The Flash Just Got a Hard Reset


So last week, we were treated to diet Flashpoint. If we’re being honest, it was probably closer to zero calorie, caffeine free, diet Flashpoint. It came and went. And besides the revelation that Joe and Iris weren’t getting along, everything was more or less the same as when Barry left. This week we got a look at some other changes.

I understand why they called this episode Paradox. The full title of the comic act that last week’s episode is based on is “The Flashpoint Paradox”. But when you get right down to it, this week’s episode wasn’t about paradoxes. It was about retconning.

A Retcon is an attempt by a to insert something new like a character or event into an existing continuity usually in an attempt to change the plot or address an inconsistency. Retcon itseld stands for Retroactive Continuity. Since Paradox was nothing but Barry examining the retcons, lets break down Paradox in the same way. We will score them on how seriousness they are, how much they will impact the overall plot and whether they are resolvable?

  1. Iris and Joe are Fighting

Shockingness: 1

Plot Impact: 1

Resolvable: Yes

Great place to start. Iris and Joe aren’t getting along because Joe didn’t tell Iris about her mother. You would assume these events happened about the same way they did in season two. Since this one is already pretty much resolved, we can leave it here.

  1. Barry and Iris haven’t kissed

Shockingness: 1

Plot Impact: 2

Resolvable: Yes

Poor Barry never can manage to kiss Iris in a timeline that isn’t immediately destroyed. But now they have kissed, so another retcon back can go back to just being a con. Good job, Mr. Allen.

  1. Cisco’s brother Dante is dead

Shockingness: 10

Plot Impact: 3

Resolvable: No

So this is the retcon that Paradox spends the most time obsessing over even though it will be forgotten about in no time. Dante’s death at the hands of a drunk driver has beaten the fun nicknames out of Cisco and left him a mopey sidekick that belongs with the Star City crew. Realistically, Dante isn’t in more than an episode or two per season, so this should not make a big impact. Also Barry and Cisco seem to understand each other because of the next thing.

  1. Cisco is Vibe

Shockingness: 5

Plot Impact: 8

Resolvable: No

So now let’s start looking at the retcons that are clearly the writers saying “let’s just go ahead and do X now”. Cisco was destined to be vibe. He was able to do it once. Now he seems to have full on Vibe powers complete with the goofy glasses. This shouldn’t be a big surprise to fans, since it has been in the works for a while now. It is a nice surprise. You never know how long they could have waited for this one. Also we get crime fighting bros now. Just think of it. Barry and a guy with wrist mounted sonic cannons. Hey WAIT A SECOND! What happened to Hartley? Did he also get hit by that drunk drive? Retcon god is a cruel god.

  1. Julian Albert is a CSI who hates Barry

Shockingness: 10

Plot Impact: 10

Resolvable: No

Who the hell is this guy? Some CSI version of Dr. House who doesn’t trust Barry is running around finding husks. That is a BIG retcon. Barry will have to not only win Julian over with his charm, but also figure out what Julian’s deal is. Julian doesn’t trust Barry, which seems bad on the surface but when you think about it makes a lot of sense. Barry is full or secrets and is always late and know who Edward Clariss is. Seems pretty untrustworthy. And Julian’s newness should automatically put him at number one on the secret villain power rankings but his complete naivety when it comes to Barry makes me think this will be more complicated than your garden variety secret bad guy. Either way, Albert is gonna matter. Also Tom Felton is great.

  1. Caitlin has Frost powers

Shockingness: 8

Plot Impact: 10

Resolvable: No

FINALLY! And she’s hiding them! That’s the best! That means we’re doing to really tragic Killer Frost. She just happens to have the Frost powers but can’t tell anyone so she feeds on the heat of her enemies like a vampire. That is good. Is Jessie’s arrival next week a coincidence? Maybe we will need a new ophthalmologist when the current one turns into a supervillain.

  1. Alchemy exists

Shockingness: 7

Plot Impact: 10

Resolvable: Maybe

So here’s the weird one. He’s a retcon who seems to understand that retconning is a thing and can use it to his advantage. He is known only as Alchemy. Voiced terrifyingly by Tobin Bell of Saw fame, Alchemy is some sort of cultist villain who can augment the abilities of normal people. The version of this we saw in Paradox took pre-Flashpoint Clariss and have him Rival powers. It suggests that Alchemy knows about the other timeline and is pulling his meta minions from there. It would be a clever way to bring Kid Flash into the regular continuity.

Dr. Alchemy is a longstanding Flash villain and there is one big theory as to what is going on based off of the comics and other stuff. Here is it.


In the Flash comics, Dr. Alchemy is a character named Albert Desmond. He is a chemist with multiple personalities that uses his chemistry knowledge to invent weapons. Eventually the character gets his hands on a Philosopher’s Stone, an item than can be used to transmute matter. Albert Desmond uses the stone as a weapon and fights the Flash.

So let’s say that Julian ALBERT is the good personality and Alchemy is the bad one. It would explain why Julian is so suspicious of Barry while also being the big bad. Tom Felton’s being Alchemy would also be a nice bit of casting considering the first Harry Potter book was about a Philosopher’s Stone (unless you are from USA in which case it was the Sorcerer’s Stone) and he played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies.


Other thoughts

  • Please give Wally something to do. I expect we will soon. It just feels awkward having his sitting in the back looking at his watch.
  • Jay Garrick was perfect. It was the exact right amount of the character for the episode. He has singlehandedly saved Barry and the show from becoming obsessed with solving every problem with time travel.
  • I still don’t know what the husks are for. I guess Alchemy does some procedure to repower the people and it creates the husk. When I heard it mentioned, I immediately assumed it was a Killer Frost thing but that doesn’t look like the case.
  • Seriously, can someone find Hartley Rathaway in this reality?
  • The Alchemy costume is okay. We have only seen it from one angle. I am worried that from any other angle, it will look really dorky. I like the Tobin Bell voice a lot.
  • Also there is the Arrow retcon related to Diggle that I don’t even kind of understand. Good luck with that one Arrow Team.
  • Next week sees the return of Harry and actual speedster Jessie Quick. We also get a look at new Rogue, Magenta whose costume makes me think that the CW has become sentient and she is their final form.

Matthew Nando Kelly is an incredibly cool and handsome Senior Staff Writer for Pop-Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Besides weekly Flash recaps, he focuses on film, television, music, and video games. Matthew also has a podcast called Mad Bracket Status where he discusses pop culture related brackets with fellow Pop-Break writer DJ Chapman. He has an unshakable love for U2, cats, and the New Orleans Saints. His twitter handle is @NationofNando. Did we mention how handsome he was?

Matthew Nando Kelly is the cool and tough Managing Editor of Pop Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Besides weekly Flash recaps, he has a podcast called Mad Bracket Status where he makes pop culture brackets with fellow writer DJ Chapman.