In an episode that feels just as episodic as last week’s cliffhanger, we begin to learn more about Eobard Thawne and Harrison Wells, only to find out nothing we thought we knew was right; meanwhile, another villain joins The Flash cast.
This episode was a mix of flashbacks to Barry at the time of his mother’s murder and Barry and the team in the present day. As the flashbacks unfold we slowly find out more and more about what actually happened at the time to the Man in Yellow, Harrison Wells, and we begin to understand some of the contradictions in Wells’ behavior. In the meantime, Barry and the STAR Labs team are trying to solve the mystery of who's imitating the work of the serial killer known as the Trickster.
I don’t think it’s a mistake that Barry became supercentered on his father after the events of the previous episode. Think about it. One of his father figures is just not so any longer; he’s quickly lost all trust in Wells through suspicion. When the copycat Trickster attacks the city, his promise to his Dad to get him out of jail is seriously heart-wrenching. When Henry’s taken hostage (has anyone on this show not been taken hostage?) Barry’s totally freaked.
I can’t decide if Iris has shining moments in this episode or is a complete Whineabee Reporter. I only saw her “investigate” tonight by asking the men in her life to investigate on her behalf. Shouldn’t she be trying to get into Mason Bridge’s computer or something? For that matter, forget Mason’s disappearance–does it really take Joe West to make the connection between the computer problems caused by the Reverse Flash in the last episode and the disappearing Bridge? Why isn’t Linda Park concerned? Still, I thought the moment when Barry took her laptop was fun. I’m divided on whether they need to keep Barry’s identity from her. I don’t think she would blab, and I don’t think it would be more dangerous than not knowing.
Mark Hamill was one of the most entertaining things about this episode, which is amazing, because without him the character of the Trickster comes off as basically a Joker clone. In this episode, he plays a serial killer who attacks families in a park. Or does he? I was impressed by the level of acting Hamill was able to shove into this role. He reminds me of Jack Nicholson in the original Batman film - but this Trickster’s tricks aren’t nearly as terrifying. His son/protége is similarly unimpressive. I hope he comes back though, and that his character gets a little more developed. Possibly as a member of the Rogues? Their final “grand plan” - poison rich people at a charity ball and collect their money in exchange for the antidote - is a seriously hackneyed cliché. It does, however, allow Barry to further showcase his powers… and gather even more evidence, even if it’s subjective evidence, about the true identity of Harrison Wells.
AKA Eobard Thawne. We penetrated further into the past of a specific timeline today with Eobard Thawne. Now we know that at some point in the future Eobard Thawne from the past will meet Barry of the future and follow Barry of the future back to the time of Barry’s mother’s murder. He ran out of juice in the past, just managing to escape Future Barry, then killed and replaced the past Harrison Wells using some weird device. I was heartbroken for Wells and his wife at the time of the car accident. But now we know the man known as Wells is a disguised version of Eobard Thawne. Who, by the way, actually reminded me of Eddie in appearance. He will stop at nothing to get back to his own time, and will milk Barry for his speed in order to do it.
Let’s give Eddie a mention. After punching Barry last episode, he now gets to know Barry’s identity – and becomes part of the search for more information on Wells. He also works with Joe and Barry to get Iris off the scent where Wells’ is concerned; it remains to be seen whether or not she’ll take the initiative and start doing some real investigation.
Bits and pieces
While I complain about the villains for this week, I do want to give props for the initial attack on the children’s park. There was something beautiful about those deadly umbrella-gifts.
Some of the action shots when Barry and Thawne are fighting are just freaking amazing.
Does anyone not love the final reveal between Barry and his Dad?
Not a lot about Cisco today - sad me! Weird speculation - could Thawne/Wells’ costume could be reversed somehow? If so, I bet Cisco figures out how.
I caught one Star Wars reference - “I am your father” - but I got the feeling there were more!
Trickster Elder: “It’s my Breaking Bad season five! What? They had cable in prison."
Trickster Elder: (after Barry gives everyone an antidote) “That can’t be sanitary."
This gets 3.5 out of 4 injections of gibberish chemical :)