After The Flash broke the timeline again to go back and save his mom, Barry deals with the after math of how he effected the timeline, now having to live with the catastrophic changes that came with it. Iris, Caitlin, and Cisco’s lives have been forever changed and Barry strives to fix it the best way he can.
The Flash Season 3 Episode 2, “Paradox,” was a pretty outstanding episode. At the end of the previous episode, “Flashpoint,” the viewers got a little taste of what it was Barry did to the timeline.
He discovered that Iris and Joe did not have the same close relationship as they once did before he messed with the timeline. The beginning of the episode was Barry discovering what it was he did wrong. The episode started out strong, Barry and Team Flash were working together to stop a meta-human, a typical scene viewers see about every episode. After Barry came back, he saw a different dynamic with Cisco, he was not the same bubbly nerd he once knew. This Cisco was distant and hurt, and Barry did not have a clue.
Cisco wasn’t the only one that was hurt in this episode. Joe and Iris were still struggling and you got to see their shift in dynamic. They were no longer the powerful father daughter duo they had been in the previous two seasons. It was super weird, especially considering the bond Joe and Iris had was personally one of my favorites on the show.
Caitlin also was different in this episode, as well. Right as we saw Cisco being a totally different person, we saw Caitlin react to Barry, and she was a bit colder. The viewers did not find out what it was that was different with her until the end of the episode, and boy, was that a reveal.
One thing I particularly loved in this episode were the Westallen moments. There was no really dancing around them; they came in hot and were already a romantic thing, well they were trying to become a thing. Iris brought Barry aside and discussed them working it out, and in the end, we even got a romantic and highly anticipated kiss.
A kiss that finally was not erased by Barry time-traveling or going to a different earth.
Westallen is one of the strong points of every episode, but another strong point for this episode was the introduction of Tom Felton’s character, Julian Dorn. He is a Central City Forensic Scientist who despises his co-worker Barry Allen. Barry of course does not know all of this, but he quickly does when he sees Julian’s attitude towards him.
Throughout the episode, Barry discovers everything that went wrong with all of his friends. Cisco’s brother died and he begged Barry to go back and save him, but Barry would not, so Cisco was upset with that. Iris and Joe were fighting about trust and communication and it caused friction in their strong relationship. Caitlin’s change was left unknown to Team Flash, but to viewers at home we got a little taste of her infamous Killer Frost counterpart.
Caitlin was not the only one whose metahuman counterpart we saw. Cisco’s return as The Vibe was badass. He was the hero of the episode, rescuing Barry in his fight with Rival. It was a pretty brief moment, but overall very exciting to see Cisco back in action yet again.
Barry set up a dinner to have his whole team together again, trying to mend the broken bonds, but as expected, it failed epically. The dinner was broken up by a metahuman attacking Central City, a metahuman we saw the episode before in Barry’s paradox, The Rival. This guy was not always a meta, though, he was just a normal guy who was having visions and was finally given his full potential through Doctor Alchemy.
Barry then had enough of all of this and wanted things to go back to the way they were before; he was going to change the timeline… Again. As he was going back in time, he was stopped by the Earth-2 Flash, Jay Garrick. The speedster took the other speedster to a diner and they discussed the collateral damage of The Flashpoint.
Barry eventually came to terms with things and realized that there was nothing he could do to change all of this, but that only took two entire seasons. He’s altered the timeline in so many ways, yet still thinks he can mess with time and nothing will happen that could destroy his, or anyone else’s, life. He’s virtually destroyed Cisco, destroyed one of the best relationships on television between Joe and Iris, and given Caitlin killer powers, but no, everything’s fine because he’s Barry Allen, the fastest man alive.
Barry came clean with every one and told them what he had done. Thanks to Iris, the female lead of the show and the voice of reason, spoke with the fellow Team Flash members and told them they needed to give Barry a break, which thankfully they did, but did he deserve it?
The Flash continues Tuesday at 8/7c on The CW. Watch the trailer for the next episode here.