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Recap / The Flash 2014 S 3 E 1 Flashpoint

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Barry adjusts to the new timeline created by his meddling in the past, only to discover that there have been massive unexpected consequences.


Tropes:

  • Adaptational Badass:
    • In the original Flashpoint storyline, Barry lost his Super Speed and Healing Factor. Here, he retains them. However, it should be noted that as he used his abilities, he began to lose them, as well as his memories of the previous timeline. If he had not restored the time soon enough, he would have been Brought Down to Normal.
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    • Wally and Iris may still be a Brother-Sister Team, but here he is Kid Flash whereas in the Flashpoint comic he's merely a cameraman.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In the original Flashpoint storyline, Eobard is an asshole like always. Here, he is more benevolent and wants to restore the timeline, albeit for selfish reasons.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the comic, Thawne got a considerable power boost from the chaos caused by all of the time damage; here he's locked in a cage until Barry needs his help.
  • Adapted Out: A large number of characters present on the original Flashpoint storyline are not present here. Justified since most of them aren't in the Arrowverse. Also, Two key characters live in another universe from this one.
  • Alternate Timeline: The entire episode takes place in one, dubbed by Eobard Thawne as "Flashpoint."
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  • Atrocious Alias: Wally hates the Kid Flash moniker. Iris persists anyway.
  • Back from the Dead: Thanks to Barry's extensive time meddling, Thawne is alive and kicking.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: In an extremely roundabout way, Eobard Thawne managed to achieve his goal from Season 1 - reestablish his connection to the Speed Force and return back to his own time.
  • Bait-and-Switch: Barry finally got the nerve to ask Flashpoint!Iris out, with approval from his superior officer Mendez. Later Barry tells Mendez he has dinner plans in lieu of his police work. Think it's about his date with Iris? Think again; see Go-Karting with Bowser.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Thawne has a beard in this timeline that highlights his failure.
  • Brother-Sister Team: Wally and Iris work as this in the Flashpoint timeline.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Initially averted; in the source material, Barry has lost his powers because he messed with the timeline. Here his powers are completely intact. This eventually becomes a major hindrance for Barry, since his powers are what's making him lose his memories of the Prime timeline.
    • Played straight during the second half of the episode. Barry slows down in his fight versus Rival and by the time he lets Thawne out of his cell, his powers are gone.
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  • Butterfly of Doom: Barry goes back in time and saves his mom and welcome to Flashpoint!
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: Thawne really wants to kill Barry but knows if he does he's screwed.
  • Captured Super-Entity: Thawne is trapped in a cage that dampens his powers, similar to the ones Zoom kept his prisoners in.
  • Close-Enough Timeline: Well not close enough. For unknown reasons Iris and Joe are estranged in this new timeline. Unfortunately it's implied to be one of many negative changes thanks to Barry's screw-up.
  • Composite Character:
    • Wally comes full circle here; he's still African-American, but his Kid Flash costume is based not on the New 52 version, but rather the Classic one donned by Pre-Flashpoint Wally West, and his role as Flashpoint!Central City's champion supplants Citizen Cold.
    • In-universe, Cisco takes the role he has in the main timeline and the role of Harry Wells. Like the latter, this Cisco is an owner of a powerful laboratory, wears glasses, is arrogant and is unpleasant.
  • Continuity Nod: Cisco tells Iris, Wally, and Barry he does not want to go up against an evil speedster and end up with a vibrating hand through his rib-cage.
  • Crapsaccharine World: The "Flashpoint" timeline seems like a nice place, but....
    • Cisco may be a billionaire but he's cold and aloof and would rather not get involved in heroics.
    • Joe is a belligerent and lazy drunk whose relationship with Iris and Wally is strained.
    • Wally may the Flash but he's proud, reckless and inexperienced, and for reasons unexplained lacks Barry's substantial healing powers.
  • Dramatic Irony: Unknown to Thawne, his future self actually wanted Barry to stop him from killing Nora.
  • Evil Has a Bad Sense of Humor: When he realizes that the reason Barry is losing his memories of the old timeline due to using his powers, Thawne bursts out in hysterical laughter.
  • Evil Is Petty: Eobard has one condition to help Barry fix the timeline: that Barry ask him to kill Nora.
  • Foreshadowing: Once he literally delivers Barry back to the latter's proper timeline, Thawne gloats about how things are back to normal, for him, anyway. He tells Barry to merely wait and find out. He does discover one of these changes (the first of many, perhaps) in the denouement of the episode, by complete accident.
  • For Want of a Nail: The entire episode is centered on the changes that Barry made because of time travel.
  • From Bad to Worse: After "fixing" the timeline, Barry's parents are still dead but Iris is no longer part of his life. Her relationship with her family is also in bad shape.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: Barry explicitly tells his superior that he has dinner plans instead of doing his assignment. Those dinner plans were in fact, sharing fast food with his own (captive) nemesis, Eobard Thawne.
  • Happy Ending Override: One that applies to a villain: Thawne succeeds in his goals, however, he finds out he made himself a target for the Speed Force's new agent: the Black Flash. He'll be spending most of Legends of Tomorrow Season 2 running for his life.
  • Hypocrite: Thawne's criticism of Barry's actions come off rather flat thanks to his own extensive Time Travel shenanigans, especially since Barry's actions were the end goal of his future self's Evil Plan in Season One.
  • Hypocrite Has a Point: Thawne has no moral authority to condemn Barry's time travel, but he is right in his criticisms to Barry.
  • I Lied: Thawne really misled Barry on how time travel works, neglecting to mention how things still things change even if you "fix" things.
  • Ignored Expert: Barry doesn't pay any attention to Thawne's warnings about messing with time, since Thawne has done enough time damage on his own.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Kid Flash got stabbed by the Rival when he dropped his guard.
  • In Name Only: The Flashpoint timeline has very little in common with the one from the comics.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Harrison Wells has not built the STAR Labs Particle Accelerator in the "Flashpoint" timeline, yet meta-humans still exist. If there was an accelerator explosion it was much more low key.
    • Wally West was a drag racer.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Barry bringing up Iris, unaware of her situation in the new timeline.
  • Internal Homage: The fight against the Rival is a huge reference to the very first episode with the fight against Weather Wizard. It's in the same location, tornadoes are created and Joe shoots the villain from behind. Cisco even calls the Rival some kind of Weather Wizard.
  • It's All About Me: Barry was so focused on Iris that he didn't notice that STAR Labs no longer exists, or what happened to his former teammates. Though this can be handwaved by how Barry was sucked into the "Flashpoint Illusion".
  • Jerkass Façade: Cisco in "Flashpoint" acts all aloof, but it's just an act. He likes helping people, but he can't stand the collateral damage that comes from being a hero.
  • Karma Houdini: Thawne, as usual, setting up the stage for his stint on Legends of Tomorrow.
  • Kick the Dog: Thawne's second murder of Nora is even more brutal than his first.
  • Lazy Bum: In the Flashpoint timeline, Joe hates his police job and prefers drinking & dozing off in his home.
  • Lighter and Softer: A lot more upbeat than the original Flashpoint comic. Instead of a world-ending crisis and a world war, the problems that are caused are much more personal, and some characters are actually better off.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Barry utters this almost verbatim when he discovers his meddling caused Iris to be estranged from Joe.
  • Magnetic Hero: Even in a timeline vastly different from the original, Barry is still able to bring Team Flash together due to sheer personality. Even if there was some kidnapping involved, they could've just walked back out if they wanted.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The Rival, while wearing a completely different suit from his comic namesake, is still a darker version of this show's Jay Garrick (the real one, that is).
    • When Barry is unimpressed by the Flash's base of operations, Wally quips if he was expecting, of all things, a fortress.
    • Wally's origin as the Flash in the Flashpoint timeline is actually closer to Barry's traditional comic-book origins - he was struck by lightning and exposed to chemicals (the difference being that he was in a race-car as opposed to a lab). Speaking of which, the race-car Superhero Origin story is very similar to Daniel West's supervillain origins.
    • Julio Mendez is the Captain of the CCPD in the Flashpoint timeline. Actor Alex Desert played a forensic scientist of the same name on the original series.
    • Just as in the Flashpoint film, Eobard asks Barry who the villain really is while describing what he might have done to the timeline.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: What did Barry break this time?
    • In the Flashpoint timeline, Joe is a lazy bum who risks being fired.
    • When Barry "fixes" the timeline he finds out that Iris and Joe aren't speaking to each other anymore.
    • And the biggest one is thanks to all of Barry's time meddling, Eobard Thawne has managed to wriggle out of his Karmic Death, negating Eddie's sacrifice.
  • Not Me This Time: Apparently, Cisco does not like how Wally zooms around in his lab, but Wally quickly proves he's not responsible when he is also kidnapped seconds later.
  • Older Than They Look: Nora Allen aged really gracefully in the Flashpoint timeline.
  • One Head Taller: Cisco's arm candy positively towers over him. note 
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: A lot of liberties are with the "Flashpoint" story-line. Justified because the majority of characters in the comics story are off-limits to the Arrowverse.
  • Race Against the Clock: Barry realizes that if he can't set things right before he forgets the old timeline, this one will become permanent.
  • Relationship Reset Button: In the altered timeline, Barry and Iris didn't stay in touch and thus never dated.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Played with as Barry does remember the old timeline but every time he uses his powers, he forgets some of it. Thawne tells him if he forgets all his memories, this timeline becomes permanent.
  • Rogues-Gallery Transplant: The Rival, traditionally the Arch-Enemy of Jay Garrick, becomes Wally's nemesis instead.
  • Running Gag: To Wally's chagrin, his circle of Secret Keepers (including a "complete stranger" up to that point) keeps calling him Kid Flash.
  • Selective Enforcement: The Universe seems to very picky on who it punishes for time meddling. Thawne goes back in time to kill Barry as a 10-year-old boy before settling on his mom as a consolation prize, only to lose his super-speed. So he kills and replaces Dr. Wells to create the Flash early all so he can get back home, and the timeline is relatively stable. Barry goes back in time to save his mom and what happens? The Universe punishes him by making him responsible for ruining his friends and family. Though it may be its way of trying to make sure Barry doesn't end up like one of the other evil speedsters.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong:
    • Averted, Barry stopping Thawne from killing Nora did not bring back the original timeline where he would become the Flash in 2020, but rather a whole new timeline.
    • Played straight when Barry realizes he has to let Thawne kill Nora. Sadly it's not the quick fix Barry was hoping for.
  • Something We Forgot: It was only when the episode is reaching its climax, and Barry reassembling Team Flash (or, at least the Flashpoint versions of them) did he realize they're one short: after a quick search on Cisco's computer, he zooms out of STAR Labs and returns with an understandably confused Caitlin in tow.
  • The Stinger: The episode ends with Edward Clariss being awoken in his home by a demonic voice calling his name and the word "Alchemy" scratched into his bedroom mirror by an invisible force.
  • Time-Passage Beard: Eobard Thawne has grown some stubble to indicate that he and Barry have spent quite some time in the Flashpoint timeline.
  • Time Skip: Barry spent three months in an Alternate Timeline before he realized he made a tragic mistake.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: Par for the course for this series. Once again, time travel seems to impact time-travelers differently in different situations. Barry's creation of an Alternate Timeline here leads to him gradually starting to lose his memories of his original life, a process accelerated by him using his speed. But Thawne, in Season 1, also created an Alternate Timeline when he murdered Nora in the first place, and that did not seem to affect him or his memories of his original timeline at all. Halfway justified by Thawne claiming that Barry simply doesn't understand temporal mechanics as well as Thawne does.
    • This might also apply to rules concerning the Time Wraiths introduced in Season Two. For whatever reason, they don't appear at all even though it was made clear in S2 that they don't tolerate alteration of the timeline at all.
    • Also applies to Thawne himself, as it was later revealed that the Thawne who dumped Barry at the West's house was a time remnant created as a side effect of Flashpoint.
  • Title Drop: Courtesy of Eobard Thawne.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Wally doesn't bother applying Barry's strategy and charges against The Rival. After throwing The Rival to the floor, Wally turns his back on him and gets stabbed by him. Barry himself does something similar; after neutralizing the hurricans and having Clariss in the floor, Barry turns on his back and would have died if Joe hadn't shot The Rival.
  • Villains Never Lie: Throughout the episode, Eobard is telling Barry the repercussions of Time Travel. He is right.
  • Wham Line:
    • Barry is understandably in shock when Iris tells him that she completely believes his claims about Flashpoint.
    • When Joe and Wally tells Barry that Iris is "persona non grata" on the West household after "restoring" the timeline.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Eobard repeatedly calls Barry out on his selfish actions, but Barry doesn't pay them any head until he starts losing his speed and memories. He then claims that Barry has to let him kill his mother. Barry initially refuses, prompting Thawne to deliver this gem, which is also tinged with Foreshadowing for the identity of the season's Big Bad:
    • Nora and Henry obviously disapprove of Barry becoming essentially a Stalker with a Crush to Iris, until Barry reveals that he's finally worked up the nerve to introduce himself and ask her out. They backpedal almost instantly.
    • In the Prime timeline, Wally asks Barry why he unknowingly upset Joe by bringing Iris up. This clues Barry in about Iris and Joe's estrangement.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?:
    • Nothing is ever made of Harrison Wells in the Flashpoint timeline. His wife Tess is probably meant to not live long anyway before Eobard killed them, but you'd think the founder of STAR Labs would warrant at least one mention.
    • The fates of Captain Singh (who is replaced by Captain Mendes in the Flashpoint timeline) as well as other secondary characters like Ronnie Raymond and Eddie Thawne were also never revealed.
  • Worf Had the Flu: The reason Edward was even able to compete with a Flash who has managed to level up to the point of defeating a juiced-up Hunter Zolomon, before losing was because Barry was suffering from his memories being erased and changing, otherwise the fight would've been a lot shorter.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Eobard forces Barry to voice the action he needs to do to restore the timeline.
    Barry: You know what I need you to do!
    Thawne: Yeah but I want to hear you say it!
    Barry: (fighting back tears) I need you to kill my mother!
    Thawne: (smirking) With pleasure!
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Averted, Barry goes back to save Nora and the Universe actually lets her live. This is in direct contrast to Rip Hunter's efforts to save his family which all ended in disaster.
    • But this trope is ultimately played straight when Barry realizes that Flashpoint has made things worse.


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