Dee Discusses: The Flash 1×15

Posted: March 18, 2015 by Dee in DC, Dee, Flash, General Media, Recaps, Television
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

Oh my god.

I saw the PaleyFest trailer for the rest of the season, and I was impressed with how much was coming up. I said to myself, how could this possibly happen in the next few episodes? And then the first episode back was as epic as a full out season finale. I feel like this entire review is going to be a love fest, so prepare yourself. This was definitely the best episode of The Flash to date, and the fact it happened this early makes me very optimistic for its future. It was one of the best episodes I’ve seen on television this entire season, and that is not embellishing. What they’re doing is very ambitious, and so far it’s being handled perfectly. So previously on The Flash, we found out that Wells is the Reverse-Flash and he’s from the future, but not much else outside of that. In the pilot episode the very first superhuman that Barry fought was criminal Clyde Mardon who could control the weather. He killed Joe’s partner before Joe killed him. Barry told Iris he loved her, but she chose to stay with Eddie. It’s clear that her feelings have been a little mixed, especially since he started dating Linda Park. There’s a lot of other things, but read my reviews here. This is going to be a long review but it’s because there’s so much to talk about.

The reminder about Clyde was important, because his brother Mark shows up in this episode. He also can control the weather, and he seems to be very skilled at it now. He’s spent all this time presumably healing from the pulse accident and using his powers. He’s back to get vengeance on Joe and everyone in his life. Most of the episode is Joe being determined to take Mark down and being unreasonable about it, with everyone trying to keep him safe by any means necessary. But when you’re going up against a supervillain, your average gun isn’t going to do much, Joe. They’re supposed to keep Iris in the dark, and I always hate those storylines, because you’re not exactly protecting her with lies, are you? Sigh. Anyway Linda and Barry end up on a double date at a bowling alley with Iris and Eddie. Both Eddie and Linda can tell there’s a lot going on under the surface between their significant others, and they don’t like it. Meanwhile Cisco is starting to ask questions about Wells and the Reverse-Flash, and it syncs up with Iris’ boss being certain that Wells is a sociopath. Cisco asks Caitlin to keep Wells out of the lab for a night.

I’m about to get into the serious spoilers here, so do not read past this point unless you accept major spoilers.

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Wells realizes that Caitlin is distracting him, and he runs back to the lab. Super fast, leaving his wheelchair behind. Cisco has realized that the Reverse-Flash talking to them during the confrontation was actually a recording of some kind. Wells confronts him and says his name is Eobard Thawne, one of Eddie’s future descendants. Centuries from now. I mentioned him in the season one part 1 review as a likely identity for Wells. It was fairly clear that as Reverse-Flash he would be a Professor Zoom, and Hunter Zolomon and Eobard Thawne were the best options. Thawne is the first Zoom and the most famous arch-nemesis of the Flash, so it seems very necessary that this is Wells. He has been stuck in this world for fifteen years after killing Nora Allen; his intention was to kill Barry as a child. He wants to go back home to his time, and he thinks that Barry (and his speed) is the key to making it happen. Most likely because his own speed has limitations, and he might be able to “steal” the Speed Force from Barry. I’m sure this will be coming up later, so I won’t go into a Speed Force ramble, but speedsters are able to take speed from one another occasionally. Wells tells Cisco sincerely that he cares for him and sees him as a son and apologizes. And then he sticks his vibrating hand into Cisco’s chest and kills him. I’ll admit at the time I kept thinking someone was going to come save Cisco, so I gasped in surprise. Fantastic acting in this scene with both of them, but a special shout out to Carlos Valdes as he knocks this emotional, heartbreaking scene out of the park.

Before I get to the rest of the episode I want to talk a little about this reveal. This was the most likely option, but as I’ve said in the past, I was really hoping that Wells was not just some psychopath. And I don’t think that he is. He is one cold bastard and a bad person, no doubt about it, but he does genuinely care about them. He’s not a monster. He didn’t intend to make friends, but he’s been stuck there for fifteen years and made a life for himself. That being said, he will not hesitate to kill the person he cares about the most in order to get what he wants. He’s desperate to go home. Theoretically the idea was to kill Barry and go back to his own time. The thing is that most of the future Speedsters such as Zoom come from the 25th century. As Wells said, Cisco’s been dead to him for centuries. Because he’s from that far in the future, all of the people in current day were names to him, and a lot of details were lost through time. So he might have thought that he was going back to kill Barry and that it would help him, not screw up the time line, until he got there and realized he was actually the cause of Barry’s tragic backstory. I’m not sure if the accelerator was a deliberate attempt to turn Barry so he could eventually steal his speed (very likely!), or used as a trigger to inspire his own speed to come back (also possible). Or a mixture of both. I have to appreciate the skill of an actor like Tom Cavanagh, who can play a character like Wells who is both unnerving and compelling. It was an excellent scene both emotionally and informatively. We still don’t know his entire plan, but we know some of it. And the thing is … only the audience will know this now. Which leads me to the biggest thing in the episode.

(Don’t judge me for this image, it’s too perfect.)

So back on the Joe front, he’s panicked that more people will get hurt because of him, and he tries to take Mark down alone. This is very stupid and he ends up kidnapped. Mark takes him down to the wharf with a broken leg and ties him up. He plans on destroying basically the entire city, but he intentionally calls Iris to come to the waterfront so she can be front and center for it. Ouch. Iris and Barry go there, and she confesses to Barry that she can’t stop thinking about him, and his feelings are now mutual. They kiss dramatically, but Mark sends a tsunami at the city with his weather powers. Barry asks Caitlin how to stop it, and the answer is basically “run as fast as you can to create a wall.” Iris finds out about Barry’s Flash identity, but she’s not really given any time to process it before he runs off. While doing this, he runs so fast that he runs … right into the past! It’s a Back to the Future moment. We already knew time travel was a major part of this show, so this was a perfect way to have the viewers experience it on screen. I honestly can’t believe I didn’t see it coming, because they were doing so many major violent things to the cast, so of course they needed to have a way to “fix” all of it. Barry was also told that he was capable of time travel, but this is the first time he’s done it himself, and it’s bound to be a harsh learning curve.

Usually I really hate when they find a way to erase everything that happens in an episode. With this in mind, Barry will be able to change things that happened, including Mark’s attack on the city and Cisco’s death. Iris did confess to Barry her feelings, but it was in a place of high emotion and fear considering the situation. It’s unlikely she will come to that same conclusion without an end of the world scenario, at least not yet, so I doubt he’ll be able to keep that connection with her. She also goes back to not knowing about the Flash, which is unfortunate because I hate the cliche of keeping the love interest out of the loop. Now Barry was not aware that Cisco died, so he wouldn’t be conscious of the need to keep him alive either, so that could go multiple ways. He said earlier in the episode that he saw himself running, and that should have been a sign. So will there be two Barrys? Will he have to try and get around himself the whole episode? I assume Wells will be the first person he talks to about it. Doctor Who fans know that time travel has a concept of fixed points in time and flexible points in time. It’s possible that Barry’s mother dying is a fixed point, despite what he thinks, but these are all flexible ones. Or maybe not. We’ll see what they decide to go with next week.

Overall this episode was amazing. It hit every note perfectly. It was tense, dramatic, emotional, funny (at times), and a huge upgrade for the plot and the characters. I’m slightly concerned that all of the great stuff we witnessed will be erased and no one will have learned from it, but that’s how it goes sometimes. At least we as the audience have the information and can feel the tension because of it. Things I would love to see happen: I want someone else from the future to show up. Maybe a future ally of Barry’s. Maybe a Wally West who is a future Allen-West descendent. Maybe Jesse Quick or Max Mercury. Barry having a real speed mentor would be great.

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