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The Flash 3.02 “Paradox”

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Spoiler Warning! 

This week’s episode of The Flash puts Barry into the alternate timeline created by his successful attempt to stop his past-self from saving his mother and creating another alternate timeline with even worse consequences. But here it appears that there are subtle changes in this reality that may not quite be as drastic as the previous one, such as Cisco’s brother Dante being dead, Arrow’s John Diggle having a son rather than a daughter, Iris and Joe not getting on particularly well, and last but not least, there’s a new metahuman expert in the Central City PD named Julian Albert (Played by Harry Potter’s Tom Felton). All of this made for exciting new changes to the status quo as the show continues to explore the domino effects from the Flashpoint event with results that unfortunately varied in quality.

Tom Felton joins The Flash this week, playing a character with a personality you'd expect him to have.

Tom Felton joins The Flash this week, playing a character with a personality you’d expect him to have.

Barry’s new universe is certainly a darker one than what he’s used to as now he’s faced with the knowledge that he’s essentially responsible for ruining his friends’ lives. The biggest factor for him is probably his friendship with Cisco which has been affected by the past, and if he hadn’t gone back in time and changed the past Dante would probably still have been alive. The Iris and Joe story may not quite have been as successful as it could have been, feeling forced and not making the most out of the potential to change both characters in different ways.

Dr. Alchemy was the main new villain introduced in this episode and it’s going to be fun to see what direction they take with his character going forward. Hopefully, the writers don’t go the obvious route and have Julian Albert turn out to be Dr. Alchemy, but given Felton’s previous roles as mostly playing the villain (he also played similar Malfoy-esque characters in Murder in the First and Rise of the Planet of the Apes) it’d be a real shame if the show continued this trend. Let’s hope here’s something more complex in mind. We also got to see The Rival again, used in a way that further fleshes out the mystery concerning Alchemy’s character, and given that it looks as though the main antagonist of Season 3 isn’t necessarily going to be a speedster, this will be a welcome change to the series indeed.

It was also pretty great seeing John Wesley Shipp again as Jay Garrick. Whilst Shipp may still look like Barry’s father on his Earth, Jay is a completely different person and the characters’ dynamic was certainly enjoyable to watch. This is something that both Shipp and Cavanagh have excelled at in the past, and is something that the show’s cast seems to be pretty good at in general, and is partly why trips to alternate Earths usually result in some really fun episodes.

Paradox didn’t quite live up to the potential in terms of everything that a parallel universe could bring to the table, falling short when introducing some new character dynamics, but for the most part the third season of The Flash continues to get off to a strong and exciting start.

Let me know what you thought of the episode in the comments section below and be sure check out episode three of The Flash next Tuesday on the CW.

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