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The Flash / Season Three

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Safe to say that Barry Allen/The Flash has just made the biggest mistake of his life code-named: Flashpoint. Question is...how will he move forward from it?

For recap, see Recap.The Flash 2014


Tropes in The Flash (2014) Season Three:

  • Advertised Extra: Mark Hamill only makes a brief cameo in the Christmas episode despite his reunion with John Wesley Shipp being advertised as one of the main reasons to watch.
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  • An Aesop: Every action taken has it's own effects and consequences, sometimes those that cannot be fixed or atoned for.
  • Aesop Collateral Damage: In order to really drive the point home that Barry shouldn't misuse his time travel powers, the Speed Force wills it so when Barry undoes Flashpoint, he finds himself living in a deconstruction of the Close Enough Time Line:
    • Iris is estranged from Joe because he kept the fact that Francine was alive a secret. However thanks to Barry, they quickly reconcile.
    • Cisco's brother Dante is killed by a drunk driver and Cisco spends a good chunk of the first half, mad at Barry for not going back to save and then mad at him for creating Flashpoint which led to his death. It isn't until "Invasion" and time travels himself that he learns the consequences are unpredictable and he shouldn't hold a grudge against Barry.
    • Caitlin finds herself transforming into Killer Frost just like her Earth-2 counterpart.
    • Barry now has an insufferable coworker at CCPD, Julian who is superior and Barry is force to do all the mundane paper work instead of running tests
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    • John and Lyla's daughter Sara is now replaced by John Jr. Although since the Legends had previously met a grownup John Jr in a possible future, this one raises a lot of questions.
  • Amnesia Episode: “Cause and Effect” serves as a Breather Episode from the long stretch of episodes focused on Barry’s obsession with changing the future and preventing Savitar from killing Iris. In the prior episode “I Know Who You Are,” Barry learns that one of his time remnants is Savitar. Team Flash therefore decides to prevent Barry from forming new memories, so Savitar will not know their next move. This however ends up wiping out Barry’s entire memory, including a literal Forgot About His Powers.
  • Arc Words:
    • "God"/"gods," "Flashpoint," "the future."
    • "Alchemy" was prominent in the first half of the season where meta-humans were reawakening their powers and could see or hear the word Alchemy.
  • Backstory Invader:
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    • In season three, various alterations to the timeline result in (among other things) Barry having a new co-worker at Central City forensics. Barry is the only one with Ripple Effect-Proof Memory, so only he finds this odd.
      Barry: How have I been working with this guy for a year?
      Joe: You say that all the time.
      Barry: I'm sure I do!
    • When Professor Stein visits during the "Invasion" crossover, he discovers that, due to advice he gave his past self on his own show, he has a fully-grown daughter with an entire life story he doesn't remember.
  • Bad Future: When Barry travels to 2024 where his future self disappeared to find answers about Savitar, he learns that after Iris' death, everything fell apart. The Flash disappeared from the public eye, Killer Frost crippled Cisco's abilities and has been imprisoned, Wally was paralyzed and left in a vegetative state, and Joe has lost all emotional connection. Needless to say, it's a bleak future.
  • Beam-O-War: Cisco and Gypsy briefly engage in one during their duel.
  • Broken Aesop: Season 3's Gorilla City story arc attempts an anti-violence aesop. Barry outright tells Grodd that "violence is the opposite of intelligence" despite Barry being an intelligent scientist surrounded by other intelligent scientists, all of whom routinely solve problems with violence. Later when Barry admits that he might have to kill Grodd to stop him, Wells calls that "the most asinine thing [he'd] ever heard" on the grounds that Barry has to remain pure, ignoring the fact that, while Barry certainly doesn't like to kill, he has actually done so before, even if mostly by proxy (ie. not even attempting to stop other people from killing).
  • Central Theme: You Can't Fight Fate vs. Screw Destiny. The villains are in the former camp, while the heroes in the latter. In practice, both are right — while a person shouldn't try to change the past, that doesn't mean they have to let it define their future, something that changes constantly with each decision made.
  • Close-Enough Timeline: When Thawne and Barry negate the Flashpoint timeline, Barry ends up in a timeline that is broadly the same as his original timeline from Season 1/2, but differs in some crucial respects - Iris and Joe are estranged because Iris never forgave Joe for hiding the truth about her mother (they reconcile in "Paradox"), Cisco's brother Dante was killed in an accident, Barry now has a co-worker at the crime-lab named Julian Albert who's been working there a year, Caitlin is turning into Killer Frost, and Wally has begun having lucid blackout visions of himself as Kid Flash.
  • Composite Character: Savitar uses Demonic Possession on Alchemy to drive him to villainy, filling in the role of the comics Alchemy's split personality Alvin. He's also Barry's evil future self from the New 52 comics. The last one also edges into Decomposite Character, since Barry already met a version of Future Flash before figuring out the identity of his evil time remnant.
  • Continuity Lockout: In the season finale "Finish Line," Savitar creates a portal to the speed force and from it emerges a black zombie speedster, with Savitar mentioning that Zolomon doesn't like speedsters messing with the speed force and needed Killer Frost to help fend him off (speedsters are particularly weakened by cold-based powers). The creature did briefly appear in "Into The Speed Force" as an apparition from Barry's past to torture him, as Hunter Zolomon/Zoom was taken in by time wraiths in the Season 2 finale and zombiefied. The nature of this creature appearing in the real world is a mystery, his apparent task is to track down and stop speedsters who have pushed time and the speed force manipulation to the brink. This information is better explained in Legends of Tomorrow, but was treated as already existing knowledge in this show.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Savitar is revealed to be a time remnant of Barry, created in a Stable Time Loop to defeat Savitar and shunned for not being the original Barry and tortured by his failure to stop Iris' death. His entire goal is to perpetuate the events that lead to his own existence, killing Iris and pushing Barry to trap him in the speed force, giving him enough time to develop a plan to ascend to actual godhood.
  • Demoted to Satellite Love Interest: When Julian and Caitlin start dating in the second half of the season, and she starts turning into Killer Frost, his role is reduced to trying to find her a cure and acting excessively overprotective of her to the point of risking his own life.
  • Foreshadowing: Savitar's true identity is hinted throughout the season, right from the season premiere, with this line from Eobard Thawne: NOW WHO'S THE VILLAIN, FLASH!? NOW WHO'S THE VILLAIN!?
  • "Friends" Rent Control: In "The Present," Barry and Iris get their own home: a very spacious and luxurious upper-class apartment, which they're unlikely to be able to afford with the combined incomes of a forensic scientist and a largely unknown journalist. However, Barry seems to be the one who bought/pays for it, and he does technically own STAR Labs.
  • His Own Worst Enemy:
    • The overarching theme of this season (and arguably the show thus far) is that Barry's greatest enemy isn't any of the villains he's faced, but rather himself. His inability to move past the traumatic experiences he's been through and desperate desire to regain what he's lost rather than hold on to what he has now is holding him back from being the hero needs to be.
    • Savitar's existence is proof of this fact, and not just in the literal sense. Savitar did not come to be from a vacuum — time remnant or not, he is (or was) Barry Allen, in all aspects. That means that the current Barry has the potential to become Savitar, as Savitar was the result of the existing darkness within Barry being amplified by the death of Iris and rejection from the rest of Team Flash. If Barry himself were to ever face that level of tragedy that his time remnant did, he runs the risk of falling just like his temporal duplicate.
  • Lighter and Softer: Zig-zagged. while Barry has, majorly screwed up the timeline and deals with his arguably most frightening villains yet, in Alchemy and Savitar, the doom and gloom that surrounded Zoom and the Earth-2 Metas is no more, and the ultra serious feeling of Season 2 is gone and the season initially takes takes on the more fun tone of the Season 1. The "Save Iris" arc went from optimistic to fatalistic very quickly, giving the season a bleaker tone before returning to a more optimistic tone by the season's end.
  • Monster Threat Expiration: Savitar is much weaker after escaping the Speed Force. It's justified by explaining he was always trapped in the Speed Force, and only able to escape via the Philosophers's Stone, meaning while in the physical realm he was tapped directly into the Speed Force. Once the Philosopher's Stone is in the Speed Force, Savitar was able to escape but no longer had the same "God among speedsters" power.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: This season seems devoted to showing all the negative things that have come from Barry causing Flashpoint.
  • Official Couple: A big focus is placed on Barry and Iris as they make the transition from longtime best friends, to boyfriend and girlfriend.
  • Only One Plausible Suspect: Season 3 introduces a new masked villain, Dr. Alchemy, and one new supporting character: Julian Albert, an unsympathetic crime-scene investigator who seems to be obsessed with metahumans. You'd think you would correctly guess who Dr. Alchemy turns out to be as the season progresses, but you'd be wrong - Julian is the vessel for Alchemy, and he was a literal Unwitting Pawn in Savitar's schemes. As in, he had utterly no idea that he was Alchemy, and what all he was doing...
  • Other Me Annoys Me: Harry's opinion of HR.
  • Plot Hole: Due to Harrison Wells having filmed a video confessing to the murder of Barry's mother, he's a criminal wanted for murder in this universe, so when H.R. (who, being an alternate universe of Harrison Wells, obviously has the same face and name) goes out in public, he needs to use a transmogrifier device to make his face look like a friend's, as well as give a false name. Come "The Once and Future Flash", where Barry travels 8 years into the future and suddenly H.R. is publishing adventure books using his real name and face. Apparently, 8 years is enough for people (and the justice system) to forget all about your criminal past.
  • Recycled Plot: Arguably the case after "The Present" - Savitar is revealed to be not literally a God, but rather an extremely powerful speedster, the very first speedster to be exact, who's enemies with a future version of the Flash and who's targeting the Flash in retaliation for some as-yet-unrevealed defeat at the hands of the future Flash. Which is more or less the backstory of the Reverse-Flash in Season 1, as well as the same reputation Zoom had. It's then subverted with the reveal of his true identity — a time remnant of Barry Allen, who is trying to ensure his own existence by killing Iris and setting his prime self on the path to becoming him.
  • Sealed Evil in a Can: In a twist on the trope, Savitar is actually trapped in the speed force for most of the season, despite having a presence in the physical world. The reason closing the container on the Philosopher Stone sealed him away is because it was what allowed him to cross that barrier. Throwing the entire Philosopher's Stone into the Speed Force, and trading places with a fast enough speedster like Wally, allowed Savitar to escape into the physical world permanently.
  • Set Right What Once Was Wrong: After accidentally running into and witnessing the future, the major plot of the second half of the season seems to be building up, to Barry and The Team doing everything in their power to prevent Iris' death at the hands of Savitar.
  • Slowly Slipping Into Evil: A major sub plot of the season is Caitlin's slow and unyielding transformation into Killer Frost.
  • Stuffed into the Fridge: In the "The Present," Barry sees a vision of the near future where Iris is murdered by Savitar. The second half of the season is about trying to prevent this future, with Savitar determined to make sure it happens in order to make Barry suffer and bring about his own existence. Over the course of these episodes we get the lovely sight of Iris being impaled by Savitar over and over.
  • Targeted Human Sacrifice: Savitar needs to kill Iris on the night of May 23rd, 2017, at Infantino Street, in order to ensure his own existence.
  • Time Loop Trap: Savitar is imprisoned, only to escape into the past, fight the Flash, just to be imprisoned again, in an infinite loop (Until he and H.R. break the loop).
  • Villainous Legacy: Everything about this season — from Flashpoint to Savitar — is the culmination of the actions of the Reverse-Flash and Zoom, and how those actions affected Barry and drove him closer to despair. Barry must not only move past his own self-hatred, but also the combined damage his two greatest enemies have ravaged on his life.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In "Paradox", five husks are discovered, which are later revealed to belong to those who were given their Flashpoint powers by Alchemy. By the end of the season, only four of the husks' occupants have been accounted for (The Rival, Magenta, Shade and Clive Yorkin), with one still out there.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: What Barry will be learning this season, particularly when it comes to time travel.
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