There are probably two schools of thought out there after watching "Flashpoint."
Hardcore comics fans have to be disappointed, as there is virtually nothing, from what I understand, remaining from the printed page to grace this version. TV viewers may have enjoyed it quite a bit.
Me? After watching The Flash Season 3 Episode 1, I really don't care about the concept of "Flashpoint" one way or another, but rather enjoyed a couple of scenarios that came to light during the premiere.
Taking a look at the hour with broad strokes, the flashpoint itself was corrected much faster than I would have expected (or preferred).
I'm a sucker for alternate worlds/timelines, and there was a lot left unexplored in the timeline created by the flashpoint. We got a decent feel for Cisco, Iris and Wally, but were woefully deficient in understanding what tore Joe apart. Even Caitlin's choice to become a ophthalmologist rather than a pure scientist feels like it demanded exploration.
However, given the news about Iris and Joe upon Barry's return to the (other new? what was formerly the present?) timeline, and a future episode this season titled "Killer Frost," something tells me we'll get our answers in a round about way via this new current timeline that was created.
It was a lot of fun getting to see Wally in action as The "Kid" Flash, and even more watching Barry experience being in the presence of The Flash while he was being a hero, even rescuing Barry.
It's been a long time since Barry had eyes for a hero (remember when he met The Arrow?), and that he took a moment to appreciate what it meant when another dude was acting in his stead was kind of cool.
So, I can tell from the "I don't believe you" looks on your faces that you don't believe me.Barry
Barry gathering all of his old team members (except Joe) and trusting them, in any incarnation, with his secret and Wally's gave me the warm fuzzies. I like the idea that you are who you are deep in your soul and can't change.
That flies straight in the face of all those Earth-2 doppelgangers we met during The Flash Season 2, but I still think if they hadn't been killed within an episode, they could have surprised us. Killer Frost had her moments, after all.
Barry chose to help rid this timeline of evil, risking his memories if Eobard Thawne was right that using his speed erased his memories, rather than saving himself. A big risk, considering the pace his memories were fleeing. Strange that they only started leaving at the three month mark, don't you think?
Oh, TV plot convenience.
Well here's how scared I am of you. My name is Edward Clariss. Rivals should know each other's names.The Rival
The Rival was refreshing. Not only was he incredibly good at being a rival, but stripping the mask off his head was a nifty trick. Seriously. Look at the time that saved. We have spent two seasons wondering who is under the mask?! In some cases when the character hasn't even been cast. Is that REALLY all it's cracked up to be?
Now we also know he's in some way connected with Alchemy. Mr. Booming Voice scratched it in his mirror. Will Clariss go on to the The Rival in this timeline or someone completely different? Does it matter? If Barry sees him, he'll recognize him, right?
Um, no. I'm not just passing over Iris. Her development is one of my two favorites.
When Barry and Iris don't have a long drawn out personal history, it seems like Grant Gustin and Candice Patton are far more comfortable playing love interests. OR I'm more comfortable with them playing love interests. I never thought I brought my own feelings into it before, but I'm willing to open the idea for discussion.
Do you think they seemed more at ease playing love interests during "Flashpoint"? Because they felt genuine to me. Iris calling Barry cute, suggesting he talk a little slower, telling Barry she never accepts dates...it all felt right.
Their scenes together were not only believable, but highly enjoyable. As two people who were romantically interested in each other. In a very short span of time.
On the contrary, I didn't buy it when Iris suddenly professed her love to Barry after dating others and generally ignoring him romantically last season.
So I'm genuinely interested in what has changed between Iris and Joe, and perhaps between Barry and Iris, as a result of this flashpoint business. What is it? And why? What could have happened in Barry's house that would change anything with Iris? It was definitely not an expected side effect.
The other thing that crept up on me and made a dent was this:
Barry: You know what I need you to do.
Thawne: Yeah, but I want to hear you say it.
Barry: I need you to kill my mother
Thawne: With pleasure
Barry: I hate you.
Thawne: And I hate you. But I sometimes wonder which of us is right.
That hint of humanity, the understanding Thawne has of Barry...whatever that is. I like it. Villains are always better when they are multi-faceted, and that is a deep layer to one Eobard Thawne that we have not seen since he was slinking around in Harrison Wells' skin.
Sometimes it's hard to remember they were the same person, our wheelchair bound Harrison Wells and this yellow-clad Eobard Thawne, but were and they are. Matt Letscher doesn't have the same delivery as Cavanagh, but with that line, a bit of the man we hated to love finally revealed himself.
Thawne would make a much better villain if he would let that man crawl out a bit more often, remind the STAR Labs Flash crew of how close they once were. Remind US of how close we all were.
Seeing that side of him, I hope he brings it out on Legends of Tomorrow with the Legion of Doom.
Overall, we're off to a promising start to The Flash Season 3, even if the concept of flashpoint itself was a bit of a letdown. It was a good launching pad.
Share your thoughts on the premiere in the comments and watch The Flash online if you need to catch up with all of the background on this CW show!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Broadcast Television Journalists Association (BTJA), enjoys mentoring writers, wine, and passionately discussing the nuances of television. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.