In the season 3 premiere of The Flash, Barry lives in the alternate timeline and deals with the effects of that. Wally is The Flash (or “Kid Flash” as the others like reminding him). Henry and Nora are alive, and “stupidly in love.” But Joe is a drunk, who’s constantly in danger of losing his job, and who Iris (and possibly Wally) isn’t speaking to. Cisco is the richest man in America, and Caitlin is a pediatric eye doctor. Barry finally asks Iris out on a date, but when he starts losing his memories, he decides that it’s time to help Wally defeat The Rival, and return to his own timeline.
The most important part of this episode was Iris. From helping Wally to getting them in touch with Cisco to helping Barry defeat The Rival. After being told about Barry creating a different timeline, even though the others don’t believe him, Iris does. From the moment they met, Iris knew that Barry was someone important to her. When she confronts him about it, Barry says that what they are to each other “escapes definition,” but Iris knows that it’s love. (“Because this is what love feels like.”) When Barry is doubting his ability to defeat The Rival, Iris says that, while she isn’t “his Iris” and she doesn’t know exactly what to say, she believes in him. She says exactly what he needs to hear. (“Be The Flash, Barry. Because that’s who you are. You’re The Flash.”) Proving again that without Iris, there would be no flash.
With Iris’s words in his ears and her presence besides him, he undoes stopping the Reverse Flash from killing his mother, and returns to his own timeline. Only it’s not exactly his timeline. We’ll need to watch the rest of the season to see exactly how.
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The Flash: Season 3, Episode 1 Recap: Featured image courtesy of The CW