Comics · DC TV Shows

The Good and the Fast of the Flashpoint Paradox – Flash Season Three; Episodes 1 and 2

Season three of the Flash is here and it’s not slowing down from where it left off. With the introduction of some new characters as well as a very mysterious villain and playing out the effects of the Flashpoint comic series on TV means this season is going to be exciting and better than ever.

Briefly, I think we are all very happy to see the Reverse Flash return to the show, although meddling with time does cause some frustration at continuity and closure we all wanted to see the the Scarlett Speedster’s greatest foe return to the show especially after he was used so well in the first season.

It was also fantastic to get a glimpse at Wally West as Kid Flash which I have been waiting for, for what seems like ages and I think they did it well, as I am not a fan of a long standing side-kick role, so to make this cameo somewhat brief was really satisfying and fun and the jokes and remarks regarding Kid Flash’s status as a hero was perfectly in-keeping with the show and the comics which was fantastic to see.

The prospect of Cisco Ramone using more of his powers is also exciting, with hints at team ups later on is also something I cannot wait to see, although I am not down for a constantly mourning Cisco Ramone, he is one of the brightest lights for the entire show and if he doesn’t perk up I think it will count against them in the long run.

Finally, Tom Felton’s characters, Julian Albert, is also very impressive he provides a different sort of challenge for the Flash in that he represents a hurdle to Barry Allen and his professional life. An arc which has not really been explored and many fans of the comic character would say they have barely scratched the surface of his professional career and skills as he is regarded as a very impressive and astute forensic examiner, as much of the detective work is carried out by the guys at Star Labs. So in all these regards to characters there is so much to be excited for and I cannot wait to get into the story of season three.

However, in regard to these first two episodes I have two comments I wish to make that are more important to the show than just to speculate as to what may happen in the story later down the line. Firstly, regards the use of the Flashpoint storyline. I love the Flashpoint storyline and I think to use it in the TV show was a brilliant idea but also a brave one. What I like about the Flashpoint storyline is how it’s effects are not just to Barry Allen but to everyone in the superhero universe. This means that I take issue with how it was transferred to the small screen in that the altered time stream only lasted for one episode. One episode, is not long enough to get across the sheer impact of Flashpoint, and the importance of changing things back to how they were. Also the sense of responsibility that Barry Allen felt at impacting on so many people’s lives and the nature of the world for his own selfish reasons; this was meant to be impactful and heavy for the character to bear. So I really would have liked to see it go on longer.

That being said, my second point is how they address probable future uses of time travel. It has been such a common theme in the show, and the issue with time travel is that once you show how easily available it is there is a temptation to go back and fix whatever goes wrong. However, they address this as not being a viable option and they did do this well. Although, their adaptation of the Flashpoint series has put more of an emphasis on the repercussions of changing time in the resumed timeline rather than what happened in the altered timeline, the two-episode adaptation did work well in getting across the ‘time travel Paradox’ in a far more suitable way for the TV show. Using Jay Garrick ‘The Flash’, they used a somewhat father figure but also a wise head or teacher for Barry Allen and a brilliant analogy of the broken cup never being completely as it was after it had been broken, therefore leading to a need to live with mistakes perfectly addresses time travel and has essentially closed it off, for the time-being at least, as a means to fix everything. This is especially pertinent as I am sure everybody was frustrated as Barry sought to step into the speed force and alter the timeline again before Jay Garrick pulled him out. So in summary to these two points, I really would have liked to see the effects of Flashpoint last longer, because I didn’t get the impression of disaster, granted Wally West did die and in the context of the show that is a biggie but there were world threatening events in the Flashpoint series and the gravity of this didn’t really come through and could have been escalated to a more catastrophic level or just, for example, Oliver Queen never getting off the island to get across the wider effects of his actions. However, I liked how they explained the Paradox of time travel and structured this sequence to largely be a two-part arc rather than one complete learning curve, whilst also ruling out time travel as a means to fix everything as it has become rather repetitive in the show and needs toning down a smidge.

So that is my two cents on the Flash season 3 thus far and the two points that I take away from the first two episodes of the show’s portrayal of the Flashpoint series, but what do you think? Do you think they have captured the essence of Flashpoint? Are you happy with the new and returning characters in the show? Let me know what you think. Happy watching.

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