The Flash: Flashpoint
October 5, 2016 1:47 AM - Season 3, Episode 1 - Subscribe

The Reverse-Flash taunts Kid Flash, and warns of repercussions if Barry continues to forget his old life; when disaster strikes, Barry must decide whether to live as Barry Allen or return to his universe as The Flash.

The Flash opens with an interesting, coherent and logical story that ends with actual repercussions for the hero.

Season 1: An evil speedster kills Barry's mother.
Season 2: An evil speedster kills Barry's father.
Season 3: An evil speedster kills Barry's adoptive father?
posted by FallowKing (27 comments total)
 
The Flash opens with an interesting, coherent and logical story that ends with actual repercussions for the hero.

Holy crap, a wormhole opened to Earth-2 and a Metafilter post came out!

I mean, it was better written than the Flashpoint comics but that's a low bar.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:34 AM on October 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


So I guess whatever has estranged Iris and Joe is going to be a new roadblock for Iris/Barry? Sigh. I wish they'd just get on with them being a couple already.
posted by oh yeah! at 5:39 AM on October 5, 2016


I thought for sure we'd spend a few episodes in the Flashpoint timeline, so I'm a little disappointed that it seems to be over so soon. Where was the real Harrison Wells in that timeline, anyway?

I absolutely love it when the hero and the villain just sit and talk about their issues with each other so it was great to see Barry and Thawne hashing it out. Thawne really twisted the knife, making Barry ask him to kill his mother. Also liked his line about how today he's the hero instead.
posted by Servo5678 at 5:39 AM on October 5, 2016


Good episode. But resolving the new timeline in the premiere (which I figured they would do when last we spoke about The Flash) makes it all seem...I don't know. Much ado about nothing? Reviewers have speculated the writers went into Flashpoint with a more elaborate plan and got cold feet, and I wonder.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:47 AM on October 5, 2016


I suspect they tied themselves into knots trying to resolve a multi-week Flashpoint story with Arrow and Legends staying the same, and eventually decided it wasn't worth the headache.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 5:51 AM on October 5, 2016


Except it's not resolved as things aren't entirely back to the way they were. And honestly, did Barry not even consider that Reverse Flash may not have been entirely honest with him about the effects of going back and reversing the changes to the timestream or that the bad guy may have been able to take advantage of the situation to cause other harm? Of course not because he's Barry and he's being an idiot again.

Speaking of more things the same, we're back to locking prisoners in cells that can't accommodate their sanitary needs, but that's par for the course for the show. Although what really bothered me about the Reverse Flash's cell was the metal-bar door. Okay, maybe the power dampening field can work inside the glass walls, but you're telling me that a speedster who can stick part of his body (hands and arms) outside of the containment unit wouldn't be able to overcome any power-draining effects enough to at least vibrate through metal bars, and that's really stretching my credibility as a comics-reader. (Yes, I understand how silly the last part of that sentence sounds.)

It absolutely would have been more satisfying to have spent another episode or two in the new reality.
posted by sardonyx at 7:03 AM on October 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


They're close enough to being back to normal that the other Arrowverse shows can continue without suddenly being in an alternate timeline. That's what I'd have been worried about if I were writing these shows.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:07 AM on October 5, 2016


Although what really bothered me about the Reverse Flash's cell was the metal-bar door

I thought it was because he lost his powers and mistakenly thought his disconnection with the Speedforce was caused of the cage...but it seemed that he was able to keep his powers despite everything.
posted by FallowKing at 7:21 AM on October 5, 2016


I have to admit, I'm disappointed that Barry didn't accidentally re-reset the timeline to some insane Planet of the Apes universe. With Gorilla Grodd around, this is actually a possibility.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:41 AM on October 5, 2016


I suspect they tied themselves into knots trying to resolve a multi-week Flashpoint story with Arrow and Legends staying the same, and eventually decided it wasn't worth the headache.

Yeah I'm not sure how you do it and Flashpoint barely works without a fuller universe of heroes anyway. It seems like an odd choice to go in on that story and then do so little with it. The episode itself was fine, and the other timeline was amusing in the way those can be, but it seemed like waste overall. If it hadn't been a season finale and used the Flashpoint name, I think it would have been better.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:52 AM on October 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Anyway, this episode had some fun moments (specifically Wally as [Kid] Flash, which Keiynan Lonsdale played as well as I could have ever wanted, and which I really really REALLY hope he gets to keep doing) but overall it was just a dumb mess that makes me dread the rest of the season.

Tripling down on the eternally squicky Iris romance. Now they're not siblings! Never mind that Barry's memory of his upbringing hasn't changed.

Rushed handling of the alternate timeline produced a number of weird jumps in characterization where people needed exactly zero time to trust Barry, come to grips with secret identities, etc.

Subset of the above, but special mention to Barry's decision to let Thawne re-kill his mom. First of all, she gets no voice in that decision, reduced instead to a prop -- extra uncomfortable after Eddie's self-sacrifice in season one. Second, nobody talks about the fact that what Barry did was to un-alter history, while Eobard was the one who actually meddled with things. The timeline we know is the divergent future caused by an evil time-traveler. Forgetting it shouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

Finally, yet another god-damned evil speedster. And it's The freaking Rival, a guy who wishes he were good enough to be a C-Lister. We're never going to get that ape invasion, are we?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:13 AM on October 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Not an ape invasion, but I thought I read that an episode this season is supposed to take place in Gorilla City.
posted by sardonyx at 9:27 AM on October 5, 2016


Real talk: joking around about kidnapping Caitlin fucking sucked. They use women as props often enough in these shows now that we were all supposed to be har har, pediatric optometrist Caitlin got kidnapped but obviously she's going to fit right in! but man, fuuuuuuuck that. Same comment for his mom's lack of agency as Bulgaroktonos made, too.

Also, where are the Time Wraiths? Isn't all this timeline messing about supposed to trigger the Speed Force's ghostly defense system? At this point, Barry really should be dead, IMO.

Only thing I found interesting is that Papa Joe just genuinely sucks and is a mess in every possible timeline unless he's acting as surrogate dad for Barry. I'd watch a show just about the various families West, Harrison Wells and Cisco Ramon in all 52 dimensions, but I'm over Barry's self-centered idiocy now.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 11:30 AM on October 5, 2016 [7 favorites]


God, yes, I forgot about Caitlin. It would have been so easy to paper over, too! "Oh my god, what's going on----holy crap, you're the Flash! What's happening?" "Well, we need your help to etc etc". Fifteen seconds!
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:00 PM on October 5, 2016


Same comment for his mom's lack of agency as Bulgaroktonos made, too.

That wasn't me, but I'm happy that people think I'm a woke Flash fan.

I found the Caitlin part in this so minor that it was hard to even see the point. She was pretty much there for just the kidnapping joke and then she stood around dully.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:02 PM on October 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have no idea why he decided that re-killing his mother was a good idea. Aside from the fact that, as Holy Zarquon pointed out, Barry was untwisting the timeline, the reasoning was to prevent Wally from being injured. How does that work? Sure Wally's speedyforcey recuperative powers weren't working for some (unexplained?) reason, but he was still alive as near as I could tell, and, even assuming he only had hours to live...it's the freaking Flash! Deadlines are like catnip to the fastest man alive. "Gosh, Wally's injured, you'd better go back in time and kill my mom!" does not seem a sane response.

Also sanity related, why does every single speedster villain's motivation seem to boil down to 'Am I the fastest yet? No? Then let me do another evil thing, because I've tried being the guy with the second fastest magical tornado arms and it just wasn't me."
posted by Sparx at 2:20 PM on October 5, 2016 [6 favorites]


My reaction to everything Barry Allen right now: YOU MADE A BEAR!!!
posted by nicebookrack at 5:59 PM on October 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Also: Flashpoint was the un-twisted timeline, as Holy Zarquon pointed out. But in this new re-twisted timeline, Eobard Thawne went back to his own time instead of getting stuck without his speed in the past, which means he never killed Harrison Wells and took over his life, which means Wellsobard never deliberately mentored Cisco or blew up the particle accelerator, which means everyone and everything ever connected to Star Labs just got (from our perspective) super fucked.

And wouldn't this mean Eddie wouldn't have killed himself to stop Wellsobard?!
posted by nicebookrack at 6:09 PM on October 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


So I guess whatever has estranged Iris and Joe is going to be a new roadblock for Iris/Barry? Sigh. I wish they'd just get on with them being a couple already.

Maybe it was the fact that Barry-asking-Iris-out was a cute scene in which they actually demonstrated some real chemistry for the first time in a long while, but I think re-jiggering the timeline so Kid Flash grew up as Flash's adoptive brother while Iris grew up somewhere the heck else could really help both of those relationships work a lot better.

I liked this episode okay. But I wish Barry would stop being dumb.

I also really wish someone somewhere would put a damn toilet in these cells they're so fond of sticking villains in.
posted by mstokes650 at 7:36 PM on October 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Gosh this show is frustrating. Who thought it was a good idea to have the lead character, who was introduced as very smart if not brilliant, make maddeningly stupid choices week after week?
posted by plastic_animals at 5:12 AM on October 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Gosh this show is frustrating. Who thought it was a good idea to have the lead character, who was introduced as very smart if not brilliant, make maddeningly stupid choices week after week?

What if, in the end, it turns out that Eobard Thawne was the hero after all?
posted by Servo5678 at 8:45 AM on October 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


I would love a twist like that, Servo5678, but the Berlantiverse team has yet to show the ability to plot out an entire season let alone a multi-season arc.
posted by plastic_animals at 9:56 AM on October 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


... yeah, I'm sort of at the cusp of giving up on this show, after this one. I loved this show in S1, but S2 was a precipitous downward rush,

Specific thoughts:
* No Tom Cavanaugh. I think someone over there doesn't understand why some of us are still watching.

* Barry had no plan to deal with the consequences of messing with the timeline - no defense against the Wraiths, no thought given to Eobard's permanent confinement, nada.

* I'm not a comics reader, but I'm passingly familiar with the events of Flashpoint from the (hilariously awful) animated movie. I'm not sure why they would name check that without having access to any of the non-Flash IP that was central to it, much less wrap it up after a single episode. Flashpoint was a big deal, as I understood it. (I thought we'd spend at least half the season with it.)

* Barry is nonstop awful here. It's egregious enough that other characters are pointing it out. Some of you guys have called out various things first, and I'm right there with ya:

- He's playing fast and loose with Cisco's collusion with Wally, risking Cisco's life. When called on it, he shrugs it off instead of making a good faith effort to allay those concerns.
- He's dismissive of Wally, *after* letting Wally do his job for three months. (Good enough to do the job of the Flash, not good enough to get the name. Not a good look.)
- He really was stalking Iris. He used his powers to pretend to help her to get an in to ask her out, which is extra creepy.

Stuff that was pointed out by others already:
- He totally kidnapped Caitlin, when he had the option of asking for her help.
- He just listened to Eobard Thawne instead of seeking out a second opinion. (Maybe Harrison Wells? Ray Palmer? Anybody but the man dedicated to destroying him?)
- I'm not sure what class of sexual harassment forcibly stripping and showering someone is, but I'm pretty sure it gets you put on a list somewhere.
- Let his archnemesis kill his mother without ever telling her or his father the truth.

I'm sort of hard pressed to think of anything he did right this episode, apart from volunteering to help with The Rival, and even there, he insisted on taking over the operation instead of assisting the new Team Flash in the manner they felt was appropriate, since it was their world. Everything had to be all about Barry.

* Pinning the drama of the show on his relationship with his stepsister continues to be skeevy, and it's clear the writers aren't getting that. Once again, it's portrayed as some sort of time-transcendent True Love, instead of them taking the opportunity to either move on, or at least retcon out the sibling backstory. (I'm still annoyed they wasted Patty Spivot instead of just running with 'Barry and Iris don't get together in this version.')

So yeah. Uncertain if I even want to see what happens next at this point.
posted by mordax at 12:01 PM on October 6, 2016 [4 favorites]


I'm waiting in hope and dread to see what will happen with Captain Cold, who will without doubt be entertaining in whatever form he returns.
posted by nicebookrack at 7:29 PM on October 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Yeah this premiere was... entertaining(?) if you don't really think at all about any of the stuff everyone has said. I really didn't like the whole "oh wait this is not how my world is so let me just force team Flash together by kidnapping Caitlin".

I might just have to drop this show, since there's a bunch of other things to watch already.
posted by numaner at 7:54 PM on October 8, 2016


I have to admit to not having been much of a fan of The Flash comics, so this whole "Flashpoint" thing went right by me. (Enough of a fan of The Flash to have watched the series from the 90s, mind you...)

I was also confused as to why this alternate universe lasted one episode. It seems as though an alternate universe would hold so many more stories. Why is this Joe so messed up? Why is this Wally a speedster? How long can you keep Thawne in a cage like an animal? ;)

Honestly, it all seemed like an overdrawn homage to Back to the Future, complete with drawing the line for the alternate 1985, er, 2016. Even Barry being back home in "his" timeline reeks of a BttF stunt, because that's exactly what happened to Marty. He went back to 1985 from 2015 but Old!Biff had gone back to 1955 with the sports almanac and so Marty's 1985 was now the alternate 1985. Barry tries to "fix" the past and goes back home and, surprise, surprise, it's not quite the same place he left.

Kidnapping Caitlin was not cool. All the stuff about Barry being too trusting of Thawne is spot-on. I understand the need for a flawed character, but making Barry be super dumb about a variety of things isn't the way to make things exciting.

If they're not going to stop with the idiocy, can we just cancel the show and move Barry (and others!) to be recurring on Supergirl? I would like that. A lot.
posted by juliebug at 10:48 PM on October 8, 2016


I really don't give any kind of a shit if Barry and Iris bone. Both actors seem lukewarm at best about the idea in every scene where this comes up. Why does the show insist on this? Hell, Arrow got over Oliver and Laurel, I don't see why they can't move on from foster siblings boning or not.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:52 PM on October 15, 2016


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