The Flash: The Reverse-Flash Returns

"I've learned what time period you're from, Flash. And one day soon, I'll learn your name."

Cisco learns to control his powers–or does he?–when the team realizes the Reverse-Flash is back in town. Plus, Patty shows who the real detective is in Central City.

This episode surprised me, and did it well. I finally got the Cisco episode I've been wanting, and I got a little more about the Turtle–his death hasn't been in vain. Finally, I thought the episode gave Patty some dignity - if not in the way Barry treated her, then in the way she found her path to the truth despite confrontation at every step, then did finally the thing she needed to for her own mental health.

But first, let's talk about the Wests. Iris managed to find a moment of reconciliation with her mother. Did her mom deserve it? Did Iris? Reconciliation isn't about deserving. It's about wanting to find a new point of balance, and both people involved being willing to stand there. Iris' mother has an opportunity to try setting the balance of her life back into its proper place. Not the same place, mind you–she seems to have accepted that. Her epiphany is sincere. So is Iris' own. Francine's shouted "Thank yous" are beside the point. Iris began to come more closely into balance as a result of this, and I liked that. I hated Iris so much at the beginning of last year. Now that the show isn't trying to force her into romance with Barry, she's so much more likable. She even plays sister for Wally with unusual directness and tenacity.


Joe continues to be into control. See, Patty hasn't left quite yet. She's hoping to get through to Barry now that he knows she's willing to leave. It's a form of ultimatum, and it isn't working with Barry, who seems to have convinced himself he's a form of romantic albatross. Not within himself, maybe, but he attracts all these hot and evil metahumans, and that puts people in danger. After reviewing a lot of the data, Patty confronts Joe with the truth: Barry's the Flash. It's the only way he could have helped out on all those crimes. But Joe denies her knowledge to her face. I guess Patty doesn't care anymore: she's given up trying to build an honest relationship with Joe, someone who was once her idol. But worse, so does Barry when she confronts him directly. She even offers to forgive everything if Barry will just admit the truth. Patty's direct honesty throughout the episode is heartbreaking. Barry and Joe continue to baffle me in how they're handling the situation. The final scene both proves to Patty that the Flash is Barry, and that he cares. Only time will show what those things mean for Patty... and for Barry.

Cisco also got some very serious showtime today (finally!) Not only does he begin to move towards accepting and taking control of his power, we saw that he was also willing to secretly endure pain and suffering in order to provide the level of help the team needs. Wells develops very awesome vibegoggles for Cisco which let him vibe perfectly, homing in on exactly what he wants to see... which turns out to be Eobard Thawne, who's abducted Christina McGee. Last episode did feature a clip of the Reverse-Flash, but, to be honest, I didn't make much of it. I thought it was a clip from a previous episode, or just a flashback intending to remind us of time travel. Boy, was I wrong. Instead of being a meaningful clip of the past or something in that vein, it was instead a hint that this episode was going to change all the rules: pastThawne, stopping by going backwards on his way to becoming futureThawne, has once again intersected with Barry's life. Thawne, as usual, is hunting both for the Flash and for a way home. It's a version of Thawne that hasn't yet encountered Barry, but like the later Thawne which we saw previously, he's looking for tachyons. The team manages to capture Thawne, and just about then, Cisco collapses, nose and face bloody. I thought the goggles were causing Cisco to have nosebleeds, but it turns out that instead Cisco is sensitive to the timeline (though I still think the goggles were amplifying Cisco's powers.) As a result the team has to send Thawne back to the future.

The episode was by and large fantastic, although I wish they'd managed to get more out of Thawne before sending him to the future. The off scenes were between Caitlin and Jay. On the plus side, Caitlin discovers Turtle is dead right away; our team isn't totally incompetent! On the neggy, Jay's behavior is inexplicable to me. Why in the world does Caitlin need to see Hunter Zolomon to be told that Jay's DNA has mutated? I mean, if he'd said, Look at his glasses, Caitlin, or something. They have energy together, but it's like the writers are just giving them moments in which they can have that energy without actually knowing what those moments should be. If only Caitlin and Jay were spying on Wells-2, or something. 

Flashpoints

Loved the opening scene where Barry, confronted by a Speed plotline of sorts, thinks out of the box and instead deconstructs an entire truck, in record time. The show continues to find unusual ways for Barry to apply his powers.

Likewise, the initial meeting where the Reverse-Flash suckerpunches Barry and their subsequent races/fights are still feeling fresh.

What did Thawne learn while he was with the team. And now that he's back in the future, what will be changed? One thing concerns me: he knows now he gave Cisco powers, and Cisco is extremely capable. Oh, yeah, and he knows now what era Barry is from.

Wells and Cisco picking on each other is starting to become a nice, dare I say it, vibe.

We still don't know whether Wells is leaning towards stealing Barry's speed, or Zoom's. 

Flashcards

Wells: "I don't know what you've been sipping since I got here, but Barry needs to get better, stronger, faster. We need to train to prepare for Zoom."
Cisco: "Oh, I see. You haven't had your coffee this morning."
Wells: "I had my coffee this morning."
Cisco: (slurps coffee)
Wells: "Don't slurp."
Cisco: (slurps coffee harder)
Wells: "Don't. Don't. Don't."

Cisco: "Are you telling me I can see the future?"
Wells: "That's exactly what I am telling you."
Cisco: "These goggles are getting named immediately."

Cisco: "You let him go?"
Barry: "I couldn't let him take another person I cared about."

Overall

Four point five out of five tachyon device cores. Great episode.

Barry, is that your hand in the cookie jar?

3 comments:

Nate said...

Harry and Cisco's scenes made this episode for me. Harry actually freaking out about Cisco to the point where he was stumbling over his words was nice character development. He cares way more than he lets on, but he's under an awful amount of stress so he has little time for social pleasantries.
Barry's hesitation over sending Thawne back paired with his 'aww shucks we had to save YOU Cisco, good buddy' was a bit crappy given Harry was the one shouting the loudest about saving him(and then Joe). It shouldn't have been that difficult a decision.

I'm glad Patty's gone as the constant "Should I tell her??" hand wringing from Barry was done to death with Iris last season and I couldn't see them as the crime fighting duo Patty which was suggesting to Barry as she flounced off for the 3rd time. I have to be honest and say I won't miss her either. She was fine, but she had what my girlfriend calls a 'bullet points personality'. Everything about her can be summed up in bullet points with no nuance needed. Totally replaceable as a character.
Ca

Billie Doux said...

The Harry/Cisco scenes were the high point for me, too, from the slurping to the tachyons. I love them together.

I thought Patty was gone already and it was something of a surprise to me that they dragged out her departure for another episode.

I keep thinking that STARLabs needs paperweights. Every time Barry takes off, papers fly everywhere.

JRS said...

Nate, you have a point, but I like to give the character credit. The other characters have kept her so much in a box for this season! There's potential there, but she has not been given any room to grow.

Billie, I thought Patty was GONE. I wonder if this doesn't herald Patty being part of the rest of the season. She goes away, studies CSI, discovers something, comes back to help Barry, they Develop A Real Relationship after Blowing Someone Up?

Or maybe she comes back going "Hey, there's this awesome paperweight invention thingy, and I bet...."

I just realized this is yet another dead metahuman. The show is definitely getting darker.