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The Flash - A New World, Part I - Reviews

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I am always willing to point out when The Flash series has gone wrong. And gone wrong it has! On the flip side, I am more than happy to gush when it gets things right. "A New World, Part I" finds the magic that hooked us to the series in the first place. The show is at its very best when it sticks to the heart of it, which is The Flash- Barry Allen portrayed perfectly in this episode by Grant Gustin. Let's discuss.

Barry Allen

Speed Force and other dynamics aside, Barry Allen is a good person. Loved by two parents taken from him too soon and loved by Joe and Iris West as his second family. Though he found a second family and great love with Iris, there has always been a gaping hole where his parents should have been. As time went on, the hole was covered with his new family and Team Flash. "A New World, Part I", brilliantly reminds us that a covered hole is still a hole, and only through facing the past can Barry truly move his life forward. 

From very early on we have known that the future Barry Allen would travel back in time to fight the Reverse Flash and save himself. We remember the scene where a blurry red streak tells the then present Barry that he has to stand down and let his mother be killed. As heart breaking as that was, it had to be done to preserve his future with Iris and their children. In this episode we are gifted with seeing our now present Barry and the future Barry become one. The events from Season 1 come full cirlce!

But before this happens, Grant Gustin gives a heart wrenching performance as he encounters his parents in the year 2000 as a grown man who cannot tell them he is their son. His parents have been dead for quite some time, but through Gustin's performance you can see that the pain of losing them is never far from his memory. The way Barry loses focus when he sees them, the stammering, the trying to get away but not succeeding because he loves them so much are all amazingly portrayed. Gustin has always had a penchat for nailing teary eyed looks, and he does it again in this episode. In fact, so does the actress who portrays his mother. Henry, Nora, and Barry feel like family in this timeline even though Barry doesn't tell them the truth. His parents feel the connection instantly.

It is heart-breaking to see their reunion knowing the end result can never change, but Barry's meeting with his parents, orchestrated by the Reverse Flash to cause maximum pain, succeeds in hurting him but helps him finally find peace. The irony that Barry is truly trying to help Thawne by begging him not to go into the house makes a painful scene quite poetic.

Other Things I Was Thinking

*Barry and Iris: A heavily pregnant Iris gets a text about a Pulitzter nomination. (I wonder if this is how a person actually finds out about a nomination....) A sweet moment between the two turns into a crisis when he disappears. This has been the thing Iris has feared for years. Why do this to her and she's clearly about to go into labor!

*The return of Matt Letscher's Eobard Thawne really made this episode a hit. His interactions with Barry carry so much weight since they are not tied to the agonizing Wells doppleganger mess.

*The not so subtle Cobalt Blue references. I am really interested to see how his story ties in with Barry's.

*Barry's relationship with Joe is very special. Just like Henry and Nora, Joe feels a connection to Barry even though he isn't sure why.

*Henry instinctivley calling Barry son was so sweet and sad. I know it was about to send Barry into a tailspin.

*Why does everyone hate Barry??? The blue crystal force that possessed Joe hates Barry, Eobard hates Barry. Barry is nothing but a ball of nerdy sunshine but his legacy of heroics is so strong that he makes everyone insanely envious. That sure sucks.

*I would have loved to see Barry steal the moment Thawne references. But that is such a rando reason to spend eternity planning someone's demise. But hey, villains gotta villain.

"A New World, Part I" was a triumph of an episode in an uneven final season. It reminded me why I loved the show so much. The Flash mythology, the time travel, and the absolute love that pours out of the Allen and West families. It's a shame we didn't get more of this in the latter half of the show's run, but I will take it.

What did you think of the episode? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @NaomiAnna_. There are only 3 episodes of the series left. Don't miss them on Wednesdays on the CW.  As always, thanks for reading!

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