We start with Mardon - but not poor dead Clyde Mardon; his brother Mark is out for blood, and apparently has somehow inherited not only Mardon's powers but his god complex. He tortures a morgue physician until he finds the name of his brother's killer: Detective Joe West fired the fatal bullet. While Liam McIntyre is unbelievably awesome in the role - and yet another extremely sexy bad-boy villain - I thought the origin of his powers was a huge plot hole. How do two people get the same powers?
I was also frustrated that this didn't become a Joe-centric episode. I thought we'd be following him being super in his own way. Not that this isn't a great episode, but I look forward to the day they centralize Joe. In any event, lots of concern: nobody wants Joe to die, but this guy looks like a heavy-hitter, even stronger than his brother.
Jump to a bowling alley, where Barry and Linda are planning to have fun. Oddly, Iris and Eddie are also there. The following scene is fraught with very stupid tension as Iris is clearly making a play for Barry, and in front of Eddie and Linda too. Neither of the partners likes feeling like a third wheel, and Iris comes off the least mature of the four; even Linda can't quite hide her disgust at the stupid-child relationship behavior when Barry and Eddie are called away to investigate Mardon's victim. Recognize your feelings, Iris, but be mature about it.
Iris' other plotline, that of being a pushy reporter, is slightly better, even though Mason Bridge provides more meat to it than she does. The Picture has sealed information showing Wells in front of the home of Simon Stagg, who later disappeared. Not quite what I was hoping for - I thought they'd show Wells standing in front of Grodd chewing up General Eiling - but enough evidence to raise questions in Barry, Cisco and Caitlin about whether their trust in Wells is appropriate or totally misplaced.
There's a moment that should be mentioned: while Barry's running he sees another speedster - someone who looks very much like himself. He's concerned and tells Wells, who looks interested and excited. Maybe too excited.
Meanwhile Joe gets attacked in the precinct; Cisco's luck holds long enough for him to get a message to Barry. He appears and uses the weather wand to make it impossible for Mardon to complete his attack; Mardon, somehow, manages to get away (the ending of this scene seemed kinda limp.) Notably, Captain Singh gets hurt in the attack and we get to meet his partner (fiancé! Work it!) in the hospital.
Cisco, of course, becomes worried by the increase in suspicion of Wells. Very worried, especially after everything with the Pied Piper and his work with Joe. This for me was one of the better parts of the episode. It's never easy to suspect someone you love. It's never easy to recognize when you've been betrayed. He has some evidence about Wells of his own - that the machine they used to trap the Man in the Yellow Suit didn't fail at all. He convinces Caitlin to get Wells out for coffee, but really, using Caitlin to distract someone with a SOCIAL ACTIVITY? The woman is wonderful and intelligent, but hardly glib and chatty. Caitlin works at keeping Wells busy in Jitters, but Wells figures it out: the jig is up. They know something.
Wells makes a calculated decision, abandons his wheelchair, rushes back to STAR Labs and confronts Cisco as Cisco discovers the Reverse-Flash Trap is actually a recorded fake: and comes out as Eobard Thawne, also known in the print comics as Professor Zoom, a man from the future and a distant descendant of Eddie. He also confesses to murdering Nora Allen, but says it was a mistake: it was Barry who was intended to die that night. Cisco wrestles with the truth of his betrayal and tries to make the best of the situation, but it's becoming clear that Wells is not going to show mercy, even though he loves Cisco "like a son". Cisco realizes his death is coming, but he doesn't beg or breakdown in tears - he stands and meets it, and I think this says something about the character. A well-acted scene.
During this very emotional moment, Joe has been captured by the Weather Wizard who intends torture. He literally gets sucked out of a window while investigating. Mardon ties him up and steals his phone to get Iris to come to Joe's side so he can kill her and exact terrible revenge.
Barry's there when Mardon calls and convinces Iris to stay–by coming out of the closet, much as Wells had in the previous scene. He stands before her as the Flash for a minute, then goes off to save the day.
The final scene was one of this series' true action bests, as Barry runs up and down the coast attempting to create a wall of wind to counter a coming tsunami created by a deranged madman. As Iris watches from nearby, as we mourn Cisco's death and worry about poor tortured Joe and whatever Wells will do, we watch the tsunami come closer and closer, and walls of wind begin to push the pressure back.
And then Barry blips.
And he's suddenly running beside himself.
And he stops. And he realizes he's gone back in time. To nearly the beginning of the episode.
Bits and Pieces
-The show opener was a montage of images and scenes from the first episode up until now. Loved it. Did anyone else have a flashback to the last episode of the fifth season of Buffy? Or similar montages from Supernatural?
-Clyde didn't know Mark had powers; he said he "didn't think there was anyone else like me" when he met the Flash. So I'm not sure Wells' explanation works. Do people with similar genetic backgrounds get similar powers? Can anyone out there explain what seems like a logical inconsistency?
-I'm really rooting for Linda Park after this episode.
-The previews for next week showed Cisco still alive, so I'm guessing at least some things will be undone by Barry's unintentional time trip. I'm not sure. If things CAN be undone - does that mean there's a chance of saving Nora Allen?
-I cheered for Eddie when he stood up for himself to Iris. He's right - Iris is basically playing with both he and Barry.
-I hate cliffhangers. I'm glad this will be resolved next week!
Joe: Being his fiance makes him family, Doctor. (My husband and I cheered!)
Caitlin: So Clyde Mardon has a brother?
Wells: And both brothers survived the plane crash, and then the dark matter released from the particle accelerator explosion affects them both in virtually the same way.
Barry: Yeah, only Mark's power seem to be a lot more precise. To be able to control the weather like that, indoors?
Cisco: You'd have to be a Weather Wizard. Ooh, I've been waiting since week one to use that one!
Caitlin: Trigeminal headache?
Caitlin: Trigeminal headache. Brain freeze.
Cisco: Then why don't you just call it a brain freeze?
Three and a half out of four trigeminal headaches!