So after Barry Allen's timeline-altering decision last week, he found himself at the end of Flashpoint and right back where he left things at the end of Season 2. But the latest episode — appropriately titled "Paradox" — introduced Barry to his new normal. While a lot was still the same, there were a few intricately different details — Cisco's brother Dante's death, the Rival's existence and the sudden appearance of Julian Albert to name a few.
While many of us either knew or predicted some of these changes, "Paradox" still managed to teach us a whole lot more. Let's take a look at some of the most important things we learned from "Paradox."
1. Doctor Alchemy Can See Other Timelines
We knew that Doctor Alchemy was going to be this season's big bad. And fans of the comics knew that he would be a force to be reckoned with. However, we didn't know that he'd be so powerful. His terrifying debut revealed a lot about the character.
This guy seems to be able to see into the Flashpoint timeline as he was able so lure a very human Edward Clariss — the Rival in the Flashpoint timeline — to his lair and give him speed. Somehow, Alchemy was not only able to harness power to give someone a specific gift, he knew exactly what gift to give Clariss as he could see into the Flashpoint timeline.
2. Kid-Flash Will Return
Wally West's introduction to The Flash last season had us eagerly anticipating the moment when he would develop speed and become Kid Flash. And after he and Jesse were hit with the wave of dark matter last year, we assumed that was the beginning. However, things didn't quite work out that way as it was revealed that Kid Flash would debut as part of the Flashpoint timeline. But when Wally was injured and Barry reversed things, resetting the timeline, it looked like that may have been the end of Kid Flash.
However, thanks to Doctor Alchemy's evil plan, that may not be the case. Alchemy not only gave Edward Clariss visions of his Flashpoint self, he gave him his speed. And his revelation that he's "preparing this world," the Flash seems to think that Alchemy will try again with other metahumans from Flashpoint. And one of them is none other than Wally West himself. Could the Team Flash member with a need for speed end up becoming the heroic speedster all over again thanks to an unlikely assist from Doctor Alchemy?
3. The Figure In The Cave Was Alchemy — Not Savitar
When it was announced that evil speedster Savitar was coming to The Flash Season 3, fans were divided. And I can see why — I didn't necessarily want to see another speedster big bad. But when I heard that Savitar was coming, I kicked those doubts to the curb, because in the comics Savitar isn't just another speedster — he doesn't dress or act like traditional speedsters and he happens to believe he's a god, siphoning speed from all other speedsters. Because his self-proclaimed god status, he develops a cult following.
So when we saw the image of the cloaked figure bowing at what looked like an alter in an earlier trailer, with others worshiping at said altar too, we all assumed it was Savitar and his cult. However, we were wrong. "Paradox" revealed that the figure was Doctor Alchemy. And this makes things really interesting — we knew Savitar had his cult, but who are the monk-like followers surrounding Alchemy? And if that wasn't Savitar, well then where does he come from, and what does he look like?
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4. Felicity Smaok Is Made For The Flash
When everything went wrong for Barry Allen, he couldn't confide in those closest to him because they were most affected. So he turned to the only person he could rely on — Arrow's Felicity Smoak. And a hilariously brilliant conversation ensued, which proved why Felicity is perfect for a show like The Flash.
The character has received criticism lately on Arrow for her significant changes over the past few years, which have seen her drop many of her humorous traits and become one of the many serious characters on the show. However, on "Paradox" she was every bit of the quick-witted, nerdy and gloriously smart Felicity Smoak we know and love, and really managed to add some light in a rather dark episode. It just goes to show how well she fits into the show and, moreover, how she still has the ability to be one of the shared universe's greatest characters when not bogged down with soap-operatic storylines. Welcome back Felicity, we missed you!
5. It's Albert, Not Dorn
This might seem small compared to the rest, but because it's Tom Felton, it was definitely worth including. Despite being initially revealed to be portraying a character named Julian Dorn, Felton made his on-screen debut in "Paradox" as Julian Albert. And the creative team made sure that you would notice this as his name was not only displayed on a desk plaque but they even had Barry read it out very slowly. This is the only change that was made as the character is exactly as he was described in the description released a few months back.
This is interesting because Julian Dorn was already practically a household name because of Felton's Harry Potter ties — so it definitely makes you wonder why they changed it. Still though, Felton was a great addition to the cast and I can't wait to see him shake things up in Central City.
6. Barry And Julian Aren't Friends
Even though we all knew this was coming, there was still something incredibly powerful about witnessing Draco Malfoy telling the Flash that he doesn't like him. From the moment we were introduced to Julian Albert, we could see his distaste towards Barry — it seems that in this new variation of the timeline, everybody hates Barry. And their first scene together backed up everything that was revealed in the character's description a few months back — Julian and Barry aren't friends.
But it's more than that. Albert doesn't trust him and that's interesting. What is Barry supposed to have done in this variation of the timeline to make Albert hate him so much? Furthermore, it's interesting how the roles were reversed here. At the beginning of the episode, Barry appeared small and inexperienced under the mighty debut of Julian Albert, having to share his office with this arrogant stranger. However, by the end of the episode, Albert is the one uneasy due to his distrust of Barry — who is more than happy to take everything his new "roomie" throws at him. But this is only the beginning of the Albert/Allen saga which is likely to escalate as the season progresses.
"Paradox" was most certainly an insightful episode as it not only introduced us to the brand new version of the old timeline, but it also introduced us to integral new characters from Doctor Alchemy to Julian Albert. Furthermore, it seems that Jay Garrick has finally talked Barry into ceasing his obsession of messing with the timeline. With things about to get stranger, including the possible arrival of Killer Frost, this episode very much put the "Paradox" in Flashpoint Paradox.
Check out the promo for next week's episode of The Flash:
What did you think of "Paradox"? Let us know in the comments!