The Flash: Paradox Review

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By: Ashley Binion (@ashleybinion)
 
“Paradox” improved over the season three premiere, “Flashpoint.” However, it wasn’t a remarkable improvement.
 
Warning: spoilers ahead.
 
Thankfully, unlike “Flashpoint,” this new version of the timeline seems to be sticking for at least a little while. It’s something that made me dislike “Flashpoint.” The first new timeline, or reality, was too rushed and had little pay off. However, this new timeline may pay off some long awaited character developments like Caitlin having Killer Frost’s powers or Cisco getting out into the field with Barry as Vibe.
 
From a mood standpoint, this timeline was too broody and dark. Why? This isn’t Arrow. I need The Flash to go back to season one where everything was fun. Every change the writers made to this timeline was a broody one: Cisco’s brother dying, Cisco not liking Barry, Cisco overall just being one giant downer, Iris and Joe not speaking, Caitlin possibly being evil, and Barry’s not-so-nice lab roommate Julian Albert. At least in “Flashpoint” many of the changes that occurred were fun. Cisco being a billionaire? Fun. Caitlin being an opthamologist? Fun. Why couldn’t the changes in this timeline have a sense of lightness to them?
 
I’m so tired of the series constantly explaining time travel. In “Paradox,” it happened twice. It was a pleasant surprise to see John Wesley Shipp again, but it really needs to stop being explained in every episode. At this point it’s just taking up valuable screen time and, more likely than not, somewhere down the road, these rules The Flash has explained will be broken to serve whatever they need to do plot wise. Breaking the rules happens so often with shows and movies who use time travel as a plot device. One of the only shows that I’ve seen meticulously follow through with their time travel rules is 12 Monkeys.
 
It was nice to see that Arrow was affected by the timeline switch, but the change wasn’t that significant nor was it important to the overall story in the Arrowverse. Diggle’s child changed genders? Big deal. From an emotional standpoint, I could see how his child not being named after Sara might be sad. But, she is alive and well, so naming his daughter after the hero doesn’t pack as much of an emotional punch like it did earlier in the Arrowverse.
 
Dr. Alchemy looks to be the Big Bad this season. From the quick sightings of the villain, he/she feels capable. I’m glad the series is trying something different with the Big Bad. In the first two seasons, both overarching villains were speedsters. For right now, I’m done with seeing speedsters being the Big Bad. I want something different and Dr. Alchemy is indeed different. Would it be too early to throw out a hypothesis about Dr. Alchemy’s alter ego? Probably, but I’m doing it anyway: Julian Albert.
 
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


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