I really admire the show runners of The Flash. They could have taken the easy way out after the status quo game-changer that was Out of Time and tease it endlessly for 2-3 more seasons without delivering anything. But to their credit, over the course of the four subsequent episodes they’ve paid off nearly everything (no sidekick murders…yet) as the build to the season finale Flash vs. Reverse Flash rematch continues.
Picking up from last week’s cliffhanger, Barry, Caitlin and Cisco are in Wells’ hidden room and are stunned with the future newspaper headline. Cisco, forever the voice of the fanboy audience, says how much he likes the brighter red costume and the white circle chest logo. Other bombshells for the team besides the 2024 date is the article proclaiming Flash’s disappearance was written by Iris West-Allen. Wells’ computer assistant, Gideon, greets Barry and runs through some of his history and in a nice nod to comic fans starts to say ‘founding member of …’ before getting cut off. CW Justice League perhaps? Oh silly Warner Bros. movie division, can’t we just make the Arrow/Flash characters part of the shared movie universe already?
Barry has been a bit Karen Page obsessed with clearing his father and getting him out of prison but I’ve yet to hear his strategy in beating the guy who whupped him the last time they clashed especially since his plan involves putting Cisco at considerable risk in getting Wells to confess to killing Nora Allen.
While Team Flash plots, Eddie has a big plan of his own. He wants to propose to Iris, but Joe won’t give his blessing. He confides to Barry later that Iris would say yes and eventually come to her senses and realize she married the wrong man, but stay out of a sense of obligation. Although a perfectly fine reason for Barry’s biased father figure to take his side it unintentionally puts Barry and Joe in another bad light when it comes to Eddie who becomes more sympathetic with each episode. Iris has pieced together that the particle accelerator explosion is what led to the arrival of the meta-humans running around Central City, which is nice seeing her growing more as a reporter and less unrequited love interest/supporting cast member liability.
The episode dipped into the flashback well with three characters reflecting on memories of a comatose Barry still laid out from the particle accelerator. We see a desperate Joe accept Wells’ offer to save Barry, Iris getting a static shock when she reaches for Barry’s finger (this would prove important later) and Wells promising Barry that all is not forgiven and once Barry gets him back to the future, Wells will kill him.
Back to the present, Wells alerts Barry to a fire and helps him uncover a new trick of rapidly spinning his arms to create a vacuum/tornado. I appreciated that Barry felt conflicted about Wells since on the surface he’s done nothing but help him become a better hero.
To ensnare Wells, Team Flash tries to recreate the setting in which Wells admitted killing Nora in the alternate timeline and just to ensure there’s no glitches, Cisco reverses the force field to keep any speedster out. Wells returns from a speaking engagement and Caitlin struggles not seeming completely suspicious in offhandedly mentioning that Cisco figured out how The Reverse Flash appeared.[irp]
Wells walks in on Cisco, but avoids confessing to Nora’s murder as Joe and Barry anxiously look on. Surprisingly, Wells was ahead of Team Flash and managed to find a way to get past Cisco’s force field and as he goes for the killing palm thrust, Joe shoots and kills him(?!?!). Ooops, false alarm. It was just Everyman from last week’s episode carrying out Wells’ orders.
The real Wells calls impressed by Team Flash’s resolve, but gloats that he’ll be dealing with them real soon. Barry races to the secret room and finds all traces of Reverse Flash removed save a panel of surveillance cameras, which are situated at all of Barry’s stomping grounds from the West household, CC Jitters, Iris’ newspaper office and Barry’s workspace. Wells has long since been aware Team Flash was on to him. Barry realizes Iris is in danger and speeds off to find her just as Eddie prepares to propose.
Reverse Flash busts up the proposal as Flash arrives to protect Iris so RF grabs Eddie instead. Barry promises Iris he’ll bring Eddie back safely and as he rushes off, Iris reaches for his hand triggering the same shock she got from Barry as it hits her that Barry is The Flash.
‘The Trap’ played out exactly like it should have as all season Team Flash has been several steps behind Wells and now that his secret is out, Harrison Wells will prove even more dangerous.
Next week: Grodd! Of all the comic book shows, these next two episodes of ‘The Flash’ have me most excited. Hopefully we won’t be disappointed.