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TV RECAP: ‘The Flash’ – S03E02 – “Paradox”

flash-and-the-rival
“If I only knew then what I know now.” How many times have you ever wished you could go back in time and “fix” things or change the events of the past for the chance at a better life today? It’s safe to say that plenty of us have wished it. Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) is lucky because he has the ability to do it. But after tonight’s episode of The Flash, entitled “Paradox,” it’s easy to see how actions have consequences. Even those with super powers aren’t impervious to the laws of time. Leave it to your father’s doppelganger to swoop in at the perfect time with exactly what needed to be said, “What kind of hero are you going to be? Are you going to take a do-over every time you make a mistake? Or will you live with them, and move forward?”

Just when he thought he had taken care of his mistakes, it turns out Barry had made things worse after trying to reset the timeline once again. To sum things up, Iris (Candice Patton) wasn’t talking to Joe, Cisco and Barry had some kind of falling out, and Barry found out someone else was working with him in the crime lab. The only one who didn’t seem to be affected was Caitlin Snow, but that didn’t end up being true as she’s been hiding something from the entire group. The buck doesn’t stop there. It looks like Barry’s actions have had an effect on Team Flash as well. Before Barry decided to play with time, John Diggle was the father to a beautiful baby girl. After a quick scan of Team Arrow’s database, Diggle is now the proud father of a son. So the question is, how far has this ripple in time reached?

Meanwhile, it looks like Dr. Alchemy is shaking things up by giving meta-humans their powers as a result of Flashpoint. Cue the return of Edward Clariss, a.k.a. The Rival. When he shows up, he let’s Barry in on the plan. They end up battling each other up and down streets, buildings, and Barry eventually knocks him so far off the television screen, he’s no where to be found. During the fight, Iris shows Barry footage that captured him and The Rival talking to each other proving that the two know each other. This forces Barry to confess to everything he’s done. Cisco takes the news the hardest out of all of them. He criticizes Barry for going back in time to save his mother but for not saving Dante, Cisco’s brother. Barry conveys his sorrow, but after talking to Jay Garrick, has learned he can never play with the timeline again or must be ready to face the consequences of doing so.

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All of this culminates to a final battle with The Rival. On the verge of losing, Cisco shows up to lend a hand and uses his powers to help defeat The Rival. Back at the lab, it looks like everyone has reconciled. After everyone leaves, Caitlin gives audiences a glimpse of her powers. At the CCPD, Barry’s new lab partner Julian Albert (Tom Felton) has become suspicious of Barry for knowing things he shouldn’t. Finally, at Iron Heights, Clariss is visited by a person with a metal hand. Could this be main villain everyone has been talking about?

It looks like The Flash is really moving in all the right directions. One of the most notable points is Iris West. Two episodes into the third season, and she’s been the most improved character by far. One could argue that she’s been the weakest player since the first season. However, she’s really stepped into the role of Barry’s anchor; a role she’s well known for playing in the comic books. The porch scene was one of the best. “In my mind, wherever you go, you’ll always be Barry and I’ll always be Iris. And we always find each other.” From last season where she helped pull Barry back from the Speedforce, to tonight’s episode, Iris has only gotten better, and, hopefully, the trend will continue. There’s a good chance we’ll see her anchor Barry once more at some point this season.

iris-at-the-crime-scene
Tom Felton displayed tonight why fans were really excited when it was announced he would be joining the cast. Aside his fame from being in the Harry Potter series, Felton showed he has what it takes to be a real player on the show. His character, Julian Albert, is going to be a great pain in Barry’s side, but it’s going to keep him on his toes and gives audiences a chance to see Barry deal with as normal Barry. Some have questioned if Felton’s character will end up being Dr. Alchemy. If he is, the writers are doing a great job of hiding any evidence that he will be. Although, it is only the second episode of the season. Also, thumbs up are awarded for allowing Felton to keep his accent.

barry-and-julius-albert
The time (no pun intended) has come to address the big elephant in the room, and that’s the major ripple effect of Barry’s vacation in time. One of the questions going into Flashpoint was how much this was going to affect Barry and those around him? There was a general sense that it would definitely impact those closest to him, i.e. Iris, Cisco, Joe, Wally, Caitlin, etc. The bigger question was if it would have any impression on the other people in his world or others. Tonight, fans got a big answer when Diggle went from having a daughter to a son. As a fun twist, remember how the Legends Of Tomorrow cast visited a timeline where Diggle had a son and Olly had one arm? Well, it looks like some parts of that timeline is now canon. Whether or not we’ll see Oliver with one arm is still to be seen, but it looks like Connor Hawke will be a thing. The more you think about it, the more the ripple effect is going to play a major role on not only Flash, but also Arrow, and it may even carry over into Supergirl. That could be confirmed when we see other characters from the other worlds emerge in the coming episodes.

With the title “Paradox,” it looks like this will be it as far as that story arc is concerned. At least for now. Obviously, audiences will continue to see the effects of what Barry did throughout the episode, but the major plot points have played out. Just like they discussed in the episode, it’s time to move forward. Speaking of moving forward, it should be noted how quickly the team dealt with the issue at hand. Barry had just confessed to playing with their lifelines and in a matter of minutes, they all seemed to be over it. In a way, they probably didn’t have a chance (which they didn’t). There are two things to take from this. First, it’s nice that this isn’t something they’ll be pouting about the entire season. On the other hand, this is something that people would be really mad about in real life. Then again, they didn’t really know about it. Okay, this is getting complicated. The point is that this is drama that would have been deemed unnecessary, and the writers did the right thing by having the characters just deal with it and move on.

cisco-upset-at-barry
On a final note, the number one Easter Egg from tonight’s episode was this: Seeing John Wesley Shipp as Jay Garrick walk into the diner in 1998 with Barry and in the background was another hit show from that time Dawson’s Creek – another show that Shipp was on where, coincidentally, he also played a father who died while his son was relatively young.

The Flash airs every Tuesday on The CW at 8 PM. Check out a preview from the next episode of The Flash titled, “Magenta.”

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