WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE FLASH SEASON 1 FINALE AHEAD! You have been warned. Continue at your own risk.
So. There it was. The ending that nobody was expecting. The one where at the critical moment, Barry makes the decision not to do what he's been trying to do all season long: save his mother's life. But why? Why did he choose not to save Nora? Eobard even says to him, "You could've had everything you ever wanted!" To which Barry responds with the cliché, "I already do." Okay, we've established that it was, in the long run, a terrible idea for Barry to save Nora. But who was expecting that scene with Eddie? I mean, when I heard the gunshot and saw Eobard's vibration start to falter, I felt sure that Eddie had shot him. But then the camera panned to Eddie and I saw the circle of blood on his shirt. At first, I was as shocked as the characters were. Why would Eddie commit suicide when he and Iris had just made plans to get married? By putting the good of everyone else above his own, Eddie proved that he could be just as heroic in a time of crisis as Barry himself. I wish I could say that the realization of what this meant for Eobard hit me just before it hit the characters, but the truth is, I still didn't get it until he collapsed, pulled his mask off, and suddenly reverted back to his natural face before dissolving. I confess I may or may not have breathed a sigh of relief. But with that relief came a feeling of confusion. I mean, why kill off your main antagonist in the first season finale? Doesn't that kind of ruin your chances for a second season? Well, as a matter of fact, no, it doesn't. Remember who we get a brief shot of when Barry is running into the black hole?
So, is Cold set to become season 2's big bad? I believe so. That scene was foreshadowing. Remember what he said when he broke the metahumans out of the truck during Barry's prison transfer? "Now they all owe me. And they'll be much more useful in my Rogues than rotting away in prison." Or at least, something to that effect. I think that somehow, Cold is going to form an alliance with the metahumans and create a group called the Rogues to be the new weekly plague for Team Flash. It's interesting to note that the producer of the show announced that Tom Cavanagh would be making a reappearance as a season 2 regular. Could this be a hint that the real Harrison Wells will somehow come back from the great beyond to help out Team Flash or is Eobard not as finished as we hoped? Personally, I kind of favor the former option if only to add another layer of complexity to the show. It would be far more difficult to explain how the real Wells returned than to simply bring back Eobard Thawne. The producer also announced that all was not lost for Rick Cosnett's Eddie Thawne either. So, is Barry going to play with the timeline again and create a reality where Eddie survives, but in so doing, resurrects the Reverse Flash? That would be the most likely explanation, even if it's not the most unexpected one. Somehow, I feel that if they just bring back Eobard and still have Captain Cold and Company too, it would just be a rehash of season 1. I think it would add a new dimension to the show if the actual Harrison Wells returned somehow and did what Eobard pretended to do for the majority of the first season: help Team Flash. The personal aspect of the season could be in the team trying to explain how Harrison Wells returned. Part of the explanation could be that when Eobard disintegrated, he reverted to his natural form rather than his stolen genetic appearance as Wells. So if actual Wells somehow comes back, it could make for an interesting plot point to explore just how that happened. And as for Eddie, I always kind of liked him, even when I thought he might be in league with his descendant to do away with everyone's favorite Scarlet Speedster. Knowing that deep down when and where it counts, Eddie's just as much a hero as Barry really restored my confidence in him. How they're going to bring him back without simultaneously resurrecting Eobard is a question for another article and probably another author.