Welcome back to Superhero Weekly! Spoilers…
First things first, it’s not Earth-3 for The Flash. As the Reverse Flash names it from his cage, it’s really Flashpoint. This world is a time paradox created by Flash intervening into his own timeline. Which technically means he’s no longer the Flash. Also, if Barry travels in time to his past to change it, how does he rejoin that timeline when there’s a Barry already there? Shouldn’t he just have disappeared? Are we subscribing to the Austin Powers idea of time travel of just enjoying the ride?
That’s almost what it feels like, since once again the show gets to alternatively recreate everyone’s characters. Wally West is the Flash (sometimes referred to as Kid Flash by Iris). Iris knows it and helps him fight crime. Cisco is a billionaire and has bought Star Labs. Joe West is an alcoholic and doesn’t care about his job or his life. Eobard Thawne aka The Reverse-Flash is in life imprisonment by Barry. That didn’t quite sit right. Yes, we all know there’s a “normal” timeline that Barry needs to get back to, but there’s also the fact that the Reverse-Flash also tempered with time when killing Barry’s mom. Technically, this timeline is probably more of a straight arrow (we’ll get to Oliver in a moment) than the other timeline because technically no speedsters altered it. Barry didn’t really altered the timeline, he prevented the Reverse-Flash from altering it. The bottom line? I’m tired to reliving the scene where the Reverse Flash kills Barry’s mom. Let’s please move past it? When the show finally gives in and Barry allows Eobard to “fix” the timeline, we finally have Barry rejoining Joe and Wally. Unfortunately, something is off and it concerns Iris.
In a move that will surprise almost nobody, Arrow is completely unaffected by Flashpoint. It’s exactly as we left it. As a matter of fact, the plot of this first episode feels a little too familiar. Oliver is resisting getting anybody else involved in his crusade to save the city. He needs to learn a lesson in trusting other people. Since he hasn’t learn it, he finds himself overwhelmed by foes. But hasn’t Oliver gone through this phase already…? My spider-senses tell me this was a way in which the showrunners wanted to convince the audience of accepting a new team of would-be heroes. However it borrows so much from previous Arrow seasons that it feels like a rehash.
Speaking of rehashes, not only do we get Lonnie Lomax “Anarky” again, but the surprise bad guy seems to be someone who took one of Barry’s old uniforms. Although he does have a passing resemblance to Ragman, the promotion pictures call him Prometheus. I was more impressed by Walking Dead alumni Chad L. Coleman (Tyreese!) charismatic Tobias Church. Let’s please not turn him into Damian Darhk (darn it, do I still have to type that name?).
I know I’ve skimped over a lot, so let’s go over some of what I’ve missed.
- The Flash’s Flashpoint seems to come to an ending as Barry gets dropped by the Reverse Flash at his home (Joe West’s house). So for the most part all we got was an episode of What If… or to use comic book terms, a one-shot. Basically the only thing we need to know is that Iris will be more of a focal point this season.
- Okey, I completely forgot about him because that costume was bloody awful. The Rival, which was an enemy speedster in Flashpoint, awakes in the current timeline to a voice telling him it’s time to wake up and scratches in the mirror that spell Alchemy. It’s a teaser, it just didn’t quite deliver on the threat.
- Wally West as Kid Flash was great. I actually hoped he would show Barry a trick or two perfected on his own. Barry would’ve come back with some new skill learned from someone else having the Speed Force. That would’ve been really extra cool. But no, Barry has to be a better Flash. At least this time Iris was involved.
- Shouldn’t the Time Wraiths shown up at some point, given what we’ve established about messing with time? If you created cause and effect in your fiction, you should use them. Ten points from Gryffindor for that oversight.
- I wasn’t disappointed that Arrow didn’t use the events of Flashpoint. Technically speaking, they should never notice because they stayed on their own timeline.
- Oliver as the Mayor was supposed to be a big thing, but it seems he’s just decided to use it as his day job. It’s not.
- At least there was no soap opera drama left between Felicity and Oliver. And we did get to see Speedy in costume again. Thea kicks ass, which is why I’m not sure why she’s resolved not to fight crime? Is she just going to be back up when things turn really really bad – which unavoidably will?
- I did like Chad L. Coleman’s performance as Tobias Church. I just don’t want him to become a gimmick villain like last season’s you know who. He already shows a lot more natural charisma than that other guy.
- We’re still doing the flashbacks? Really? Is there a point to running two story lines at once? It seems we get half the time to do the show. Can we trim the fat already and just get a solid Arrow episode?
- In the end, the Flash has yet to properly start its season while Arrow has begun what feels like an all too familiar plot. We’ll see what happens when Supergirl joins in next week. I’m still a little resistant to jumping into Legends. It still feels like too many characters to follow.
That will do for now.