If there is anything we have learned from Hollywood when it comes to time travel, it’s that it never ends well. There are always unforeseen consequences that are hard to fix. Apparently, no one told Barry Allen this, though. In this week’s episode of The Flash, we saw exactly what these consequences meant to Barry and everyone else who has played a part in making him The Flash.
Barry found out that living in an alternate timeline didn’t turn out as well as he thought it would so he decided to change things back. However, it wasn’t as easy as he thought. Instead of reverting back to the original timeline, he created a third and seemingly permanent one. In this new world, Iris and her father aren’t speaking to each other, the death of his brother has caused Cisco to become deeply depressed, and Barry now has a new partner down at the station who can’t stand him. Although this timeline is similar to the original, Barry’s closest relationships are in shambles.
Barry realizes that he needs to go back in time again to fix it. If only it was that easy. The thing is, he already went back and allowed his mother to be killed again so, this time, there is no clear event he needs to change. To further complicate things, Barry is pulled back in time by Jay Garrick (the original Flash and doppelganger of his father) who told him he can’t keep going back in time without messing things up even more.
So what now? I imagine this won’t be the last time Barry goes back in time, but for now, it looks like he is stuck. I imagine he will do his best to fix things in his present world but I doubt it will be enough. Frankly, this episode was pretty depressing. It’s not right that Iris and her father aren’t speaking. They were a model father-daughter relationship. The worst part, though, was having to see the new Cisco. A character that was once one of the most light-hearted and genuine ever is now a complete mess. There is nothing I want Barry to fix more than this.
Besides Barry and his failing personal relationships, we got a glimpse of some major antagonists this week. Dr. Alchemy looks to be The Flash’s new great enemy. He gave The Rival his speed and has set out to bring back all the Flashpoint metahumans, so we can only assume Wally will also regain his speed. Barry’s time travel also had an effect on his enemies. I enjoyed seeing The Rival realize he lost his powers because of it. And thought it was great that the writers also threw in his point-of-view. It will also be interesting to see what role Barry’s new office rival will play. Being that he is played by the same actor who played Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton), one of the biggest bullies ever, we can only assume it won’t be good for Barry.
Overall I thought this was a good follow-up to last week’s episode Flashpoint. It did a great job of playing out the unforeseen consequences of Barry’s time travel while also setting things up for the rest of the season. It will be interesting to see Barry’s course of action in upcoming episodes as he attempts to correct his mistakes.