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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

Well that was exceedingly underwhelming? Granted at the end of last season there was so much going on that it seemed nearly impossible to give a satisfying follow up. The problem is that they need the show to move back to the status quo, because they have to keep going with the storyline. It’s a shame they won’t shake up the usual formula, since I thought the “find a superhuman, fight them, cage them” was the least interesting parts of the show last season. It was just really anti-climatic, but I’m not sure what I expected. I’ll also get out of the way that time travel always confuses me. If Eddie killed himself and Eobard ceased to exist, why was the past not changed? If Eobard never existed, he would never have killed Nora or set off the chain of events creating the Flash too early. I guess this is something I’ll just have to accept and get over, because there’s no way it’ll make sense and it’s one of those comic book things, oh well. Okay, show, I’ll let it go. Previously on The Flash, Eobard Thawne aka Harrison Wells wanted to go back to his home in the future so he was going to use them to do it. Eddie Thawne killed himself to destroy Eobard. A black hole opened anyway and Barry ran into it.

This has a time jump six months later, the same as Arrow, and I get they need to be in the same time frame so it’s fine. Barry is now working alone and very distant from the others. The Flash is everyone’s favorite superhero now, even getting his own special day of the year, because he saved the city. Or so they think! It was actually Ronnie (and Professor Stein) who did it, leading to Ronnie’s second death and likely more permanent. Ish. Barry feels guilty for taking the credit, and he’s pushed everyone out of his life to protect them. The death of Eddie and Ronnie together is pretty rough for everyone, not to mention the official loss of Harrison Wells, even though they knew he was evil at that point. There was a lot of loss, basically, and everyone withdrew in their own ways. Caitlin changed corporations. Cisco works with Joe now. Iris … I’m not sure? She seemed weirdly over Eddie’s death considering it was only a few months ago, outside of a sad look at his picture. Maybe six months is enough time to start healing, I just hope we don’t jump too quickly into Barry and Iris again. They clearly both have some things to work out on their own.

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The bad guy of this episode is the Atom Smasher and he’s been sent to kill Barry by Zoom. Professor Zoom is Eobard Thawne in the comics, but there’s another Zoom by the name of Hunter Solomon. I mentioned him when speculating about who Harrison Wells was. He is primarily the antagonist for Wally West instead of Barry, but there’s no shortage of Flash enemies. Atom Smasher confesses about Zoom as he dies and … did he legit die? Did Barry just kill him? I think Barry killed him by allowing him to absorb too much radiation. Anyway he’s too tough for Barry to handle alone but he stubbornly doesn’t want others to get in trouble anymore. Atom Smasher destroys his Flash Day celebration, and he’s pretty handily taken down by team Flash once they get back together. Barry’s spirit is lifted when he sees a video of Eobard where he gives Barry what he wants in case he loses. The confession of killing Nora so his father can get out of jail. This seems very out of character for Eobard as we know him, but it’s probably useful since Tom will still be on the show as a main character. We don’t know how he’s coming back, if it’s maybe an alternate universe Harrison Wells or something else, but he’s still around. Maybe we’re supposed to remember Eobard’s occasional human moments so we still care about him? Hard to say. The point is Barry’s dad is out, but he then decides to leave the city so Barry can focus all of his attention on being the Flash. That was … abrupt. What? You’re out of jail and immediately leaving your kid? I don’t care how logical it is, it seems unnecessarily callous. Whatever.

The only highlight for me was seeing Jay Garrick at the end! I am delighted by that. Jay is who wears the very shiny helmet that flew out during the fight against Eobard, and he said he had to go after seeing it. Jay is the actual first Flash to exist in the comics, and he’s a delightful character. I look forward to seeing how he’s being portrayed in the show. He says the world is in danger, and he’s probably traveling from out of world or out of time. They also need to set up Legends of Tomorrow, and he’s a good gateway to that show if they’re running around the multiverses. Otherwise I found this episode sort of a snoozefest? I liked Barry’s struggle here, because it seems very like him to let those deaths and guilt wear on him so much. It made sense he’d push people away out of fear, he has every reason to be afraid. I feel like both this show and the Arrow could benefit from allowing themselves to step out of their cookie cutter episode format. Maybe have it be more than one episode for Barry to remake the team. Anyway, I have faith it’ll bounce back, and that they just needed to get things back in order to start the next big problem of the season. Barry’s mom has been resolved. What’s next?

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