Some spoilers for The Flash Seasons 1 & 2 below
Tackling such a well-known and revered storyline, however, is a huge risk no matter the subject matter. When dealing with comic fans, though, it can go badly very fast. Given that The Flashpoint Paradox was not only a successful animated movie but also a beloved storyline in the comics (known as “Flashpoint”) . . . well, those involved in production of The Flash had their work cut out for them. For those unfamiliar with the plot, it contains a pivotal scene that changes everything in the future for DC characters, something that haunts The Flash (Barry Allen): the moment he decides to go back in time to save his mom’s life.
At the end of Season 2 of the television show, we watch Barry’s dad tragically murdered by Zoom. After Zoom torments him, even more unexpected bad things happen, as Barry sinks to his lowest point, does his time-travel trick, and saves his mom, just as he did in the original storyline. It was a strange twist of an episode clearly (secretly) written by George R.R. Martin while he channeled Inception using reality instead of dreams. It was just that insane and satisfying.
Enter Season 3 of The Flash. The characters are already well-established, along with the television world in which Barry resides. There are obvious changes from the original story (like a few missing superheroes, for starters), but that was to be expected. The show had no problem jumping right into an alternate timeline, which made for a smooth transition into this season. Of course, it’d had some practice with the whole Earth 2, Earth 3 thing. Just take your Dramamine and don’t overthink it.
After Barry’s decision to save his mom, we find Barry is still The Flash in the new season, and he also has Eobard Thawne in a makeshift jail cell. Only Thawne and Barry know what has happened to shift their world onto an alternate timeline, but Barry is slowly losing his memory of his past. Thawne is quick to label the new world the “Flashpoint” and foretells of Barry’s inevitable future to beg Thawne to one day re-murder his mother.
More than Mom escaping death has changed, though. Barry’s dad is now alive and still happily married to Mom. They reside with Barry in the family home, and everything’s almost rosy. Barry and Iris West are no longer stars-never-align buddies, but Barry is still a bumbling, lovesick boy around her. Detective Joe West has ditched his stellar career as one of Central City’s finest for that trope of a drunk cop on the verge of losing his job every five minutes. As for the rest of the gang, Wally West is now Kid Flash, Cisco Ramon is a billionaire, and Catilin Snow is a pediatric ophthalmologist.
The looming question leading us into the meat of Season 3 then becomes… Will our favorite, wise-cracking superhero ever be able to set the world back to right?
Season 3 of The Flash is, for this fan, the best yet. It restores the show to what I originally loved about it. Even though there were some iffy moments, it managed to pull itself back up and lobs it up high enough to keep me and many others coming back. The humorous asides are there to ease the tension and somber storylines. The characters (especially new villains, some long-awaited) keep viewers entertained. Grant Gustin (Allen / The Flash) continues to outperform himself. Even that one character (You know, the one you find a tad annoying . . . ) seems to have changed quite a bit. I am not sure if it is that actress Candace Patton finally grew into the role or if the writers have taken her character more seriously, but it works. Possibly, we have the reboot of the relationship between the doomed lovers, Barry and Iris, to thank. Whatever is different, fans seem to be much happier.
This season left lots of questions, as these things often go, and now, we wait once more for a new season. For those fans of the speedster, picking up Season 3 on Blu-ray/DVD will make it a nice addition to your growing DC television series collection. And, in the meantime, if you have somehow avoided watching Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, then you have only one job to do before Season 4 begins. It’s a wonderful way to further your enjoyment of the television world of Barry Allen.