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Courtesy of The CW/DC Comics

Courtesy of The CW/DC Comics

Warning: Spoiler Alert

We begin tonight, still in 1975. This time Finland 1975. Despite Aldus’ passing, he did leave behind his Vandal Savage little brown book. Rip thinks Savage may be in Finland. Kendra and Carter inquire as to why they can’t simply go back in time and save Aldus. Rip seems to take some level of enjoyment giving them the ‘Doc Brown’ explanation on just how easily time can fold over on itself by messing with events they were directly involved in. His pleas fall on deaf ears and his sense of control falls apart as well once Rip realizes his deception was not a small thing.

There is a meeting of rather unsavory characters, terrorists and a like meeting with Savage. The unorganized version of the Legends of Tomorrow attempt to infiltrate that meeting. Cold leads with his by now typical flair, the door man isn’t buying it. Once he sees this, Stein walks over and using his knowledge of world history and I assume channeling some sort of bad spy movie, Stein gets in the doorman’s face and gains entry. Actually a very satisfying moment for Dr. Stein.

Heat Wave (whispering to Stein): You’re a special kind of crazy. And I like it.

Cold believes this will be a quick snatch and grab. To this point no sign of Savage. The MC of the festivities gets everyone’s attention as Vandal Savage walks onto the stage. Savage is not a buyer he’s a seller. The bidding begins for a nuclear warhead when Savage gets that tingly spidey sense that alerts him to Kendra and Carter’s presence. In the concern to maintain their cover, Heat Wave fires his gun in the air signifying a bid. 120 Million dollars. No one else bid.

A minor fracas begins when Heat can’t keep his attitude to himself. Savage comes over to defuse the situation and looks to Stein. The question of payment comes up and Stein quickly makes it apparent that he doubts the warhead is operational. He did slip up by using the term “in this era” which naturally peaked Savages intrigue. Savage mounts the stage again and offers a 25% discount to any group that takes down our team. It doesn’t take long before Heat Wave begins burning stuff. The battle cry as it were that signals the rest of the team to spring into action.

The Hawks approach Savage with their ultimatum. He activates the warhead. Atom shrinks and flies into the warhead triggering a fail-safe that drops the clock down to :30. Firestorm (merged) grabs the warhead and flies it to a safe distance then waits for it to go off so he can absorb the nuclear energy. Not all is well as a piece of Atom’s suit fell off during the fight. When they get back on the ship, Rip grandstands about the colossal damage they have already done. That one little mistake causes Savage’s men to develop a weapon and control with chaos Central City circa 2016.

Two new important details arise almost simultaneously. One, Aldus was carrying an article about an Egyptian dagger. The same dagger used to kill Kendra and Carter in their first life. Use it while reading the incantation inscribed upon it and take out Savage. Two, Atom’s suit piece is made up of a material that is easily tracked by 2016’s standards. Luckily Dr. Stein was education his 25-year-old self in just that field of study. Current Stein plans to visit 25-year-old Stein.

Cold, Heat and Atom venture out to steal the dagger. Atom thinks he knows what he’s doing until Cold and Heat inform him he just tried to hack a dummy box security system access panel. Despite the guards quick response time, they gain access. Inside they find the dagger relatively quickly. Cold and Heat’s agenda don’t exactly jive with Atom’s. Atom thought they were there to retrieve the dagger. Cold and Heat were there to steal whatever they felt like. There little tissy caused a metal cage to trap them with the ‘goodie’ they haven’t yet stolen.

Jax and Sara are blown away that Dr. Stein was ever ‘cool’. They enjoy younger Stein. After turning down a ‘hit’ from younger Stein’s ‘doobie’, young Stein leaves to secure some cookie dough. Old Stein finds the Alpha Particle Tracker just as young Stein finds him holding it. Young Stein quickly lets it be known that he and his considerable intellect don’t buy the trio’s cover story. Old Stein gives a story about a profile in a prestigious magazine. Then Sara hits young Stein over the head knocking him out.

The tracker takes Stein, Jax and Sara right to the tech. Then Sara dismantled what little defense they had and steals the tech almost literally like candy from a baby. There is a significant problem. Young Stein did not go to the mixer he was set to attend. Without going to the mixer, he doesn’t meet his future wife. Aboard the ship, old Stein notices his wedding ring vanish. Then young Stein walks onto the ship demanding an explanation.

While Heat tries to locate the fuse box to reverse the cage trapping Atom and Cold the homeowner arrives home. Its Vandal Savage. There is the witty back and forth one would come to expect with this good vs evil vs still kind of evil but playing on the side of good. Savage finds one of their coms and invites them to call their friends.

Firestorm arrives first and knocks Savage out. They meet up with the ‘Hawks’ outside. They hand over the dagger to Carter. Once again, as if they were telegraphing what won’t happen on purpose, they keep saying something to the effect of “let’s end this now, once and for all”. Which would make for a very short television series.

Savages men descend upon the property with big numbers while the ‘Hawks’ tend to Savage himself. Inside is a 2 on 1 fight that still seems to be favoring the 1, while outside is superhero destruction. Carter gets Savage in a compromised position. With the dagger in hand he recites the poem that Kendra had to translate, he stabs Savage. It doesn’t take long to discover that Savage is just toying with them. It was Kendra’s knife so Kendra has to wield it. Savage in turn stabs Carter. Carter looks at Kendra and says, “come back to me” before he dies in her arms. Kendra fights back but poorly. Savage stabs her in her side while delivering a nice monologue about the circle of death that imprisons them both. Before he can finish, he’s blasted out of the room.

The team gets Kendra back on the ship and Gideon begins working on her injury. Then that’s where Kendra goes hysterical. Rip talks her down until she falls asleep, rather quickly actually. Due to her condition, the ship cannot time jump for fear of worsening Kendra’s condition. In the meantime, Rip has something he’d like to show Dr. Stein. They return to the campus where young Stein spends his time. Rip made a call and convinced young Stein to keep his Faculty Mixer obligation, where he would inevitably meet the future Mrs. Stein.

They return to the ship and Rip puts the future of these Legends of Tomorrow in their own hands. Contrary to how the team felt early in last week’s episode, all are in complete agreement. Atom of course is on board as he can’t accept a life that doesn’t impact others. Both halves of Firestorm are voluntarily on board. And even the death of Carter seems to bring this group together. And even Cold adds his two cents with a little clever wordplay just for good measure.

Captain Cold: Look, we didn’t know Carter from Adam (Atom). But if you take out one of my crew, you’re going to pay the price.

With one strong display of solidarity, the team seems unified. And all of their mistakes not withstanding, Dr. Stein looks to Rip Hunter and as if he were speaking for the entire crew restored command control to Rip. “Where do we go next, Captain”.

Courtesy of The CW and DC Comics

Courtesy of The CW and DC Comics

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The newest inception of a Superhero narrative begins tonight with the series premiere of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. If you’re one of the few uninitiated, Legends of Tomorrow is essentially a spin-off from both Arrow and The Flash, with what I at least hope will feed some very epic crossover episodes. The Atom-Ray Palmer, Sara Lance, Firestorm-Dr. Martin Stein and Jax, Captain Cold-Leonard Snart, Heatwave-Mick Rory, Carter Hall-Hawkman, Kendra Saunders-Hawkgirl, and Rip Hunter will plan to bounce through the fabric of time and space doing whatever they can to prevent Vandal Savage (an immortal and the bad guy) from becoming the villain he is to become.

Our story begins in London in the year 2166. Vandal Savage has journey through human existence acquiring skills and knowledge along the path of world domination. In 2166, he has conquered the known world. Our first glimpse into his terror comes at the field execution of a seemingly innocent mother and her son, Jonas. A relative Time Lord (Time Master in this realm) by the name of Rip Hunter does his level best to convince the Time Masters Council that he be granted permission to travel through time and change history when necessary to prevent Vandal Savage from reeking the havoc they know he will.

Rip boards his ship and we see our first crossover element. Rip doesn’t need a crew to fly his time ship, only a singular consciousness. Gideon. What follows is a series of short segments showing Rip ‘recruiting’ the previously mentioned team of eight. While Rip speaks with a certain gravitas, not all eight are on board.

As predicted Captain Cold and Heatwave (criminals in their own right)reject the idea of being heroes on spec. Jax, the youngest and newest hero, is logically hesitant. Hawkman and Hawkgirl are in based on their tie to Vandal Savage. Going back to a previous Flash episode, Carter and Kendra were the source of Vandal’s rage centuries ago. He must kill them, but due to a spell from Kendra’s previous self, they reincarnate every time he kills them. It begins to look grim when Rip pulls out the big guns.

Rip: I know its difficult for you to fathom but where…when I come from, the year 2166, you, everyone on this roof aren’t just considered heroes. You’re legends.

The not quite team has six hours before making their decision and meeting up with Rip, they individually try to come to grips with the weight of this venture. Ray is absolutely on board. He died once already (well, not really) and was instantly forgotten. He would like to leave an impact on the world. Kendra who can’t remember any of her previous lives, is scared. Assuming that Vandal is unbeatable, she is ready to run. Carter convinces her otherwise. White Canary and Black Canary spar while Sara explains to Laurel the proposition. Laurel convinces Sara to become take the mantle of the White Canary. Heatwave and Captain Cold were a little easier. They could bounce around time stealing things without the pesky nuisance of technology to stop them. The most difficult of all is Jax. He wants no part of this. So Professor Stein decides to go without him and offers a toast and a drink. Predictably, Jax passes out from whatever Stein slipped in his drink.

At the rendezvous point our team that isn’t yet, look around to find nothing. Ray even suggests they’ve been punk’d. Then Rip emerges and reveals his time ship. The imagery is shades of Star Trek IV when they decloaked the Klingon Bird of Prey. “It’s called the Wave Rider”. Inside, Rip explains that they cannot find or track Vandal, but they will travel to the man who can. A man with a unique connection to all of this, Dr. Aldus Boardman.

They catch Dr. Boardman asleep at his desk. He stirs awake but before he can wipe his eyes, he immediately recognizes two of the eight. Calling them by their original names, Dr. Boardman knows exactly who Kendra and Carter are. His mother and father from a previous incarnation of themselves. Dr. Boardman explains how Vandal Savage lurks in the shadows of nearly every bad event in human history. Nazi Germany, the Kennedy assassination, and on. Rip interrupts the story to suggest that Dr. Boardman is aware of Vandal Savage’s current whereabouts.

Dr. Boardman: I have an educated guess.

Sara Lance, Snart and Rory decide to enjoy a little of the 1970s. They aren’t in a bar two minutes before Sara decides to let off a little steam. Dancing alone in this dive bar, a large biker walks over and tries to ‘suggest’ she join him in the parking lot. What follows is Sara, Snart, and Rory taking out the entire bar. Outside, Jax tries to convince Gideon to take him back to 2016. As she rejects his idea, the Wave Runner begins taking on heavy fire from a bounty hunter named Kronos.

The team arrives just before Kronos gets tor breach the ship. Stein makes a move to enter the ship to merge with Jax. Kronos is getting of many shots as the team was not prepared for a fight. Kendra and Carter are the only ones in costume. Stein gets to Jax in time but now, Kronos is bearing down on Rip. At the last possible second Kronos gets tagged by a red muscle car.

Snart: We go out for one lousy drink you manage to pick a fight with Boba Fett.

Kronos gets to his feet as Firestorm and Atom emerge. Kronos is able to hit Dr. Boardman but that’s about it. On board the ship, Rip rants and raves about the colossal missteps that just occurred. Kendra ends that pretty quickly with a right cross and a demand of the truth considering her son is hurt because of this latest time jump.

It turns out that Rip ‘was’ under the employ of the Council of Time Masters. Kronos is one of theirs. The fabric of time and space is fragile. As it were, Rip lied about his standing with the council and the whole ‘legends’ part. He chose these eight because a hundred years from now, their lives will have no impact on the timeline. Still, Ray pushes further, suggesting there must be a more personal reason for this quest. Against the wishes of the council, Rip fell in love with a woman and they had a son. A son named, Jonas.

Rip shares his pain and its in abundantly clear that not everyone is willing to turn a blind eye and automatically return to their lives. It will take time. Dr. Stein suggests they weigh their options which is convenient since the ship must be repaired and a time jump would not be advised until Dr. Boardman stabilizes. Despite their initial instincts, all members of the team decide to stay on. If in some not so small measure to change their futures. Be the heroes (or villains) that would affect the timeline.

This moment is not without loss though as Dr. Boardman has passed away. Gideon plots a course to find Vandal based on a theory by Dr. Boardman. Meanwhile in Norway 1975, we see Vandal and his men secure a nuclear warhead. See how this pilot episode two parter concludes next Thursday here, at NJATVS.

Courtesy of The CW

Courtesy of The CW

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Tonight we are blessed with an Iris West monologue voice over, incredible. Can you sense my sarcasm. She is certain that Barry is the Flash and is being rather snooty about it. Eddie is still missing. Iris uses this as an opportunity to lay out that Eddie was taken by the man in yellow to see how Barry will respond. He responds predictably and of course Iris does what Iris does. Takes everything the wrong way.

Someone has been stealing minted gold bricks. The man in question attempts to strike again, looking a little like Deadshot. But this is not Arrow. Or is this just another crossover? Barry confronts the man and walks closer. Suddenly, Barry experiences some sort of painful deja vu. As does our heavily armed masked man. Just then, Iris walks in acting snooty and condescending.

The ensuing conversation did not go well. As expected. Suffice it to say, Iris is completely bent out of shape because everyone close to her knew and she didn’t. She’s also pulling the “its time you all stop protecting me” card.

Eddie is strapped to a chair when Wells climbs down a ladder into that room. Wells so far, has no intention to telling Eddie what his plan is. But that will have to wait. Joe preemptively finds Iris. She stays on her soap box and eventually brings this back around to Joe knowing how Barry felt about her. As if that’s his job, like middle school kids passing notes. There are a lot of insensitive things I’d like to say about the Iris West character, but I will refrain.

The authorities (including Joe) plan to transport some of the gold bars in an ice cream truck to draw out the armed man. And it works. The masked man takes out everyone except Joe. Before Joe can take the shot, Barry shows up and tosses the man into the side of the truck. With the man incapacitated, Joe pulls back his mask. Its General Eiling. Problem is, General Eiling is played by Clancy Brown, not a small guy. Could be a trick, could be bad cinematography, but something doesn’t add up.

Eiling appears to be under some kind of trans. He looks at Barry and mutters ‘The Flash’. Then before they can ask the next question, in that very gravely voice he says, “Eiling not here. Eiling Bad.” He looks over at Caitlin and identifies her as good. This continues until the moment at least half of the viewers were waiting for. Barry asks if you’re not Eiling…?

Eiling: I. Am. Grodd. Fear me.
Barry: What’s a Grodd?

Caitlin’s theory is that somehow, Grodd is using some form of telepathy to control Eiling. There’s also the coincidence that Wells saved Grodd from Eiling. Wells’ particle accelerator exploded releasing Grodd. And Grodd shows up only after Wells/Thawne was outed. Then Iris arrives to inject herself into the situation. Illogically, Iris has an angle that will help. They are in the sewers. A prospect that Cisco is not thrilled to be a part of.

Joe, Barry and Cisco make their way through the sewers finding chalk drawings made by Grodd (he essentially signed them). Then they hear an animal sound. Whatever caused Barry’s deja vu of fear episode, is doing it again. Barry somehow gets thrown against the wall and is out cold when Joe gets pulled up and out of sight. Joe comes to and goes for his gun and he hears heavy footsteps. Then involuntarily turns the gun on himself as the massive Grodd walks in.

Grodd makes him toss the gun and says “Father hate gun”. Grodd sniffs for a moment and Joe pulls out a banana. Grodd did not appreciate that. Apparently he hates bananas. Meanwhile, Eobard decides to let Eddie in on a little of the Thawne bloodline and its future history. Eddie being the only forgotten Thawne in existence. And, to add insult to injury, informs poor Eddie that he doesn’t even get the girl. I feel the creation of a villain emerging.

Cisco and Caitlin create a device for Barry to wear over his head to prevent Grodd’s mind control powers. The flares that Cisco dropped in the sewer are releasing steam into the sewer. Hoping this directs Grodd to a specific section of the sewer, Barry plans to employ the super-sonic punch. Grodd hears Barry coming and charges. In mid-flight he catches Barry’s fist and tosses him. Barry tries hitting him fast and it doesn’t do any damage. Minus the head-gear, Grodd is having a field day in Barry’s head. Then Iris steps in and speaks to him from Star Labs. “Stand up to him. Do it for me.”

He waits for a moment, then Grodd leaps at him in a very animalist attack. Barry waits until the last possible heartbeat and runs away. Just as a subway train takes Grodd abruptly out of the picture. Barry finds Joe an instant later.

The connection that Grodd had on Eiling has since dissipated and Barry releases him. They have a short and almost impolite conversation. Eiling has known about Barry being the Flash for a while with no intention of taking him down. Now Eiling is off to hunt Gorilla.

Barry finds Iris in her special spot and they have a heart to heart. A scene I could do without considering how bi-polar Iris has been this episode. Off in the distance of the not quite love confession, Grodd climbs up a building channeling his inner King Kong. He gets to the top, turns and leaps out…

Wells finishes working on something and says out loud that he’s got it, the key. He climbs up the ladder into a dark corridor. Then he sticks this cylindrical ‘key’ into a hole in cement. The key light up the corridor. I’d say it looks like Star Labs but it kind of doesn’t. Then he looks down the long massive hallway.

Wells: Time to go home.

Courtesy of The CW

Courtesy of The CW

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.

Iris: Barry…?

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.

Courtesy of The CW

Courtesy of The CW

Courtesy of The CW

Courtesy of The CW

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Barry monologues as we are used to in the beginning of this episode. As he does the camera passes a billboard that welcomes visitors to Coast City “Home of Ferris Airlines” a precursor to something that will make me squeal like a fangirl if it ever comes to fruition. All for a pizza run it would seem. Still, the nod to another Justice League member is worth noting.

A shape shifter has assumed the identity of a bank employee in order to steal items from safety deposit boxes. The surveillance footage seems undeniable, but the woman is emotionally steadfast that the image on the screen isn’t her.

Eddie follows a lead on the diamond thief attempting to sell stolen diamonds. Eddie tries to take the guy down and is unsuccessful. Barry arrives too late to assist but on time enough to find out definitively that this meta-human is indeed a shape shifter.

These crossovers are teetering on just becoming the way and not a must see television event. Joe and Cisco travel to Starling City to trace back all the way to the car accident that took Tess’ life and as we the viewers know, is where and when Eobard Thawne literally assumed the identity of the scientist known as Harrison Wells. They are seeking assistance from Captain Quentin Lance and at some point, I’m sure, Laurel Lance (the Black Canary). Right on cue, Laurel asks to speak with Cisco privately where she very quickly divulges that she knows that Barry is the Flash, Oliver Queen is the Arrow and she is the Black Canary. Then Cisco completely nerds out before confessing his sudden love for her, in a joking way. The Canary is looking for a little tech help in her own pursuits.

Caitlin follows Wells home and rings his doorbell, the moment before Wells opens the door Barry whisks her away preventing (one would infer) a horrendous misstep on Caitlin’s part.

Eddie and Barry visit the living grandmother of their prime suspect for the shape shifter. Granny really wants to get them something and excuses herself to get some coffee. Seconds later, she is nowhere to be found. This Hannibal grandson character, I’m certain at some point killed or at least stashed his own Grandmother. Eddie runs out the back door just in time to see the shifter shift. He gives chase. Barry calls it in to Star Labs. Wells and Caitlin reiterate not to get touched or reveal his speed to this meta-human.

Barry: Well how am I supposed to catch him?
Wells: The old-fashioned way. Run like a normal person.

Eddie continues to give chase when a squad car pulls up. At this point, I’m wondering why Eddie didn’t just shoot the shape shifter in his/her leg. Then Eddie shoots both officers. Clearly Eddie is not Eddie. With the footage from the dash-cam, Eddie is going to be spending some time in Iron Heights until Barry can prove the image shooting cops wasn’t really Eddie.

Captain Lance begrudgingly takes Joe and Cisco out to the scene of the accident. Cisco pulls out what looks like a metal detector. We all know better, it’s for detecting but not metal. The Chief and Joe chew the fat about daughters and secrets when Cisco yells out that he’s found something. Tachyons. The same used for time travel. Just as Joe asks if he’s sure, the coffee in Lance’s cup begins to levitate.

Barry brings lab results to the District Attorney in what he believes should at the very least get Eddie released. The DA does not see it that way. When she leaves, Eddie looks at Barry and says, “It’s hard to argue with her. The video is pretty damning. They’re going to put me away.” Then Barry pulls the only card left in the deck at this point. He grabs Eddie and runs the heck out of there. Eddie convinces Barry to return him and clear his name the proper way. By finding Hannibal Bates.

While at home to change quickly, there is a knock at the door. That should have been red flag #1. Barry turns his back for a moment and “Eddie” pulls out his gun and knocks Barry out with it. Then the one thing that can’t happen does. Bates touches him and morphs into Barry Allen. Then Caitlin shows up spouting to “Not Barry” that she may have found a way to prevent the shape shifter from shifting. Then like the dunce she’s being, invites him to join her back at Star Labs.

On the side of the road somewhere in Starling City, under the tachyon readings, Joe unearths the corpse of a dead man.

The shape shifter is picking up the wrong signals from Caitlin. So, at the very worst we get to see what it would look like if Barry Allen abruptly pursued Caitlin with the style and creep factor of Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man 3. Now Iris has joined the party. Just as Iris lays out the inconsistency in the dash-cam and how Eddie is not left-handed, Wells tases “Not Barry” for the same reason.

Iris just had to insist on taking the shape shifter in. At a stop light the shifter wakes and shifts into little girl screaming. Naturally, there just so happens to be a group of construction workers doing nothing to come to the little girl’s aid.

With a little work, Wells has discovered that Mr. Bates’ cells will only replicate visually. No risk of replicating powers. So hands back on the Meta-human. Barry finds Bates trying to pass off as an old lady in airport security. Barry is made instantly. Bates, now as a TSA agent, takes off running. Barry has him cornered when Bates shifts into Caitlin causing a momentary hesitation on Barry’s part and causing me to yell “COME ON!” at my television. And now he’s fighting Iris. And now Eddie. And eventually The Flash.

Looks like Wells was wrong. When Bates shifted into the Flash, he was the Flash. Speed and all. Difference being, the real Barry has been training to improve his speed. The real Barry is just faster. He gains the upper hand and injects the serum that is supposed to halt the metamorphosis. It runs him through all the identities he’s shifted into and stops on Iris.

Back at the precinct, Barry shows Singh and the DA surveillance video from the airport. As incontrovertible as the dash-cam footage seemed, this is even more convincing. Eddie has been released and now the Chief of Police and the DA now know they are up against an enemy they are not equipped to handle. Luckily there is the Flash.

With Bates locked up at Star Labs, there is one more very significant piece of information Barry needs to show Caitlin. Joe and Cisco have brought he remains of what once was Harrison Wells back to the lab. Cisco’s run the DNA, it is a perfect match. This corpse in Harrison Wells.

Wells shows up at the precinct to give his regards to Detective Thawne and starts a conversation with Joe. About the memories of Tess in Starling City and the sense of loss, specifically pertaining to Tess and Iris’ mother. Joe gives up literally zero about Iris’ mother, but Wells finds a way to relate the two men as part of a small club. Endearing himself on some temporary level.

At Star Labs, Cisco is running a test of the 3D model of the building, looking for anywhere to hide something. Cisco grabs his tachyon metal detector and picks up activity along the wall they suspect has a secret room (THE BRAILLE ROOM). In short order they not only find the wall but Barry is able to open it. Inside the first thing that illuminates is the Reverse Flash suit. Then Barry turns to find the futuristic news paper hologram.

“Flash Missing Vanishes In Crisis”.

Courtesy of The CW and IGN

Courtesy of The CW and IGN

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Barry, Joe and Eddie are working together to prevent multiple armed robbery. The one ‘yeah but’ is that Eddie doesn’t seem as thrilled as the other two with the expediency in which these crimes are being dealt with.

Reluctantly at Star Labs, the team discovers that bees are the reason an innocent woman is now dead. Cisco’s paranoia about bees is almost comical. Just as Barry says, “I think I can outrun a bee”, Felicity Smoak enters the facility. Never a bad day when we get a nice Felicity crossover. She asks them to accompany her outside. As the ATOM (played by Brandon Routh who also played Kal-El in the most forgettable version of Superman in Returns) makes his appearance, they went there. The CW has no shame and went there.

Caitlin: It’s a bird.
Cisco: It’s a plane.
Felicity: It’s my boyfriend.

In the lab there is jealousy on Barry’s behalf. Awkwardness coming from Felicity and Ray. Cisco seems geeked to get his hands on the ATOM suit. And Harrison seems leery of Barry’s behavior.

Eddie is finding it more and more difficult to effectively keep the secret from Iris. He even made the mistake of complaining about his more intimate endeavors with Iris to Joe. Which never goes over well. Eddie then finds Barry with Felicity drinking coffee. What is it about Central City, young adults, and the addiction to coffee?

Cisco and Ray work together to improve the ATOM’s suit performance when Ray says something that triggers a flashback that technically speaking, never happened. Ray said, “You really are quite clever, Cisco”. The exact words that Harrison/Reverse Flash/Thawne said to him before he killed Cisco.

There is another bee attack. This time Barry is too late. And there is no sign of the bees. Then all of them fly out of the dead body Barry stands in front of. As fast as he ran, there were just too many of them. He gets outside and they disperse, but not before Barry experiences cardiac arrest. Joe attempts CPR until Cisco tells him to step back, there are defibrillators inside the suit. They revive him just in time.

At Star Labs there is a noticeable awkwardness. Barry couldn’t get out because Cisco was using outdated schematics. Felicity makes a joke about Cisco not trying to kill him, but the suspicion of Harrison Wells might just be spilling over. Once given the all clear, Barry speeds off to get dressed for the triple dinner date. There was also a bee left in Barry’s suit. If these are robotic, like they seem to be, that could spell trouble for everyone in Star labs.

Cisco drops in to talk with Joe. He’s picking up on Barry’s behavior. Joe deflects, then suggests that Barry might be worried about the next time the Reverse Flash shows up. Thus, triggering another flashback in Cisco’s mind that he’s not supposed to remember.

The dinner date is going horribly, especially since Barry is playing the third wheel. Barry walks out to get some air and Felicity follows. She now needs to know what is going on and will not accept “bad time” as an answer. Reluctantly, Barry lets her in on the issue with Harrison Wells and the confusion towards who he can trust. Today’s bee incident not helping that cause in the slightest. They luckily get called back to Star Labs, they found the bee. Barry captures the bee quickly. Then Cisco and Caitlin discover that it’s not a bee, it’s a robot.

A quick stop at Mercury Labs and the team has the identity of the ‘queen bee’. Meanwhile, Barry meets with Felicity about the current Wells/Cisco/Caitlin situation. By the end, Felicity’s take is to trust your friends. A concept Barry is struggling with.

Barry arrives home to find Iris there. She standing firm on her insistence to act bitchy towards Eddie. Is Eddie hiding something from her? Yes. It’s not another woman, so get over it. But, Barry gives a very plausible and in no way accurate explanation that she sincerely buys. Despite the fact that she’s surprised Barry would go to such lengths to have Eddie’s back on this.

The bees are en route to a new target. Mercury Labs. Barry can’t take on a swarm of robotic bees again with his defibrillator damaged, so Ray offers to go. Ray protects the target, Barry pursues the source only to find out that the source has many many more bees at her disposal. Good news is that Felicity has hacked the frequency. Bree, the queen bee, is not bad herself.

Felicity: Barry, I have them. I’m controlling the bees.
Bree: I’m the queen of this hive.
Felicity: She’s good. She’s like my nemesis. I’ve never had a nemesis before, I kinda like it.

Side note. Cisco and Ray Palmer are engaged in a real bro-mance. Cisco takes a ‘bee’ for Ray and almost dies. Barry arrives in time to use his talents to jump start Cisco’s heart.

In the end, Felicity’s skills win the day. She even has a ‘drop the mic’ moment, but it’s just odd coming from her.

Dr. McGee drops in on Barry’s lab to apologize for refusing their help. Before she can leave, Barry asks about the tension between her and Wells. She, in a very simplistic way, explained that Harrison Wells became a different person after Tess died. As we saw in the last episode, the night Tess died, Harrison Wells did in fact become a different person. Eobard Thawne parading around in a Harrison Wells meat suit.

Despite Barry’s great spin on the Eddie situation, Iris continues to tow the hard-line on telling her everything.

Cisco and Caitlin arrive at Barry’s lab under the pretense that they are going to karaoke. When they arrive, Barry and Joe look somber and the evidence board is open. Barry shows them what they have on the Reverse Flash and what they have on Harrison Wells. Caitlin is immediately defensive about the prospect. Cisco is silent. Until he is not.

Caitlin: Cisco. Say something.
Cisco: I’ve been having these dreams. Mostly at night but sometimes during the day. But they don’t really feel like dreams. They feel real.
Barry: What happens in the dream?
Cisco (looking at Caitlin): Dr. Wells is the Reverse Flash. And he kills me.

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.

Courtesy of the CW

Courtesy of the CW

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Call me crazy but, the show runners at The Flash are either running a repeat episode or this is going to be an episode about the space/time continuum. Barry arrives at the scene of the crime of last week’s episode. The dead coroner. Killed by hail. From inside the building. It takes a great deal of restraint not to go ‘Groundhog Day’ on every answer to every question.

Caitlin and Cisco chat while walking through the halls of Star Labs. That’s right, it wasn’t a typo. I said Cisco. Remember space/time continuum. In Star Labs, Barry has little reason to show restraint. Now he’s answering everything before the respective speaker can even say it. Then Wells asks Barry for ‘a moment’. Wells wants nothing to do with knowing what Barry experienced during his one day of temporal reversion. Barry is to do day 2 the same exact way he did day 1, to keep time intact.

I have a feeling we will be referencing a check list. Cisco is not dead yet, check. Now Captain Singh also not dead yet, check. Joe plans on doing whatever it takes to not rupture the space/time continuum. And just like that, Barry disregards his instructions. He races to the Marden location that Joe will be ripped from later, and snatches Marden right then. They lock up Marden at Star Labs and Wells is not happy.

If seeing Marden again wasn’t deja vu’ey enough, Captain Cold and Mick Rory are back taking down a local mafia family.

Barry is trying to replicate the speed that sent him back when Joe walks in, not looking terribly pleased. Joe wanted to take down Marden and Barry is keeping a very big something from him. Barry’s response to that, “you’re just going to have to trust me”.

At Cisco’s brother’s birthday party (to which Caitlin offered to join) things are going just as Cisco predicted. His family is… …an adjective I’d rather not use presently. Dante (the brother) apparently is a musical prodigy of some sort. So being a young, brilliant, man of science (Cisco) is underachieving.

Barry meets Linda for their lunch date and she dives right into another relationship conversation some might believe should be had in the abstract. Because Barry doesn’t “burn for her”, that seems to be that. Barry redirects his attention towards Iris. Probably to save her from finding out he’s the Flash later in the episode as opposed to just trying to steal her away from Eddie.

Cisco gets hit on by an attractive structural engineer. Cisco’s great and all, but even he’s probably thinking he’s out kicked the coverage on this one. My spidey-sense is going crazy. And as it turns out, accurately so. This woman is the sister to none other than, Captain Cold. This was all a rouse. A rouse to get Cisco to make the heat and cold guns again, and if not, bad things with happen to brother Dante. And now, even sister Snart has a Cisco original.

Wells has said repeatedly in this episode that time has a way of correcting the rift in the space/time continuum. Barry saved Joe and prevented the tidal wave. At some point in the future, something will be taken from Barry to balance the scales. We are seeing what that something is. Unlike last week, nothing has changed for Iris. The realization that she indeed has feelings for Barry, is not happening now. He’s trying to anticipate what he believes will happen. Can you feel the string unraveling?

The Snarts hit the mob run casino. Not for the money, but for a statement. Barry shows up to foil the plans. He turns the gold gun on sister Lisa. Then Cold informs Barry of the status of Cisco. Threatening to mail frozen pieces of him back to his family. Joe arrives on the scene and Barry gives him the bad news. Barry tries to leave when Eddie cold cocks him with a punch that could be seen as a cheap shot.

At Star Labs, Barry desperately needs to talk to someone about the variance between this today and the previous one. Wells eventually permits it. Iris’ feelings aren’t jarred loose because the tidal wave never came, Joe was never in danger, and Barry doesn’t have to save everyone. The more important detail here is, if all of that is altered from changing some subtle details from repeating yesterday over again, then what would the carnage look like if Barry goes back 15 years and prevents the death of his mother?

Awaiting their fate, Cisco and Dante have the kind of conversation that tends to bring siblings together. Dante lied about Cisco’s future plans in order to steal away what should have been Cisco’s future girlfriend. Even going so far to admit the favored son is really a sham. A jealous, fearful brother living a lie. Dante decides to try to make amends for living a fearful life and makes a run at Mick, which fails miserably. All culminating to the question Cisco can’t, or at least shouldn’t answer. Even if the match to the fuse is the health of his concert pianist brother’s frozen fingers. Who is the Flash?

When Cisco arrives at Star Labs he comes clean on how he’s free. Barry reassured him that he is not at fault, Barry is. Then Cisco in a manner of speaking falls on his own sword. Claiming that he doesn’t deserve to be in Star Labs, and leaves. Before he can collect his stuff and leave, Wells escorts Cisco to the very place where Wells killed Cisco in the previous version of today. Except this time, the speech from Wells is about being human. Then there comes the reference to seeing Cisco as the son he never had. Which I believe will come back up in a future episode. Also the ‘choosing between two people you love’ feels like the show runners tipping their hand.

The casino job was not intended to be a robbery. Protocol dictates that when a casino gets hit, the money needs to be moved. Snart knew that and was waiting for them to move the money and thus leave said money vulnerable away from the security of the casino. Barry arrives in time to prevent this from becoming a bad Fast and Furious scene.

Barry runs Snart into a secluded forest so they can talk. A relative stalemate. Snart has the ability to release Barry’s identity remotely. Barry is not going to permit Snart to reign free. So the compromise is that Snart and all of his people do what they do without killing anyone again, or Barry gladly trades his anonymity to take them down.

Barry heads to the coffee shop in what looks like an attempt to make things right with Eddie. To his surprise, Caitlin has been doing the heavy lifting convincing them that Barry suffers from occasional Lightening Psychosis. Or side effects from being struck by lightning. And they buy it hook, line and sinker. Here’s a random thought, as a man who is closer to his forties than his twenties, I’d like to ask why the CW thinks twenty somethings all drink that much coffee. There isn’t a single other place friends can meet? Just coffee?

The Reverse Flash pays a visit to the seasoned reporter looking to expose Harrison Wells. Pretty straight forward, he gets the guy to give up that all he knows is on his computer’s hard drive. Which gets wiped, by hand actually. Then Mason, the reporter, is killed in the same fashion as Cisco previously, but in reverse.

Barry and Wells are alone in Star Labs having a very typical conversation when Barry begins to tell Wells about Mason Bridge’s pursuit to prove that Wells is not what he says he is. Just then a news report appears on Barry’s screen that Mason Bridge is reported missing. Barry abruptly ends the conversation and leaves. This marks the first time that Barry has become skeptical of Wells. Then Barry asks Joe to meet him in his lab.

Barry: I think you were right about Wells.
Joe: Which part?
Barry: All of it…

Courtesy of The CW

Courtesy of The CW

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Mark Mardon, that last name should sound familiar because Clive Mardon was the first meta-human we were introduced to, walks into the morgue demanding to know the identity of who killed Clive Mardon almost six months ago. The answer of course is Joe West.

After the call came in about the morgue killing (you didn’t think they’d leave the coroner alive did you?) Barry takes off to the scene of the crime. In full gear Barry races towards the morgue but is distracted. As he’s running, he sees over his shoulder matching his speed an image that looks just like him. Not the Reverse Flash or a different speedster, but just like Barry. Dark red suit and all.

I’m required to mention the cold shoulder that Eddie is giving Iris after the previous night’s double date. Always feeling like the third wheel whenever Barry is around. Moving on.

While Joe and Barry enjoy lunch in the car, Barry asks for advice he shouldn’t be asking Joe for. As Joe put it, “You’re asking your adopted father about being in love with his daughter who is dating his partner.” Then it started to rain. Hard. Mardon is right behind them. He sends lightning into Joe’s car but Barry was able to get Joe out in time. Upon returning to the precinct, Joe gets put on desk duty until Mardon is detained.

Mason, Iris’ professional mentor has a file on Harrison Wells and flat-out asks her to do her own digging, starting with her friends. True to form, the naiveté of Barry leads him to tell Iris that Harrison Wells is a good man and there is no story there.

Mardon walks right into the precinct and announces himself. In the early moments, Mark Mardon is rather civil. After Mark suggests that many people will be hurt in the process of hurting Joe, Joe lunges for the ‘wizard wand’ Cisco made to protect Joe from Mark’s powers. Joe doesn’t get there in time. Captain Singh dives shoving Joe to the side and taking a lightening bolt to the torso in the process. Barry arrives in time to grab the wand and neutralize Mardon’s powers. Mardon escapes. Barry grabs Captain Singh and runs out of there too.

At Star Labs Cisco looks detached. Caitlin walks up and he is still in a daze. Then he asks her, “what do you think of Wells”? This is the third reference to the idea that Harrison Wells is not exactly who they think he is. Cisco is picking up on some of the breadcrumbs. Then he asks Caitlin to do something that may be tricky.

Cisco: Can you keep Wells out of Star Labs tomorrow morning?

At the hospital, the news is not good. Early indications are that Captain Singh may never walk again and he may not even return to being the man they once knew. With Singh’s fiance in the room Joe begins to storm out. Barry tries to stop him but he’s determined. Mardon used the word ‘avenge’ in combination with the inability to protect one’s family. In Joe’s mind, that puts Iris and Barry at risk. Joe then demands that Barry watch over Iris, never to leave her side.

Cisco is at Star Labs attempting to do something with the trap that the Reverse Flash escaped from in order to determine how he was able to escape. The readings confuse Cisco. He walks towards one side of the apparatus when the Reverse Flash appears in the trap. Across town, Caitlin sits down for coffee and eggs with Wells. Caitlin is not good at lying and Harrison can read that. He gives her some theory about how they might be able to find Mardon, but they’ll need Cisco. She goes to get the coffee to go. When she turns around Harrison’s wheel chair is empty and his glasses are on the table.

Eddie anticipating Joe’s next move meets him at the former Mardon spot, an old run down apartment building. Inside they find a newspaper left intentionally. Then we notice a window open. Before they can figure out what the next move is, Joe gets sucked out of the apartment in a hurry. Like the wind grabbed him. Joe wakes up on a fishing boat, handcuffed, bloody and sporting a broken leg. Mardon calls Iris and gives her the typical, “If you want to see him alive, come alone” bit. She decides to tell and bring Barry.

While Cisco watches the Reverse Flash in the trap, he hears a familiar voice finish the Reverse Flash’s sentence. Cisco turns slowly. The voice belongs to Harrison Wells. Who is standing without glasses in the same room with Cisco. Cisco has tears in his eyes when he proclaims that Harrison is the Reverse Flash.

Harrison: You are incredibly clever Cisco. I’ve always said so.
Cisco: You’re him. The Reverse Flash.
Harrison: You and I have never been truly properly introduced. I am Ubart Thawne.
Cisco: Thawne? Like Eddie.
Harrison: Let’s call him a distant relative.

Cisco asks about that night. There were two. Harrison takes a moment, and separates into two different but identical people. Or so that’s how it appears. He calls it a sort of speedster mirage. Harrison Wells was not in Barry’s home 15 years ago to kill Nora Allen. He was there to kill Barry. There is a connection to Barry’s increasing speed that somehow is the answer to returning Harrison Wells/Ubart Thawne/Professor Zoom back to his world. And nothing will stop that from happening, as he slowly looks towards Cisco.

Cisco is now as close to full on crying as one can get before actually doing it. He even offers to help Wells in this endeavor. Wells tells him that he has been like a son to Wells. Then stabs Cisco through the chest with his hand. Then Wells utters, “but to me, you’ve been dead for centuries”.
Barry and Iris arrive at the waterfront. The storm is over the water. Barry sincerely tries to get her to get as far away as possible. She interrupts him and starts in on how she can’t stop thinking about him since his confession of love for her. Really? Is now the best time for this? And then there’s a kiss. About time, he’s only grabbed the back of her neck romantically three times in this episode.

Mardon doesn’t want to hurt Iris or Barry. He wants to hurt Iris and Barry and everyone else within a certain radius. He is creating a tsunami. He calls Caitlin for tactical advise. She tries to tell him about Wells, but Barry cuts her off. He will have to run back and forth fast enough to create a wall of wind to subdue the tsunami. He hangs up the phone and looks at Iris with apologetic eyes.

Barry: I am so sorry. I did not want you to find out this way.
(He becomes a blur, then stands still before her in his Flash suit)
Barry: Now RUN!

Barry begins running as fast as he can creating a wall of wind in front of the coast protecting the city and its inhabitants. He runs so fast that he sees what is now believed to have been a speedster mirage of himself from the beginning of the episode. Barry stops running to find himself in the exact same place and time as the beginning of the episode. Barry effectively ran so fast he did time travel. A few days as opposed to fifteen years, but time travel nonetheless.

Collage Designed And Created By Jason Jones

Collage Designed And Created By Jason Jones

Although the landscape of Television’s changed dramatically, since it first became embraced by Americans in 1947, in many ways TV hasn’t changed at all. Most viewers have no idea, why the Prime-Time schedule, kicks off in September, (the answer’s revealed below) or that the tradition’s a carry-over from radio. The question in 2015, however is if a system that originated in the early 1930’s in another medium, still works for Television today? The most frequent complaint I receive about Television’s, why do shows go on either extended, or frequent hiatuses, during the TV season. The answer’s due to maintaining the same structure that TV used during its first 20-years, of popularity, does that formula still work today?

Television first started becoming commercially viable in the United States, nearly 70-years ago and though many of that era’s shows, now seem crude and rudimentary, others developed formats still in use today. Many of the first Television stars, made the transfer over from radio, which entertained Americans, for nearly the two previous decades. Others, were former vaudevillians like Milton Berle who got dubbed “Mr. Television,” in the late forties and dominated homes on Tuesday nights. New York City reported that the water pressure would change radically, during commercials, due to the mass exodus to the bathroom.

Why does the Prime-Time schedule begin in September? Because that’s when American car manufacturers, a major advertiser on Radio and TV, introduced their new model’s for the following year. For the first few episodes of every season, the programs were loaded with automobile manufacturers, touting all the new models of their cars. Pretty much a case of the tail wagging the dog, but Radio and Television lived exclusively on advertising dollars. This was decades, before cable and satellite radio, where subscriptions, pay the bills.

The format started by radio, then carried over to TV, called for a show to run new episodes 39-weeks a year, then a Summer Series, would fill the void for the remaining 13-weeks. Audio-tape, didn’t exist during radio’s heyday, or videotape for many years in the world of television, so repeats were difficult to air. You’ve likely seen old TV shows on kinescope, a process where someone would actually use a movie camera aimed at Television screen, to send to the Western States, as we lacked the coast to coast coaxial cable setup we acquired in the sixties.

In the late sixties, the medium cut back new episodes to 26, to fill those 39-weeks, thus the repeat came into being. If you watched the show weekly, you got disappointed when repeats aired, however in the days before DVRs and VCRs, it gave viewers a chance to catch shows they missed the first time around. It also encouraged viewers to watch other shows, some of which became massive hits, after getting low-numbers earlier in the campaign.

Shows such as All In The Family, Hill Street Blues and Cheers, eventually all reached the number one spot in the Nielsen ratings, after looking like they’d get cancelled before its completion, started airing repeats. Of course the major networks, showed more patience with a show back then, especially if the series met the parameters of a quality show.

The networks altered the dynamics again, in the nineties, when they reduced their orders on episodes to just 22 per-season. Summer replacement series were no longer the norm, so more than half of the viewing year became repeat broadcasts. Cable networks, starting with HBO and Showtime, started producing Original Series, that began siphoning off a good percentage of the networks viewers. Before long, other networks, such as USA, AMC, TNT and A & E, followed suit. AMC of course produced two groundbreaking series in Breaking Bad and Mad Men and now have two new series, Halt And Catch Fire, which debuted last summer and Better Call Saul, which is currently airing.

TNT has become a prominent source of quality programming, introducing, Murder In The First, The Last Ship and Legends, last summer, all of which will return in a few months, for their second series. Our cousins from “Across The Pond,” have established BBCA, which includes the legendary series Doctor Who and one of my favorite series, The Musketeers, now in its second season.

To counter the competition, the networks introduced these “hiatus-periods,” for many of their series, sometimes replaced by limited run series, or a series of specials. We now commonly hear references to the fall season, or the winter season, in network promotions, terms that suddenly appeared out of nowhere a few years ago.

So now we’ve come full circle and face the question at the beginning of this article, does the system still work in 2015 and if not, then what can be done to improve things? With all the competition, from cable networks and new sources such as Netflix, Hulu-Plus and Amazon, is the system that the networks still hold into, now outmoded?

Many of the reasons behind the system still in use, are no longer relevant. During the days of radio shows and the first couple of decades of Television, Sponsors could host a TV show, leading to titles such as the Texaco Star Theater, Starring Milton Berle and the Kraft Music Hall. That changed due to a ruling in the late sixties and led to the variety of commercials we currently see. Secondly, there’s no longer the big kickoff to the model year for cars, so there really isn’t any reason, why the TV Campaign kicks off in September. With MLB playoffs and the World Series, the start of the NFL season and election coverage, once every four years, is September still the best time to start the season?

If we divide our 52-week year by four, we come up with the number 13. Would having four 13-week seasons of series, be preferable over the system now in place? After all how many series, can truly come up with 22 superior episodes, especially after the show’s been around the block for a while? For a series in its first couple of campaigns, the creative people are bursting at the seams with creativity, but as season ten of Supernatural attests to, it’s really rough creating 22 great episodes ten-years into a series. What if Supernatural only had 13-episodes this season and got supplemented by a spinoff series, concentrating on reoccurring character Charlie Bradbury, called The Adventures Of Charlie? Could something like that work for networks and viewers alike?

An idea that I’ve advocated for years, borrowing another concept from the British, limited run series, designed to tell an entire story in a ten-episode cycle, so the whole story’s completed in the show runner’s heads’ before they even hire a cast member. It’s actually recycling a concept from American TV in the seventies, when networks got hooked on miniseries. Some of those shows are now looked upon as some of the finest products in the history of the medium, unfortunately like most concepts in TV, it got overused and some very mediocre series, sullied the waters.

Perhaps by cutting back on older shows to 13-episode seasons, and making limited run series a part of their annual scheduling, the networks then could up the orders to new series, such as Forever, Gotham, Scorpion and other new series to a 26-week schedule to help eliminate those annoying breaks in the schedule.