Edward Clariss Could Be Doctor Alchemy On 'The Flash' Because He Has A Score To Settle

Better the devil you know than the devil you don't, according to that expression. In Season 3 of The Flash, Central City is under siege by the latter. Doctor Alchemy is empowering metahumans and recruiting them for some nefarious purpose. Like some past Flash villains, Alchemy's identity is hidden by a mask. The power that he wields and his interest in metas indicate that Alchemy is probably somebody the audience knows as someone else. Fans are presenting their cases on Twitter, Reddit, and elsewhere. Alchemy could be Julian Albert, Barry's testy coworker at the CCPD. He could be Eddie Thawne, alive and gone bad in this altered timeline. Or maybe the first few episodes of the season presented a possible alter-ego and then effectively took him out of speculation territory. Could Edward Clariss be Doctor Alchemy on The Flash ?

There are at least two versions of Edward Clariss (Todd Lasance) to choose from here. Flashpoint Clariss was an evil speedster who terrorized Central City under the name the Rival. A nemesis of Kid Flash, aka Wally West, Clariss was shot by Joe West after he wounded Wally. That seemed to be it for that guy. The episode ended with Clariss from the Flashpoint-altered version of the original timeline waking up to a sinister whisper and a message etched into his mirror: "Alchemy."

Is Alchemy from the Flashpoint universe? It's unclear, but likely. Either way, he knows which residents of the other timeline were metas in Flashpoint. His magical mystery tour includes bestowing the powers of their doppels onto those people and then having them in his service. Clariss is the first doppel to get this treatment. He begins to have visions of his other speedster self (visions like Wally has apparently been having of late too) and becomes the meta henchman that Alchemy desires. Unfortunately for Clariss, he fails in his showdown with the Flash. A lifetime in Iron Heights would be bad enough. But that isn't an adequate punishment for Alchemy, who magics himself into the prison to kill his failure of a minion.

So. If both the Flashpoint and the current timeline versions of Edward Clariss are dead, than how could he possibly be Doctor Alchemy? The easy answer would be that both of them aren't really dead. If Flashpoint Clariss survived the gunshot somehow, maybe he'd reach into this current timeline to get revenge on Barry, Joe, Wally, and the others. There's also the possibility that an Earth 2 Clariss has reasons to be causing trouble on Earth 1. What those reasons are, I don't know. But why would he mask his identity, in either of those scenarios? It could be a stylistic choice or just one that allows him to move more freely through the world when he's not doing Alchemy business. Or maybe he worried he'd freak himself out. These are the kinds of things I think about while I'm watching The Flash.

The realm of possibility is very wide on this show. Still, I'm putting Edward Clariss as Doctor Alchemy in the "it would be underwhelming" column. I feel like The Flash is building to something bigger with this villain than the return of a bad guy the audience barely got to know.

Images: The CW; julianalbertgifs