Warning: Spoiler Alert
Tonight’s Flash opens up like it has never done before. Dropping bombshell after bombshell. Alright, maybe I’m being overly dramatic, but they are tying up loose ends on a number of minor details. Thus, bringing into focus some things the casual observer had not put together yet.
The newspaper article that Gideon provides (regularly throughout the series thus far) is dated April 25, 2024. Barry then ties in that when he and the Reverse Flash fought months ago, he said, “We’d be fighting for centuries”. If the paper is from the future, that has to mean that Wells (Thawne) is from the future. Even Cisco picks up on the suit changes that happen between now and then. I brighter red and white incorporated into the logo. The name on the by-line is, wait for it, “Iris West-Allen”. When Cisco suggests “Mazel tov…?”, it wakes up Gideon. Gideon presents herself and greets Barry Allen. She also informs Barry that he, at some point in the future, becomes Director of Central City Police-Cyber division. When Barry asks a very basic question, Gideon has a very blunt answer.
Barry: Why did Wells come here?
Gideon: To kill you.
Wells has entered the building. There is a mad dash to ask all of the questions and still slip out before Wells discovers they’ve discovered him and his braille room. Wells killed Nora Allen because he was angry Barry escaped. Then Cisco (in the waning moments) figures that Gideon might inform Wells of their most recent visitors. When erasing Gideon’s memory is not longer an option due to the futuristic science used to create her, Barry just asks her a favor. “Could you just not tell Wells about this?” She informs Barry that she will honor any command given by him. Why? Because Barry created her. Barry runs Cisco and Caitlin out of there in mere seconds before Wells arrives.
Eddie wanted to meet with Joe in private. So naturally, they meet at the only meeting place in all of Central City. CC Jitters, the coffee shop. Eddie, I imagine thinking this would play out in his favor, respectfully and traditionally asks for Joe’s blessing to purpose to Iris. Joe does not give his blessing. Almost from the start, there is this air about the moment suggesting that not only is Eddie not good enough, but maybe no one not named Barry Allen would be. Joe’s actually kind of cold about it.
The group meet in Joe’s living room. They tell he and Eddie that they found Wells’ Braille room. Which leads into time travel. Which leads into Barry telling them of a time when he did it. Separately from the big battle that’s yet to happen when he goes back 15 years to prevent the Reverse Flash from killing his mother. This corresponds with Cisco’s dreams where Wells kills him. But what if they aren’t dreams, but memories?
Flashback to Barry in a coma. Iris comes to visit and finds her Dad dosing off. “I’ll go home when Barry does”. Barry begins to convulse and the doctors force Joe and Iris out into the hallway. Where ironically (or not), a middle-aged man sits in a wheelchair. Wells gives Joe the hard sell on his ability to do what these doctors cannot. “Save your son”. It’s the ‘your son’ part that sells it I’m sure. The real irony is that had Joe just let Barry die, it would have prevented everything that happened since. Gotta love the space-time/continuum.
For some undefined reason that we missed out on due to the flashback sequence, Barry’s great idea is to access Cisco’s memories by getting Wells to confess to killing Nora Allen. If that’s a little confusing, you’re not alone.
Caitlin lays out a plan and prototype for a pair of special sunglasses that could help to access lucid dream information. That’s when Wells rolls in. Caitlin makes a lame excuse work and Wells jumps in to help. Even suggesting a frequency that may work to bring the middle brain and higher brain in together. Then he rolls away, looking very suspicious of this new project.
Eddie runs into Barry as Barry tries to escape Iris. Eddie tells Barry of his plans to purpose and how Joe did not grant his blessing. Repeatedly. Eddie wants Barry to find out why.
The good guys rig the dream treatment in Barry’s lab. It begins to work in seconds. After some Cisco like side tracking, he gets back on task. He sees the Reverse Flash in the super capacitors. The man in yellow that was supposedly trapped in place was just a hologram. That’s when dream Wells enters walking upright. Wells tells Cisco that his name is Eobart Thawne. That grabs Joe’s attention. They get what they wanted, at least in dream form. Which I’m sure is inadmissible. Wells/Thawne did not want to kill Nora. He wanted to kill Barry. Barry’s phone rings. It’s Wells with three words. Where are you?
Wells needs Barry to respond to a building fire. The very building where Captain Singh’s fiance works. There are too many people to save conventionally. He needs to rotate his arms very fast in order to vacuum and suck all of the air out of the room. No air, no fire. Afterwards Wells rolls into where Barry is changing his clothes. He gives the very fatherly speech about the only thing preventing you is you.
The new idea is to recreate the circumstances from the previous timeline shift. Have Wells walk in on Cisco figuring out the hologram. Then hopefully, Wells’ tendencies will play out. Everyone has their roles in this and Eddie’s role is to keep Iris safe if it all goes sideways. Which prompts Eddie to roll his eyes and leave.
Eddie (slightly condescending): I’ll always keep Iris safe, Joe.
Barry pulls Joe aside to do his part on Eddie’s behalf. Joe’s answer to why he refused his blessing is simple and logical. She’ll get caught up in the moment and say yes. Then down the road, she’ll wake up and realize she married the wrong man. But she’ll stay married because she made a promise. She has feelings for Barry, even if she doesn’t know how to deal with them know. Then Barry gets a 911 text from Iris.
Someone needs to explain to Iris the nature of the ‘911’ text. She simply turned over a folder of all the strange occurrences in Central City and how none of it predates the particle accelerator explosion. The awkwardness of the meeting was a head fake to Barry hoping this was the moment when Iris figures out her feelings for him. Not the case.
Flashback to the coma, again. Iris talks to coma-Barry. She tells him that she accepted a date with Eddie, something she probably would not have done if Barry was awake. She also tells him how despite the awful circumstances that lead to him living with them, he’s the reason they were able to be whole again. Something happened to Mrs. West that they are intentionally keeping from us. This is the second acknowledgement of that in as many episodes. Just as Iris tries to pull her hand way there is an electric shock. A small one, but a noticeable.
Wells enters the cortex and asks Caitlin where Cisco is. She tells him that Cisco thinks he’s figured out what went wrong at Christmas with the Reverse Flash. Wells takes the bait hook, line and sinker. The reality plays out just like the dream or memory. With one major exception. The tweak he put on the super capacitors didn’t work. It repelled Barry but Wells can walk right in. With Cisco in real danger Joe reveals himself and fires on Wells. Barry runs after the bullets but isn’t fast enough to catch them all. The capacitors repel him again, but let the bullet pass. Directly into Wells’ chest.
The moment that Caitlin announces he’s dead, Dr. Wells morphs back into the “everyman” a meta human that can take on the likeness of anyone. Then remotely we hear Wells’ voice.
Wells: I told you this before. I am always one step ahead.
It’s all out now. Wells will not give a confession, but everyone in the room now knows with absolute certainty that whoever Wells is, killed Nora Allen, is not Dr. Wells, has bigger plans for everyone involved and that he and Barry will meet again very soon. Cisco claims he’s in the Braille room, but it’s actually just the wheelchair. In the Braille room Gideon is showing a series of video feeds showing all the places where Barry and others thought they was working in secret. Barry’s lab, Iris’ job, Eddie’s bedroom, Joe’s living room,
Barry: It was all a set up. We thought we were setting a trap for him, but he’s was setting one for us.
Eddie is attempting to purpose to Iris. Doing a fair job at it until the Reverse Flash appears and tells him that now is not the time. Just then The Flash shows up. He head vibrating enough to maintain anonymity he vows to get Eddie back. Directs Iris to stay at home and not to talk to anyone. As The Flash departs her company the same little electric shock Iris felt in the hospital over a year ago, she experiences again. In this moment.
Once they’ve stopped running, Eddie suggests the man in yellow cease with the theatrics as he knows its Wells. Or whoever Wells is supposed to be. The man in yellow then removes his mask and introduces himself as Eobart Thawne. Further informs Eddie that they are indeed family. Eddie makes the natural but incorrect assumption that all of this has been about him. No, Eddie is simply insurance.
Flashback again. This time, Wells and Barry (still in a coma). Wells talks to him as if he’s listening about how easy it would be to kill him this way. Wells has been there the entire time. Like an estranged father watching in the distance because of a restraining order. “All those science fairs and soccer games”.
Wells: No hint. No sign of the man you will be one day. For whom I have nothing but hate. I’m going to be clear. Nothing is forgiven. There will be a reckoning. I promise you Barry Allen. Then you will die.