Butterfly Effect | The Flash “Paradox” Review
The premiere of this season was a bit middling, but even though this episode delved further into the foundation which was laid an episode prior, this episode did a much better job of hitting those classic Flash beats we are used to seeing.
As the episode title suggestions, Barry is dealing with multiple fracturing timelines, and he is just now realizing that even the smallest of actions can cause consequences all around him. In this episode, we get to see how much of an impact saving his mother’s life, then letting her die again, impacted the “current” timeline.
Of all people to which Barry is closest, Iris and Joe were greatly affected by his time-hopping. The two can’t even stand the sight of one another. The hatred between the two stems from the fact that Joe never told her that her mom was indeed alive. It’s weird seeing the two be so up-in-arms with one another because in the previous timeline, the Wests (especially Joe and Iris) were one of those picture perfect families on TV, even if they have their tumultuous events along the way. But, there may be a character or two that suffered worse fates.
The fun-loving joke-cracking Cisco was all but that. He was cold and disinterested and very un-Cisco like. We learn that his brother was killed recently. The death, sad in itself because Dante was a fun character, brings up the dilemma of all superheroes. Who do you choose to save? And, who do you let go?
Cisco brought it up time and time again throughout the episode. Barry always acts so self righteous but is unwilling to even think about going back for Dante when he explicitly went against all advice and went back to save his mother. It really goes to show that Barry may finally be realizing that he will never be able to go back and truly believe that something isn’t out of the ordinary. The previous episode provided some serious foreshadowing, when Eobard Thawne literally said that things will be amiss going forward, and the situations grow more interesting as we go through the characters.
Barry believes that, for some unknown mostly dumb-founded reason, Caitlin Snow was the only one to be unaffected with the shift in timelines. Wow, could he not be more wrong. We see a short scene where Caitlin’s hand is freezing, very Killer Frost-esque. It’s clear that, by random occurrence (or something possibly more sinister) she is slowly becoming her chilly doppleganger.
The Rival, and thus Alchemy, also made a return in this episode, and Barry took care of The Rival with the help of a reinvigorated Cisco who happened to develop his doppelgangers pulse weapons. But, something he couldn’t have possibly had known, is now Barry has a co-worker sharing his lab!
Julian Albert (Tom Felton) certainly channels his inner Draco Malfoy with his snobby, confrontational attitude. He doesn’t hesitate for a second to demean Barry about his inability to actually help, and certainly never wants to create some form of working relationship. Interestingly enough, he does seem quite in tune with what’s going on, which is quite a nice surprise considering the majority of the other characters seem to intentionally miss what is right in front of them. I’m glad they went this route with Felton because he is certainly a bit abrasive. But he may be the person that could get through to Barry. Or, he could turn villainous, something that seems to happen quite often to new characters on this show.