No Point In Flashpoint
When Flash went back in time in the Season 2 finale to save his mother, I was ecstatic. I knew immediately that in Season 3 we were going to get the Flashpoint story arc.
For those that are unfamiliar, Flashpoint is a story arc where Barry Allen travels back in time to save his mother from being killed. By doing so he sent a ripple through time causing a chain reaction and screwing up his timeline. It affected the entire DC Universe. If only the CW would’ve been willing to be so bold.
In the Season 3 premiere titled ‘Flashpoint’, Barry Allen has been living in the new timeline for the last three months with both of his parents alive and well. He still has his powers but Central City is being protected by another speedster -Kid Flash a.k.a. Wally West. However since his mother is still alive and his dad never went to prison for her murder, he was never raised by Joe West who’s now an alcoholic. Also Barry kind of stalks Iris and he has the Reverse-Flash trapped.
The other members of Team Flash are living their own lives. Although Harrison Welles is never mentioned, Caitlin Snow is a pediatric Ophthalmologist and Cisco Ramon is the richest man in America. Everyone is leading great lives and that’s the big problem.
In the comics, Flashpoint affected everyone. Barry lost his speed, Bruce Wayne was killed instead of his parents, the government trapped Clark Kent, and Atlantis and Themyscira are at war with each other. The whole world was worse off because of Barry’s choice. It was the butterfly effect.
In this episode everything was great. They even brought back Alex Désert to reprise his role as Julio Mendez from the original 1990 The Flash series to play the Captain of the CCPD. It was a nice touch. So why did Barry give it all up? Because Kid Flash was mortally wounded by another speedster called The Rival and for some reason his super healing wasn’t working. That’s it. And naturally he was starting to lose his memories from his previous timeline. Which in all honesty seems like a godsend.
Quite frankly the stakes were not high enough for him to give up his idyllic life. The particle accelerator never exploded so super powered villains didn’t plague Central City. His parents were alive and well. He was even able to get Iris to our on a date with him. Granted, Eobard Thawne kept ominously warning him that something bad would happen and that he would forget he was The Flash but so what. He didn’t say he would lose his powers. Which means he would probably still end up The Flash, he just wouldn’t know why. Which I think is a small price to pay to have everything you ever wanted.
The writers had at their fingertips a fantastic storyline that was used up too quickly. This is something that should have taken at least 3 episodes to tell. It should have also spilled over into the other CW shows, maybe even merging the worlds and bringing in Supergirl into the mix. But instead we had a regular self-contained single episode story. No real danger and no real drama. Ironically the only real threat came from Thawne who never left his cell. Making Barry beg Thawne to kill his mother was a moment of pure evil and I loved it. Unfortunately I can’t say the same about the rest of the episode. Hopefully the rest of the season will take more chances and will at the very least use this as a springboard to some big pay off down the line.
I give this episode a 6/10