When Cisco (Carlos Valdes) recovers his “lost” memories, the group springs into action to trap Wells (Tom Cavanagh).
Let’s bitch it out…
After back to back episodes designed to build anticipation, #TeamFlash finally decides to have a go at Wells, who I guess we should really begin calling Eobard Thawne. After bringing in Cisco and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) two episodes ago and discovering that Wells has actually been dead for quite some time last week, the time has come to spring the titular trap. After Barry (Grant Gustin) realizes that Cisco’s “dreams” may actually be the result of his accidental time travel, Barry decides to recreate the circumstances from Cisco’s vision in order to force a confession from Thawne and obtain the evidence he needs to get his dad out of jail.
It’s not a bad plan, per se. In fact, it would probably have worked just fine if the Team were up against a normal run of the mill villain. As it stands, however, they’re not; the result very clearly proves that they made a huge error by underestimating Thawne. This is a man involved in a long con for fifteen years, a man who has a Time Vault monitored by a voice activated AI (Morena Baccarin) from the future. Clearly Thawne is a genius, so yeah…it’s not a big shock that Thawne had surveillance set up and protocols in place in the event someone discovers his secret. If you happen to overlook these details, then the climatic shooting and death of Thawne was probably a bit of a shock. If, however, you consider how much planning both Thawne and the series has done to build this guy up, then the revelation that the death is just another Wizard of Oz moment, courtesy of poor Hannibal Bates, last week’s shapeshifting metahuman, isn’t too surprising.
As far as narrative progress goes, not a lot happens in ‘The Trap’. It remains a satisfying episode, however, because our characters are making intelligent and (mostly) logical decisions. Cisco’s willingness to take one for the team by reliving his dream/alt-timeline continues to offer Valdes solid material to work with (even if the alt-timeline scenes looked like they were guest directed by JJ Abrams – So.Many.Lens.Flares!). Plus the tricky nature of creating the tech required forced Caitlin and Thawne into close quarters, which helped to keep the tension high and helpfully reminds us that despite Thawne’s evil nature, the team benefits greatly from his intellect. Now that the battle lines have been firmly drawn and the adversaries are no longer hiding, it will be interesting to see how Team Flash does without their de facto patriarch.
- In a series of Arrow-style flashbacks, we see some of the events that took place during Barry’s time in a coma. Nothing too revelatory: Thawne convinces Joe (Jesse L. Martin) to let him take Barry to Star Labs, Thawne confirms that he’ll kill Barry eventually and Iris (Candice Patton) admits she needs Barry around. The Iris bit seemingly carries the least weight until she touches the Flash in the present and gets the same electronic shock as she did when she touched Barry in his coma. And just like that, Iris knows the truth. THANK THE LORD.
- Poor stupid Eddie (Rick Cosnett): with everything going on, Eddie decides now is the time to propose to Iris?! Talk about crap timing. Hell, even Thawne doesn’t want him to propose! Take the hint, Eddie (and come out)
- The matrimonial theme continues with the random reminder that Captain Singh (Patrick Sabongui) is gay and planning his wedding to partner Rob, who is bizarrely involved in the fire that Barry must extinguish. Normally I’m happy for LGBTQ inclusion, but I’ve found the Captain’s sexuality to be very awkwardly inserted into the series thus far. I would have rather the personal storyline were held off on until it was developed into something substantial and organically incorporated. Like, why did Rob need to be involved in the fire at all? It doesn’t ultimately contribute anything.
- Chekov’s force field: the moment Cisco reveals that the force field repels super speedsters, you knew that Thawne would be able to step through and Barry would bounce off trying to get in.
- Notes from the future: Barry is the chief of police, Barry is Gideon’s creator and Iris is married to Barry. Ugh, so I guess that means that The Flash still consider Barry & Iris end game? <pukes>
- Caitlin (trying to cover that the procedure is for Cisco): “Or her dreams. It could be used for anyone.” Wells: “Right – it could be gender neutral.”
- Barry (after Eddie excitedly considers Iris Thawne): “I have a feeling she’s gonna wanna hyphenate.”
- Cisco (when Joe reminds him that he’s recreating the same circumstances he died in): “Kali Ma, Temple of Doom, yeah that happened.”
- Eddie (when Thawne reveals his identity): “This whole thing has been about me?” Thawne: “Not a chance.”
Your turn: did you anticipate that Thawne had a back-up plan? Are you glad that Barry came clean about his time travel exploits? Do you think Eddie’s marriage proposal is misguided? What do you hope happens now that Thawne’s deception is out in the open? Sound off below.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8pm EST on The CW. Next week a certain primate makes his big return and fans are already freaking out! Here’s a preview: