Barry has a quote that sums up this whole episode.
“I just have a problem with speed”
***Spoilers will follow***
This whole episode has a massive pacing problem to the point where Barry is making HUGE logical leaps without really considering his consequences. The pacing of how he loses memories and his powers eventually also makes no sense at all. This episode should’ve been broken down into 3 or 4. This season like the Flash should slow down before making any more rash decisions.
The real problem starts at the beginning when Barry wakes up in this alternate reality. The audience barely has any time to adjust before the show literally takes off and doesn’t stop. There’s no point where we can see how Barry’s adapting, how he got there in the first place, or what’s life like in this alternate reality. We see him living at home and then going to the coffee shop to muster up the courage to talk to Iris.
Here were my questions before Barry basically forces Iris into talking to him by stealing her wallet and then making awkward conversation.
- How did Barry get from the time of his mother’s death until now?
- Why are Iris and Barry not friends? Didn’t they go to elementary school together?
- Has Barry been planning his way to figure out how to talk to Iris?
- Is Barry chasing metahumans down or trying to find his friends?
- Is Barry lonely because he only hangs out with his parents and the Reverse Flash?
- Why does Barry live at home?
- Has Barry told anyone of his situation?
- What does Barry do at work? Actually work?
- What’s Barry’s end goal here?
So, I think it’s safe to say that the audience has all of these questions and almost none of them were explained. Next, Barry takes off running to find Kid Flash and the rival fighting, but he takes off in the middle of the coffee shop in street clothes, so did people just not notice him? Also does this timeline not have friction? I only say this because that was the point of the suit!
Barry then discovers that Wally is the Flash and that Iris is working with him. I was surprised when I saw Barry surprised because he’s been there for 3 months, works in the police department, and couldn’t figure it out?? Either he’s a bad cop or he hasn’t been using his speed which isn’t explained at all! I guess he could just be hanging out with his parents and all but doesn’t he run to work? Also, why isn’t he telling his parents anything? I would’ve thought that Barry would’ve learned his lesson.
Then the craziest part of this is the scene in Cisco’s lab (Star Labs). It’s an offhanded remark of what happened to make Cisco rich, but it’s skipped over pretty quickly. Also, Barry doesn’t know the history which continues along the lines of WHY DOESN’T HE KNOW? He then captures Wally, Iris, and Caitlin to form his plan to stop the rival.
This part of the episode did bring the best line and I thought it was pretty funny until I thought about it more.
“Why do we need your help? We’ve got this covered” -Wally
“Then why haven’t you caught him yet?” -Barry
But the fact that he searched where Caitlin was and then kidnapped her was ridiculous. She’s wearing her work coat so that’s where Barry picked her up. He also looked her up in the database and then couldn’t find out where she worked and thought she was a scientist. That would make sense if Cisco, Iris, or Wally said it, but no. Barry made a comment about her being a scientist. Also, why wasn’t she freaking out. She mysterious got planted into a huge corporation and was okay with it.
The episode concluded with a frustrating fight sequence where Kid Flash turns his back on the villain and he kills him so Barry does the same thing. He’s then saved by Joe West. The whole episode I was wondering where Joe’s partner was because the captain was always looking for him. Couldn’t he have just asked his partner. And then Barry has an awkward shower scene with the guy. Ewww. But then Joe saves him. But Wally is seriously hurt. Barry is all of a sudden losing memories and speed (for 3 months he was okay, but now something’s up). So what does Barry decide to do? Kill his mom and have no speed.
The crazy thing is that no one died. Barry has only lost his powers. He’s now faced with a new problem. Live a relatively nice life or be the Flash and who knows what will happen. He makes this decision so fast that it doesn’t make any sense.
Basically his decision to go back to the past kills his mom and dad. Leaves him powerless and the Reverse Flash can do just about anything he wants to the timeline because Barry has kept him locked in a cage for so long.
That’s a decision that needs time but he does it so urgently it makes no sense.
Overall, the performances in the episode were about on pace with the rest of the show, but the story is so horrendous that they’re not starting the year off well. Maybe the Rival will be a cool villain. Maybe the story will get better. Personally, I wish they’d start off slower and really show what’s been going on since we have last seen Barry.