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The Flash: Feeling The Shame Of Losing

Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW Network,
Photo: Cate Cameron/The CW Network

Warning: Spoiler Alert

This week’s chapter of The CW Network series “The Flash,” revolved around picking up the pieces, recovering from traumatic injuries and regaining confidence.  The pummeling the Scarlet Speedster received in his first encounter with Zoom left Barry Allen a broken man, physically and mentally. The monster from Earth-Two broke Allen’s back and humiliated him in front of the people he swore to protect. The Flash’s super-metabolism healed his physical wounds within a week, but it took a heart-to-heart talk with Barry’s hero before he regained confidence in his abilities and himself.

We join Team-Flash at STAR Labs a week after Barry’s spine got shattered, he’s slowly walking with the aid of a cane and Detective Joe West. He runs out of steam and says that it for that session. Caitlin tells him that the MRI results from earlier that afternoon show that he’s almost completely healed and he should be donning his suit shortly.

Harrison Wells tells Team-Flash he’s heading back to Earth-Two but Caitlin attempts to convince him to stay with them until they defeat Zoom. He walks off saying he’s going back to his dimension with or without their assistance. Cisco and Joe ask Snow why she’s so adamant about wanting Wells to stay and she says with Jay Garrick in the wind he’s their only source of knowledge on Zoom.

Cisco has his first date with Kendra Saunders and they’re going to see The Princess Bride in a cinema. They touch and Ramon goes Vibe and sees a vision of Kendra in her Hawkgirl uniform but he can’t process what he sees and it freaks him out. He tells her he hates to do this but he needs to leave and she stands there after he leaves confused and clueless.

Ramon’s not the only one with romantic problems as Barry has avoided seeing Patty since he got hurt and she knows he’s hiding something. She calls him and offers to bring over soup and take care of him but he tells her he’d hate for her to get sick. She hangs up confused and unhappy.

We jump to some scientific facility and we watch scientists and techs interacting when suddenly one of the top scientists Dr. Jeffrey Shore starts getting visions. One of his subordinates tries talking to Shore but he’s unresponsive then smashes open a plate-glass storage container and grabs a large canister inside it. The other guy tries to stop him, but Shore hits him in the head with the canister and flees the facility.

He gets down to the street and suddenly he becomes coherent as if he’d been sleeping. He asks himself what he’s done and then sees the creature that controlled his mind Grodd, the super-ape that gained his powers when the particle-accelerator exploded. Shore asks the ape who he is and the giant simian growls back stupid human I’m Grodd.

Barry gets on the treadmill as Iris and Joe watch and West keeps throwing out words of encouragement. Barry finally starts to let loose when he flashes back mentally to getting beaten by Zoom he freaks out trips and gets thrown from the treadmill. Iris tries to connect with Barry but soon walks off and lets Joe talk to him. Allen tells the detective that Zoom destroyed him, he beat him to a pulp and showed all of Central City how he mastered the Flash. All those people he pledged to keep safe saw that he couldn’t back up his words.

West talks to Iris and says that Barry’s healed physically but nobody can get through to him. She says then it’s time to get the one person that can get through to him. Joe smiles and says they’ll discuss that at home, Patty just called him about a new case.

Caitlin tracks down Wells at a diner as he’s in the process of making a map. She says he has to stay and help Team-Flash and he says he made a big mistake coming to Earth-Prime. He says he hoped that with the help of the Flash he’d  defeat Zoom, now he’s going back to his world to accomplish that. Snow says he’ll just get himself killed and how will that help his daughter? She says they should have concentrated on closing the breaches to Wells’ world and the light goes on in his eyes. They’ll close all the breaches except for the largest in STAR Labs and trap Zoom.

Patty and Joe work the death of Dr. Jeffrey Shore and they believe their suspect’s a Meta-Human. Spivot says there was a similar case at another science facility  a couple of weeks before and she’s going to check out the other case for similarities. She also comments they found lots of hair at the scene and she’s getting that identified.

Cisco and Caitlin are talking when she becomes unresponsive and we see she’s having the same visions that Shore experienced. She slugs Ramon in the jaw and runs out, Barry and Cisco watch Snow leaving the building as if in a trance and Grodd’s following her.

Joe arrives at the lab with news that Grodd’s returned and Wells says that his dimension’s also got a version of the super-ape. Just then the man Iris summoned to get through to Barry arrives, Henry Allen embraces his son as Team-Flash attempts to come up with a solution to save Caitlin. Cisco comes up and says they’ve got a solution to save Snow and Allen asks him how. Barry hears a voice behind say with me and he turns around to see the Reverse-Flash sneering at him. Allen’s about to start beating him when Ramon explains it’s Harry and they found this suit in the vault. Wells will attempt to convince the simian that he’s the man that raised him.

Caitlin wakes up on the floor and starts calling for Grodd, the ape hears her and jumps down from the rafters to greet her. Grodd tells her that she’d always been kind to him and he needs her help. He asks her how he acquired his abilities and she says it’s a long and complicated story, but the actual cause was Dark Matter. Grodd says to her repeat, she wants her to create more of his kind. She says she doesn’t know how and Grodd says learn.

Dr. Henry Allen gives his son a complete physical and says he’s completely healed physically, then Barry tells him what he told Joe. Henry tells his son that his life got destroyed and his reputation ruined when he got charged with killing his wife and Barry’s mother. He said he could see it in people’s faces in the courtroom during the trial, how they stopped  trusting him and he eventually lost them all. His son asks him how he survived and Henry says by embracing it, if he could survive the experience he could withstand anything. He says he believes in his son and he’ll win back the people’s trust.

Wells and Cisco track down Caitlin in Grodd in a church bell-tower and Wells walks in and says hey buddy to Grodd. The giant ape says that his father’s dead but Harrison says no buddy I’ve just been gone for a while. He says now that he’s back Grodd doesn’t need Snow so he’s going to take her out of there and then says please. Grodd growls and throws Wells against a wall saying father take not ask and asks who he is?

Ramon and Snow can escapee and Barry tells them to take off but Cisco says that Harry’s still in there. Allen tells Wells to inject the ape with large quantities of the drugs he stole from the facilities and that will knock him out. Wells grabs the implements to inject the ape with and then he says he is Grodd’s father and Grodd just struck his father. As he’s telling him he didn’t abandon him he injects the gorilla with the drugs and he passes out allowing all to escape.

Caitlin stitches up the gash in Wells’ abdomen when they return to STAR Labs and West says they’ve got to do something about Grodd. Snow asks if he means killing the great best Joe says yes and she says it’s not his fault and he’s lonely and he’s looking for others of his kind. Harrison says that one of the breaches in Central City contains a jungle-habitat on Earth-Two with other intelligent creatures. When someone asks how they’ll lure him there, Henry says my son will lead him right Flash?

Caitlin lures Grodd out to the street then Flash takes her away and tells the ape if he wants Caitlin he needs to catch him. Grodd leaps from rooftop to rooftop and surprises Flash who once again has a flashback of Zoom and freaks, Grodd’s stepping on him and asking where Caitlin’s at? She lures Grodd into the circle that the breach covers and then Flash pulls her out of there. The breach starts sucking in the giant simian but he’s fighting to break free.

Henry contacts Flash through the com-device and tells his son he can’t let Grodd get free. He needs to summon up his strength and courage and knock him through the breach. Flash does it and the portal closes.

Cisco has another date with Kendra and when they kiss he realizes she’s Hawkgirl and he says you’re awesome. She asks him why and he says because she’s such a great kisser.

The Flash: Forward

Photo Courtesy Of CW
Photo Courtesy Of CW

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the 2014-2015 TV season turned out to be the CW Network series “The Flash.” Show-runner Greg Berlanti created an incredibly complex universe, going deep into the world of comic-books and sci-fi to tell his tale. Combining that with a cast of characters that fans cared about, helped the show become a breakout hit for the network.

Season one concluded in a cliffhanger as Eddie Thawne shot himself to death, causing his ancestor Eobard Thawne/Harrison Wells to vanish as he never existed. Although the Flash watched the man who murdered his mother disappear he didn’t have any time to celebrate, he raced up a skyscraper and then into the sky trying to keep the black-hole known as the Singularity from devouring Central City and perhaps the planet.

Our first scene in season two starts off with the Flash facing off against Captain Cold and Heatwave. Flash runs away from them and then doubles back, going after Heatwave whom Captain Cold errantly takes out with a blast of his cold gun. Cold says one of these days he’s going to kill Flash, when he’s knocked out by a blast from Firestorm flying above him. Firestorm lands and apologizes for being late, Flash smiles and says right on time.

Inside Star Labs Barry Allen and Cisco Ramon high-five over taking out both criminals at the same time. Ronnie Raymond and Dr. Martin Stein have separated and Ronnie kisses his wife Caitlin. Joe and Iris West come over to congratulate Barry and then we realize something’s amiss as we see Eddie and he congratulates Barry. Then Harrison Wells rolls out in his mechanized wheelchair and tells Barry that he can no longer teach him anything and Barry’s ready to run things on his own. It’s a daydream Allen’s standing alone in a room and we hear a voiceover from him bringing us up to date.

Barry tells us that it’s six-months after the singularity occurred, he no longer works with Team-Flash in order to keep his friends safe. He does however still work with Detective Joe West in his role as a CCPD forensic scientist. Barry’s examining a murder victim when West arrives at the scene. Allen informs him the man got strangled to death by a man much larger and stronger than the victim.

Joe asks Barry if the Flash will make an appearance at the “Flash-Day” celebration the following day. The mayor’s scheduled to present the Flash the key to the city. Barry says he doesn’t think so and West reminds him that Allen loves awards, like the trophies he won when he was 12. Allen says he earned those awards and then tells Joe he’s going to check out the results on the victim.

Cisco’s now working for the CCPD as the science adviser for the Task-Force formed to fight meta-humans which West heads up. We find out that Caitlin’s now working at Mercury Labs and Barry’s referred to as a lone-wolf. Iris walks into the station and greets her father and Cisco and Joe asks her to try to convince Barry to attend the ceremony. She tries but fails to convince him, he tells her she should realize he doesn’t deserve the praise as “The Man Who Saved Central City.”

We then flashback to the Singularity and watch as vehicles and people are swept into the sky. The Flash runs counter to the way that the black-hole’s rotating and he’s stabilized it. However in order to close the hole Martin Stein and Ronnie Raymond will have to go into the hole as Firestorm and then split apart. It could cost them their lives and Caitlin begs her husband not to, but he relies they’ve got no other choice.

Firestorm flies into the black-hole and the two men separate the energy surge causes the Singularity to close, but Stein and Raymond start plummeting to the ground. Barry’s able to save Professor Stein but not Ronnie, he apologizes to Caitlin. So both Eddie and Ronnie lost their lives that day.

We return to the present just in time for the “Flash-Day” celebration as the Mayor of Central City takes the podium and addresses the huge crowd in attendance. He tells the crowd that during the last year they’ve been Ground-Zero for some very weird stuff, including some evil people with super abilities. However the good they received more than overcame the bad, thanks to the Flash.

He then says he wants to present the Flash the key to the city and the crowd including Joe, Cisco, Iris and Caitlin standing in various locations wait for the red-streak to appear. Seconds later the Flash arrives to the stage and waves to the crowd and walks over to the mayor. Just then screams erupt as a trash dumpster’s hurtling out of the sky right to the spot they’re standing on, Flash rescues the mayor and looks for who threw the projectile.

Suddenly a large man with his face encased in a steel mask appears and says he’s glad to meet the man who saved Central City. The Flash tries attacking him but the man’s got super-strength and flings him like a child’s toy. West calls for Cisco to give him the Boot, the weapon Cisco invented to takeout meta-humans. Joe fires the weapon and an ankle bracelet encircles the guys foot and starts to emit energy. The man then triples in size and snaps the boot to pieces.

The Flash arrives at Joe’s side carrying two propane tanks, he tells West he’ll throw them and for Joe to shoot at them. The bullets strike the tanks causing them to explode and burst into flame, causing the giant to flee. As he’s leaving the mask disappears and Joe tells the Flash that the man’s the victim of the strangling they found the day before. Arnold Rothstein. However a check with the morgue confirms that Rothstein’s body’s still there, the villain took Rothstein’s appearance.

Back at the crime-lab Barry gets a visit from an attorney that represents Harrison Wells, turns out that Wells left Allen Star Labs in his living-will. Barry’s ignored all communication from the attorney and the lawyer tells him that Wells left a stipulation in the will that unless Allen watched the contents of a thumb drive with a message from Wells to Barry, he’d lose Star Labs the next day as the six months deadline expired. Barry tells the lawyer he’s not going to watch it and the attorney says he’s done his job and leaves. Suddenly a security alert on his computer informs him there’s a security violation at Star Labs. He arrives to find Joe, Cisco, Iris and Martin Stein using the computer system, trying to figure out where the giant’s hiding.

Cisco visited Caitlin at Mercury Labs earlier and she confirmed that the radiation badge that Rothstein wore, got drained of radiation. Hence they realized that the meta-human feeds off of radiation and Cisco’s able to track the man that Stein names the Atom-Smasher to a three block radius. Barry refuses to let Team-Flash get involved and speeds off leaving his communication device behind.

The Atom-Smasher’s drinking barrels of radioactive sludge when the Flash arrives. He greets the Scarlet Speedster by telling him he thought he’d have to track him down. Flash asks him how he feeds off radiation and has Rothstein’s face and the big guy tells him he wouldn’t believe him if he told him. The Flash starts rotating his arms at super-speed creating a wind that he tries to blow the Atom-Smasher away with, but the big man stands his ground. He then tries punching the big man and he doesn’t even flinch, then the Atom-Smasher says my turn.

He again increases his size so that he’s about five times larger and picks the Flash up by the neck and starts whacking him against a wall. The giant says that he was told his opponent’s a superhero, but he doesn’t seem worthy of the suit or the title.

Cisco’s able to hack into the warehouse’s camera system and they see the Flash getting pummeled. Professor Stein tells Cisco to setoff the alarm in the warehouse and Atom-Smasher loses focus allowing Flash to escape and head back to Star Labs. He makes it to the basement and then passes out and has a dream recalling a memory from his childhood.

We flashback to the West home six months after Barry’s mother got murdered and his father imprisoned for killing her. Joe puts out a bowl of mac and cheese in front of Barry and the boy responds no thank you. West says it’s been six months son, you’ve got to eat. Then he says he realizes how much Barry misses his parents and it’s easier to deal with the loss if he stays angry all the time. However Joe tells him that he’s got to be able to feel and says it’s okay to be sad, his parents wouldn’t be angry if he gets sad. Barry stands up and hugs Joe and starts crying and Joe hugs him back and says that’s alright, I got you.

Barry wakes up in a hospital bed in Star Labs with Joe at his side and West uses the same phrase to calm Allen down. Joe then tells him he tried giving Allen his space for six months but he’s done doing that. He tells Barry he’s shutting out the people in his life and he needs them and they need him. Joe says he’s been hearing rumors that the Flash spends nights repairing area businesses from the damage the Singularity caused. He says Barry needs to start rebuilding things that matter.

Allen goes to visit Caitlin at Mercury Labs and he apologizes for not being in contact, but he says he’s having difficulty accepting he’s responsible for Ronnie’s death. Caitlin tells Barry that she feels she’s the one to blame, that Ronnie had asked for her to leave Central City with him and she refused. She says that if they moved her husband would still be alive.

Barry pulls a hankie out of his pocket to give to Caitlin and the thumb-drive from Wells falls out. Caitlin asks what’s on it and Barry says it’s a message from Wells and he’s been too scared to look at it. Caitlin suggests they look at it together and pop it into her computer, automatically giving Allen ownership of Star Labs.

Eobard Thawne/Harrison Wells appears on the screen and he tells Barry that if he’s watching this, then Wells’ died and he says that’s a bummer. He then says that he never hated Barry and Allen looks back at the screen his face showing his contempt. He says he’s about to give Barry everything he’s ever wanted, but knowing Barry he still won’t be happy. Then Wells says erase everything I just said and give this to the police.

Wells then confesses to killing Barry’s mother and gives in-depth details of the murder to prove he committed the crime. Barry gets on the phone and calls Joe and asks him to get everybody to meet at Star Labs. Caitlin hugs Barry and tells him she’ll drive.

Barry and Joe stand in the hallway as Joe speaks to the District Attorney on the phone, Allen interrupts him and asks what’s she saying. West says that she can’t say for sure yet, but it looks good. Barry then heads into the main facility to share the news that Henry Allen will soon be a free man. However they still have to figure out a way to defeat Atom-Smasher. Caitlin smiles and says if he wants radiation, we’ll give him radiation.

The Atom-Smasher’s sitting in his apartment when he sees the image of a lightning bolt projected into the night sky and says show-time. He tracks down the source of the light and finds the Flash standing next to a huge klieg light with his symbol on it. Back at Star Labs Caitlin asks Cisco how he came up with the idea and Cisco replies he thinks he saw it in a comic-book.

Flash tells his opponent that if he wants him he has to catch him first and takes off at super-speed. Monitoring the pair at Star Labs, Stein remarks how quick the Atom-Smasher is for a big man. Barry heads to a nuclear-facility and about a minute later Atom-Smasher arrives saying that Flash didn’t think he’d catch him. Flash responds he was counting on him catching him and then lowers a containment tube over his opponent. The tube fills with far too much radiation for the Atom-Smasher to contain and takes him out. By the time the tube’s safe for the Flash to open, the Atom-Smasher’s just about to take his last breath.

Flash apologizes but says he didn’t want anymore people hurt, then asks why his opponent tried to kill him. Atom-Smasher says he promised to take me home if I killed you. When Barry asks who the man gasps Zoom and then dies.

Barry goes to pickup his father at Iron Heights Prison as he gets released after serving 14-years for a crime he didn’t commit. They drive to the West home and everybody’s there for a welcome home party for Henry, hugs get shared by all and everybody’s very relaxed and happy, enjoying each other’s company.

Martin Stein asks for everybody to gather for a toast. He says he’s been thinking how far they’ve come in the last year and the folks they lost along the way. He says the occasion brings to mind a Hebrew word associated with graduations, the word’s Kadima translating into forward in English. Stein raises his glass and says forward and each echo the toast and drink up.

Barry pulls his father aside and tells him he’s planned for them to look for an apartment for the two of them the next day and Iris has looked into getting Henry’s doctor’s license reinstated. Henry says this is a party, can’t we talk about this later and Barry asks his father if he’s thinking about leaving?

Henry puts his hands on his son’s shoulders and looks him in the eye. He tells Barry if he needs him, his father will always be there for him. However right now Central City doesn’t need Henry Allen’s son, they need the Flash. He says he has to leave and he needs Barry to say it’s okay. With tears in his eyes the son nods his head and hugs his father. Joe sees what’s going on and figures things out.

Barry meets Joe back at Star Labs and West asks him if his father got off okay. Barry says he dropped him at the station and Joe realizes Barry’s heartbroken. However he pulls the key to the city out of his pocket and hands it to Barry and says well this is pretty cool. Barry smiles and says this is freaking cool and they head out to the main facility to talk to the new Team-Flash including Martin Stein and Iris.

Cisco informs Barry that he upgraded all the security measures at the lab that now belongs to Allen. Iris says nobody can just wander in anymore, when Joe and Barry sees a man in the shadows. West pulls his piece as Barry asks the man to identify himself. The man steps into the light and tells Barry his name’s Jay Garrick and Barry’s world’s in danger.

The Story Continues Next Tuesday Night at 8:00 pm on The CW.

The Flash: Everything That’s Happened Has Lead To This

Courtesy of The CW
Courtesy of The CW

Warning: Spoiler Alert

“And one day I’ll find who killed my mother and get justice for my father…that day, is today”. Barry takes a walk to visit Mr. Eobard Thawne since knowing what he knows now. Barry begins with a simple question with Thawne answers but shuffles off to the big question, why did he kill Nora Allen?

Barry: Why did you kill my mother?
Thawne: Because I hate you. Not you now, you years from now.
Barry: In the future?
Thawne: Any future, yes. We are enemies, rivals, opposites, reverses of one another.
Barry: Why are we enemies?
Thawne: It doesn’t matter. It…doesn’t…matter anymore.
(I’m going to believe that it matters very much)

Thawne, amidst their battles and rivalry discovered future Barry’s real name. Here’s the easy part. Thawne could go back in time and kill young Barry, then return to his time and live Flash free. Only problem is, as we saw weeks ago, Thawne lost the ability to reach the kind of speed that would get him back to his time. Future Barry followed Thawne back and they had an epic fight. Then future Barry got young Barry out of the house. This infuriated Thawne so the next best thing was to cause young Barry to feel a loss so significant that he would never recover and thus, never become The Flash.

The only way to get home was The Flash. However, as previously mentioned, the events laid out that night would prevent Barry Allen from growing up to become The Flash. So Thawne had to make him. Finding Barry, training Barry, nurturing his power, was all a self-serving attempt to use Barry to get home. Thawne needed Barry to get fast. The endgame being, if Barry gets fast enough he could travel through a stable worm hole allowing Thawne to follow. Why do this? Because if Barry does, then Thawne will give Barry what he wants. For that night to have never happened. No slain mother, no imprisoned father, no living with Joe and Iris. Everything goes back and Barry gets to grow up the way he was supposed to.

Barry lashes out slamming his fist on the glass. “I want to kill you right now”. This rage is a familiar feeling to Thawne. It’s the same feeling he’s had playing the nurturer to Barry all this time. Then Thawne says he can see what Joe and Henry see in Barry when they look upon him. Pride with love. Pretty much the exact wrong thing to tell Barry right now.

After a breakdown of the consequences of Barry going back and undoing Thawne’s handiwork, Joe decides with little hesitation that Barry must do this. Even if it means that everything they know, they are and they experienced along the way will have never happened. Henry on the other hand is not on board in any way. In Henry’s mind, everything has to happen for a reason. Nora’s death, Henry’s incarceration, Barry living with Joe and Iris, all contributes to the end result that is adult Barry Allen being specifically the man he is. Very powerful performance from Grant Gustin and John Wesley Shipp by the way.

At Star Labs Caitlin checks out Ronnie’s vitals. He is controlling his powers much better now. Caitlin tells Ronnie how much Barry appreciates him coming back to help. That’s when Ronnie drops the proverbial anvil on Caitlin’s head. Ronnie is back, for good. And back before the particle accelerator, Caitlin agreed to marry Ronnie. So that’s happening.

Iris finds Barry at her favorite thinking time rooftop. The decision is a massive one with uncertain implications. Iris even references the “Iris West-Allen” thing. Barry quickly mentions that her name change and their eventual life as husband and wife isn’t assured either. During a long embrace, Barry flat-out asks Iris for her opinion. He needs someone to tell him what to do, ironic as Joe and Henry both told him what to do.

Iris: I think for the first time in your life, you should stop thinking about other people. I think you should do what’s in your heart. Do what you need to do for yourself.

The ‘plan’ is for Barry to use the particle accelerator. Instead of smashing two particles at each other, they will only send one. Which will collide with Barry and create a wormhole that will connect this time will all other times. If Barry doesn’t reach the optimal speed at the point of impact, Barry will die. To make matters worse, Cisco now has to build a time machine (of Thawne’s specs) so that Thawne can return to his time.

Cisco and Ronnie notice a major flaw in the design. Tungsten at these speeds will become flammable. Cisco heads down to talk to “Dr. Evil”. After a moment, Thawne has a solution. Cisco takes that information and attempts to leave. Thawne tries to appeal to Cisco’s scientific mind when he is interrupted by Cisco’s “is that what you told yourself when you killed me?”

Thawne immediately apologizes. Not for killing Cisco but for the mere fact that Cisco can retain information gained from an alternate timeline. This means Cisco was affected by the particle accelerator. Cisco is a meta-human on some level. Thawne seems to believe that Cisco is about to become so much more than he is now.

Dr. Stein takes great joy in explaining to Eddie that he, not Barry or anyone else is the most interesting person in the mix. He is the only one who gets to choose his future, regardless of what Thawne told him. Then Stein finds an omission of catastrophic implications. Last line of that says that there is a chance this event could create a black hole. A potential extinction level event. Thawne has been planning this a couple of decades. He has considered the risk, and to him the risk is minimal.

Barry walks off and Joe follows. This time Joe is not unwaveringly in support of the plan, but still in support of it. Even if this all works and Barry can run fast enough, the end result is that he will save one parent at the expense of another. He could get Henry and Nora back, but if he does he will all but certainly lose Joe.

After Dr. Stein’s talk with Eddie, he decides to speak to Iris. Eddie is the coincidence and therefore, a number of coincidences lead to Eddie meeting and getting romantic with Iris.

Meanwhile Dr. Stein and Ronnie talk about what or how the kids say or don’t say, it doesn’t matter. Dr. Stein doesn’t want himself and Ronnie to fight on their wedding day. Stein skips over the typical wedding ceremony stuff and dives right into his experience with two lives merging as one.

Barry stands in the corridor saying his goodbyes and good lucks. Over the P.A. system Stein reminds Barry that he has only 1 minute and 52 seconds to save his mother and get back in order to close the wormhole before it transitions into a black hole.

As Barry pushes through Mach 2, he begins to see all of this memories at once. With Thawne in his ear, Barry has to visualize the day in question. The coffee in Stein’s mug levitating is the cue to send the hydrogen particle. And just like that, Barry was gone and wormhole in his place.

Barry arrives in his room during the fight. He ventures down to find future Flash looking back at him shaking his head as if to say no. As it was before future Flash takes young Barry out of there. He closes the door and turns his back on the mission. This is agonizing for Barry to sit through. When it ends, Barry goes out to console his dying mother.

Nora asks who he is. At first, he calls himself The Flash, then he removes his mask. Nora says he looks just like her father. He reveals that he is indeed the man her son grows up to be. He turns this entire mission on its ear. He came back to tell her that he’s alright. He and his Dad are alright. He creates closure to an otherwise unexplainable situation and Nora receives it graciously.

Thawne prepares arrogantly to board his time bubble machine when something flies through the wormhole. My knowledge of early Flash is sketchy at best, but I’m pretty sure the object in question is the helmet from the earliest incarnation of The Flash, worn by Jay Garrick but don’t quote me on that one. Thawne takes one look at it and decides this is his cue to leave. Reveling in the moment too long, Barry comes flying back in taking out the pod and Thawne in it.

The wormhole is becoming unstable, so what better thing to do during this moment of peak importance, than to engage in a speedster vs speedster fist fight. Once again, Thawne gains the upper hand. He starts going to town on Barry’s midsection when the other Thawne (Eddie) decides what his contribution will be. The first line of Stein’s speech to Eddie earlier in the episode was, “Maybe you just haven’t found your contribution yet”. I think he just found it. Eddie was the ‘coincidence’ as Stein put it. Then Eddie turned his on gun barrel pressed into his chest and pulled the trigger.

Joe runs toward Eddie screaming “what’d you do”? Eddie responds with, “there’s no such thing as a coincidence” a notion shared by just about every detective in every precinct in the country. Based on the established timeline (if I have this right) Eddie Thawne is somehow Eobard’s great great great great grandfather. If Eddie dies, at this age, then Eobard will cease to exist. Iris arrives just as Eobard sheds his Harrison Wells meat suit. He will die in her arms as the hero.

Eddie (to Iris): I was wrong. It turns out I’m the hero after all.

Eobard Thawne/Harrison Wells vaporizes out of existence. Just then a floating hole begins to inhale the matter around it. Including Eddie Thawne. In seconds, a massive singularity begins to form over Central City. I hope you’re sitting down, I imagine this is the part of the story when the aspiring hero is faced with an impossible task and becomes the hero he’s supposed to be.

Barry races up a skyscraper and with the requisite speed is able to run in circles opposite to the singularity. Roll credits on Season 1.

The Flash: Leveling The Playing Field

Courtesy of The CW
Courtesy of The CW

Warning: Spoiler Alert

While the team tries to regroup after the events of last week, Cisco has been doing some prying. Under Wells’ wheel chair, Cisco found what looks like a four-pronged flux capacitor. Wells (reverse flash) is faster than Barry because he has been juicing himself regularly with a futuristic power source. While Cisco explains this, an alert begins to sound. The particle accelerator is powering back up.

Joe, Barry and Cisco head down to the makeshift prison thinking that Wells has been in the building the entire time. Cisco brings a cup of orange soda. Every time the Reverse Flash is around, liquid floats. Barry’s fish tank just to name one. They open the main door downstairs and as predicted, Cisco’s soda begins to float out of its cup.

Wells races out of there in a blur and Barry pursues. Meanwhile, Wells triggered an auto release function, releasing at least one of the meta-humans they caught. This particular meta-human is Shawna (aka Peek-A-Boo), the teleporter. She gets out locking Joe and Cisco inside and chasing after Caitlin. She has Caitlin in a compromised position when Iris shows up and knocks her out.

After cleaning up this latest Wells mess, Joe faintly hears something in the distance. Wells was keeping Eddie captive in Star Labs. Eddie looks bad. Not even enough strength to walk on his own. While Joe lifts Eddie out, Iris finds the engagement ring intended for her.

The nugget that in the future Iris marries Barry seems to be in the front of his mind. He’s relieved to be out, but there is something lingering that keeps him distant. He spoke of a metallic tube that Wells claimed was the key. Cisco has now found said tube. The tube is powering the particle accelerator. The new big problem is that the meta-humans will die if the accelerator powers up with them still in there. Ironheights can’t handle meta-humans. Barry gets the idea to transport them to the same island where Oliver Queen was stranded that began the Arrow story line.

Joe seeks an audience with the D.A. to hopefully get her consent to clear a route to transport these unlawfully detained meta-humans out of the city. As predicted, she did not warm to the idea. Barry arrives in a dive bar where Captain Cold just so happens to be enjoying a beverage. Barry would like to have a chat. Barry needs Snart’s help to escort these 5 meta-humans out of the city. But it’s going to cost. The price is still not fleshed out.

Iris confronts Eddie on his way to work. He’s clearly changed since his abduction. She pushes the issue as she tends to do. She even pulls out the ring box and asks if he was trying to propose when he was taken. Then Eddie tells her of the future. A future where she marries Barry, not him.

Joe is not on board with helping Snart. Snart’s price by the way is every single iota of information that creates a trail that he ever existed wiped away. Dental records, criminal records, the whole shebang. Barry feels he cannot stop Wells. Not that he hasn’t but that he can’t. Saving these five people from certain death, is something he can do.

Cisco has retrofitted a big rig with a power source that should render the meta-humans powerless during commute. The prisoners have all awakened and aren’t exactly getting along. The big rig approaches an air field. Would you like to venture a guess as to which air field. I’ll give you three guesses but you’ll only need one. Ferris Air. And in one quick thought, Barry Allen just introduced Green Lantern into the CW/DC television universe.

Snart: Ferris Air…? I thought this place got shut down?
Barry: It did. One of its test pilots disappeared.

While the team waits on the aircraft, the prisoners grow agitated around the same time Cisco’s rig begins to malfunction. The meta-humans aren’t going to be powerless for long. Just like that Marden, using lightning takes down the inbound plane before it can land. They break out of the trailer and its meta-humans vs. bullets. Two of them bear down on Barry. In the chaos Snart fires his freeze gun at one of the meta-humans. But doesn’t fire on the other two. Snart intends to let them walk.

Iris approaches Eddie again in an attempt to salvage their relationship. He’s not interested in her “I choose my own fate” mentality. Eddie’s decision has not come from one single look into the future. It’s an honest realization to himself.

Eddie: This isn’t about the future, Iris. This is about here. Now. Today. Ever since the very beginning, there’s been three people in this relationship. You. Me. And Barry.
Iris: That is not true.
Eddie: You can deny it all you want. but Barry knows it, Joe knows it, and if I’m going to be completely honest with myself…I knew. I always knew. I guess I thought I could love you enough to change things.

Wells approaches Star Labs on foot while Barry and the team watch on a monitor. Everyone warns him against it, but Barry races out of there anyway. Face to face, Wells begins monologuing about what he’s done and not done and how Barry can’t beat him. Then Firestorm descends landing on Barry’s side of the invisible line of demarcation. Wells finds this slightly humorous. Then Arrow jumps down landing on the other side of Barry mirroring Firestorm.

Barry: I don’t care how fast you are, you can fight all of us.
Wells: Oh trust me, this is going to be fun.

Wells raises his arm and from inside a yellow ring flies the actual yellow suit allowing Wells to run into it. He and Barry race around in circles while Arrow and Firestorm watch from the sidelines. Wells gets the upper hand which allows Arrow to shoot Wells in the leg. His arrow using some tech designed by Ray Palmer (aka The Atom) and is currently draining Wells of his ability to use his speed. Wells and Arrow engage in hand to hand fighting at normal speeds.

Probably due to Wells’ ability (like Barry) to heal quickly, the arrow’s effect didn’t last as long as desired. Wells makes a cheesy reference to the history books and slowly begins to kill Oliver Queen by jamming his hand into Oliver’s chest. But Barry grabs him at full speed before he can. Banking on Wells arrogance, Barry gets him to give chase. At the right time, Firestorm lights him up. Wells falls from the apex of the Star Labs building all the way down landing and crushing a car. Then Arrow hits him again with one of his tech arrows. This time Wells seems down for the count.

Barry thanks his friends for the assistance. And it wouldn’t be a comic book adaptation production without some sort of cryptic easter egg type of drop. Here’s a spoiler alert wrap inside a spoiler alert. The CW has officially ordered a pilot season for a project titled “Legends of Tomorrow”. I’m sure this is not breaking news to most of you. It will highlight Flash and Arrow along with a host of other DC Universe good guys and bad guys as the face off amidst an “Unstoppable Threat”. I say all of this to illustrate the importance of Oliver Queen’s last line of this episode.

Barry: I see we’ve abandoned our traditional green?
Oliver: Trying something different. Look, I might need a favor from you…
Barry: Wherever, whenever.

The Flash: A 25 Year Old Foe Returns

Courtesy of The CW
Courtesy of The CW

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Starting out tonight, we get a closer look at what happened that night 15 years ago. This time in relative slow motion as the details revealed what we already knew. Adult Barry Allen was in fact the one fighting the Reverse Flash. Back from the flashback, Joe and Barry look over what they know about Wells. Which, is not a lot. One thing is clear. If Wells does have a plan, he’s been patient. Barry will have to be just a freakishly patient.

Above a city park, onlookers see packages carried by individual parachutes slowly fall to the ground. Once they do, they explode. Then we see a cam video of complete winner who calls himself the Trickster. Only problem is the real Trickster is currently serving multiple life sentences in Iron Heights.

Flashback. After the fight in Barry’s house seems to end with young Barry safely outside, the camera follows the Reverse Flash. Many blocks away, he begins to lose speed and crashes to the ground. The fight with The Flash completely depleted his speed ability. Wells was then stuck there 15 years ago, forced to get back to present day the old-fashioned way. One day at a time. The Reverse Flash yells out from his knelt position, then removes his mask to reveal a face that looks nothing like Harrison Wells.

Barry and Joe travel to Iron Heights to visit the original Trickster. He’s given the Hannibal Lecter treatment. Isolated, nowhere near genpop. They explain the situation and show him photographs. When asked if he knew the identity of this Trickster copycat, he looks up and says:

Trickster: If I did, I would tell you. So you could find him, cut off his head and throw it right in his face!

The Trickster believes this copycat must have found his ‘lair’, so that’s where Barry and Joe go. Inside they find what looks like a costume shop that has been closed for 20 years. Barry finds a large set of metal double doors. He jars them loose. They’ve been boobie trapped. After Barry removes himself and Joe from the blast radius of the explosion behind the doors, they realize the copycat has taken everything. The room is completely cleaned out.

The primary stolen item is a bomb big enough to completely wipe out Central City. They take this news back to Star Labs. For the second time now, Barry sends a vague cheap shot meant for Wells. Considering Barry’s new suspicion that Wells is up to something. Wells asks for a word in private. Wells tries to suggest that Barry’s new-found attitude must be from seeing his Father in prison, again. Barry plays along until he gets a message to meet Iris, and graciously leaves.

Flashback. An only slightly younger Harrison Wells sits on the beach with Tess Morgan, outlining what he wants to do with his lab designs. She ultimately names is Star Labs. In the far off distance a man watches them. The same man who pulled off the Reverse Flash’ mask after the fight in the Allen residence 15 years ago.

While Iris bothers Barry about the Mason Bridge disappearance, he gets a call from Cisco. The Trickster is broadcasting again. The bomb is between two streets somewhere in Central City. Barry scours that area and finds nothing. Wells believes the threat of the bomb is a decoy to keep he and the authorities busy. Barry ignores Wells and eventually finds the box. Inside, there is nothing.

Your first instinct is usually the correct one. I had a feeling in the first few minutes that the original Trickster may have been in league with this new copycat. Barry calls Joe to give him the head’s up, but it’s too late. They’re watching surveillance footage. The two Tricksters escaped. And it gets worse. They took a hostage. Henry Allen.

At their new lair, we find Henry Allen tied to a chair and the young Trickster just smitten with the presence of the original Trickster. Questions about what happens next leads to the big question of “why choose me” comes up. I’m telegraphing this one on purpose. The old Trickster tells the young one that he had the strength to carry out his legacy. It was in his blood. Then the older Trickster leans in and says exactly what you are praying he won’t.

Mark Hamill’s Trickster: The real reason I tracked you down and groomed you to be the best you could possibly be Axle, I-AM-YOUR-FATHER.

Flashback. Wells and Tess drive home. The strange man lurks behind the trees. Wells drives over a nail strip intended to cause an accident. The vehicle flips repeatedly. Tess is unresponsive. The man walks up slowly. Despite Wells’ cries for help, the man does nothing, except to say, “The woman has been dead for centuries”.

Joe ventures down to the prison portion of Star Labs where Barry sits alone with nothing but his thoughts. Barry can’t fathom leaving the fate of his father in the hands of a man who potentially had something to do with the death of his mother. Joe tries to talk him off the ledge, so to speak.
Iris attends a political event and takes a glass of champagne from one of the waiters. That particular waiter and his colleague are in fact the original Trickster and son Trickster respectively. The ‘trick’ here is that they’ve all ingested a specific poison. Transfer of funds from their bank accounts into the account printed on the underside of the champagne glass and they get the antidote. If they don’t, they will die within the hour. Iris is able to call Joe so that he can hear the Trickster. Cisco triangulates her phone and Barry takes off.

Barry removes the elder Trickster from City Hall and demands to know where Henry Allen is. Not so coincidentally, Iris is within earshot. That might come back later. They attach a bomb like device to Barry’s left wrist. He must maintain 600 mph or like in the movie Speed, the bomb will go off. While running, Wells tells Barry of theory. If we operate under the premise that Wells is the Reverse Flash, this would be speaking from first hand knowledge. If Barry runs fast enough into a wall, he will move through the wall leaving the bomb behind. Which works like a charm. His cells became one with the air, allowing him to not only run through the wall but through an entire gas truck.

Barry races back to City Hall and administers the antidote. Then again, demands to know where Henry Allen is. He runs there, pulls his Dad out bypassing all the little boobie traps. The Flash stands before Henry Allen. A smile creeps in over Henry’s face as Barry removes his mask. Eventually, Henry stands in the control center of Star Labs and is blown away by the science of today.

As Henry leaves with Joe (sans handcuffs), Wells tells Barry that he’s lucky to have such a wonderful man as his father. Barry does a good job selling his response. “I’m lucky to have you too”. Barry turns to walk away and the fury is visible in his face.

Flashback. Wells pulls himself out of the wrecked car. The strange man identifies himself as Eobard Thawne (which makes a little more sense as this guy looks a lot more like Eddie Thawne than Harrison Wells ever could). As it turns out, Harrison Wells was a good guy. Thawne stuck a device in Wells’ chest and the other end into his own. Then transferred Wells’ likeness and dare I say essence into his own body as it destroyed Wells. Wells is Thawne, but not in the way we may have thought. In a much more direct and permanent way.

Joe calls Eddie in late that night. He sits Eddie down and tells him Iris cannot look into the Mason Bridge disappearance. Then The Flash arrives. Then takes off his mask. I know this sounds like a nice moment. The comic book story moment went the hero reveals himself to the right people in order to create his network of good. One major problem. Back before Barry screwed with the space/time continuum, Wells revealed his name (Eobart Thawne) to Cisco. Then suggested that Eddie is a ‘distant relative’. This may have short-term benefits, but long-term chaos.

Eddie informs Iris that Mason ‘moved to Brazil’. When she left for the kitchen, the three men (Joe, Eddie and Barry) speak about what’s next. Then Barry recalls the manner in which Wells spoke about how to run, not fast but the actual nuances of what it would feel like when he becomes one with the air molecules was as if he was speaking from experience.

Barry: I don’t know how, but I think he’s the man in yellow. Harrison Wells is the Reverse Flash.

NJATVS Preview: The Flash

Photo Courtesy Of CW
Photo Courtesy Of CW

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Regular readers of these pages know that this writer grew up as a huge comic book fan, during what’s known as the “Silver Age Of Comics,” (Late fifties to early seventies) and that I primarily read books from the DC Universe. Reading the tales of the Man Of Steel, The Caped Crusader, along with the Legion Of Superheroes, the Justice League Of America and Green Lantern, helped create the voracious reader that I am today. There’s one title I’ve yet to mention, as in some ways it was my favorite series, the stories of the Scarlet Speedster known as The Flash.

This is the season for “Comic-Book Television,” on the broadcast networks, as many shows try to capitalize on the success of “Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.” received last season. We’ve already scene the debut of “Gotham,” a story set when Bruce Wayne was a 12-year-old boy and future Commissioner James Gordon’s a newly minted detective. We previously previewed “Constantine,” based on another DC title “Hellblazer.”

I had low expectations heading into the pilot for the new CW version of “The Flash,” chief among them that it’s airing on the CW Network. Although I’m hopelessly addicted to the network’s series “Supernatural,” every other series I’ve sampled from the network has failed to satisfy this viewer, including the other DC property the network airs “Arrow,” the series that introduced Barry Allen, the secret identity of The Flash.

However without giving too much away, “The Flash,” far exceeded my expectations in all areas, writing, acting, directing, storyline and the pacing of the pilot. The series has taken the story that I grew up with and updated it for a modern audience and bringing in elements in the pilot that emanate from elsewhere in the DC Universe.

Jason Jones will recap the pilot after the show airs next Tuesday night at 8:00pm EDT, so I’m purposely playing this preview close to the vest. However, Fanboys, comic-book fans and fans of Sci-Fi and Fantasy rejoice, if the series retains the quality displayed in the pilot, “The Flash,” will enjoy a long and healthy run and possibly open the door for other members of the DC Universe.

The Flash Premieres Tuesday October 7, at 8:00pm on CW.