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The Flash - S3E2 - Paradox

Previously on The Flash, “Flashpoint”

The Flash - S3E2 - “Paradox” | Starring: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Jesse L. Williams, Tom Cavanagh, Carlos Valdes, Danielle Panabaker, Keinynan Lonsdale, Tom Felton, Violett Beane

Barry Allen learns the hard way sometimes… well, often times. Barry Allen needs his friends and family to catch him when he stumbles and check him when he’s wrong. But most importantly, Barry Allen always acts with the best of intentions, and that may be the main reason his family and friends have put up with some pretty selfish shit from Barry as of late. And it’s probably why he wasn’t in a rush to tell them about the events of “Flashpoint.”

Images: The CW

Images: The CW

And the fallout from that was bigger than we knew at the end of last week’s episode. Barry makes a trip to Star City to lay it all out for Arrow’s Felicity: Tensions are high within Team Flash. Cisco is grieving the death of his brother Dante and is angry that Barry has spent the past six months refusing to go back in time to save him. Iris and Joe aren’t speaking because Joe kept the secret about Francine; a secret she forgave him for almost immediately in season two.

Things are frosty at work as well. Barry shares his lab with CSI Julian Albert (Felton), and the two pretty much hate each other for reasons Barry doesn’t remember because this is all a product of this new timeline (I call it Timeline C). And speaking of chilly, Caitlin is most definitely in possession of her Killer Frost powers (minus the Hot Topic lipstick and annoying vocal fry), but she’s keeping that a secret for now.


The one bright spot is Iris West still has romantic feelings for Barry, but the kiss on the porch and her advising him to do whatever he needs to in order to get well never happened.

Felicity convinces Barry that he can fix things, so that’s what he tries to do. Working with Julian instead of snapping at each other doesn’t go well as Julian would rather work the case of husks of skin being found around Central Center on his own. While watching Barry zip back and forth between Iris and Joe (lying to both in order to get them to share a meal) was funny, it all blew up in his face around the dinner table. Grandma Esther’s noodle dish was a hit, but Joe and Iris do not make up and Cisco is still pissed at Barry.

Personal turmoil is put on hold when The Rival appears, newly re-powered by Alchemy, who claims he wants to prepare the world. For what? We don’t know, but Edward Clariss is just happy that the visions of his prior life (also gifted from Alchemy) aren’t signs he’s going crazy. With his memory and powers fully restored he challenges The Flash. Clariss gets away, but their encounter is caught on a security cam and Iris demands truthful answers or their relationship with be over before it starts. Unable to confess the details, Barry takes the blame but runs back in time (again!) to reset his reset.

Thankfully, he’s yanked out of the Speed Force in 1998 by none other than Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp). Over corned beef hash and The Wallflowers, Jay lays it out: Stop messing with time when your life sucks. Move through it and forward like everybody else, starting with dealing with the consequences of his recent time travel.


Barry finally tells the team, giving them the option to learn about their Timeline B lives. This does nothing to change Cisco’s feelings of betrayal (good thing Barry left out the detail of how he created Timeline C to save Wally’s life). It takes Iris reminding them all that they’ve each done terrible things when pushed against a wall.

And good thing, that, because when Barry tracks Rival again, he’s confronted with Alchemy as well and it takes an assist from Cisco and his Vibe powers to save him. With Clariss cooling his heels in Iron Heights, the team gets a moment to breathe and forgive, and none of them want to know about their alternative timeline lives.

Most special of all, Iris is convinced that no matter what, when, or where they are, he will always be Barry, she will always be Iris, and they will always find each other. They finally share a kiss that won’t be erased.

I have such high hopes for season three based off these first two episodes. It’s like having a time jump, but better. And unlike other shows that have used a time jump to skip over relationship shifts, these changes feel earned. Cisco has been working on his own crime-fighting suit and honing his powers. Caitlin, who really needs a storyline not focused on losing a man, will finally be interesting. Now that we know the husks of skin are related to Alchemy, is it possible one of the other husks belong to Caitlin? Was her Timeline B eye doctor living a double life as Killer Frost? Or is this just one of the differences that comes with the territory; like Iris not forgiving Joe? Either way, I’m actually looking forward to a Caitlin storyline now.

“Paradox” didn’t touch on an issue that should be, well, an issue. If Eobard killed Nora Allen in this timeline because Barry needed him to, and then whisked Barry back to the present, doesn’t that mean he was never stuck in the past? That would also mean he never needed to become Harrison Wells so Earth-1’s Wells should be alive. Unless we’re supposed to believe that after dropping Barry off Eobard ran back to that time.

Felton’s Julian is a much-needed addition to the cast. With everyone in on the secret, you need someone close to Barry (at least in proximity) to be out of the loop. With the bulk of their relationship taking place during the change, and given Julian’s genuine distrust of Barry (and we know Barry is terrible at not looking like he’s keeping secrets when he’s keeping secrets), their acrimony promises to be intriguing. He’s like Sgt. Doakes to Barry’s Dexter.


But Wait; There’s More

Like most evil masterminds, Alchemy doesn’t take it too well when his minions fail. Clariss’ stint in Iron Heights is a short one as Alchemy kills him in his cell.

Leave your thoughts on the episode below, or on our Facebook post of this review, and we’ll read them on tonight’s podcast for The Flash!

The Flash S3E2 = 9.1/10
  • 9/10
    Plot - 9/10
  • 10/10
    Dialogue - 10/10
  • 8/10
    Action - 8/10
  • 9.5/10
    Performances - 9.5/10
User Review
5 (1 vote)
About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

13 Comments on The Flash - S3E2 - Paradox

  1. For the podcast

    LOVED THIS EPISODE! And because I loved it so much, this feedback may be a little long. Sorry. Feel free to edit out stuff cause it’s way too long.

    So Barry stayed fucking up this episode but it took his daddy’s doppelgänger to set his ass straight. Love that he had to literally grip his ass up! Lmao! And that little Dawson’s Creek scene playing in the diner was nice touch since John Wesley Shipp played Dawson’s daddy too. He’s always somebody’s daddy.

    We finally got a WestAllen kiss that’s sticking! It was sweet and touching and just right. Plus Iris also set his ass straight! If he wasn’t honest with her she was dropping his ass! Iris don’t play! Plus she is the queen of the pep talks giving one to the whole group instead of just Barry. And I knew it was the Francine thing that had her not talking to Joe. That was the only thing that made sense.

    Oh my poor Cisco. I just want to give him a big hug. Dante is gone. And he is devastated. No jokes. No funny shirts. No villain naming. Poor thing is just so lost. And making kick ass additions to his Vibe suit. That was awesome! And he saved the day. But losing his brother will definitely affect him. Will Cisco ever be his old carefree self ever again?

    It seems like a lot of stuff that’s happened in the past year is all new to Barry. Some of it’s the same and some isn’t. Are they gonna keep expecting him to know certain things? Maybe they should just tell him everything to catch him up.

    Poor Wally. So far he doesn’t even know he was a speedster. Do you think he’ll find out somehow? And how do you think he’ll react? And I love how easily he’s a part of Team Flash! They just need to put that metahuman alert app on his phone. Lol

    So does Malfoy always play assholes? He’s been playing them since he was a kid. He’s basically typecasted for life. But it will be interesting to see how he interacts with Barry. They’re doing the same job but now he’s the meta human CSI. Do you think he’ll figure out that Barry is the Flash? How is Star Labs supposed to help out if he won’t let Barry near the evidence?

    So Caitlin is gonna be Killer Frost I guess. Will she go bad or stay Team Flash? Do we even care? But like you said in the recap, at least this isn’t about some man. So how long do you think it’ll take her to share with the group that she’s a little frosty?

    What was that thing that gripped up the fake speedster at the end? Was that Alchemy? I thought it was something else.

    That’s it. Loved this episode! It was so emotional and they had me cussing Barry out for being a DUMBASS! Loved the Felicity cameo but I wanted to knock him upside his head for saying he wasn’t gonna tell them at first. Ugh! Grow the fuck up Barry! You’re a grown ass man! So act like it! And now because of your dumb ass we’ll never see cute little baby 👶🏽 Sara again. So does that mean Lyla & Digg aren’t together anymore cause Connor Hawks aka John Diggle Jr does not look like he’s from a mixed family?

    Can’t wait to listen to the podcast! I know it’s gonna be awesome!

  2. For The Podcast:

    This episode was great! FINALLY Barry is taking some motherfucking responsibility for his actions and I’m all for him maturing as a person.

    It’s great seeing Felicity as a decently written character after the schlock that is Arrow Seasons 3 and 4. I’ve noticed that the Arrow characters seem to always be better written on Flash, but I guess that’s what happens when the writing team migrates over to a better show.

    Malfoy is LIFE!!! I love him not immediately jumping to Team Barry for no reason! I’m hoping that they don’t just make him the villain due to jealousy, because I actually love his reasons for not liking Barry. I’m looking forward to seeing more of this new character!

    Emo Cisco is depressing af. Sure, it’s great seeing the actor be able to play a wider range, but the execution of off-screen killing his brother - yes, without even so much as a flashback - doesn’t feel right. Is Dante really dead? Or will Alchemy bring him back?

    Everyone’s lives are fucked up, but Caitlin gets powers again? OMG SnowBarry fans must have had a field day this episode - Barry and Caitlin had a WHOLE conversation, and even looked at each other!! I’ll just be sitting here waiting for the vocal fry to come back and Caitlin to maybe finally define herself as something more than

    That was a much better WestAllen kiss this time around, although I’m still waiting for that night-club-level tongue-action. You better treasure that beautiful, talented, intelligent and amazing woman Barry!

    Finally, Chicken Zoom still ain’t shit.

    Let’s get this out of the way. Caitlin wasn’t bad. Give her a little more, as a villain maybe since we don’t know if she will be one, and I am in.

    Clarence was boring and was 99 cent store Zoom. That suit looks like a plastic Walgreens costume you buy when you have no hope in life and I bet it still smelled like chemicals.

    OG Flash’s teeth are way too bright. If you cut the lights off in the diner we can still find him.

    Are we going to keep getting the “upside-down” lines on the clear board from Barry? I want my damn circles. Give me the circles.

    I don’t use nigga on this podcast (I’m black so fuck you assholes who got something to say, don’t try me, try jesus). But when Barry walked into the room with Cisco and said “what are you working on?” I literally shouted nigga! I was exasperated. I mean yes, Cisco is working on something but he isn’t really “working” he is trying to get the fuck away from you.

    Now, this would have been the time when I would have said fuck this timeline and told him to take his alabaster ass to a new one regardless but I am feckless. Yet, I decided to wait this out like I am the one with the actual power. And oh man, once I saw Vibe, I squealed and now Barry has to stay. Don’t y’all take this away from me.

    RANT: Where is my Canadian basketball playing, multiple Wells acting, sharp suit wearing, circle and equation writing Tom Cavanagh? He is about to turn 53 on Oct 26 and he still look good. I wonder what type of Wells he will play this time with his fine ass. I sort of need to see him; he’s my favorite.

    That being said, some people may not appreciate this type of episode, but I am so happy that they did this so that we get at least some knowledge about the damage that’s been done. Anyway, thanks for the free shit.

  4. Hey Nina, Donald and John,

    What a great episode! It was back to season 1 form and there was not a second that frustrated or bored me.

    Barry-So Alt-Henry had to do the equivalent of taking Barry by the ear and sit his ass down. I was/am tired of Barry fucking with the time line. He is so hard headed. He has had several ass beatings inside and outside the speed force and a couple of heart to heart chats but some how, I don’t believe he’s got it. Malfoy is right, Barry talks and cries a good game but he will do what he wants when backed in a corner. This is why I love and hate Barry.

    Cisco-He really shined this episode. I love when they give this actor something meaty to chew on. Glad the brother won’t be coming back, he was not my favorite because he just wasn’t interesting and the brothers in conflict trope is a bit tired.

    Caitlyn-I mean, I guess…
    Looks like John will get his Killer Frost wish. Buckle in for more hand gestures and vocal fry. At least she didn’t annoy me this episode. I’m curious to see if the writers will make her good or evil?

    Wally-Looks like he was not 100% behind not wanting to know his other life. This seems like a budding conflict. I want more for this character so I hope he gets something.

    Iris and Joe=wheww hooo. Don’t know if I could have handled a season of Iris and Joe fighting.

    Iris and Barry-Finally some tongue! I was so excited about that kiss…man, it was almost as good as the whole Misfits thing…tryna keep it spoiler free but you all know what I mean.

    Dr. Alchemy-I think Alchemy is Wells. He knows too much and we have not seen Wells yet. Because of this, I think that this will force Barry to act irrationally, yet again. It may even make him hop back in that speed force but that’s just me throwing shit out to see if it sticks.

    Welp, that’s all. Can’t wait for the podcast.

  5. For the podcast:
    We are only 2 episodes in but I’m loving it. I’m so glad that John Wesley Shipp set Barry straight because damnit! How do you say you get it & want to do the EXACT same thing that got you in this mess in the 1st place? Barry 😩😩😩!Depression-Cisco was such a bummer. Though I’m super excited that he has his powers now. It’s great that chicken-man is gone as he was just irritating. Is Alchemy part of the comic-verse? If so, what’s his endgame? Why can’t he just mind his business? Prepare for what? I’m not here for Malfoy. What is is his purpose? Nice try, but I still don’t care about Caitlin. That was an awesome WestAllen moment 😍😍😍😍😍. I’m glad that it looks like we are actually going to go down the relationship route. They’d better not break up over something dumb. I can’t wait for next week. I just want all the episodes now!!

    I’m still on a Black Ass high from being a black ass guest on the most recent Queen Sugar podcast with my beautiful black sistas Nina and Jamelle (check that out if you haven’t already by the way), so you white people are gonna have to buckle your seatbelts for this one. As I type this I’m sitting in a wicker chair with black leather gloves, sipping the finest of cognacs, and listening to the Shaft theme song on repeat. Anyway, this was a good episode and here are a few black ass thoughts about it.
    1. Barry Don’t Fuck This Up For Me – Listen, I like Barry Allen and all, but I need him to sit his ass down somewhere and stop fuckin with time lines, especially when it puts Joe’s Black Fatherhood in jeopardy. This cat Barry has run his happy ass around so much he has us in a time where Iris and Joe don’t speak. Sure, they hugged in this episode, but that shit was strained. I’ve had two great seasons of this man’s black fatherhood and have basked in its glory. I’ve imagined a world where Joe West takes me fishing, plays catch with me, and retroactively teaches me about the birds and bees despite the fact I’ve been sexually active for half my life. And now some lil skinny cracker eating muh fucka has come in and played with my virtual reality. White men have done enough damage to real black families over time, I don’t need this shit happening in my comic shows as well. Don’t you fuck this up for me, Barry Allen. I’ll beat your ass for taking Joe’s Black Fatherhood from me! Donald and John, get ya boy! Shit!
    2. Tell Brotha Wallace Muhammad His True Identity – Oh, and think I didn’t notice the fact that Barry told everyone about how their life is in those other Time Lines EXCEPT for our dear brotha Wallace Farrakhan! Why is that, Barry? Hmmm????? You don’t want the BLACK Speedster to know of his true self? Why not? I’ll tell you why not. Say it with me black people. On the count of 3. 1… 2… 3… ‘CISM!!! And if you didn’t all say it out loud just now, rewind this shit, listen to Nina count again and say it with her and I the second time around.
    3. Baltimore Rival – You know what? I decided I like the Rival. He’s out here looking like that Ravens logo and talking shit to Barry “Crackers” Allen. Fly, Black Bird. Fly!
    4. Felicity – I usually don’t partake in the white man’s swine or his women, but something about this woman makes me feel things in my loins. She makes a brotha wanna fornicate with her while whispering softly in her ear “After the Devil made you he broke the mold”. Anyway, she’s still not as fine as Iris. But she can get this work tho.

    BARRY: i am a little less pissed that Barry went and changed the timeline because he has made this show so much more interesting. The one thing that did bother me about him this episode was how quickly he got over the fact that Dante is dead because of him and that adorable baby Sarah has been erased from the timeline. it was basically like “Dante was a dick and that wasn’t my baby girl so *shrugs*. ” i do love that the Diggle having a son reveal was something that they foreshadowed on Legends of Tomorrow, i’m impressed writers.
    CISCO: How did Dante die? Do we care?NOPE. I need them to bring my fun Cisco back real quick.
    CAITLIN: It’s so nice that while all of Caitlin’s “friends” are suffering, she managed to fine the time to get herself some highlights *rolls eyes* KILLER FROST IS BACK! hopefully we will get a more interesting Caitlin from now on. (you guys know she gonna keep this shit a secret for half the season right? SMH)
    THE WEST FAMILY: I wonder what was so different that it changed the way Iris reacted to finding out her mother was alive. Are we gonna go back to this storyline? do we even care? NOPE. i’m just happy the west family is good again and Wally is apart of the team now.

    DRACO MALLFOY: If The Alchemist is Mallfoy i am going to be pissed. these writers better not be so lazy and obvious like they were last season with the Jay Garrick reveal.
    JAY GARRICK: This Jay Garrick can stay.
    WESTALLEN: I love these 2 actors, i love these 2 characters and i am so ready to go on this WESTALLEN journey with them. These writers better not fuck this up.
    That’s my feedback for today, can’t wait to hear your podcast.

  8. Fight the podcast:

    Hi guys

    Barry has been watching too many Iyanla episodes, thinking he could fix everybody’s life in a day and a half, though to be fair he was about as effective as Iyanla usually is when she tries to fix people’s lives. It’s nice to know Barry treats the timeline like I treated my Nintendo back in the day and hits the reset whenever it’s almost there but not quite right. Well, at least until Jay snatched him out of the speed force to tell him what he should’ve known by now but nope, Barry wanna get all Sunshine Anderson and tell Jay “🎶I heard it all before🎶”. But Jay hit him with the timely clap back “IF 👏YOU👏 DON’T👏 LEARN👏 THIS👏 LIFE 👏LESSON👏 BOY!”

    Iris is the heart and soul of team flash now? She is also one hell of a motivational speaker because I don’t know if I could forgive Barry in like 5 minutes after realizing he done messed up my whole entire life.

    I only got to wonder if Wally was gonna get his powers back for like 1 minute cause as soon as it was mentioned Barry took a long pause and looked into Wally’s eyes with a knowing look, longing for the days he wasn’t the only good speedster in town.

    We are getting a fully powered Cisco and Killer Frost? A new type of big bad? I’m excited!

    Oh and I’m gonna miss Edward, he stabbed Barry with his Bluetooth headphones and I died!!

  9. Hey girl! FOR THE PODCAST:

    Gonna make this quick. This is why you need diversity in the writing room. First off, no Black family calls the matriarch “Grandma Esther.” If anything you call that woman “Mama Esther” or “Big Mama Esther,” or “Maw Maw.” I’m calling whole bullshit.

    Secondly, “the noodle dish?” Only noodle dish that’s worth being mentioned that a Black grandmama makes would be what? Macaroni and cheese. And even then you don’t call that shit a damn noodle dish.

    Thirdly, I’m kinda sad that he’s not called Wallace in ANY of the alternate timelines.

    Love you guys!

    HEY 👋🏾 GUYS!! I’m really loving these first 2 episodes, although I was not feeling the new timeline in the beginning!! I did not like Cisco being all butt hurt and not down to name criminals, but I love he has full control of his powers!!

    As far as Barry goes I feel bad he fucked everything up, but I don’t blame him for being selfish and trying to save his moms!! I’ve said long ago it’s a good thing I don’t have powers bc I’d be changing shit on the daily!! “On damn I didn’t make it to the drive thru by breakfast time..? I’ll fix that 💩!!!!”

    Now lets get into my biggest problem with this episode!! As the big homie JamJamelle Berry Roneready stated ain’t no way in hell no blyke family having a raggley(Martin reference RIP TOMMY 😓😭) ass noodle recipe!! And no blyke grand daughter would hate their big mamas 🍗!! I also call bullshit!! Popeyes and the Colonel would kill for big mama esters 🍗 recipe!!

    That’s all I got can’t wait to hear the podcast!! Oh and I can’t wait to see more of killer frost!! She is definitely the snowiest (🌨☃️❄️) of bunnys (🐇🐰) . Also I’m ok with ❄️ Barry ✌🏾️

  11. Really liked this episode. I don’t know what it was but Cisco was sexy to me when he was vibing. I was surprised that the crew forgave Barry so quickly. Do y’all think we will get even more changes throughout the season? I am really interested to see how things would’ve turned out in the original timeline. But I guess we will never know. Why is Caitlin turning into the ice villain? At first I thought it would be alchemy but he brings people from other timelines, not other worlds. Also, if eobard never was Wells, then where is Wells now and why is he not the owner still of Star labs? And now there wouldn’t be an Eobard Wells for Barry to run back to in order to get the formula he needed for speed to defeat zoom so how did he defeat him? I am really looking forward to the podcast, especially for Nina who shows everyday the strength and courage it takes to be an outspoken black woman ✊🏾✊🏾

  12. For the podcast - Hi guys! What a great episode this was, just fantastic. Grant Gustin continues to be an awesome representation of the the flash. I loved the speech from papa flash and it explained perfectly why Barry can’t keep redoing his reality.

    I never realized how much I enjoyed Ciscos humor and just the bit we didn’t have broke my heart but By the the end of it we were moving on and bingo they listened to y’all cause Kathryn’s killer frost. Also Barry my dude with the lines used to explain time travel, it cracks me up whenever he does it like he’s wells now.

    Finally y’all that kiss, my oh my. Barry def slipped some tongue in their and I am just so happy hopefully this time won’t get erased.

    And malfroy, eh we’ll see, I’m not impressed yet.

    Hey Nina, John & Donald:

    I really enjoyed this episode - Barry done fucked up and for once has to deal with his selfish consequences.

    Cisco: 😪😪😪 I related to his saddens so much I felt like I was in grief counseling over my own brother again. I understood his anger at Barry because if I had a time machine I would go back to the day before and tell my brother no - don’t do it. Yes I just called Barry selfish but like Cisco i want but can’t have and side eyeing the fuck out of Barry.

    West Family: man they changed Iris major I’m above my Mama’s drama moment! But happy they finally put differences aside.

    British Mans: as JK Rowling has said many times Tom Felton made Draco Malfoy likable….i agree a small degree. But I’m a serious Tom Felton sometimes IG stalker 👀 and was so happy to see him on my screen. Yeah he’s a little to tan but I’m loving him already (please don’t be evil!!) I’m happy he’s using his natural accent because he’s a better actor without trying to do the American thing. He not getting a long with him reminds me of my team at work - we pretend the other don’t exist. Was he the man in the van watching Flash & Chicken Speedster?

    Snowberry moment: there was none & stretching same clothing color is a bit much. Reminds me of Robsten fans. They probably put them in dark blue to show how dark their little world became and didn’t want to use black. Now that Caitlin is showing her Frosty powers expect we will see more aka Kevin Smith’s episode.

    That’s all!!! Seriously, I really tried to make this short!!

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