Full episode spoilers follow
It seems like every week people are saying that the CW's The Flash has had its best episode yet. While I disagree with past weeks, this week I'll definitely agree. Tonight's episode was indeed the best episode of the show so far, beginning to end. Yeah there was a hiccup with Iris but what else is new? It's really just a bit of a minor thing in the grand scheme of things.
In terms of story, this episode was fantastic. In terms of acting, this episode was fantastic. In terms of tone, this episode was fantastic. In terms of making me think, "Sweet Jesus Team Flash is so gonna get it from the Reverse Flash" this episode excelled.
Personally I felt the beginning and end of the episode were best in terms of overall plot for the show while everything in the middle was building up the overall tension that the episode would carry so well.
I mean, consider what we learned in the beginning: Barry marries Iris. Barry is a founder of...the Justice League (not given a name, but, you already knew that).
This episode relied heavily early on about time-travel and how it does affect things. It seems that the writers have purposefully written themselves in a hole, or at least feigning that they are. Cisco is voicing the fans by questioning how the time-travel works (does he put the white around the lightning bolt because he wants to or because now he's seen the image of the Flash from the suit?). Plus, in revealing so much about the future, now we know that things are going to change because of, more than likely, the butterfly effect. It was evident when Barry talked with Eddie and Iris about Eddie readying to pop the question. There was that excitable attitude he had when he was telling Iris that he knew her real feelings for him, a fun moment from after Barry time-traveled.
Cisco was really enjoyable this episode as he was spitting references out left and right about time-travel and dreams. The dream material was especially fun, and interesting. It was a unique twist on it all as Cisco was able to go through the motions of all that happened in the previous timeline while also retaining his main consciousness and relay the information to Barry, Caitlin, and Joe. Again, it was well-acted during the dream sequence by him as we felt the terror once again, this time even better as we were close on Cisco, seeing things through his point of view.
While I do wish that there was more of an emotional effect on the team as they pretty much confirmed that Wells is the Reverse Flash, it has been built up for a few weeks and they are resourceful enough to know that they have to act, immediately. There was a moment where Barry went slightly Kirk from Star Trek III (it is three, right, my memory fails me?) as he fell back upon realizing Wells indeed killed his mom (you future bastards you killed my mother!).
Also, I was just thinking earlier today about how impossible it would be if Wells were using the afterimage technique and changing his clothes constantly, so it was a welcome surprise that he actually placed a hologram there instead and probably just punched himself in the face at a really fast speed. A silly thought but one that gets the job done. Though silly is relative on a show where a man runs at super sonic speeds and where a character literally just now realizes the Particle Accelerator caused the metahuman arrival.
Oh yeah, that was Iris this episode. I mean, I kinda don't like her character anymore because she's getting in the way, emotionally, for Barry and Iris, but that was a just plain dumb moment. I get the feeling the writers just didn't know what to do with the scene, as it was built up for Iris to admit her love to Barry and it was something else instead, which sort of makes it even worse. Why even have it then? As the episodes pass us by I keep feeling that Iris is a useless character, there just for Barry to have a love interest (when he and Caitlin are a much better couple, but that's just me).
But I think the dumbest moment of the episode was Iris realizing Barry is the Flash. How'd she realize it? Because when he shocked her in the past, and it happened again after he ran away from her, she realized that it was him. Uh, that feels just like the writers making up a poor excuse for Iris to figure things out, despite the fact that whenever Barry talks as the Flash it is obviously him.
The end of the episode was particularly effective in establishing that Wells is going to be an almost impossible threat to take down. He is indeed one step ahead, tricking them by Hannibel Bates pose as him and letting them believe that he would willingly go along with their trap. It was a well-orchestrated ploy on his part and goes to show that his intellect goes far beyond that of a scientist--he is indeed a super villain. Next to Slade and Ra's al Ghul he's probably the most cunning on the show. Like Slade, he's been watching Barry for a long time without Barry knowing. Like Ra's, he has cornered our hero into a place that seems difficult, if not down right impossible, to get to.
His charisma about the situation is indeed intimidating, though it just helps his character even more. He is so confident in everything. What's even more interesting is that he knows not to underestimate Barry, but yet he's still very confident. He knows he has more aces in the hole, more weapons that he hasn't used, such as Grodd, all the villains in the vault, and maybe even...Caitlin Snow (ooooh ominous things that have yet to come to fruition because comic books ooooh).
I'm not entirely sure why he captured Eddie other than simply ridding him of the ring, and revealing that they're related but that puts his existence in danger (or not, since he was still there). It makes me curious if things played out differently, like maybe Iris did say yes and then she went back on their marriage and something happened. Who knows.
What I do know is that this was the best episode of The Flash to date. It was tense, almost everything was executed perfectly, and it left a big sense of helplessness for our heroes. Things are going to definitely get pretty desperate for the S.T.A.R. Labs group and it will certainly be interesting to see how they carry out operations with Wells.
Plus next week, we get Grodd, not God (best line of the series, heads down).
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