain. He’s manufactured a whole reality to be as he always dreamed at the expense of everyone else’s happiness. Wally may have a better relationship with his sister and Cisco is stinking rich, but Detective West is an alcoholic who cares very little about his job. And there is the matter about Central City being rampaged by the Rival, a villain who ‘Kid’ Flash can’t seem to catch.
The ending the show is bit odd. Most everything seems to be back in its original state, but when Barry reunites with Wally and Joe he asks about Iris, and Joe seems very offended. My immediate reaction is ‘Is Iris dead? Estranged?’ I guess all will be clarified in Episode 2.
Overall I highly enjoyed this episode. I was afraid they would play out the strange alternate reality for the rest of the season. I do have a feeling though that if Iris is dead Barry will spend a long time trying to right whatever he and Reverse Flash screwed up.