DC Entertainment

‘The Flash’: “Paradox” Spoiler Review

The second episode of season three opens with a little crossover action as Barry travels to Star City and confesses to Felicity that he has changed the timeline. Immediately we find out what all the differences are over on The Flash side of things as well as what the major effect Flashpoint has had on Arrow. It’s actually quite interesting. Baby Sara is no longer. Instead we have Baby John who we all know will later take the name of Connor Hawke before he picks up the mantle of Green Arrow.

Unfortunately for The Flash everything has gone to shit. Iris still hates Joe for lying to her about her mother still being alive and Cisco resents Barry for not going back in time to save his brother from dying in a drunk driving accident which is totally understandable. At first it seemed like these threads were going to be dragged out which wouldn’t have been interesting at all. But instead the writers made a smart choice and resolved both of these conflicts by the end of the episode. Well, mostly… Cisco still has some healing to do but things are definitely moving in the right direction.

There were a few frustrating bits about the episode though. First off, The Rival sucks. The character is poorly written which doesn’t allow for Todd Lasance to bring any depth to his performance. His motives didn’t work for me so I wasn’t able to buy into the character. But even if I could, I don’t know if I could get past his costume. The suit is just plain awful and it doesn’t even fit him. I understand they aren’t going to spend a whole lot of money to put together a costume for a character who is going to only be in a few episodes but lord, why even try if he’s going to look that silly? Poor decisions like this on the producer’s behalf can easily slip us into Smallville territory.

While on the subject of bad costumes I need to mention Dr. Alchemy. Lord, oh lord. What the fuck was that mask? Cisco’s quip about mask wearing monk metas was the only thing that made up for it. While Dr. Alchemy was present in the episode, he was pretty much pointless as he just pulled the string of The Rival from the shadows which ultimately proved to be ineffective.

Oh and, if they said the word ‘Rival’ one more time I think my head might have exploded. His name is “The Rival.” We get it!

Other than that it’s all positive.

Tom Felton as Central City’s newest forensic scientist is a breath of fresh air. Watching Barry try to navigate around his arrogant attitude was hilarious. I can’t wait to see more of him. The guy is smart and he is already figuring out there is something strange about Barry. If anyone can figure out Barry is The Flash, it’s this guy. He seems like he would be a perfect addition to the team as well.

I’m just going to call it now and say by the end of the season Julian and Barry will be friends.

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Tom Felton as Julian Albert on The Flash (The CW)

What I loved most about this episode is that Barry is learning and starting to grow. Evident in the restraint he is now showing. Only five months ago Barry would have run back in time and changed the timeline in a heart beat but now he sees first hand not only how his actions can change his life, but also the lives of those around him. The scene featuring Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp) was fantastic and the Dawson’s Creek easter egg (which also starred Shipp) was hilarious.

Grant Gustin continues to just crush it as Barry. Every once in a while you get an actor in a role they were born to play and that is Barry Allen for Gustin. The scene in which he explained the multiple timelines he created both traveling to and from Flashpoint could have been your standard science fiction exposition but instead Gustin brought a range of emotions to the moment. He realizes how bad he screwed up and there is nothing he can do about it. Gustin packed so much guilt and pain into the moment along with his desperate need to repair his relationship with Cisco and fix Joe and Iris’ estrangement.

I was really happy when Barry and Iris kissed by the end. You knew it was coming because that light was shining in between them (typical CW). It was a cheap move to erase their first kiss from the timeline a second time so I was glad to see them get it over with so we can move forward. The whole will they won’t they dynamic is not interesting. Neither is relationship drama (cough cough, Arrow). My hope is that the writers give Barry and Iris something to go through together as a couple. Something challenging that can test their love for one another but result in them growing stronger together and coming out the other side better for it.

Watching Cisco deal with his tragedy was painful but worth it. Carlos Valdes is also an incredible actor. Seeing him deal with something so emotionally challenging added a new depth to his character going forward. It made it all the more satisfying when he showed up in the fight against The Rival donning his Vibe gear. No doubt a moment long time Flash fans have been waiting to see since day one. I can’t wait for the day he is out there fighting crime alongside his best friend Barry.

But that wasn’t it. Killer Frost is here. Danielle Panabaker plays Caitlin Snow with so much honesty and purity. She brings more heart to her character than anyone else in the show. Watching her begin her transformation as she breaks down and becomes the villain she is destined to be is going to be tragic.

Overall, it was a good episode that gets things moving forward. There is no going back to change the past anymore. Team Flash has to accept their reality for what it is and make the best of it. While Cisco donning the Vibe gear and the reveal of Killer Frost were moments we have been waiting to see for a long time, what makes this episode an exceptional one were the performances by Grant Gustin and Carlos Valdes. We already know how talented they are but the conflict they began to overcome together tonight raised the bar for the show. Good job guys. I can’t wait for the next episode!

8.3 – GREAT

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