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The FLASH! Season 3, Ep. 2 "Paradox" Recap/Review

Story/Plot9.4
Acting9.6
Writing9
Cinematography9.5
Captivation9.7
Flash is definitely back! This is still, BY FAR, the best superhero show on television. We hope the Justice League powers-that-be *cough, cough* are watching. The Grant Gustin version of the Flash has delighted fans for two (going on three) seasons. OK... back to our review. The further explanation and delving into the speed force and speedsters abilities to alter time is still very interesting and we're sure will keep storylines interesting for seasons to come. It does beg the question, though, why Thawne just won't keep going back and trying again.. (sorry getting off track again lol). With regards to this episode, it's mostly thumbs up! We're not considerably happy that we don't get our perfect, happy ending back from season 2, but it does make it interesting going forward and gives each character some duality from knowing how things may have been vs. accepting how they are. We're intrigued and can't wait for episode 3!! Good job FLASH!
9.4

The episode opens with Barry telling Felicity Smoak what has happened since the season 2 finale.

He tells her about a confrontation with a jewel thief earlier in the day, where he dismantled the man's getaway motorcycle. He headed to STAR Labs, where everyone is pretty quiet. They're clearly upset, and Cisco heads to the gym, which confuses Barry.

He tries to convince the Wests to talk about why it is that they aren't talking, but instead of getting answers, he just makes things worse between the family.

The Flash -- "Paradox" -- Image: FLA302b_0051b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

After Joe and Wally leave, Iris confronts Barry, asking him what's wrong. He tells her that he doesn't understand why she's so upset, but she just says that maybe he shouldn't bring it up again. She wants to talk about their relationship, but she remembers it differently than he does.
At the Central City PD, Barry learns that Iris is mad at Joe for not telling her that Francine is still alive. There's also another guy working in the CSI department -- and he doesn't particularly like Barry or want his help.

Barry follows Cisco to a grief counseling session, where he's talking about Dante's death, and how it's affected him. Cisco sees Barry spying on him and kicks him out.

In the present, Barry checks out Felicity's computer and discovers that he's also turned John Diggle's daughter into a son. Felicity suggests he should tell everyone what's happened, but he doesn't know how. She encourages him that he can, though, and sends him on his way.

At Clariss's house, he starts to remember the Flashpoint timeline before seeing the "Alchemy" scrawled on glass and then rushing off to meet a hooded figure who introduces himself as Alchemy. Clariss says that he has visions and asks to make them stop. Alchemy instead offers to make the visions come true, and Clariss asks him to do it.

At the waterfront, Barry and his new coworker Julian area looking at a husk that looks like somebody crawled out of a set of human skin. Julian is confrontational and not helpful while it's going on, and everyone -- even Cisco and Caitlin when he goes back to STAR -- knows about it. He tries to get Cisco to bring everyone together to dinner at Barry's so that he can try to make things right between them.

He convinces both Joe and Iris to do it, using super speed and half truths to make it work.

That night, over a quiet and awkward dinner, Barry tries to make small talk about how great it is to all be together again. He offers that they should go away together for bonding, but nobody is sold on the idea. The half-truths start to fall apart, and as things get worse at dinner, Cisco reveals that they wanted him to travel back in time to stop Dante's death at the hands of a drunk driver, but Barry wouldn't do it.

Just then, they get an alert on their metahuman app. Barry speeds off to find The Rival waiting for him. He remembers everything now and he's not happy about what The Flash did. The two battle through the streets of the city at super speed, with Barry body-checking Clariss at super-speed and Clariss disappearing. When Barry speeds off, somebody is watching him.

Before Caitlin can tell them who Clariss is, Barry chimes in. Everyone is confused, but before Barry can tell them what's going on, Iris pulls him aside to demand he tell her what's going on. He tells her that everything going on is shi fault, and there's only one way to fix it. He runs back in time -- again -- but is grabbed out of the timestream by Jay Garrick before he can do what he as going to do.

Paradox

Garrick brings him into a diner in 1998, where he tells him that he knows everything, but that what Barry did is not acceptable and that there are consequences to time travel. Jay tells him that he's made these mistakes before. He vibrates a chip into a coffee cup, saying that it's like the timeline: no matter how hard you try to fix it, it's never going to be exactly perfect. Jay says they're not gods, they're men, and that Barry needs to ask himself what kind of hero he's going to be: if he's going to live with his mistakes or try to cheat his way out of them.

Back at STAR Labs, Barry rushes back into the room and tells the team that he needs to tell them the truth. He admits what happened with Flashpoint, explaining the whole thing very much like how he explained it to them in Flashpoint. Everyone is stunned and upset. Cisco leaves, and Barry follows him out of the room. He's really upset that Barry has never agreed to go back and save Dante, but that he would do it for himself. Barry tells him he can't, and he hopes they can move forward.

Barry heads back to work, and tells Julian that he needs to read a report on Edward Clariss's "husk." Julian is suspicious but gives it to him. Julian explains that the body likely started on Williamson, near the old Prescott Sawmill. Flash heads there, and is confronted by The Rival and Alchemy, who blasts him with an item we're going to assume is the Philosopher's Stone.

Back at STAR, Iris gives a speech to get Team Flash back together, which among other things reconciles her with Joe. Slowly they start to come around, but not before they see on their computers that Barry is in trouble.

The Flash -- "Paradox" -- Image: FLA302b_0278b.jpg -- Pictured: Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

At the sawmill, Alchemy tells Barry that he's "preparing this world" and that he's helping people meet their true potential. As Clariss pulls out Barry's comm so he can't talk to the team and then starts beating on him at super-speed, the team decides to get involved and help him. Barry is losing the fight badly, shaken by several blasts from the Philosopher's Stone, when Cisco shows up in full costume as Vibe and blasts Clariss. The tide turns and together, the two manage to take out Clariss. Barry thanks Cisco, who apologizes for taking so long.

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