We’re back! I think? Barry Allen is living an alternate reality with both of his parents. He’s retained his powers, but he’s spent the last three months laying low, summoning courage to speak to Iris West, hugging his mom and dad, and watching a yellow-clad Flash take care of Central City for a change.

I forgot how much I missed Barry’s stop-slides and graceful Flash pirouettes. The Rival and Kid Flash have a daytime standoff as Barry speeds in just in time to watch. He is creeping hard on the Wests in the Flashpoint world. Now we, as the audience, know that Wally West is the golden-suited speedster, but I forreal had no idea who The Rival (this world’s bad speedster) would be. I wasn’t sure if it was Hunter Zoloman or Eddie or even Henry Allen? I just didn’t think that they’d introduce a new speedster so quickly. Rival kind of hates his name: “I HAVE NO RIVAL!!!!!!!” he screams as he tornado spins and shoots our speed lightning at the CCPD. I roll my eyes… all bad guy speedsters are the same.

Wally/Kid Flash sees Barry watching and assumes that Barry is about to get hit by Rival lightning. You guys, WALLY SAVES BARRY even though it was totally unnecessary, and Barry was into it. Cuties. I’m all for this.

I guess after he gets saved, Barry returns to CC Jitters to try for the 28147938479328th time to talk to Iris.  Breathe. Be cool. Smile. Be clever. He steals her wallet. Oh, Barry, you gotta be the hero, don’t you?

The Westallen conversation starts off strong if we ignore the fact that he stole her wallet but quickly adorkably declines. In Barry’s favor, of course. It’s why we love him. #IcedTea

On all Earths and across all timelines, Barry is a CSI for CCPD. Interesting. We get another fun, nerdy surprise: Captain Julio Mendez is Barry’s boss in this life!  Alex Desert reprises his role from the original Flash series and joins John Wesley Shipp, Amanda Pays, Mark Hamill, and Vito D’Ambrosio in the Double-Flash Hall of Cameos. Has he taken Joe’s place as Joe’s black mentor? Possibly. Detective Joe West’s desk is empty. Oh no, his character has downgraded to a lazy, alcoholic, absentee father black stereotype. SOMEONE, HELP! THIS FLASHPOINT LIFE IS AWFUL! WHY DOESN’T BARRY SEE THAT?

Barry whooshes after work with a to-go bag of Big Belly Burger… to the place where he’s holding Eobard Thawne/Reverse Flash in captivity, presumably for the last three months. Confusingly, Barry travels through the Speed Force Tunnel to get to Eobard’s prison. Where/when is Eobard in jail?

It really is a reverse “It’s a Wonderful Life”: Barry taunts Eobard from outside his glass cage in a subversion of roles. I don’t like this… is Barry being the hero right now? Eobard warns him that this life is fiction and sooner or later, he’ll break out and destroy Barry’s happiness. Again. It’s what they do. “One day, soon, Barry, you’ll be begging me to kill her again.”

To Barry, that doesn’t seem likely. He heads to his picture perfect house where his parents immediately greet him with pet names we’ve heard pre-Flashpoint. The Allens are cute and graying and Barry smiles and I AM EMOTIONALLY COMPROMISED. There’s a picture of Daddy Allen and Mommy Allen hugging Barry in his graduation cap. STEAL THAT PICTURE BEFORE YOU GO TO YOUR REAL LIFE, BARRY. So this is how Barry has been dealing with his recent orphan status: major denial. The denial-iest of all denials. He is literally living in an alternate universe where he refuses to move out of his parents house because they are his best friends who he tells all his secrets and wishes and desires to. No, Barry, no.

Speaking of Barry’s parental figures: Joe is passed out drunk in the middle of the day and painfully unaware that he’s about to be fired. Barry saves him(because that’s what he does) by speed-showering Joe West like a grown-ass baby. Joe is resentful and confused… and probably still drink. “Am I wearing a sign that says ‘HELP ME’?” Flashpoint!Joe is salty AF. He also does not approve of Westallen.

On their Westallen walk to their first Westallen date, my two cutie-pies stare and smile and strengthen their bond. They’re interrupted by Kid Flash v. Rival showdown and Iris is the one to make a quick getaway. I like this flip: usually Barry is the one who mysteriously mumble, “Uh I uh gotta go uh raincheck uh bye?”

http://stephen-amell.tumblr.com/post/151383621404

Barry speeds over just in time to funnel-arm Wally West into a dumpster. Weird sentence, yes, but that’s what happened. Barry unmasks him, which makes me kinda mad because I doubt Barry would want someone else to de-mask him­ if he was the one unconscious in a dumpster.

Wally brings Barry back to his Flash HQ… it’s a loft. With a treadmill. Dayum. It turns out that Wally and Iris are a brother-sister crime fighting unit! I CHEERED REAL HARD Y’ALL.

Barry volunteers to help Wally beat Rival, but they need the help of Cisco Ramon, current CEO of Ramon Industries. Flashpoint!Cisco is the richest man in America, and he loves it.

Their. Faces. Watching. Cisco. Make. Out. Also, Barry’s face lit up when he saw Cisco for the first time in three month. LIKE A CHRISTMAS TREE. Apparently, “Mr. Ramon” helped create Wally’s friction-resistant suit, but does not in any way shape or form want to help them beat bad guys. Because he wants to smash his gigantic girlfriend and make money instead. Barry “String Bean” Allen does that thing where he stares into your eyes and convinces you that life is worth living and giving:

Catalyzed by a moment of Feels, Barry experiences his second Memory Montage of the day. He angrily interrogates Eobard about the loss of his memories; Eobard tells him that a Flashpoint side-effect is forgetting his original life because it’s being overwritten by his current one. Eobard sounds like he’s done this before, just sayin’. “Why isn’t it happening to you?!?!” Barry screams at the Reverse Flash.

“YOUR SPEED! THE MORE YOU USE IT HAHAHA THE FASTER HAHAHA YOU LOSE YOUR MEMORIES AHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA” –Eobard Thawne, basically

Barry’s mad. He screams and speeds out of there. Dammit.

Barry gathers up the team that he knows: he speed-kidnaps them all—despite knowing that he should really, really stop using his speed— and tells them about Flashpoint. Team Flash is back, baby! Kind of.

After about two minutes of working together, Dr. Caitlin Snow comes up with the idea to use the street-cameras as speedster alerts to measure high-velocities and Mr. Cisco Ramon reprograms them using her idea. KillerVibe is here and I thank god. Things are coming together. Most importantly, Iris instinctually knows that Barry is telling the truth.

Barry and Wally team up to face off against Rival… and I try not to dance around. Is this Season 3, you guys? I need this team up every week. EVERY. WEEK. I want Barry to give Wally advice to speed up. I want Wally to grow and learn and force Barry to reevaluate himself. I want the two of them to become the brothers that they were destined to be.

Wally’s superhero quips are straight fire. So so so good. Barry tells him that they should flank each other and stay in position. Wally didn’t even know “flanking” was a thing.

Wally doesn’t listen to Barry. He’s young and cocky… solo speedsters usually are. It does not end well. In fact, Kid Flash gets impaled and it’s terrible. WE JUST GOT HIM. DON’T TAKE HIM AWAY FROM ME.

Rival aka Edward Clariss taunts Barry, not realizing that he is the real fastest man alive. They run around and, I don’t know, punch eachother. This is so dumb. BARRY, STOP USING YOUR SPEED. More and more of Barry’s memories fade away.. Rival takes advantage of Barry’s distraction and creates a crazy speed twister. Barry is almost a goner, but then Iris West aka Barry’s Anchor reminds him that BARRY ALLEN IS THE MOTHAFUGGING FLASH.

Boom boom pow! Barry essentially becomes a speed tornado and cancels out Rival’s tornado. He knocks the bad speedster out with a sonic jump punch. Just as I wonder where they’re going to imprison Rival, Detective Joe West shoots Rival down just before the bad guy has a chance to stab Barry in the back. So there’s another character trait consistent across all timelines: Joe West is clutch as hell.

They take Wally back to S.T.A.R. Labs Ramon Industries, but he’s not speed-healing. Everyone is sad. “Everyone has been paying for my happiness,” Barry realized. He knows what he has to do. But, first, he needs to say goodbye.

I love love love that Barry asked Iris to come along with him as he did this. She will always support him. She will always be his anchor. Together, they go to Eobard Thawne to set him free. Eobard is the worst of the worst and makes Barry beg:

“I hate you.”

“I hate you. And I sometimes wonder which of us is right.”

He is such a good villain. Eobard isn’t as scary as Zoom, but he’s so much more interesting and complex. Flashpoint!Iris and Barry say there goodbyes. They kiss. We cry.

Before Eobard drags Barry’s weakening body back to the night of Nora Allen’s murder, he says, “Today, I get to be the hero.” Damn. This show. This gotdamb show.

So we’re back in the Season 2 Finale when that Barry stops that Reverse Flash from killing his mom. that Barry tells his mom “You’re safe,” but then the post-flashpoint Reverse Flash interrupts with a “Actually, you’re not. ” Then, Season 2 Finale Flash + Reverse Flash dissipate into thin air, while poor Nora Allen is like, “AM I SAFE OR WHAT?” Most stressful last moments of life EVER.

Now, I don’t know when Eobard found time to shave, but he did and shows off his smooth, hairless butt-chin as he drops Barry off at the West House scene from the season 2 finale. Eobard cryptically tells Barry that things are now back to normal(ish).. for him, anyway. Shit, what does that even mean?

Barry goes inside and hugs his little brother, Wally. Everyone is confused. And by “everyone” I just mean Joe and Wally. Where did the others go? Is there no more party?

http://kurtsbastians.tumblr.com/post/151361842646/whats-this-for-just-glad-youre-here

Barry mentions Iris, and the Wests blow a fuse. “Iris” is their trigger word, apparently. Iris doesn’t talk to them. There’s been a Flashpoint ripple. WHAT DID REVERSE FLASH DO WHEN HE SHAVED HIS PRISONER BEARD?

End Tag: Edward Clariss gets woken up by a disembodied voice.

Super-Quick Things:

http://dailycisco.tumblr.com/post/151362538298/115-301

GLAD TO BE BACK! It’s gonna be a good season.

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4 thoughts on “NOC Recaps The Flash: It’s a Wonderful Reverse Life

  1. This is one of the first real episodes I’ve paid close attention to, I usually follow what’s happening through reviews, and trailers. I kinda liked it. I’m gonna tune in next week. They beta keep WallyFlash. I like him.

    Oh, yeah, FlashpointCisco is a total dick! I loved him!

    I do draw the line at becoming a regular Supergirl viewer though.

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  2. You change one thing, you change everything. This did behave more like It’s a Wonderful life than Flashpoint.

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  3. well they redeemed themselves from that horrible season 2 finale. dont know what this season has in store (an alt universe every episode til barry “gets it right”?) but im in. cant wait to see my flash hubby cisco as his true self again! my man looks great in a suit but ill take a geek over a corporate man any day

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