Season 2 ended with Barry saving his mother's life from Reverse Flash, allowing a Back to the Future II type alternate timeline to spawn where Barry's family lived happily ever after. This minor change produced all sorts of problems for the status quo of Central City and it's denizens. Barry and Iris hardly know each other, Cisco has turned Star Labs into Ramon Industries and there is a new Flash in town. The entire world is lopsided for Barry, but it isn't without consequence.
For starters, even though Barry is happily living with his parents, they want him to grow up and stop living in fantasyland. Detective Joe West is hardly anywhere to be found, and when he finally does show up he is but a shell of the detective we have grown to love over the past two seasons. The world even has its own Flash, dubbed Kid Flash, in the form of a very enthusiastic Wally West. It is all very cute and fun to see this alternate take on things, but Barry starts to lose his memories from his old life.
And then the entire episode falls apart. Both Flash and Kid Flash team up to take down another speedster dubbed The Rival, but the team up is shortly lived. The episode teases all these great possible moments, but takes them all away just as quick as they are introduced. Not content with losing his own memories, Barry asks the Reverse-Flash to go back in time and kill his Mother yet again with hopes of putting Barry's world back together again. So the Reverse-Flash does, wiping away the episode and returning almost everything back to normal.
The episode takes its name straight from the pages of DC's 2011 event that lead to the creation of the New 52. Sadly, the only thing it borrows is the name, as the vast changes to the world aren't shown in the episode at all. This is in stark contrast to last seasons incredibly fun field trips to Earth-2 where we get mention of Atlantis and Barry Allen had Bruce Wayne on speed dial. This is very much a contained exploration of an alternate timeline, and it leaves much to be desired. I was hoping that the season would have lived within the world of Flashpoint for at least 3 episodes, instead of returning everything back to normal pretty much instantaneously. It reminds me that TV producers are scared to move outside their comfort zone and play with expectations too much.
Luckily, after the return from Flashpoint, there are hints of things to come, notably Dr. Polaris and the magic based villain the Alchemist. Some of the relationships were damaged in the return from Flashpoint too, with Joe and Iris having an issue in their past that results in the two of them not speaking to each other. It will probably put a strain on Barry as he tries to fix it and put everything back to his version of normal, so there is more mopey drama on the way to.
Overall, the episode itself is muddled, but there are truly great moments that pull at the strings of greatness. Expect to see more Kid Flash in the future, as I doubt they would make such an awesome costume to use for a single episode, and get ready for a great season that will hopefully dive into magic and mayhem. Even if the season premiere didn't jump off the finish line.
This recap originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.