After the game-changing finale of Season 2, fan hopes are high for The Flash Season 3, as Barry discovers the full consequences of his decision to save Nora Allen's life. To help you keep track of all the twists and turns along the way, we'll be updating this The Flash Season 3 recap and review page as the episodes air.
So without racing around the point, let's get to it!
Episode 1 — "Flashpoint"
Three months on from the end of Season 2, we find Barry living happily in the new timeline he created. His parents are both alive, he is working as a CSI, and he's finally asked Iris West out on a date. Sure, things are different — Joe dislikes him and Cisco's an arrogant billionaire — but with Kid Flash holding down the fort, all Barry has to do is enjoy his new life. Until he starts forgetting his old one.
Initially teaming up with Wally and Iris — "a brother-sister crimefighting unit!" — to fight the speedster villain known as the Rival, Barry now has to round up his old team and explain to them the intricacies of Flashpoint — the name Reverse Flash gave to this new timeline.
As Eobard Thawne taunts him from the sidelines, Barry is determined to have it all, continuing to use his speedster powers even though he's losing his memory. But after a vicious battle with the Rival leaves Wally mortally wounded, Barry decides to rewrite history again, releasing the Reverse Flash so he can go back in time and kill Nora Allen.
But though everything seems to be back to normal, Barry soon finds out that this timeline isn't the one he knows and loves — and Iris may be very different too.
Verdict: This is definitely an episode that will divide fans. After months of building Flashpoint up in our heads, there was no way the TV adaptation of the popular comic arc could live up to fans' weird and whacky theories. Opting for a more personal approach, The Flash TV series' version of Flashpoint pretty much just used the concept in order to give Barry some character development.
Episode 2 — "Paradox"
"Paradox" explores the subtle differences between this post-Flashpoint timeline and the original one — and you better believe that transparent whiteboard makes a comeback as Barry tries to explain time travel again.
But although he's created another timeline, the problems from Flashpoint come back to haunt Barry and the team, as the mysterious Alchemy — dubbed Doctor Alchemy by Cisco — seems to remember the previous timeline, and is intent on causing all kinds of problems for Team Flash. Enter the Rival, again, as Edward Clariss is granted speedster powers by Doctor Alchemy.
With Iris and Joe not speaking, the appearance of human shaped "husks" scattered around the city, and Cisco mourning the death of his brother Dante, Barry has a lot to deal with in this post-Flashpoint timeline.
After attempting to quickly solve these problems, Barry decides to reset the timeline again. But he doesn't get far as Jay Garrick — the Flash from Earth-3 — pulls Barry over for a fatherly scolding, telling Barry that he can't just reset the timeline when something doesn't go his way.
Without backup from the team, Barry tracks the Rival to an old salt mill, but after he finds the new speedster to be more than a match for him, Cisco dons the partially completed Vibe suit, and with help from him the Flash defeats the Rival.
The team patch things up, agreeing to move forward and not dwell on their different lives in Flashpoint. But Caitlyn doesn't seem as happy as the others, and when she's alone her hand starts to freeze.
In the final scene, we see Clariss incarcerated, safe until a mysterious assailant with a metal arm kills him, presumably on the command of Doctor Alchemy.
Verdict: This was a much stronger episode, as the consequences of messing with the timeline finally seem to be catching up to Barry. The action was well paced, with some nice plot threads laid out for the rest of the season to deal with, introducing Doctor Alchemy and the intriguing "husks" he seems to be producing when giving his followers powers.
Episode 3 — "Magenta"
Episode 3 developed the Doctor Alchemy plot, as a young and vulnerable metahuman seeks vengeance against her abusive stepfather.
With the power to control metal, and suffering from Dissociative Identity Discorder, Frankie a.k.a. Magenta puts her stepfather in the hospital and soon has the Flash on her tail, after she lashes out at Julian at the police precinct.
When Harrison and Jesse Wells return from Earth-2, Wally becomes quietly jealous of Jesse's new speedster powers. Considering they were both caught in the second particle accelerator explosion, Wally wonders why he hasn't got speed powers too — especially as he's been experiencing dreams of being a speedster.
After trying to get Caitlyn to persuade Jesse not to use her powers, Harry eventually decides to support his daughter's desire to be a hero like the Flash, allowing her to help Barry take down Magenta. Back at the lab, Frankie confirms the team's suspicion that Alchemy gave her her powers, after tempting her with dreams of Magenta's supervillain life in Flashpoint. Wally seems uneasy, and we're left wondering if Alchemy is tempting him with similar dreams of Kid Flash.
The episode ends with Julian showing Barry and Joe footage of Edward Clariss' death — and as Barry lets slip that he already knew who Alchemy was, Julian's mistrust of him grows.
Verdict: Although it was a pretty standard episode for The Flash, "Magenta" had some nice emotional high points, pushing along Wally's development while reintroducing some strong cast members in the form of the Wells.
Episode 3 — "The New Rogues"
Fan favorite Mirror Master finally makes an appearance in Episode 3 of Season 3, and he's joined by Rosa Dillon a.k.a. the Top.
After the particle accelerator explosion traps Sam Scudder in a mirror, he emerges three years later as a metahuman with the power to travel between reflective surfaces. He soon rescues his partner Rosa Dillon from jail, who now has the ability to induce vertigo in others thanks to the explosion. The two set about wrecking havoc as they rob Central City.
In the meantime, Jesse teams up with the Flash, taking the title of Jesse Quick, and training to hone her abilities as a speedster. Because she and Harrison Wells intend on returning to their Earth soon, Harry, Cisco, and Caitlyn search for a replacement Harrison from another Earth. Wally is reluctant to pursue a romantic attachment with Jesse despite their mutual attraction, because he knows she must leave soon.
A run-in with Mirror Master and the Top leaves Barry trapped in a mirror. Although Cisco and Harry try to free him using technology to freeze the mirror, they can't get it cold enough. Caitlyn produces a distraction, and after the team leaves she secretly uses her metahuman powers to freeze the mirror to absolute zero, allowing Barry to escape.
Luring Mirror Master and the Top by using a recording of Leonard Snart, Barry and Jesse manage to take down the two rogues using mirrors and holograms. This is a neat callback to the episode of the 1992 The Flash TV show in which Mirror Master appeared, as this version of the character used gadgets instead of superpowers.
With Scudder and Dillon safely in jail, Harry and Jesse return to Earth-2, leaving a Harrison from Earth-19 on Team Flash. The moments of the episode, again, reveal Caitlyn's powers developing, as the water freezes as she showers and she cuts off some brilliant white hair.
Verdict: Another great episode, introducing some fan faves in a new and interesting way, while developing Jesse Quick's plot. Hopefully we'll get to see more of Jesse and Harry later on in the season, and Caitlyn's Killer Frost subplot is sure to come to a head soon. Barry and Iris' relationship is also developing nicely. If there's a weak link then unfortunately it seems to be Cisco — he hasn't had much presence in the last two episodes, not back to his quipping self, but not dealing with his grief either.
Check back here for more recaps and reviews as Season 3 progresses!
Tell us in the comments: What did you think of Episode 4?