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There are spoilers in this review. Duh.

So there are a lot of great things in this episode, and at least one major plot point: the timeline has been changed. I’m not sure how significantly the change is for the greater timeline, we’ve only seen one portion of it, but I am wondering if there will be other aftershocks. Also, Barry, stop time traveling. You are awful at it. Weirdly, this didn’t lead into Supergirl the way I expected, it didn’t show him taking the reality world jumping harness or anything. Hmmm. Previously on The Flash, Barry’s frustrated he can’t get to the level of speed Zoom has. Zoom is trapped on Earth-2 but Barry is determined to get there and save the world. The team found out that Zoom is Jay … or at least has Jay’s face. Jesse left her father to seek out her own path. Also Eddie Thawne died heroically last season and it still hurts and they decided to taunt us with his perfect face all episode. And despite the fact we really haven’t seen Iris mourning until this episode, they’re bringing it back again. Well good. Eddie was the best. I miss him. Can he come back?

Anyway! Barry decides the only way that he’ll be able to learn how to run faster is to go back through time and be taught by someone faster. Aka Eobard Thawne aka the first Dr. Wells. This is … a really horrific plan. I mean they are just lucky it somewhat works because it’s a terrible, terrible plan. Especially since we all know Barry is horrible at lying. I’m sure Tom had fun this episode because he gets to play evil Wells / Eobard Thawne again. Barry goes back in time to when they fought the Pied Piper aka Hartley Rathaway. See back when Hartley had his episode, I think I mentioned (if not I’m mentioning it now) that the character had a redemption arc in the comics at one point. This is a fun nod to that. Barry first knocks himself out, and tries to take his place. He can do little things like stop Hartley from escaping, but it’s not too long before things go very wrong. This creepy thing called a Time Wraith follows Barry, angry that he’s messing with the timeline. This leads Thawne to figure out that he’s from another time and confronts Barry. Barry swears that Thawne wins in the end, which somehow convinces him (arrogance? delusions? Hm). He also doesn’t kill Barry because he says there’s a letter warning his other self about him somewhere. It is kind of fun to see these scenes though when Eobard doesn’t have to pretend to be Wells around Barry. Tom really is skilled, because he plays three different characters entirely: Eobard as Wells, Eobard himself, and then the Earth-2 Wells. What a great actor!

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how dare you brb sobbing

Eventually Barry messes up and has to tell everyone why, and reveals himself to his past self. He is careful not to give away too much (poorly, I might add, seriously he sucks at this don’t let him do it again people), but Hartley manages to help them with the Time Wraith. Barry tells Caitlin and Cisco to be ready with a solution to kill the Time Wraith and while he almost gets killed by it, his past self helps save him and push him back into his time. He gets back and Hartley reveals himself to now be a part of Team Flash! Or at least just part of the good guys now, and he’s the one who defeats the Time Wraith. That made me smile. I always liked the Pied Piper as a redemption story. While in the past, Barry got to see Eddie again, which pained him almost as much as it pained me. He asked Eddie to speak about Iris into his phone, because Iris has been doubting whether she is ready to move on and date someone else. In a truly heartbreaking message, he tells her more or less he just wants her to be happy. Aghhhhh. I won’t even question how the phone made it through time, okay. I just needed to see this.

(Incidentally I still wonder if Eddie is the man in the mask at Zoom’s place. It’d be an interesting way to bring him back to the show, and maybe Zoom keeps him there because he knows his future spawn is a speedster? Rick Costnett is off Quantico now, just saying.)

This was a fun episode. Great acting all around! But technically the timeline has been changed. This is no longer the same world/timeline Barry was in before, and I find that kind of interesting. What other little things were changed? If a butterfly’s wings can change fate, what would saving Hartley do in a bigger picture? I’m just saying. Barry did seem to get a partial answer for now as to how to push his speed thanks to an information drive Eobard gives him. I do think it’s funny that Barry consistently is terrible at this. Anyway, apparently next episode they finally get to confront Jay! Or … Hunter Zolomon, right? Pretty sure.

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