Despite having more remaining episodes that Arrow – 4 vs 3 – The Flash is wasting no time on fillers. If this episode is any judge of what’s to come, then you can be sure each moment will perfectly blend seemingly unconnected past moments with the high-stakes rollercoaster that is to come. The time for
Wells Eobard Thawne’s plan draws near and it’s up to Team Flash to spring a trap that could save not only Barry’s father, but countless lives as well. Though is it really Team Flash who’s setting the trap, or are they merely the victim of a much larger set up?
“The Trap” – Always One Step Ahead:
For the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen Joe and Barry – and later Cisco and Caitlin – try to determine the Wells’ true nature and devise a way to ensnare him. Well it looked like all the ground work had been set and the team had finally captured the Reverse Flash; but sadly it was all part of a much larger trap set by the man who is “always one step ahead”.
Drawing upon last week’s shape-shifting villain Everyman, the Reverse Flash used him to drag Barry and the other’s hidden agendas out into the light of day. Though how could he possibly have known all this? Well as we learned, Eobard Thawne had actually been monitoring everyone in private, which explains why the past few episodes always had those lingering shots of Wells when someone lied to him – even if they lied to him flawlessly. He knew the whole time.
In fact, this not only explains how he knew about Mason Bridge’s research – and now Iris’s – but also explains one of the linger questions from the first half of this season: HOW did Harrison Wells learn that Oliver Queen was The Arrow. If these cameras were indeed in place from the very start – which wouldn’t surprise me at all knowing Thawne’s dedication to this – it would explain how he knew of Oliver’s identity as everyplace from the office to Barry’s home had been monitored. Though no matter how shocking the Reverse Flash’s forethought was, it wasn’t the only ‘shocking’ revelation of this episode.
Future Shock – Job, Tech & Actions:
While questioning the Reverse Flash’s Artificial Intelligence ‘Gideon’, Barry Allen – as well as the viewers – learned quite a few interesting details about what not only lies in Barry’s future, but also the possible future of the DC Television Universe. Sure learning that Barry’s becomes the head of the Central City Police’s CSI Division and marries Iris was shocking to him, but we already saw most of that coming. It’s the things that were ‘almost said’ that truly have us excited / scratching our heads.
For starters, by episode’s end we see a flashback in which Thawne tells an unconscious Barry that he’ll do something unforgiveable that brought upon Eobard’s rage in the first place. What this fact is we have no idea; however we do have a good idea of some of the other future actions Barry will take – such as being the creator of the AI Gideon himself. Though that isn’t the only thing Barry would ‘create’ as Gideon begins to talk about how Barry was one of the ‘Founding Members of the ____”. That blank was of course ‘The Justice League”, which we’ll hopefully see one day on the small screen. In fact, more hints of this can be seen if you pause and read the newspaper clipping closely. It says that the night Barry’s vanished he wasn’t alone fighting the Reverse Flash. Instead he was joined by The Green Arrow (notice the iconic name change), The Atom (yah Palmer) and …. Hawkgirl? I’m not sure how or when, but we just got our first in series confirmation that Hawkgirl WILL be joining one of these Arrowverse shows soon enough.
Flashbacks Reveal Hidden Emotions – Guilt, Love & Hatred:
Though it wasn’t just the Flashforwards that were revealing. This episode featured several related Flashbacks to how everyone dealt with a comatose Barry after the Particle Accelerator accident. It is through these flashbacks that we get to see a hidden side of three main characters and realize just what makes them tick on the inside. For starters, we find Joe being approached by “Dr Wells”, which leads to Joe feeling guilty in the present. If Wells didn’t take Barry that day, would all of this have still happened or would the only outcome have been Barry’s death?
Additionally, we find Iris admitting to Barry that she ‘does stupid things when he’s not around’ and how she’s not exactly thrilled about her dating Eddie. This reinforces what Joe said earlier about Iris one day waking up and realizing she married the wrong man if Eddie asked her to marry her. Though the other importance from this scene comes from when she feels the spark by touching Barry’s hand. This is what makes her realize at the end of the episode that Barry is indeed the Flash.
The final ‘hidden emotions’ revealed in this flashback I already touched upon earlier, but I’ll flush it out a little bit more: Eobard Thawne’s feelings for Barry. We heard how Barry eventually does something to earn Eobard’s hatred. Something so bad that it made Eobard want to travel back in time to kill a young Barry only to decide, “Eh, killing his mother is good enough”. What this act is we’ve yet to learn, but the real point of focus here is how Eobard is/was just as conflicted as Barry is currently about his nemesis. They know they ‘hate’ the other, but there is something about them that sometimes makes them forget. We hear about how Eobard watched Barry grow up all these years and is very much like a son to him – much like how Barry sometimes still sees him as a good man and mentor. Though killing Barry’s mother and whatever Barry does to Eobard are such great transgressions that neither can forgive the other.
In A Flash – Easter Eggs, Quotes & More:
- Quote of the Night: “I put a tracker on his wheelchair, which if we are wrong about him and he is paralyzed I’m going to hell for that one.” Cisco
- Anyone else thankful Eddie didn’t start singing “Rude” after Joe shot down his proposal permission?
- A huge theme this episode was Time Travel ‘working itself out’. The scene of Cisco’s death had been fighting to resurface for a few episodes now and it finally happened. Thankfully, it was this confrontation that was unavoidable, not Cisco’s death.
- Cisco wonders if his trip through the dreamworld will be like the film Inception (2010) where dying in a dream makes you wake up or Dreamscape (1984) where dying in a dream causes you to die in the real life. Considering he almost had a heart attack, I’d say closer to Dreamscape.
- Cisco equates Wells speed hand to the heart-ripping “Kali Ma” of Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom.
- In addition to the theme of Fate ‘working things out’, this episode also relied heavily on the idea of ‘love and marriage’ (ie: Captain Singh’s wedding, Eddie’s proposal, Barry learning he’s going to marry Iris)
- How is Eddie Eobard’s insurance? If he kills Eddie, doesn’t that erase Eobard too? Unless Eobard is a great great great … nephew.
- As I mentioned above, the Wells’ cameras were set up for a long time, as we even see the scene of Barry awkwardly leaving Linda Park on the couch when she came onto him
- So Eobard Thawne was filming everything … even hook-ups. I guess some would call him “The Perverse” lol Sry, I couldn’t resist. It was right there :p
Planning The Next Move:
Up until now, Eobard Thawne has carefully placed his pawns like a game of chess, and it seems as though next episode we’ll see him bring out his strongest piece yet: Gorilla Grodd. Barry and the gang are going to have to be on their A-Game to face this gargantuan threat; but how could they possibly get ahead of the reverse Flash? My hope/theory is that Barry will ask for help from the other brilliant tactician of this show: Captain Cold. We’ve seen these two go head to head, but just think how awesome a team up could be! Snart always loves a challenge, so he could be persuaded to join if he sees the Reverse Flash as competition – or a hindrance.
All in all, this week’s episode of The Flash was spectacular; and ending the episode of a flashback was great. Times like this I wish we didn’t have to wait a week between episodes. Though come next week – and the two episodes after that – the wait will have all been worth it. So stay tuned!