At Jitters, Barry nervously waits and sees Iris walking through the door. He murmurs to himself to go up and talk to her. Before he can, he spots a news report proclaiming a fight between a hero named Kid Flash and a villain named the Rival. After seeing the news, Barry races throughout the city to come in the middle of the fight himself. As the two spar, Kid Flash saves Barry from being hurt in the fallout and leaves to help the city.
Returning to Jitters, Barry meets up with Iris once again. He secretly takes her wallet to start a conversation with her, revealing that he and Iris were not close friends in this timeline. He reminds her that they went to school together and reveals that he works at the CCPD with her father. Though Iris no longer has a close relationship with Barry, she still talks with him, leading Barry to ask her out for coffee. Before they both leave, she accepts his offer, provided he work on his speed when talking.
At the CCPD, Barry speaks with the new captain who is interested in capturing the Rival. Despite Barry’s work, he is unable to track the villain without DNA samples, but Barry is confident that the Flash will help. Meanwhile, the captain also asks Barry if he has seen Joe, who has been missing from his post for a while. Barry admits he doesn’t know but requests to leave in order to make another appointment.
Barry runs to an abandoned facility outside the city which is being used to store the Reverse Flash. After saving his mother, Barry rushed the Reverse Flash into the future where he has kept him prisoner ever since. Though Barry maintains that he has succeeded in taking back everything the Reverse Flash has stolen, Eobard Thawne fires back that time will eventually catch up with Barry following his changes in reality. Eventually, he warns, Barry will be begging for him to kill his mother again. Not believing him, Barry returns to his home awaiting both of his parents.
The next morning, Barry enjoys a normal breakfast with his parents, though his mother finds his close behavior unusual. As they talk, Barry’s mother discusses a basement apartment a local neighbor is thinking of renting, giving Barry a chance to move out of his home. Barry then interjects on his development with Iris, revealing that he has been following her around for about three months. The three celebrate his moment.
Barry: “Speed has always been my problem.”
Back at work, the captain once again asks on Joe’s whereabouts, noting that the detective has been gone for ten days. To help Joe, Barry races to the West house to find Joe in a drunken stupor. Using his speed, Barry helps Joe return to work in order to save his job. Although Barry wants to help Joe, Joe is not receptive to the gesture, reminding Barry that they barely know each other. When Joe questions this sudden interest, he then sees Iris arriving to meet with Barry. He admonishes Barry for meeting with his daughter, though Iris is equally antagonistic to Joe in his drunken behavior. Nevertheless, Iris leaves with Barry to go on their date.
As they walk down the road, Iris apologizes for her father, though Barry desires to help him. From his attitude, Iris notes that she doesn’t usually accept dates off the bat like this one. Barry replies that perhaps some things were meant to happen, but, as he keeps speaking, he suddenly has flashes of his past life as they disappear. Before he can think on that, police cars speed by them. A police officer warns them that the area needs to be evacuated due to a fight between Kid Flash and the Rival. At the news, Iris quickly leaves Barry, forcing Barry to investigate the fight. While watching the battle, Kid Flash is flung from a building, prompting Barry to try and save him. Coming close to him, Barry unmasks the hero to find that he is Wally West, who also doesn’t recognize Barry.
After discovering his identity, Wally brings Barry to his apartment where they both meet with Iris. Wally explains that a while ago he was testing a nitrogen-fueled engine on his car during a thunderstorm. The car was stroke by lightning, sending Wally into a coma for nine months. After he woke up, he found himself the fastest man alive. With Iris’s knowledge as a local reporter, he has been protecting Central City, though Joe himself is unaware of their pact. Unfortunately, they are now struggling to defeat the Rival. With no other option, Iris suggests they speak to Cisco Ramon.
In this timeline, Cisco Ramon is a billionaire developer of industry, hosting a score of investors at a STAR Labs party. Iris, Wally, and Barry interrupt him in order to ask for his help, reminding Cisco that he already helped to develop Wally’s suit. Cisco refuses to help the group out of fear of the Rival’s retaliation and feels no sympathy for their cause. Despite Cisco not recognizing him, Barry tries appealing to his better side, reminding him of a time in his past when he helped supported his brother. However, Barry begins to suffer from flashes of his memories once again disappearing.
With this happening more frequently, Barry runs to the facility to question the Reverse Flash. Thawne explains that this is a side effect of the Flashpoint. As the timeline resets itself, his memories of the old timeline will begin to fade. He also notes that the more Barry uses his speed, the faster his memories will dissipate. Eventually, Barry will even forget that he’s the Flash, trapping them in this timeline permanently. Barry refuses to believe his enemy’s words and leaves him once again.
Defying the Reverse Flash, Barry speeds Wally, Iris, and Cisco together in order to come up with a plan to defeat the Rival, revealing himself as the Flash in the process. He explains the points of Flashpoint, describing them as a team in his original timeline. To further prove his point, he finds and brings back Caitlin Snow, who turns out to be a pediatric eye doctor in this timeline. With everyone skeptical of Barry’s reveal, Iris takes him aside to talk.
Barry tries to explain his situation, but Iris admits that she already believed him. She even recognizes that they must have been something more in the original timeline, a deeper one that spans even now. Before they go further, however, Caitlin discovers a way to track the Rival, combining her efforts with Cisco’s technology. Together, Barry and Wally race to face the villain.
The three speedsters confront each other outside the city. The Rival then reveals himself to be a man named Edward Clariss and, despite receiving no consideration from the two, prepares to take on them both. Against Barry’s warning, Wally takes on the Rival by himself, mostly holding his own. However, once he turns his back, the Rival shoves a pipe through Wally’s chest, defeating him.
Barry: I need you to kill my mother.
Barry then takes on the Rival, fighting him intensely while using his speed. Unfortunately, this effort causes him to lose more of his memory, making him disoriented. In this distraction, the Rival creates two twisters from his speed. In his moment of weakness, Iris calls to him, reminding him to be the Flash. Inspired by her words, Barry disintegrates the twisters and successfully overpowers the Rival. Before the Rival can make a fatal blow back, he is shot by an arriving Joe, who came to help the Flash, discovering it to be Wally.
Wally is taken to STAR Labs, but there is nothing the team can do to revive him from his injuries. With no other option, Barry and Iris decide to change the timeline before it’s too late. However, Barry takes his remaining time to introduce Iris to both of his parents, especially his mother, reminding them how much he loves them.
Barry and Iris meet up with the Reverse Flash who agrees to restore the timeline by killing Barry’s mother. Before Barry leaves, he and Iris share a tender kiss, knowing their future will be trained. With Barry incapacitated under the timeline, the Reverse Flash speeds him to the past, where he then kills Barry’s mother. After the kill, Thawne returns Barry to his home, warning that there may still be some residual changes from the Flashpoint.
Barry returns to the West home where he finds Joe and Wally talking. Relieved, Barry embraces Wally, something Joe attributes to Henry’s death. However, when Barry questions Iris’s whereabouts, Joe leaves the room, hinting at a bigger change that occurred.
Meanwhile, a distant voice calls out to Edward Clariss in bed with his wife. The voice tells him to wake up as it carves the word ALCHEMY into a mirror.
- The Reverse Flash refers to their state as "Flashpoint" which also refers to the comic story following Barry Allen rescuing his mother from the Reverse Flash.
- Edward Clariss was previously "The Rival" to Golden Age speedster Jay Garrick.
- The new captain is played by Alex Désert, who also played a CCPD scientist and close friend to Barry Allen in the 1990 Flash series. Guess he got a promotion!
Photo Credit: CW/DC