When Season 2 of The Flash ended, viewers were both cautious and excited to see the famous Flash storyline, Flashpoint, brought to the small screen for the first time. It was this storyline that The Flash attempted in its premiere episode of Season 3 and although the episode was well-received, Flashpoint only lasted one episode with Barry returning the timeline to normal. It was this one episode, however, that formed the season to come.
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD
After Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) returned from the altered timeline, it was discovered that his life and Central City had been irreversibly changed. The first episodes of the season were true examples of what The Flash has become since its arrival back in 2014. The episodes mixed humour with some key emotional moments as Barry was forced to face the ramifications of his actions. The Flash’s team also returned once more with Cisco Ramone (Carlos Valdes), Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker), Iris West (Candice Patton) and Det. Joe West (Jesse L. Martin).
This season saw a few new additions with Harry replaced by H.R Wells (Tom Cavanagh), yet another Wells from a different Earth, along with Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale) and Julian Alpert (Tom Felton) in recurring roles.
In the beginning of the season, The Flash had some truly fine character moments. Wally West began his training as Kid Flash and led to some entertaining scenes that involved him and Barry competing plus a variety of more serious scenes where Barry mentored him in the ways of becoming a hero. A more sombre character arc was Cisco’s discovery in finding Barry had killed his brother by changing the timeline. But it was the discovery that Iris West was going to die at the hands of Savitar, the self-titled God of Speed and Barry’s latest nemesis, that truly shaped the direction of the season.
The Big Bad Savitar
The mystery of who Savitar was and the race to save Iris’ life consumed Barry as the season progressed forward. Savitar proved to be an exciting villain when he first graced the screen with his speed and strength outmatched Barry’s, he was clearly a force to be reckoned with. But although he was the driving force behind Barry for the majority of the season, his story was left until the last three episodes.
The big reveal that Savitar was actually a time-remnant created by Barry after Iris’ death felt like it came a little too late in the season. There wasn’t enough time to explore the complexity of a villainous Barry Allen, something that was actually quite interesting in concept. The Flash still used the time they had to provide an interesting view of Savitar and in the finale, they placed him in amongst the other members of the team and it was these interactions that truly shone. If the season had given more of these exchanges in the lead up to Iris’ death, it would have greatly benefited the show.
Fare Thee Well Iris?
Using Iris’ death as a motivator for Barry was one of the finer touches of the season. The plot forced Barry to face not only his own weaknesses, but the possibility of what his future self could become if Iris died. It opened up the chance for Wally to take the limelight as he was forced to become faster than Barry in order to save Iris. Her death loomed over the team and provided some core emotional scenes, particularly between Joe and Iris, as well as leading to Barry and Iris’ proposal.
The penultimate episode provided a shocking and emotional scene as Barry crumbled over Iris’ body with his inability to save her fulfilling Savitar’s prophecy. The downside to this scene was that it was instantly reversed in the starting moments of the next episode and the death ended up being that of H.R. Wells instead, leading to a nice tie-off for his arc as his story had developed from useless to team advisor to a sacrificial saviour.
Killer Frost Is Back!
As well as seeing Iris’ future, Barry, with Cisco’s help, discovered that Caitlin was to become Killer Frost. Over the course of the season, newcomer Julian Alpert and Caitlin had become close and it was good to see that it was this relationship, formed because Caitlin used her Killer Frost powers, was ultimately what led to her becoming Killer Frost. The complexity of the character to the struggle between Caitlin and Frost was what brought this character to life on the screen and it was this fight that made some of the final episode the better of the season.
The last five minutes of Season 3 provided a strong moment for Barry and the team. Having freed Wally and Jay from the Speed Force, Barry is forced to take their role as prisoner and he says it is his penance for causing all this with Flashpoint. This was a nice way to tie off the end of Barry’s season long arc and provided many exciting premises for Season 4 with Wally now taking on the Flash title.
Season 3 Deserves A Round of Applause
Despite the threat of Iris’ death and Savitar, The Flash still managed to bring in some great standalone episodes. The Gorilla Grodd arc was excellent with great visuals and a formidable foe for Barry to face and the Supergirl crossover was a nice change of pace for the show; a humorous way for the cast to show their musical potential. The Flash also introduced some great new characters, like Gypsy (Jessica Camacho), Cisco’s new love, and classic Flash villains such as Mirror Master (Gray Damon) and The Rival (Todd Lasance), as well as bringing back some familiar faces in the form of Jesse Quick (Violett Beane) and her father, Harry.
Both the cast and crew of Season 3 of The Flash need to be applauded on a job well done. Each of the core cast had to play many different versions of their characters, as Barry jumped from timeline to timeline, and each character was strengthened by their performances. Gustin and Panabaker especially did an excellent job in playing not only Barry and Caitlin, but the villains Savitar and Killer Frost respectively.
Although this season of The Flash had its ups and downs, Savitar provided to be an entertaining foe. The Flash has always excelled at blending humour with an emotional storyline and this season was no different. Despite the tone becoming darker towards the end, it suited the storyline and the show benefited from Barry’s inner struggle.
What did you think of The Flash Season 3? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!