Over the first two seasons of The Flash, there was always one very important constant that I could depend on: Barry Allen was a hero. He sacrificed his own well-being for others. That is until one very stupid, selfish decision to go back in time and change history took his story in an entirely new direction.
Barry Allen has become the villain of his own story. So, likewise, Barry Allen has become the villain of this season.
The sad thing is that I believe the writers still don’t entirely understand what they did with Barry to make him the antagonist. You have scenes where Iris is defending Barry’s decision to go back in time all because he was “hurting.” Since when does that justify anything? More than that, a hero can’t let his/her god complex drive his decisions.
It’s harder for heroes because they’re in the spotlight. More than that, they are held in a higher regard because of what they do. They can’t just act for the sake of acting. They need to be better. They need to set an example for people. Heroes aren’t the ones going around doing whatever they want because they believe it’s right. That’s what the villains do.
The only thing that distinguishes heroes from villains is that they show restraint; they show control; they play by the rules. Villains aren’t necessarily pure evil seeking evil. Most of the time, as we’ve seen on The Flash and countless other shows, the villains are the ones that step over the line because they let their emotions drive them. Villains always believe what they’re doing is right. It’s what humanizes them to some regard.
While some people might not want to hear it, Barry Allen has become the villain of this season of The Flash. Sure, Alchemy and Savitar are the ones being touted as the villains, but Barry is the real villain. He’s the reason these two are even at large in the first place.
I’ve been so angry this season because I don’t understand where The Flash is going with this storyline. At first it appeared as if they were going to make Barry suffer for the repercussions of Flashpoint, which has also transferred to other shows. But then they gave him Iris, gave him Cisco’s forgiveness, and everyone went back to work ignoring this significant event.
While many people had to suffer consequences of Barry’s decision — whether it’s Cisco’s brother dying, Caitlin becoming Killer Frost, and even John Diggle losing his daughter and getting a son — Barry got the girl and is living a somewhat happy life when he doesn’t deserve it.
The thing that Barry needs is that he needs to learn from his mistake. If he doesn’t then what’s the point? Are you going to show a hero that makes selfish decisions and doesn’t pay the price? Or are you going to show a hero that makes selfish decisions and faces reprimand and fights his way back?
After six episodes, The Flash finally showed that this season might just be the latter. “Killer Frost” was all about personifying Barry’s Flashpoint mistake and forcing him to deal with the very real and scary consequences.
Caitlin is becoming Killer Frost. That’s on Barry.
Cisco’s brother died. That’s on Barry.
Alchemy and Savitar roam this Earth. That’s on Barry.
Wally in danger. That’s on Barry.
Everything that’s been going wrong this season. That’s on Barry.
Perhaps the season’s best scenes came when Caitlin was dishing out some serious truth bombs as she reminded Barry of just how effed up things are and how it’s all his fault.
But perhaps my favorite moment, and defining line of the season came as Caitlin was locked in the pipeline as everyone looked on.
I literally hit pause on my television and stood to applaud. FINALLY there is acknowledgement that Barry done effed up. There’s finally acknowledgement that Barry isn’t this selfless hero that even Iris will have you believe. He’s not. He could be. But he’s not. Not right now.
Say what you want about Killer Frost, but Killer Frost is all about the truth. You can say, Oh, that’s not Caitlin. That’s the powers messing with her mind. But it doesn’t change the fact that everything she said is the truth. You can’t try to invalidate the truth just because it’s coming from the mouth of a foe.
So that’s where we stand. Barry Allen has become the villain of The Flash, and we’re left here to wonder how the hell they fix this.
Finally Barry is forced to deal with the consequences. Caitlin is becoming Killer Frost; Cisco hates him; and Barry had to quit the CCPD. The last thing The Flash needs to do is break him up with Iris. I love WestAllen, but this is just not the right time. Barry needs to lose everything for him to realize that he done effed up to the point where he’ll never question something like this again.
The Flash now has to find a way to make Barry Allen the hero again. Good luck. We’ll be watching.
Villains Aren’t Born, They’re Made.
The greatest thing about season 3 is Caitlin Snow’s storyline as Killer Frost. It’s really hitting every emotional aspect, as well as making us really question what defines good vs. evil. Evil isn’t innate. Evil is something that’s created. While Killer Frost is someone who is destined to be evil, that doesn’t necessarily mean that she will be. This episode did a really good job at setting up this season-long battle where Caitlin will have to battle the good and the evil inside of her. When it comes down to it, it’s all up to her. Of course she’ll have certain influences — both good and bad — but when the defining moment comes, it’s all up to her. There was definitely a tease that we haven’t seen the last of Killer Frost as Savitar clearly has plans for her. Bring it on!
WHAT?! Julian is Alchemy?! THIS IS BRAND NEW INFORMATION. Said no one ever.
This week we finally learned the identity of Big Bad #1 Alchemy, which surprise, surprise, is Julian. Did anyone not see this coming? Perhaps the bigger surprise for me has been that Alchemy isn’t the ring leader. He’s merely the wing man for the real Big Bad, Savitar, the God of Speed. It’ll be interesting to see how this all plays out moving forward. But that reveal was a serious letdown.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
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