Flash Back: or “Back To The Future”
Last night’s episode was one of the best in the series and a LOT happened so grab a drink, sit back and read on: If you recall, Barry has learned that Zoom is really Jay Garrick (the issue is, is he a clone, doppleganger, what?) and he feels betrayed – again – for trusting someone close to him. In order to defeat Zoom, Barry knows that he has to get faster, but the question is how?
During dinner night at the West’s, Wally tells the family how he’s working on a project for an engine he’s developing and that he’s read journals of noted engineers like Ferrari and Porsche. He jokingly says this is the next best thing to talking to the real guys since they’re dead which, of course, gives Barry an idea: time travel back to the past to learn how to get faster from Dr. Wells-Thawne (because as we’ve learned in Time Cop, The Terminator series, Back To The Future I, II, AND III that nothing EVER goes wrong when you mess with time).
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry explains his plan to Cisco and Caitlin, and they think it’s great. However, the real Dr. Wells … not so much. But, I’ll forgive him for his rather dower attitude since his daughter skipped town without a trace, and his search for her has been futile up to this point.
Team Flash maps out past events and determines a time they think would be best for Barry to return to. Destination time period determined, Barry prepares to leave. He’s instructed on the do’s and dont’s of being back in time, like NOT divulging that the Wells they knew then is really Reverse Flash/Wells-Thawne. Caitlin also gives Barry a tranquilizer dart to knock out past-Barry for several hours, so that present-Barry can take his place and interact with Wells-Thawne uninterrupted. Confused yet? Stick with me here.
Barry revs up and takes off in the accelerator. As he’s in the speed force, an apparition flies by him. But before he can make sense of it, he’s back in the past (side note: How he can determine exactly when he needs to be when he’s running is still a mystery). When he arrives in the past, present-Barry shows up at the point where past-Barry is fighting the Pied Piper. Past-Barry spots present-Barry as he’s watching from a distance. Momentarily distracted, the Piper blasts past-Barry and gives present-Barry a window to act.
Present-Barry, in the blink of an eye, scoops up past-Barry and carries him to an alley so that he can knock him out and replace him. But before he can administer the tranquilizer, past-Barry takes off with the speed of, of course, The Flash. Next we have an all-out Flash Fight (and as always, the special effects are some of the best on television). Present-Barry is victorious and knocks out past-Barry. He also handily defeats the Pied Piper and takes him back to S.T.A.R.
When he arrives at the lab, Barry can barely contain his disdain for Wells-Thawne but asks him for his help in getting faster. He writes a formula that he developed in the future on the board that takes Wells-Thawne by surprise in its inventiveness. Before they can explore it further, something is happening at the police department that requires the Flash. What is that something? The apparition from the Speed Force has manifested itself in real time and is wreaking havoc at the station. Barry arrives a bit too late to be of any use and is relegated to cleaning up. While he does, Eddie Thawne (who’s yet to die) is there, and Barry convinces him to record a short video for Iris who is still mourning his death.
While Barry is at the police station, the apparition (affectionately referred to as a “Dementor”) shows up at S.T.A.R. and gives Caitlin the fright of her life before disappearing. Wells-Thawne sees the apparition (officially called “Time-Wraith”) and knows that something is amiss. When Barry returns to the lab, Wells asks to speak with him privately and, away from the rest of the team, knocks him out and hides him away in the time room. When Barry comes to, he attempts to vibrate from his restraints which confirms Wells-Thawne’s suspicion that the Barry he’s talking to is from the future (since he hadn’t taught him that “trick” yet).
Wells-Thawne explains that Time Wraiths are a common occurrence when traversing time through the speed force and are nothing to play with. Barry convinces Wells-Thawne not to kill him and also to help him go faster. Before they can put their plan in action to trap the Wraith, past-Barry shows up while present-Barry is there. And, poor Cisco has a fit (consistently, Carlos Valdez is one of the best parts of the show).
Present-Barry is trying to explain to his past self and the rest of Team Flash what’s going on, while Wells-Thawne is looking at him like: “Duuuuddeee – shut uuuppp”, not wanting too much to be divulged. The team knows the Time-Wraith will return. Present-Barry plans to run back with the Wraith on his tail, so the present version of Cisco and Caitlin can destroy it.
Once Barry is in the time stream, as planned, the Wraith follows. And once back in the present, Cisco shoots the Wraith with one of his gizmos – which has no effect. It looks like Barry’s down for the count as the Wraith appears to suck out his energy (like a Dementor), but out of nowhere the Pied Piper shows up and shoots the Wraith thus destroying it. Somehow, Barry has changed the time-line: now Pied seems to be part of Team Flash. Is this an ongoing thing or a one-time team-up? Find out when The Flash returns Tuesday April 19th on Atlanta’s CW. In the meantime, follow me on Twitter: @ATLBlerd and share your theories!