All summer long, Flash fans have wondered which aspects of the famous “Flashpoint” storyline might end up in Season 3, only for last week’s premiere to undo most of the major alterations by the end. This week’s “Paradox” made much clearer how the new status quo will work, however, including some very frosty receptions all around, so what changes lie in store?

You’re warned of full spoilers from Tuesday’s Flash from here on out, but suffice to say, Iris and Joe’s estrangement was far from the only change to linger on after Barry and Reverse-Flash restored the timeline of Nora Allen’s murder last week. Not only did Barry have a cranky new office-mate (Draco Malfoy himself, Tom Felton), but Cisco and Caitlin were put much closer to their comic destinies, and even Arrow had a surprising change in store.

First things first – Barry tried to take another trip through time and repair the damage, only to get pulled from the timestream by the real Jay Garrick, who had some harsh wisdom to impart about changing the timeline for personal gain (bonus points for the Dawson’s Creek cameo in the background of the diner). As such, Barry came clean to the team that his mucking with time had made their new situations permanent; including the loss of Cisco’s brother Dante to a drunk driver, and a Killer Frost-y secret Caitlin’s apparently been keeping from the group.

Theirs weren’t the only surprising changes in store, either, as Barry sped over to Starling City to talk out the situation with Felicity, only to find another startling ripple through time. No longer does John Diggle have a daughter, Sara, but rather a son, John Diggle Jr. Whether that’s the “Star City 2046” iteration of “Connor Hawke” remains to be seen, as that character (from a deleted timeline) seemed a bit younger than he should have been.

In any case, Barry isn’t the only one clued into the timeline changes, as the mysterious “Alchemy” indeed awoke Edward Clariss’ to his former self, restoring The Rival’s speed powers and threatening to do the same for anyone with their powers removed by Barry’s “Flashpoint” meddling (cough, Wally). Barry still managed to gain the upper hand with a little help from Cisco’s work-in-progress Vibe suit (another happy adjustment to the timeline), and it seems Iron Heights finally got their metahuman containment cells up and running. Yay for no more human rights violations!

Unless you count that dorky costume.

That is, until the voice of Alchemy chided Clariss for his failure, and a monstrous hand appeared from nowhere to yank him out of frame. Is this our first look at Savitar, perhaps?

All in all, a much more enticing lure for The Flash Season 3 going forward (probably would have work best as a two-part premiere), and it was a relief to have Barry being so straight-forward with his mistakes. The team is still more or less back together anyway, but there’s a lot more to play with going forward, and the more sassy John Wesley Shipp, the merrier!

Well, what do we think? Is Alchemy an interesting enough threat to counter speedster after speedster awakening on The Flash? How long before Cisco and Caitlin are fully suited-up alongside Barry, or worse, on opposite sides? And why in the world did we need to overwrite poor Sara Diggle?

The Flash Season 3 will return with next week’s “Magenta,” airing at 8:00 P.M. on The CW.

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