Warning: Spoiler Alert
We start this week with Barry stopping three criminals on motorcycles. He does so by being faster than them and redirecting them so that their ‘split up’ strategy wouldn’t work. When he returns to Star Labs, Cisco desperately wants a picture of everyone to mark what’s happening. Just for them. Famous last words.
Harrison Wells gets arrives home. A home, I might add that would make Gordon Gecko blush. He leaves the wheelchair by the front door and walks through the house. His phone rings and the voice on the other end claims he knows what Wells did. Then his skylight windows come crashing down. If you were holding out hope that there was some other explanation other than Wells is the Reverse Flash, you can put that to bed as we see Wells speed to a wall to avoid the glass falling. The voice on the phone identified himself as the “Piper”.
Flashback to two years ago. Wells is playing chess with a young man who goes by “Hartley”. He gives off sort of ‘Riddler’ vibe, but we’ll wait and see on that end. This happens to be the day Cisco is to interview for Star Labs. Hartley doesn’t take kindly to Cisco’s sense of style. Cisco leaves the room and Wells reiterates that Harvey is “still his guy, and nothing will change that.”
The police, including Joe and Barry arrive at the estate. Wells gives Joe the typical explanation. Joe and Eddie both don’t buy it. Too much damage for a man who can’t walk to come away unscathed. Then Wells finds Barry who has reassembled the broken glass and finds no point of impact. Barry inquires as to what’s going on.
Barry: This was no teenaged prank…?
Wells: No it wasn’t.
Barry: But you don’t want our help, why…?
Wells: Because. I already know who did this. Harley Rathaway.
Barry: Who is Harley Rathaway?
Wells: Harley Rathaway is the prodigal son. And he has returned.
Iris got a job with the Central City Picture News as a reporter. I cannot begin to articulate how badly I want to fast forward through this particular story line. But, we march on. At least her enthusiasm on her first day is being met with complete indifference.
Barry has a theory that Rathaway has found a way to utilize sonic technology, and specifically pinpointing the sound frequency to explode certain solids. Which is how he could shatter Wells’ windows without a point of impact. He is currently removing Rathaway Industries (his family’s company) of their windows. So far he’s coming off as the “Window Bandit”.
Barry arrives and does what you’d expect Barry to do at this point of the interaction. He neutralizes the situation. Before the scene ends though, Rathaway name drops Barry’s team and mentions that he can hear them from within Barry’s suit. Then mentions that he “knows Wells’ secret”.
In the containment cell, Hartley attempts to be clever, condescending and enlightening all at the same time. Creating a parallel between his experience with Wells (prodigal son and all) and that of Barry. Wells gets back to the main control room and admits that he has not been completely honest with the team. Wells gives a story about how Hartley warned him that the accelerator could in fact explode. Wells simply decided to see the benefits as outweighing the risks. Something that Caitlin did not take well to hearing. Everyone, including Barry, eventually walk out on Wells. Can’t even fathom what happens when the bigger truth comes out.
Cisco’s working on Hartley’s gloves (the source of the sonic tech) when Cisco tells Caitlin that his gloves were on the lowest setting. Why risk minimal damage unless he wanted to get caught. Saw that one two commercial breaks ago. Cisco takes off. As does Harrison, on his legs running. Harrison loses his balance and falls uttering a very telling phrase.
Wells: Not now…
Hartley pulled the metallic thing from inside his ear (which he mentioned earlier would be excruciating). He uses it as an explosive to blow off the containment door. With Cisco racing towards that very containment door.
All of this seems to be a ploy allowing Hartley to hack into the Star Labs network. Wells calls Barry who is out listening to Iris complain about work. After which, Hartley approaches Wells wearing his sonic gloves. By the time Barry gets to Wells, Hartley is gone. While the team tries to relieve each other’s sense of guilt and responsibility, Wells arrives and says all of it is his fault.
Barry: Where are you going?
Wells: To earn back your trust.
Harrison Wells has called a press conference. In the Police station lobby for some reason. The press conference is smoke screen. He is publicly taking responsibility for the accident. He is admitting that he was warned by a colleague. But really doing little else, other than soft balling Iris an opportunity to ask a question and earn some brownie points with her colleague. The idea was to give just enough at the presser to draw Hartley out again, who will insist on the last word.
Hartley takes over the lab remotely to tell Wells that his charade didn’t work. There is one last game of chess to be played. Hartley vs The Flash. A game Wells is reluctant to play. Barry is more than happy to oblige. They have trouble pinpointing his location. Eventually Cisco thinks he has it measuring seismic activity.
Hartley is on a dam throwing cars over the side forcing Barry to retrieve plummeting people. Cisco discovers the motivation to get caught. Hartley stole the records of Barry’s molecular scans. With the that information, Hartley to find Barry’s frequency. Earlier, Barry gave Joe a lesson in frequency and how the right frequency can explode pretty much any matter. This could be just as simple as jealousy.
Barry does his thing and disarms Hartley. There is a time and a place for standing over your enemy and dropping a cheesy line in victory. This is not that moment. Disarming Hartley triggered the desired frequency effect being channeled through Barry’s own com system. Using the satellite radio in one of the surrounding cars, Wells is able to reroute his own frequency that will disable all of Hartley’s tech. Stopping the effect on Barry but also destroying the other tech. Including the ones keeping Hartley’s head pain at bay, in the process immobilizing him or maybe even killing him.
With trust restored (for now), the team progresses forward. Barry returns to CCPD to give a heartfelt speech to Joe about what it meant to be raised by him and that no one will ever replace him. Not even Dr. Wells. Barry leaves as Eddie arrives. Eddie was sent to search Wells’ home and came up empty. Not surprising considering the Reverse Flash suit is hidden in Star Labs. Then Eddie asks if Joe really wants to go down this path? Investigating Wells.
Hartley (not dead) wakes up in his cell to find Cisco walking towards him. Hartley lets Cisco enjoy his moment, but then tells him that Cisco will be letting him out of his cage very soon.
Hartley: I can’t imagine how you’re going to feel when you open these doors and let me out of here.
Cisco: Maybe I’m going deaf, because I could have sworn you just said I’m going to let you out?
Hartley: And very soon too.
Cisco: Why would I ever do that?
Hartley: Because I know where Ronnie Raymond is. I know what really happened to him that night. And I know how to save him.
In the brail room, Wells stands wearing the tachyon device. The levels of which are unstable. Wells has been using this to maintain his ability to utilize his speed, but only as a band-aid. “The real end game is almost here.”