Warning: Spoiler Alert
Coming out of the starting gates last season The CW series “The Flash,” became a hit for the network by combining a well executed story and a winning and charismatic cast. In it’s sophomore outing the show’s tightened its formula and produced a series that will earn it credibility with Fanboys and Fangirls, while adding just enough pathos to retain non-comic book fans. They pulled that formula off flawlessly in the episode entitled “The Reverse-Flash Returns,” as a face that “Team-Flash” thought they’d seen the last of came from literally from out of nowhere. The show-runners added in some heartache and some bonding winding up with a satisfying hour.
Barry Allen’s heartbroken over his splitting with his girlfriend Patty Spivot, who told him at the conclusion of the previous episode she decided to leave him and “go to CSI school” in Midway City. Allen realizes that a huge part of the reason she’s leaving’s due to his reluctance to reveal to her that he’s the Scarlet Speedster. However Harry Wells convinced him that if he let’s Patty get close to him she becomes a target for Zoom.
Keeping his mind occupied The Flash becomes the ultimate Good Samaritan, speeding all over Central City and performing good deeds. Suddenly Cisco gets an alarm, an out-of-control chemical truck’s speeding through the city. Flash gets to the truck and realizes it’s set-up to crash and the explosion it would cause could take out a city-block. The Flash sees a tire-iron in the cab and removes all the tires on the eighteen-wheeler and it harmlessly skids off the road.
As the superhero discusses what just occurred with some uniformed cops, we see Eobard Thawne hiding in the background. He summons his hand-held computer/A.I. system Gideon who asks Thawne if his trip’s a success and the Reverse-Flash breaks into a broad grin. He says he thinks so as he’s just determined The Flash’s point of origin, now he just needs to find a way back to his time period. If you’re late to the party, Thawne hails from our distant future about three centuries from now and he ceased to exist when his ancestor Detective Eddie Thawne killed himself in the first season finale. So how is he back in Central City? We’ll get to that soon.
Harry and Cisco are sitting in command central when Jay Garrick and Caitlin Snow enter as Garrick’s shooting daggers at Wells. Caitlin tells them they just discovered Meta-Human Russell Glosson dead in his cell according to the scanner he died of an acute brain aneurysm. Garrick believes that Wells’ maybe behind the mysterious and sudden death and though Wells realizes Garrick believes that, he refuses to admit he actually did kill Glosson and extract brain-tissue from him in the process.
We watch an uncomfortable scene play out between Patty and Barry, as she doesn’t want to leave and he wants her to stay but refuses to acknowledge that as it would stand in her way of leaving. (Young Love.) Iris comes in hearing the tail end of the conversation and tells Barry to stop Patty from leaving, but Barry says Patty’s wanted to be a CSI all her life. Joe then walks in and tells Iris that her mother Francine hasn’t got long to live and if she wants to say goodbye she should do it soon.
Cisco tells Wells that he needs his help in figuring out how to harness his “Vibe” powers and Harry agrees and tells him to meet him in the time-vault, the room that Wells/Thawne used to monitor the future from last season. Ramon enters the room which he dreads and starts calling for Wells but he realizes he’s alone.
Then Wells terrifies him by jumping out of the dark wearing the Reverse-Flash uniform. Harry tells him he realized that Ramon’s “Vibe” powers engage when he gets a rush of dopamine to the brain and the easiest way to do that’s through fear, then he grabs Cisco by the throat. Wells’ theory proves correct as Cisco goes into “Vibe” mode and he actually sees that Eobard Thawne’s in Central City and at Mercury Labs. However everybody’s obvious question’s how could Thawne be in Central City when they watched him disintegrate?
Harry says that the Eobard Thawne’s at Mercury Labs is actually a “Time-Remnant” and he then illustrates his conclusion with three circles. The circle to the left represents 2015 when Thawne ceased to exist, the middle circle represents the present and the circle on the right’s the future where Eobard Thawne’s eventually born. The Thawne that’s currently in Central City’s an earlier version of the man they knew, before he even killed Nora Allen. However because Barry’s mom’s death a fixed point in our timeline, stopping Thawne at this point wouldn’t prevent Nora’s death.
Barry arrives at Mercury Labs just after the Reverse-Flash knocks out two security guards and tells the Lab’s founder Tina McGee she’s coming with him. The Flash shows up and in shock he looks at his enemy and shouts Eobard Thawne, the man from the future’s shocked that The Flash knows his identity. Barry says you’re dead and Thawne says that’s good to know and even better, now he’s got the coordinate’s for The Flash’s time-period and says the speedster will soon be dead. He then lands a right on Allen’s jaw knocking him to the ground and when he gets up Thawne and McGee are gone.
Iris and Francine have their meeting in Francine’s hospital room and Iris tells her mother she forgives herb then has to leave the room as she breaks down into tears. Francine told Iris that Wally’s not been around to visit as he’s angry that she’s dying. Iris goes to her brother’s garage and tries to convince him to go see his mother and tell her he loves her before it’s too late.
Barry returns to STAR Labs and tells “Team-Flash,” that Thawne escaped and kidnapped Tina McGee. Wells realizes there’s only one man they can turn to, Cisco Ramon. Harry creates a pair of goggles that will harness Cisco’s “Vibe” power and he’ll soon access it at will. Once again Harry’s theory turns into reality as Cisco sees all sorts of memories and visions in front of him. Wells gets him to focus first on Thawne and then on him and McGee and Ramon witnesses Thawne killing McGee and escaping through some time-accelerator into the future.
Another uncomfortable scene between Patty and Barry as she basically tells him she’ll stay if he asks her to and he says he doesn’t want to cause her any regrets. Then we get an uncomfortable scene between Caitlin and Jay Garrick as she tells him she’s looked all over for his doppelgänger to try to save his life with a cell transplant. Garrick tells Snow he’ll explain everything to her the following day in a nearby park.
Wells and Allen figure out that Thawne had McGee build the accelerator out of tachyons and that they can detect them with their instruments had the machine been used. No readings show up on their scanners and they realize that Cisco’s actually seen into the future and they have 3:52 to stop the Reverse-Flash from killing Dr. McGee. At exactly 9:52 pm the tachyon levels are detectable and The Flash traces it to the source before Thawne can kill McGee. Catching his enemy by surprise he knocks him into a wall, tells McGee to run and destroys the machine and Thawne’s way home.
Thawne tells The Flash he’ll find another way home and Allen says he’ll need to get through him first. Thawne then challenges his enemy to catch him and takes off with The Flash in pursuit. Allen catches the Reverse-Flash and then starts pummeling him, Joe tells him not to kill him but to bring him to STAR Labs.
Thawne’s now in the cell at STAR Labs that they held Wells/Thawne in last season, he can’t phase out of the cell or escape in any fashion. Barry says he’s going down to talk with him and Harry tells him he’ll do no such thing as it will mess up the timeline in a major way. Allen agrees not to tempt fate and takes a phone-call. Cisco’s nose starts to bleed, a situation that any fan of “LOST” realizes is a very bad sign when dealing with the space-time continuum. Ramon passes it off as inconvenience, but we can see the look in Harry’s eyes he knows troubles brewing.
Cisco goes to the cell asks Thawne how he gets his suit to come out of his ring? The man from the future realizes that Cisco and he know each other in his future and that Ramon knows him very well. Cisco then tells him he wanted to inform the Reverse-Flash that he tracked him down and played a big role in his capture. Then he tells Thawne that he gave Ramon the power and tells him to chew on that while he’s in his cell. Cisco then leaves but his nose starts bleeding again.
Barry decides to pay Thawne a visit but he keeps his appearance hidden from his enemy. He asks Thawne just why he despises him so much. The man from the future said he was obsessed with him and wanted to be him so badly, he duplicated the accident and acquired the Scarlet Speedster’s powers. However once he became a speedster he had an epiphany, that his fate was to be the Flash’s mortal enemy and he did the opposite of what the original speedster did. For every person The Flash saved the Reverse-Flash killed just because he couldn’t be him. Caitlin’s voice comes over the intercom and tells Barry they need him immediately.
Allen finds Joe, Caitlin and Harry surrounding Cisco’s whose going through a bout of seizures. Joe and Wells struggle to hold Ramon still while Snow injects him with a sedative, the seizures cease but he starts to phase in and out making him see-through. Harry shows he’s actually human as he gets nervous and talks rapidly telling Barry that Cisco’s being effected by the change in the timeline. He tells Allen the only way to save Cisco’s by freeing Thawne and Barry has to push him through the time barrier back to his time period.
Wells releases Thawne from the cell at gunpoint and the Reverse-Flash asks Harry who he is and Wells responds nobody of consequence. Eobard realizes that Harry just told him an outright lie and lets the scientist know that. Wells then escorts the man from the future to the area that he’ll depart from.
Harry pulls Allen aside and tells him that this is the Reverse-Flash’s “Origin-Story.” This moment’s when he learns Barry’s identity and about STAR Labs and about Earth-Prime’s Harrison Wells. He tells Barry he can’t change any of that but he’s got the chance to save his friend’s life. Barry nods solemnly and then goes to Thawne who tells The Flash that he’s won yet again. Barry derisively informs him that he’s going to win in the end and that’s the only battle that counts. The pair speed away and we watch Barry nudge Thawne across the time-barrier and back to his time-period.
Turns out Patty Spivot’s a Hell of a detective as she determined by reading Barry’s incident reports on cases The Flash got involved in, that Allen’s indeed The Flash. She calls Joe on it and he tries his best to fib but she knows he’s lying. West tells Barry whose upset and still tells Joe he can’t admit it to her for fear of her safety. Barry goes to talk with her and she tells him she knows and realizes why he hid it from her. Just admit it and she’ll stay, he say’s he’s not The Flash.
Turns out that Garrick does have a doppelgänger on Earth-Prime, however his mother died in childbirth and he got adopted and has a different name. Jay then tells Caitlin that his DNA got altered when he became a speedster so the only way he can survive is for them to capture Zoom. Snow tells him they’ll do it.
Wally comes to visit Iris at Joe’s house and tells her he’s decided to take her advice and see his mom and his sister tells him she’s proud of him and his decision. Wally then asks if Iris will come with him to the hospital and she smiles and says she’d love to and they leave the house to visit their mother.
Joe and Barry talk about Patty being on the train to Midway City and West tells Barry that with all the great things he can do as The Flash, it takes sacrifice as well. Barry’s phone rings and Patty calls from the train and says there’s a man in the car with a gun, Allen says he’ll get her some help and The Flash arrives in the train-car asking if everybody’s okay. Patty stands up and says she’s sorry it was a false-alarm, Barry slows down enough that she can recognize that he’s in the suit. He says he just wanted to make sure everything’s okay before he leaves and she nods her head. As The Flash exits the train we hear Patty say goodbye to Barry.
The Story Continues Next Tuesday Night at 8:00pm on The CW.