The Flash season 3 introduced a new character in Tuesday’s episode — Tom Felton’s Julian Albert. Much to the dismay of a very confused Barry Allen (Grant Gustin), the CSI expert seems like he’s not going anywhere.
But this is good news for fans of Felton, best known for playing Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter movies. The actor spoke about his new role — and what we can expect going forward — while at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con back in July. Watch his interview video below.
The Flash season 3 premiere ended with a giant question mark, as we are left to guess what has changed in the wake of Barry turning back time. While Flashpoint opens up all sorts of wild new plot opportunities for the show to explore, I hope that they take a few moments to remember to give a proper payoff to these plot threads that they previously set up.
“Suit or no suit that guy is a hero.” (Iris West)
“You don’t need a suit to be a hero” is a theme that has been touched upon in The Flash but not really explored as much as I’d like. The fact is that at the moment, there are more heroes in the show who do NOT wear suits (at least at present) than ones that do. Iris, as a reporter shining light on crime and corruption in the city, is heroic. Though we don’t see it nearly often enough, Joe’s work as a detective is heroic. Wells, Cisco and Caitlin are heroic when they do what is necessary to help the Flash.
Of course, the show has touched upon this theme on occasion. However, it is something that I think they would do well to highlight more significantly in the future. I always enjoy when any Superman series focuses on Clark’s ability to make a change as Clark Kent, a reporter for the Daily Planet. That you don’t need a cape – or a leather suit – to be a hero is a vital lesson in any superhero story.
Barry has a legion of supporting characters who aren’t superheroes (or aren’t superheroes yet). I would love to see an episode where the Flash is running around doing his thing, but the actual focus is on the ways the non-powered people in his life are also being true — if unsung — heroes. While we’ve had snippets, I would like the occasional spotlight.
“[H]e can do no wrong. And yet, they never fail to remind me that I can do no right.” (Cisco Ramon)
Cisco is one of the most interesting characters in the show to me, in the way he broke out of a rather bland and forgettable role as comic relief early on to become one of the best parts of the series.
At this point in the show, it’s hard to argue that Cisco doesn’t deserve a little love. He’s been a strong, steadfast friend to Barry and the rest of the team. He injects a little much-needed humor into every situation. And he has occasionally provided the pragmatic viewpoint that helps keep the team grounded. He has been, in his unwavering support and inventiveness, a true hero, but he likely doesn’t think of himself as one.
In the last season, Cisco has started to embrace his powers, which have even helped the team a time or two. He has also begun to mend the rift with his brother, extending an olive branch that I personally would prefer to use to beat some sense into Dante. And, of course, as part of Flash’s support system, he’s usually out of the spotlight.
For all the good he’s done, I think Cisco still thinks of himself as the less-favored brother. Moreover, I suspect he doesn’t see himself as a hero. This year, I would love to see him realize that he is a hero, even if he isn’t the one in the spotlight. Even if Cisco didn’t have his powers, his heart, along with his desire and ability to do whatever he can to help, make him a hero – and certainly make him the kind of son of whom any parent should be proud.
Also, get that man a girlfriend. Let’s be honest: he’s a hell of a catch.
“If Dr. Wells is who you say he is, then everything I’ve done since I’ve set foot in S.T.A.R. Labs has been a lie.” (Caitlin Snow)
It always annoyed me that Caitlin didn’t get a payoff to this line in the first season. After everything that happened in the last two years, it is even more important that the sentiment behind this line be addressed.
Everyone close to the Flash has had trials and tribulations in the past two years, and certainly Caitlin has faced her fair share. From the beginning, it was established that the life she was living was not the life she would have chosen, once upon a time. Losing Ronnie and facing Jay’s betrayal had to be bitter blows.
She has been more than one villain’s pawn, and her trust in the wrong person cost her a promising career and the man she loved. The show tried to sweep the latter under the rug last season, in her inexplicable and poorly developed romance with Jay. It’s time for the show to face these things head-on, and for them to give Caitlin’s character the respect of a proper payoff (and perhaps even character growth) for the things she’s been put through.
“[E]verything that’s happened to me the past few days is the best story I can never write.” (Linda Park)
For two years, fans have been clamoring for the show to give more highlight to Iris’s role as a reporter. As I’ve explored in other articles, she can play a key role in a story like The Flash, and as a reporter, she’s a hero in her own right.
But in a superhero story like this, being a reporter is a double-edged sword. True, her stories can help expose crime and corruption, every city’s more everyday (but in their own way, no less dangerous) villains. She can also continue to give the city hope in heroes like the Flash, giving them someone to look up to, to trust, to admire. It was, after all, what got her into reporting in the first place.
That said, she is no longer a reporter on the sideline, an outsider looking in. She not only knows the Flash’s identity, but she loves him. She knows his secrets, and she wants to protect him. Sometimes that will be at odds with the stories she needs to tell.
This push-and-pull was touched upon in the second season, when Scott wanted her to write a negative article about the Flash. She refused to do it then, but this will not be the last time she will be faced with such a task. She will also likely face moments in the future when she is privy to information that the people would feel they have a right – or even need – to know, but exposing it could put the man she loves at risk.
Seeing her struggle with her own dual identity, as the woman in love with Barry (and thus the Flash) and as a reporter, would be fascinating to watch. After all, heroes are defined by the way they respond to adversity, and Iris is a hero in her own right. Just as Barry has to balance his private life with his life as the Flash, so too does Iris have to balance her need to reveal the truth with protecting the man she loves.
“If Zoom finds out who you care for, who you love, who you live for, he’ll take them from you.” (Harry)
Talk about a line that had no payoff! Harrison Wells gave Barry this rather dire prediction last year, but it never came to pass, outside of a dream sequence. True, Zoom ended up using Wally to steal the Flash’s speed, and he did kidnap Caitlin. However, his motivations for kidnapping Caitlin were unequivocally to suit his own needs, his own desire for her. And was Wally the best way to pay off this line? I don’t think so, given that Barry and Wally were not terribly close at the time this happened.
Every superhero story has dealt with the question of how heroes keep the people they love safe. Everyone in Barry’s life has been endangered at one point or another because of their closeness to the speedster. However, there is certainly more depth to this plot than has been explored in the past. Just as I would like to see an episode focused on the team’s heroism, I would also love to see a sustained threat against the people closest to the Flash. I would love to see them have to acknowledge that what they are doing puts them in personal danger over the course of several episodes if not a decent chunk of a season, and for them to continue to choose to keep doing it.
And, of course, if one is looking for the person Barry loves and lives for, that person is Iris West, without question. As “Flashpoint” demonstrated, they always find their way back to each other. Of course, we have seen her ability to defend herself, but the threat of a villain that even Barry may not be able to stop would always be looming overhead. In the comics, characters like the Reverse Flash have tried to target Iris because of her relationship with Barry. Loving her may have helped him become the Flash, but the fear of losing her would also be his greatest weakness. Harry’s line offers a promise and a threat that provides the potential for such great drama, and I would love to see more payoff for it in the future.
“Flashpoint” offered a solid premiere that set The Flash on a very promising path in season 3, particularly after the comparative drudgery of season 2. If nothing else, it brought back the lighthearted, happy Barry that we so dearly missed last year. It is clear that they have definite ideas for where they want to take this season, but as excited as I am to see what they have in store for the future, I hope they haven’t completely forgotten these threads from the past.
If they can give these moments their proper payoff while moving forward into the bright new post-Flashpoint world, I think the show will be better than ever.
The Flash season 3 is about to premiere, so what better time to hear from the show’s stars about what fans can expect from the new episodes? I had a chance to talk to most of the cast (unfortunately, I wasn’t able to grab Candice Patton — sorry WestAllen fans!) at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con back in July.
Watch the videos below to see what Grant Gustin, Jesse L. Martin, Carlos Valdes, Danielle Panabaker, Keiynan Lonsdale, and two of the show’s executive producers had to say about The Flash in season 3.
First up, here’s Grant Gustin being all charming and mostly vague about what’s coming for Barry Allen. Flashpoint — the alternate timeline Barry created at the end of season 2 and the title of the premiere episode — figures prominently in his answers.
Next is Carlos Valdes, who has plenty to say about Cisco Ramon. This could be a big year for Cisco, especially since his Flashpoint doppelganger is more than a little different from the nerd we know and love.
Danielle Panabaker’s Caitlin Snow gets her changes as well in the Flashpoint universe (Spoiler alert: She utters a great line in the premiere, “Have I been kidnapped?”). The actress hinted at what might be coming in her interview.
Things will definitely be different for Joe West in season 3. What does Jesse L. Martin have to say about that? See for yourself!
The last of the actors we’ve got here (stay tuned for Tom Cavanagh and new cast member Tom Felton next week) is Kid Flash himself, Keiynan Lonsdale. Now a regular, the actor has plenty to say about what antics Wally West might get up to in the new season.
Finally, two of The Flash‘s executive producers give away more than a few Flash season 3 spoilers in their interview.
The Flash season 3 premieres Tuesday, October 4 at 8pm on The CW.
The Flash season 3 trailer makes it clear that the superhero show isn’t playing around when it comes to its Flashpoint-themed premiere.
Thanks to Barry running back in time to save his mother — and later his father — from certain doom at the hands of speedsters, everything in The Flash’s life has changed. Iris and Joe are near-strangers to Barry. Cisco now owns what used to be STAR Labs and is kind of a jerk. Eobard Thawne is alive (and imprisoned?) and angry.
And there is more than one clue in the video — which premiered during the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con — indicating that Barry’s “perfect” world is unraveling around him. It probably doesn’t much help that Wally West is a speedster himself these days.
The Flash season 3 premieres Tuesday, October 4 on The CW.
The last couple of minutes of The Flash season 2 finale turned everything on its head and raised a number of questions about what the third season will bring. Or even where all of the characters will be when it begins.
Even Grant Gustin has admitted he doesn’t have the answers, but there are some things we can assume – or at least hope to see!
Of course, the whole point of the Flashpoint Paradox is that Barry finally gets what he thinks he’s always wanted, but it doesn’t turn out quite as he hoped. In fact, it impacts every character within the integrated universe and has such negative repercussions that Flash realizes he has to put the world back to the way it was for the greater good.
Certainly, I think we can expect that overarching plot next season – at least for the duration of Flashpoint. (I anticipate the universe will return to the one we’ve known in the epic crossover event in the winter.) But what does that mean for Barry?
As in the source story, I anticipate he will not have his abilities – though destined to become the Flash, Harribard confessed he had moved the timeline up to suit his purpose. Since Barry’s mother wasn’t murdered by the Reverse Flash and his father didn’t go to jail for a crime he didn’t commit, the Wests never would have taken him in. He may still be a CSI, but if he and Iris remain friends, their relationship will still be vastly different than it has been.
Of course, he likely won’t be friends with the crew at STAR Labs either, assuming that Cisco, Caitlin, and Harrison still work there. With no Harribard coming back to take the real Wells’ place, the original Harrison may be alive, giving Tom Cavanagh a chance to play the character we only saw for a few minutes in the first season.
It is entirely possible none of these people will know Barry – even Iris could be a virtual stranger to him if they grew apart after their school days. This would certainly give Barry the sense of isolation and despair he has in the new world in Flashpoint.
Although Iris is married with children in the original Flashpoint material, I doubt they will go this direction in season 3. Iris’s relationship with Eddie would make the story somewhat redundant and caused quite a bit of hate towards the character (and actress) that I would hope they would avoid bringing on a second time.
That said, Iris doesn’t have to be married to someone else to make Barry miserable; she just needs to not be in love with him. He had been closer than ever to being in a relationship with the woman he’s always loved, only to have Flashpoint take that away from him. The memories of their kiss and confessed feelings will stay with him, haunting him in this new reality.
Since Iris is a reporter and the CW doesn’t have the authority to use characters from the Superman mythos, Iris will take on the role that Lois Lane had in the story and act as intrepid reporter. The nature of her investigation would obviously have to differ, but it would be an amazing way to integrate her into the story.
Cisco has spent the last season developing abilities he may not have any longer. It is likely Barry will want to track him down to get his help trying to return the world to the way it should be. How his storyline may play out otherwise is a giant question mark.
However, if Flashpoint is to go on for several months, the show will need to have some bright moments through the darkness. Not only is Cisco likely to bring some undoubtedly needed levity to the show, but they could also give him happiness in romance, which he doesn’t have in this world. Giving him love – or even a family – would make the return to our world bittersweet. While we should all want the world to return to the one we know, the act of doing so will have more meaningful emotional impact if there are some things we will regret leaving behind.
Plus, Cisco needs a little love.
It’s clear at this point that the show likes the idea of occasionally playing with Killer Frost, but they don’t seem to want to commit to that storyline on our Earth. Of course, since it’s the primary story people are interested to see, drawing it out helps keep up the interest.
However, Flashpoint would give them yet another ability to have their cake and eat it, too. Caitlin could be Killer Frost in this new world – possibly even with Ronnie as Deathstorm at her side – without committing to a story that would impact her in our world.
If they do go down this path, one hopes they would refrain from killing Ronnie off again. Whether he’s a hero or a villain, it would be nice to have at least one reality where he doesn’t die.
Harrison could be one of the more interesting characters in Flashpoint. Not only is there the potential for the original Harrison Wells to make an appearance, but Harry from season 2 was on Earth 2 when Flashpoint happened. It would make sense for the reality shift to have impacted only our Earth and not any parallel universes.
This means that Harry and Jesse could retain all of their memories from season 2. More than that, Jesse may have the speed she may have been given but didn’t have a chance to discover over these last few episodes.
With Barry being out of commission as the Flash, Harry and Jesse could return from Earth 2 in order to help set things right, as well as to allow Jesse to stand by his side as a hero.