Since the very beginning of The Flash, main character Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) has been through a lot. With everything that’s happened, one thing he’s been told is not to change the timeline.
In the season premiere, Barry went back in time to save his mother and changed the timeline. This threw him into a complete new reality that he thought he’d always wanted. Consequences began to take a toll on his life which resulted in him amending what he changed. This, however, didn’t make it go back to what he thought was normal.
After rupturing the timeline, he attempts to do it once again, to make things back to normal. Oh, Barry, you never seem to learn. Before he can do this, Earth 3’s Flash, Jay Garrick, pulls him out of the Speed Force for a stern talk. They go to a diner where Garrick begins to explain the true effects of time travel. He knows this personally as he’s made the same mistakes that Barry is making now. To display it in a literal way, Garrick breaks a mug, explaining how even though you can put the pieces back together, it’s still not the same as it was before.
The conversation between the two Speedsters becomes a life lesson for Barry, who needs to accept that these are consequences of his actions.
So, what has changed? Joe and Iris don’t talk anymore because Joe didn’t tell her that her mother was still alive. Cisco’s brother, Dante, was unfortunately killed by someone under the influence of alcohol. This has left a toll on his friendship with Barry because he refused to travel back in time to save Dante’s life. Barry and Iris are on the edge of starting their relationship but haven’t yet taken the plunge. When Barry visits Felicity Smoak (Arrow) in Star City to get some advice, he learns that John Diggle now has a son instead of a baby daughter. Finally, Barry is no longer works the only CSI specialist for CCPD. He now works alongside Dr. Julian Albert (Tom Felton), a British Metahuman CSI Specialist, who hasn’t taken a liking for Barry.
On The Flash side of things, Dr. Alchemy, who we met in the last episode, has made a dramatic entrance to this timeline. The villain is turning people who were metahumans in Flashpoint back to what he knew them as, leaving husks of this timeline’s versions in the aftermath. In this episode, we reintroduced to Edward Clariss, who is once again The Rival.
After taking Felicity’s advice, and accepting he can’t change things, he decides to tell his friends what’s really going on. They’re all speechless, apart from Cisco (Carol Valdes). He is furious that Barry went back in time to save his parents and wouldn’t save Dante’s.
Later in the show, The Flash goes up against The Rival, who now has the memories and powers of the other timeline fully restored. While the battle is taking place, Iris manages to rally the team back together; stressing that they’re a family, they’ve all made mistakes, and have secrets just as much as Barry. The shot switches back to The Flash and The Rival. Dr. Alchemy inserts himself into the battle and throws Barry off, resulting in The Rival having the upper hand. Out of nowhere, Cisco, dressed as Vibe, shows up to help his friend. Together, they defeat The Rival.
At the end of the episode, Dr. Alchemy, is disappointed in The Rival’s defeat, and murders him in his cell. Team Flash are together again, and Barry and Iris share a kiss. The consequences of the timeline change doesn’t end there. Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker), is in the early stages of becoming a metahuman like her Earth-2 Doppleganger, Killer Frost.
Who knew an episode could be as action packed as the previous.
Watch The Flash every Tuesday on The CW (US) and Sky1 (UK)
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