In this tense episode many plotlines come to a head as the team continues to break down the truth behind the enigma of Harrison Wells–while Iris begins to justify her value as an investigative reporter.
Whoa. Harrison Wells comes forward as Eobard Thawne, Eddie proposes marriage, Iris finally discovers the truth, Cisco sees sidewards in time, and Barry can put out fires with his arms. No, seriously. There's so much movement in this episode it even spills backward into the last.
Let's start with what's been my least favorite parts of this show: Iris and the love-triangle that has been hell. Eddie's pursuit of marriage with Iris has been equal parts cute and creepy for me: at times it's seemed as if he's vying for control of The Woman with Joe. And I don't like that. It's an extension of Barry's Identity Problem: at no point does anyone consider what Iris wants. Eddie does want to tell her - but I don't know completely if that's out of respect for Iris and her wishes or out of an attempt to cement that control of Iris. Meanwhile, the dormant feelings of romance for Barry seem to have been reawakened in Iris.
Iris by herself, outside of relationship dreck, is improving as a character. She pieced together a ton of stuff about STARLabs and Harrison Wells. She finally identified Barry - who's going to have to deal with the fallout from withholding his identity for so long. When she realizes who else knew, that's also going to blow–but I'm starting to like the idea of Iris taking a place on the team as an investigative reporter, even if I still shy away from the romance scenes.
The Wells identity plot finally comes to a head and we see that name, Eobard Thawne, brought over to this timeline. I think that Cisco's ability to see through timelines might be foreshadowing his character development; rumors are abounding that we're about to see a reveal of the superhero Vibe, and I believe I remember some physics and astronomy stuff about vibrational frequencies and dimensions and quantum gobbledygook. And of course Flash himself can vibrate through walls. We'll see.
More importantly than the pseudoscience: Cisco wins huge points in this episode for bravery, for his willingness to face death (yet again) and challenge the Reverse-Flash. And the previous episode wins huge points for putting one over on me; I was sure Everyman was going to be another cheesy one-off, but here it turns out that Wells was using him (and how did he get him to agree? His freedom?) as a stand-in... while getting the only thing that I can immediately think of to stop him: Eddie.
Yes, we have to remember: if Grandpa Eddie dies, then what happens to Eobard Thawne? Death doesn't even need to happen. He could get his tubes tied and adopt kids with Iris. There's lots of ways to change a future, it seems.
Now we have a team (almost) united, a supervillain more intelligent than the team itself, and a standalone investigative reporter who knows maybe more than she ought to... and apparently has no guidance from the Picture now that Mason Bridge is dead. The last three eps of the first season have been perfectly set up. I can't wait.
Bits and Pieces
The opening scene was so freaking tense I kept yelling at them to get out of Gideon's room! And then Barry zoomed them out. And Gideon's smirk when she tells Wells all is, well, well–it was just a great moment.
Can you see other superheroes on the newspaper? I need to go back and freeze frame.
Captain Singh and the wedding planning. Loved the moment.
I think Wells became sure they were on to him when Caitlin showed him the dream glasses she needed help with. And he went ahead and helped them because he really doesn't care anymore; he thinks he has the upper hand. Does that mean he managed to collect enough of whatever he was trying to collect from Barry?
The initial scene with Eddie asking Joe for Iris' hand in marriage - painful. I felt bad for Eddie. It was almost a harder side of Joe's hard side.
It seems Wells is sometimes nice because working with the team taught him humanity. I guess there's nothing left of the original Wells and we can be sure we are dealing only with Eobard Thawne. Which is sad, because I'd hoped the original Wells personality might resurface; will Tom Cavanagh stay on next season?
Four out of four dream glasses. Looking forward to next week!