By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Flash.
As I suspected last week, the “Flashpoint” story isn’t really finished, it’s just been partially settled and reimagined. This is a smart move by the writers. We’ve already dealt with a de-powered Barry, and we’ve already seen him re-create the conditions that gave him his powers when the particle accelerator exploded. Going through this again would have been painfully redundant. His memories are intact and he’s no longer in danger of losing his powers again. Now we’re set back into the present where he can continue to deal with the fallout of his decision to go back in time.
I was really happy to see the return of Jay Garrick. As most of you probably know by now, Garrick was the original Flash in the comics. He has an interesting backstory. He was the Flash on Earth-2 (despite being the original Flash) and a founding member of the Justice Society of America. The character started to lose popularity after WWII at a time when superhero comic sales were in decline. He was brought back in the mid-1950s, which is where is story gets really interesting. On Barry’s Earth, Garrick was a comic book character created by Gardner Fox, the real-life creator of the original Flash. In the story, Fox was channeling Garrick’s stories from another dimension and telling them through comics. Eventually, Garrick and Allen would meet and the older Flash would mentor the new Flash. While his meta-comic book origins weren’t carried over into the show (thankfully), Garrick has returned to mentor Barry. It was a shame to see John Wesley Shipp’s Henry Allen killed off last season, but bringing him back as the Earth-3 Flash was a great move by the writers. He’s a talented actor and has previous experience playing Flash. He had a short run as Henry and killing him off felt like a shame and a waste of his tremendous talent. Hopefully, his appearance is more than a cameo.
We have a villain using the sorcerer’s stone and we have Draco Malfoy as Barry’s possible nemesis. I love this show. We don’t yet know who Julian Albert is or what his deal is with hating Barry. The two most prevalent rumors are that he’s actually Alchemy or Atom Smasher. Alchemy is a little too obvious. Atom Smasher is more likely as his name in the comics is Albert Julian Rothstein. Atom Smasher is a character with super-strength that can change the size and density of his body. I’m hoping for Atom Smasher if for no other reason than I want to see Tom Felton play a good guy for a change. But as we know from watching this show for two years, the writers love to tweak origins stories to keep viewers on their toes.
As we saw over the past week, Barry’s decision to go back in time has had minimal effect on the rest of the CW shows. Supergirl, according to the writers, still takes place on a separate earth and will feature Kara Danvers dimension hopping, and Arrow is unchanged save for that small fact that Diggle has a son instead of a daughter. Legends of Tomorrow rarely takes place in the present-day so I wasn’t expecting it to be altered anyway. In a way it’s understandable that the writers of each show wouldn’t want to mess with their stories only to have them change again should Barry eventually repair the timeline. That’s asking a lot from your audience. But still, I think most people watch all four of these shows, so I’m still a little surprised that the writers of The Flash are seemingly keeping this altered timeline contained to this one series. Maybe we will find little subtle differences in the coming weeks but I’m not counting on it.
Thanks for reading!