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Recap / The Flash 2014 S 3 E 2 Paradox

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Returning to his own timeline, Barry continues to see the effects his actions have brought.


  • 100% Adoration Rating: Felicity, at least, believes that whatever Barry does next to fix things, Team Flash would be behind him all the way since Barry is like pudding, and "Everybody likes pudding."
  • The '90s: Before Barry does yet another Cosmic Retcon, Jay intervenes and took him to 1998.
  • Accidental Pun: Barry's Cosmic Retcon causes a Bus Crash for Dante. Even if it's not literally a bus, he still died on a road accident.
  • Aesop Amnesia: After seeing multiple times that messing with time generally does not end well, Barry tries to fix the mess he caused by going back in time again. Fortunately Jay is there to stop him.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Jay gives Barry an awesome one:
    Jay: Are you just gonna take a "do over" every time you make a mistake, or will you live with them and move forward?
  • Big Damn Heroes: Cisco/Vibe saves Barry from being Impaled with Extreme Prejudice by Clariss.
  • Break the Cutie: Cisco is loaded with Guilt Complex for not patching it up with Dante much earlier before the latter's death.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • Jay Garrick returns since last appearing in the Season 2 finale.
    • Felicity returns after last appearing in the second annual Crossover, although it is actually Barry who runs to Star City to talk to her.
  • Bus Crash: Dante dies from a road accident thanks to Barry's Cosmic Retcon.
  • Call-Back: Barry offers the same explanation of changing the timeline to Team Flash just as he did to their Flashpoint counterparts last episode.
  • Call-Forward: John Diggle Jr. is now the only child of Digg, setting up his future role as Green Arrow II.
  • Celebrity Paradox:
  • Close-Enough Timeline: This timeline is still different than the one Barry knows, but ultimately Jay talks him out of making further attempts to fix it.
  • Continuity Nod: Iris points out that everybody at some point make mistakes, and sometimes the consequences affect people around them. She also points out how Cisco was forced by Captain Cold to reveal the Flash's secret identity but everybody forgave him for that.
  • Demoted to Dragon: Edward Clariss quickly becomes Dr. Alchemy's stooge, not that he's complaining.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Clariss clearly has a lot of joy being an evil speedster.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: It's subtle but it's clear Barry feels miffed that he's not allowed to investigate metahuman crimes anymore even though he was investigating them a year before Julian.
  • Dynamic Entry: To stop Barry from attempting to fix things via time travel again, Jay appears out of nowhere and tackles Barry out of the Speed Force.
  • Five-Second Foreshadowing: When Barry tells the rest of Team Flash what he knows about Clariss (knowledge that he only knows because of Flashpoint), Iris is seen watching something on her cellphone. When she privately confronts Barry about his extra knowledge a scene later, she shows him what video was on: Barry's confrontation with Clariss, and the latter blurting everything about Flashpoint.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Caitlin isn't mad about Barry keeping his little time trip secret, because "we all have secrets". Once Barry leaves, Caitlin creates some icy mist in her hand.
    • One that Barry seems to think is overdue, since he's been witness to it: when he believes Dr. Alchemy is going to transform other people into their counterparts from Flashpoint, his gaze lingers on Wally for a couple of seconds.
    • Felicity's shocked reaction when she finds out that Diggle had a daughter instead of a son before Flashpoint becomes a story point come the Crossover.
  • Framing Device: The first part of the episode, explaining the changes Flashpoint caused, is framed by Barry narrating it to Felicity.
  • Happy Ending Override: Cisco and Dante's now seemingly repaired relationship once again takes a hit, again thanks to Barry's Cosmic Retcon. The first time their initial reconciliation was erased and was postponed to last year, this time the latter still happens except Dante now suffered a (possibly almost literal) Bus Crash between Seasons 2 and 3.
  • Heroic BSoD: When Jay convinces Barry that he should just stop trying to fix things with time travel, he breaks down. When he finally confesses his deeds to Team Flash later, he was almost down to tears.
  • He's Back!: After Caitlin and Iris talk over how to handle Barry's revelation of the alternate timeline, Cisco comes back to help him as Vibe, even deciding to take back his role as The Nicknamer again by coining "Doctor Alchemy" for their new nemesis.
  • Humble Hero: Jay Garrick reveals himself to be one with one beautiful line:
    Jay: We're not gods, we're men who for whatever reason have been given extraordinary abilities.
  • Hypocrite: Cisco accuses Barry of this for creating a Cosmic Retcon to save his parents but refusing to do so to save Dante. Of course from Barry's POV he didn't even know Dante was dead. And he also doesn't seem to care that it could have huge ramifications for others, like in Barry's case.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: Julian realizes something's up, when Barry mentions Clariss, before Julian ever tells him a name. The same thing happens with Caitlin telling him who it is.
  • Insistent Terminology: Upon getting back his fun side somewhat, Cisco is somewhat adamant about them calling Alchemy by his nickname for him, "Doctor" Alchemy.
  • Irony: Iris confronting Barry over Flashpoint is played out the exact same way as in the previous episode. However, whereas the last time it actually drove them closer, here Iris flat-out tells Barry that it's causing their relationship to go sour.
  • Jerkass: Julian Albert.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Julian might be a complete jerk about it, but Barry did steal evidence from the crime scene they went to. Of course, that's because Julian refused to let Barry take one which is why Barry had to go behind his back.
  • Jumped at the Call: When Dr. Alchemy reveals the potential he has in Flashpoint (and add a few scare tactics along the way), Clariss didn't need being asked again about becoming the Rival.
  • Let Me Get This Straight...: Said word for word by Felicity after Barry finished recapping Flashpoint to her.
  • Lip-Lock Sun-Block: Barry and Iris kiss the same way they did in season 2 finale.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Dr. Alchemy, who presents himself to be a major player this season, wears a rather creepy mask.
  • Manly Tears: The entire Cisco-Barry interaction in this episode is filled with this, especially from Barry himself.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Cisco's resentment over Barry not saving Dante is eerily similar to Hunter Zolomon's origin into becoming Zoom - he was crippled by Grodd and begged Wally to go back to stop it, and when Wally refused he took matters into his own hand. Thankfully Cisco does not walk now that path.
    • Jay took Barry to a diner. In the older Flash comics, a diner is a common setting.
    • In one confrontation, Clariss asks Bary about where his "sidekick" (Wally) is supposed to be.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Barry continues to see the effects his changes brought as Cisco is now seeking counseling over losing Dante and Caitlin discovers she's showing signs of developing Killer Frost's powers.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Barry sees that John's daughter Sara no longer exists he realizes how massively he screwed up.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: It's easy to see how broken Cisco is when he has absolutely none of his joking behavior, and doesn't even try to get in on giving a nickname to a crook when Barry tries to joke around about it.
  • Out of Focus: In spite of being the source of a Wham Line in the previous episode, Joe and Iris' estrangement is on the backburner for most of the episode and they actually end up reconciling immediately after learning about Flashpoint: the consequence that Barry has to deal with is actually his fractured friendship with Cisco.
  • Phlebotinum Analogy: Jay compares damaging the timeline to breaking a coffee cup: No matter how hard you try to put it back together, it will never be exactly the way it was before. There will always be cracks.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Julian rips into Barry for his good guy facade after confronting him over stealing a sample from him. He ends it by stating that he doesn't trust Barry and that he tends not to like things that he doesn't trust.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Subverted as Barry meets Julian Albert, a co-worker at the Central City forensic department. He's actually been part of the team for the last year but, from Barry's point of view, it's their first meeting and he's thrown at how much of a jerk Julian is.
    Barry: How have I been working with this guy for a year?
    Joe: You say that all the time.
  • Reality Warping Is Not a Toy: Jay finally gets Barry to realize that he can't keep causing Cosmic Retcon instances, as things will never be exactly the way they used to be.
  • Ret-Gone: Poor Sara Diggle.
  • The Reveal: Caitlin has ice powers.
  • Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory:
    • Aside from Barry, Clariss has this as well, and he's not happy that he lost the life he had in the Flashpoint.
    • Dr. Alchemy also is implied to have one.
    • Judging from Jay Garrick's appearance, those who are on another earth at the time of Barry's Cosmic Retcon seems to be unaffected by it.
  • Second Episode Introduction: Julian Albert makes his debut. Also, Dr. Alchemy finally makes his first physical appearance.
  • Secret-Keeper: By the end of the episode, Felicity is the only one besides Barry who knows all of the changes to the timeline (although Barry is fully willing to tell the others if they request the information).
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Defied. Barry tries to do this, but Jay intervenes to stop him from screwing up any further.
  • Super Empowering: Dr. Alchemy gives the Rival back the powers he had in the Flashpoint timeline. Barry realizes at the end of the episode that he's probably planning on doing so to everyone else who was a metahuman in that timeline.
  • Taught by Experience: Jay admits to Barry that he's made the same mistakes Barry has when it comes to time travel and that he doesn't wish to see Barry make them too.
  • Tempting Fate: Near the end of the episode, Barry tells Caitlin that there is practically no difference between her in the current timeline and the original timeline. However, see The Reveal.
  • Terminology Title: A Paradox is a statement that is self contradictory because it often contains two statements that are both true, but in general, cannot both be true at the same time.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: The team doesn't get to eat "Grandma Esther's recipe" as they all leave the dinner when they're interrupted by the Rival.
  • Title Drop: This time around it came from Jay, pointing out the damage Barry has done to the timestream and calling it "Paradox".
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • One positive effect of Barry's Cosmic Retcon is that Cisco now has great, if not complete, mastery of his metahuman powers. Cisco is a Reluctant Warrior, though.
    • Another negative effect of the Cosmic Retcon, Clariss not only remembers his life in "Flashpoint", but thanks to Dr. Alchemy's method of restoring his powers, he is able to truly rival Barry/Flash as a speedster.
  • Took A Level In Cynicism: Cisco is understandably pretty bitter after his brother's death, though he starts to grow out of it a bit by the end of the episode.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Dr. Alchemy claims that he's doing what he is in order to "prepare the world".
  • Wham Episode: We fully see the ramifications of what Barry has done to the Arrowverse, and for the most part, it's not pretty. To recap:
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Jay gives Barry a more mild and polite example than most, but he really spells out how Barry needs to stop traveling in time.
    Jay: Having a loss like that in your life, I see why you'd wanna erase it. Who wouldn't try to save their parents? I understand that, Barry, completely. But the thing is, there are consequences to time travel.
    • Julian calls out Barry for stealing a sample of evidence from him and pretending to be a good guy.
    • Iris delivers one, after revealing she knows about Barry's fight with the Rival, and knows he's done something that's changed all their lives yet he still refuses to reveal it.
    • The Entire Team gives Barry this after learning about Flash Point, and how Barry royally screwed the timeline.
  • The Worf Effect: The Edward Clariss/The Rival of this timeline is far more formidable than in the Flashpoint, possibly thanks to Dr. Alchemy's method of restoring his powers, to the point of pulling the move to beat a younger Eobard to beat him. Yet at the same time, how a slightly out of practice Barry can beat him to the point that the next time they meet, he had to bring Dr. Alchemy with him to even things out in his favor before Vibe help even the scales again.
  • You Can't Fight Fate:
    • At the end of the day, Edward Clariss still ends up dead.
    • With John Diggle, Jr. now in existence, the events during a Bad Future episode seen in Legends of Tomorrow is now more likely to happen.
  • You Have Failed Me: Dr. Alchemy kills Clariss when he ends up in Iron Heights.