Barry Allen Makes Things Worse in Our Recap of The Flash Episode 3.02

You’re not going to believe this, but in an attempt to fix things… Barry Allen made them worse. He finds himself in the Arrow Cave explaining to Felicity Smoak exactly what has happened and how different things are in this post-Flashpoint world: Cisco isn’t enthusiastic about anything anymore, Joe and Iris aren’t speaking, he and Iris never kissed, he has a co-worker named Julian Albert that is a meta-human specialist who keeps finding husks of human skin, and John Diggle has a son instead of a daughter. It’s wild.

Back in Central City, Edward Clariss is having visions of his life in Flashpoint and being a speedster which lead him to Alchemy’s bizarre, Eyes Wide Shut-like lair and demands his old life back. Elsewhere, Joe brings Barry along to offer Julian some help with a new husk of skin. When Julian refuses, Barry steals a sample. In order to figure out everything that has changed and repair Team Flash, Barry makes dinner plans for everyone to convene at the West house where he discovers why Cisco is down: his brother Dante was killed by a drunk driver and Barry has refused to go back in time to save him. As things get more tense, they’re alerted to a meta-human at the boardwalk.

When Barry arrives, he’s surprised to find The Rival there, and is even more surprised when he says he remembers everything. The pair have one of Barry’s patented running fights and Barry finally knocks him out, only for him to go missing, and a mysterious figure to watch from the distance. After returning to STAR Labs, Iris gets suspicious about Barry because he knew the speedster that night and she saw him speaking to him at length using a security camera. Instead of explaining himself, Barry runs back in time to try and change it all again, but he’s yanked out of the speed force by none other than Jay Garrick. They have a conversation in 1998 while Dawson’s Creek (John Wesley Shipp’s other notable TV role) plays. Jay warns Barry against going back in time so much and convinces him to be a hero that will live with his mistakes.

After his peptalk, Barry returns to STAR Labs and tells everyone the truth, and it’s a lot to take in. He tries to comfort Cisco, but he’s not biting with the sympathy. Barry goes to SCPD and asks Julian for his report on Edward Clariss, hoping to find something and somehow links the origin of the husk to the Prescott Mill. He runs there to find The Rival waiting, along with Alchemy. As Barry is getting beaten in, Team Flash is talking through what he told them before and Iris seems to be the only one on his side. She talks them all into hearing him out though, as they realize he’s getting the snot kicked out of him.

Alchemy achieves peak bad guy and offers a cryptic tease of his plan, “help people achieve their true potential,” which is The Rival’s cue to start beating on Barry; he even rips out his little lightning bolt ear pieces and stabs him with them. They continue fighting and Clariss has Barry on the ropes… until Cisco arrives with his Vibe gauntlets and helps him out. Later they deduce that Alchemy, or as they’re now going to call him “Dr. Alchemy,” gave Clariss his powers back and that these other skin husks were from people that he re-powered from Flashpoint. Barry thanks Cisco for helping him out and offers him a full-time sidekick position, but he turns it down for the time being.

At SCPD, Barry is confronted by Julian about how he knew the name Edward Clariss. Julian is keenly suspicious of Barry, but he seems clueless about Barry’s true secret, he just doesn’t trust him. Barry goes to the West house to find Iris on the porch and finally gets his kiss back. Meanwhile, Alchemy wakes up Clariss in Iron Heights, yelling about how he failed. As Clariss cries out a “No,” a big robotic looking arm grabs him by the neck.

You can watch a preview for the next episode, titled “Magenta,” using the player below.