The Flash went full Back to the Future Part II on us

first_imgStay on target It’s a shame that DC has struggled so much to get its cinematic universe off the ground because their superheroes have been (more or less) consistently killing it on the small screen for four years now. Beginning with Barry Allen’s introduction in season two of Arrow, DC and the CW have built a solid stable of superhero shows with intertwining stories more meaningful than anything Marvel is able to make happen.Ever since the season two finale of The Flash, fans have wondered how Barry’s actions would affect not just his own story, but the entire Arrowverse. Well, we don’t have an answer to the bigger question just yet, but we did get to see the world Barry created when he went back in time to stop Reverse Flash from killing his mom.Things are going surprisingly well for Barry. His parents are both alive, together and happy. He’s actually living with them and they, not knowing about the other timeline, are starting to give him a subtle push out the door. Understandable, since he’s in his 20s with a full-time job and still lives at home. He’s even finally worked up the courage to ask Iris out. And since they didn’t grow up together in this timeline, she says yes. There’s even another Flash out there fighting crime, so Barry doesn’t have to.Who is the new Flash? (Photo: Keiynan Lonsdale and Grant Gustin, Screenshot via CW)We all know this can’t last. Whenever Barry starts to think about events from his original timeline, he loses some of his memory. He asks Reverse Flash/Eobard Thawne, who he’s been keeping locked up, what’s going on. Thawne explains that this new timeline, Flashpoint, is overwriting the old one. Soon, Barry won’t remember that he even is The Flash and the change will be permanent.Barry refuses to believe Thawne and finds the other Flash, who is engaged in a battle with another speedster known as The Rival. When other-Flash falls from a window, Barry rushes to his aid and is surprised to learn that he’s Iris’s brother, Wally. I say “he’s surprised” because come on, we all knew.Barry learns that Iris and Wally have been working as a crime-fighting sibling duo and offers to help them defeat The Rival. He tries to get his old team back together only to find that they aren’t quite the same people he knew. Cisco is a selfish billionaire tech entrepreneur; Caitlin is a pediatric ophthalmologist, and Joe is an alcoholic who doesn’t talk to his kids much. Man, how did Barry’s mom do all this?Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker), Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) and Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) in “Flashpoint” (Photo: Screenshot via CW)Barry convinces them all to work together, explaining the situation via a timeline drawing that looks exactly like the one Doc Brown drew in Back to the Future Part II. He and Wally, dubbed Kid Flash under protest, fight and defeat The Rival, who reveals his identity as Edward Clariss. Unfortunately, Wally is wounded in the fight, and his accelerated healing isn’t working. Barry realizes his happiness comes at the expense of everyone he loves and returns to ask Thawne to kill his mom.Thawne goes back in time once again, kills Barry’s mom and brings him back to where he was before the end of Season 2. Well, almost. As he joins Joe and Wally in a toast to his deceased father, he learns that Iris no longer speaks to her family. We’re left to wonder what else Thawne changed. Oh, and the Edward Clariss of this timeline is awoken by a strange voice to find the word “Alchemy” scratched into his mirror. I guess we know who this season’s big bad will be.Doctor Alchemy has been a recurring villain in The Flash comics. His main ability is transmuting any element into any other element. Can’t wait to see how they do that on the show. In the comics, Edward Clariss has never been Doctor Alchemy, so it’s likely that we haven’t actually met Alchemy yet. That he plans to use Clariss somehow and that was his voice at the end of last night’s episode.Edward Clariss (Todd Lasance) watches the word “Alchemy” scratch into his mirror. (Photo: Screenshot via CW)The Flash has become the best superhero show on TV, outpacing Arrow by embracing its cheesy, silver-age comic book past. This is the series that made us take villains like Weather Wizard, Captain Cold, and Gorilla Grodd seriously. It managed to include all the ridiculously complicated time travel and parallel universe stuff comic book fans are used to and make it work on TV. That’s no small feat.So far, the third season is no different. One episode in and we already have multiple timelines and the promise of more cartoony comic book villains to come. And with all the time travel between this and Legends of Tomorrow, the crossover episodes this season should be even crazier than normal. Top Movies and TV Panels to Keep on Your Radar for SDCC 2019’The Flash’ Season 5 Finale Recap: 2 Big Bads and 1 Pre-Crisis last_img read more