Man, talk about Easter Eggs! This episode was full of them!
On that note, FULL EPISODE SPOILERS FOLLOW
So, obviously, next week is the big CW event in which The Flash will crossover with Arrow next Tuesday and Wednesday. Which meant that we were all stuck waiting through this episode for next Tuesday, after all the interviews and promos had already been shown, basically.
All of which I avoided like the plague because I want to go in as blind as I can to get the full experience and not be riddled with expectation, by the way.
This episode, thankfully, proved to be better than last week's. The villain wasn't that much more interesting but at least he was smart. Well, the main villain. This week also featured the return of/ debut of the Clock King, who was previously seen on Arrow last season. He wasn't put to much more use here, and in fact I could say that the entire subplot in precinct was useless to overall plot of the episode other than to pad it out an extra fifteen minutes or so.
The beef of the episode focused on Team Flash squaring off against Blackout as he rampaged through Central City and eventually made his way to S.T.A.R. Labs to kill Dr. Wells. He didn't have much motivation other than the typical "you killed my friends now I have to kill you" but his powers were neat and were probably the most threatening to Barry yet on the show, having the ability to essentially negate the Speed Force in his body.
The most interesting part of the episode, as we'll get into in just a moment, was all the material with Wells. This one featured several scenes of him in his little secret room speaking to an A.I. known as Giddian (Gibbian? I can't recall the pronunciation). He seemed to be checking the future, using the newspaper we saw at the end of the pilot--headlined by the Flash vanishing--as a sort of totem to check if the Flash is still relevant. His motivations for why he works with Barry and wants to keep him safe so bad are still up in the air and its very unclear how much of a good/bad guy he is. Or, heck, who he really is. I doubt that he's actually going to turn out to be Harrison Wells yet I'm having an equally tough time believing that he's going to turn out to be Reverse Flash.
Perhaps the show will pull a fast one on us and call him Professor Zoom before Eddie gets his abilities awoken and he becomes the "Reverse Flash" by having his powers transferred or...
I don't know, this is all very confusing. I hold loosely, now, to my theory that Wells is future Barry for reasons I'm about to get into. So let's just get into the episode.
It starts off with Blackout getting his powers the night of the particle accelerator incident then we cut to Wells looking into the future and oh lawdy do we have Easter Eggs.
First, I'm not sure what one of them was. "Red Skies Vanish." What does that imply? For some reason I thought it meant Superman because red and stuff but no. Then I thought it might be something that Red Tornado's done in the future, but, that also seems unlikely. It could just be nothing, or it could be something huge. What was huge was the small headline in the bottom left corner that read: "Wayne Tech and Queen Inc. Reach Merger."
WAYNE TECH. BATMAN CONFIRMED.
I mean he already was because Harley Quinn was on Arrow. BUT STILL.
Also, a bit of a spoiler for Arrow, wouldn't you say? Where we are now in the show, Ray Palmer's changed the name to Palmer (something) and apparently it goes back to Oliver and the Queen family. Not too much of a surprise given that Oliver always something gets his company.
The Batman Easter Egg was still like an early Christmas gift. It was the best of several Easter Eggs we got this episode, another huge one yet to come.
Anyway, once I stopped trying to read the blurry text on all the articles, I progressed through the episode in which we find a man who has practically had his skin burnt off. Barry and Joe deduce it's probably a meta human (duh, it's a new episode, of course it's a meta-human, don't you read the script?) so Barry takes the evidence back to S.T.A.R. Labs, who ID the guy but that's not important because Barry has a villain to stop.
He meets Blackout at a nearby power-plant and there they sort of fight. I say sort-of because really it only features Barry dodging some lightning bolts and then Blackout managing to sap all of his speed away. Two things: 1. Blackout's voice was initially hilarious. I know it's supposed to be deep because of his powers or whatever, but it was just sillier than Oliver's voice. 2. Wouldn't Barry have passed out at the sudden loss of his powers? As we find out just a scene later, the base on which his abilities were made off of is still there but all of that energy just kind of went "poof." I figured it would be something akin to losing a sudden amount of blood--you're probably going to drop and be out for a while. Instead Barry is able to get on back to S.T.A.R. Labs (after paying $65 for a cab, jeez!).
Anyway, the crew at S.T.A.R Labs are unable to deduce if Barry's condition is permanent or not. And here's where we get the first of few interesting moments I picked up on. Most of the scenes involving Barry in S.T.A.R Labs involve him interacting with Caitlin, who he's actually with most of the time. Obviously their bond has strengthened a lot since the episode where we found out how Ronnie died, but in this episode particularly it seemed like Caitlin was coming on to him. Not obviously, but, more subtle. She showed a lot more devotion to helping him out, she seemed to care about him more. In their first scene together, it was almost like she stepped in to give him a kiss or something. Whoa.
Honestly, I don't mind it. Danielle Panabaker and Grant Gustin have great chemistry on screen. I don't think they'll end up together (Baricity!) but, knowing Caitlin's possible future, it's going to be all the more difficult to watch if that future does end up happening. If they have a romantic session for an episode I won't mind it but I just like the way that the two are interacting. Cisco is almost like a third-wheel now.
Barry goes to talk to Joe about his power loss and Joe breaks his favorite mug. Then Barry leaves and the Clock King shows up. Next.
Wells goes to Giddian/Gibbian (who I shall now call Gibdian because why not) and finds out that Barry Allen is no longer relevant in the future. Ah, man. There go all the cool hashtags, huh Wells?
To make matters worse, Blackout shows up looking for Wells and is sapping all the power from the city. What concerns me more than that is the fact that Central City still has a lot of its main line of power connected to S.T.A.R Labs. I thought they made that place like ground zero? But, no time to worry about that. Wells and Cisco decide it's best if Barry hops on the treadmill for a super-shock to try and mimic the effects of the night he was struck by lightning, as his cells are still juiced up and simply need a kickstart.
Like a car battery.
Blackout gets in after sapping all the power. Back at the precinct, Clock King kills a couple cops and holds everyone hostage, Iris telling him that the Flash is going to save them all, to which the Clock King asks, "Who?" Get it because...wait I don't get it? Why did he say that? He could have made a witty line about the vigilante from Starling City but he didn't.
These scenes are pointless.
Barry tries to talk to Blackout, gets hit with lightning, and then they revert to Plan B. Cisco goes to turn the power back on while Barry and Caitlin move to get the treadmill running, escaping from Blackout. Here, again, is another scene in which Caitlin willingly and tightly grabs Barry's hand. Sure, it's probably because they're in a very desperate situation, but, she seemed like a pretty independent person. I don't think she would grab Cisco's hand like that. Chemistry, man, I'm telling you, it's there!
Wells busts out Girder to make him useful this episode and the latter engages Blackout, seemingly able to withstand his electric attacks. Barry and Caitlin try the treadmill once Cisco gets the power back on but it barely seems to do anything. Team Flash regroups after Barry witnesses Girder get killed by Blackout, Wells calling it a necessary sacrifice for the sake of the future. And he tells Barry that his problem is that he is thinking too much about his powers rather than letting them just do their thing. Man, all the Barry-hate going on!
Clearly Wells is on about the future but dang it he gives no hints as to what he is trying to preserve or create! This is just as bad as the Sara killer mystery. Wells probably knows, he should tell us next week! Please?
After the fuss, they decide to just cut their losses and leave, but Blackout prevents them from doing so. And apparently his powers allow him to cut the electricity from even car-batteries and Wells' chair. Weird, but, believable I guess. Wells steers his attention away from Caitlin, Barry, and Cisco, then tells Blackout just to kill him like he wants. Then, he name drops some of the people affected, if not killed, by the particle accelerator.
Namely Ralph Dibny. Yay for Elongated Man and fellow JLA member!
Side note: How many members is that now? Green Arrow, Arsenal, Black Canary, Flash, Firestorm, Atom, Elongated Man. So, seven. I'll take it.
But where's Batman, seriously? At least Red Robin!
Barry gets his powers back by the grace of plot convenience and defeats Blackout by essentially overloading him, killing him instantly. I'm not sure how, but, he did. They put him away in the pipeline even though he's dead, I guess just for good measure.
Oh and the Clock King shoots Eddie but Iris manages to stop him at the precinct and now the Clock King is going back to jail and Eddie is on pain killers. Again: what was the point?
The episode ends with Wells happily learning that the Flash is back in the future and takes note to exploit Barry's relationships in the future to make him stronger. I wonder, then, if that's what may initiate Killer Frost and Vibe? Hmm. Clearly, Wells is making it personal...whatever his vendetta is.
To really close off the episode, Wells takes a sample of something (it was orange, so, Speed Force maybe?) from Blackout, claiming that since Blackout could take Barry's powers, Wells wants to figure out how to take them away seemingly for his own plan.
Gee dang it this episode had me thinking! I have no idea what to think about Wells now other than he is working toward a goal that will steer the future into a direction of his desire, but what does he want with Barry's powers? Is he going to create Reverse Flash, like I've theorized? I doubt Eddie is Reverse Flash right now, otherwise all of his injuries at the hospital would have healed because of the Speed Force. Whatever Wells is planning, it constantly seems to be getting worse. First he claims to have plans for Gorilla Grodd and now he wants to take Barry's powers.
Looks like a job for the Justice League!
Or, you know, A THE FLASH AND ARROW CROSSOVER NEXT WEEK!