The Flash "The Trap" (REVIEW)
written by Justin Prince (@prince_justin)
The last shoe drops… this week on The Flash there is no ulterior meta to hunt, there is nothing else for Team “Investigate Harrison Wells” to worry about except Harrison Wells. After Barry, Caitlin, and Cisco discover Wells’ secret time vault, this answer leaves even more questions for Team “catch-the-bad-guy.” On The homefront, Eddie wants to ask Iris to marry him but when he came to Joe about it, he immediately and surprisingly shuts him down, seems like Detective Joe West is a pretty big Barry/Iris shipper.
The team addresses the visions Cisco has been having and Barry gives them something of a half-explanation. The notion of time travel is further addressed when Barry finally comes clean with the team about his recent romp through the time stream, hypothesizing that the events in Cisco’s visions were cancelled out when Barry first reset the current timeline. There still wasn’t much of an explanation of these residual visions, personally I feel like it’s the notion of pocket realities and the timelines converging. Rather than the idea of a separate time stream continuing on, the notion of time travel on The Flash seems more inspired by the type of time travel from the Back to the Future movies, changing events from the past alter the oncoming future.
To find answers, Team Flash turn to the notion of lucid dreaming. Hoping that if they can put Cisco in a state of deep REM while still giving him control of his consciousness, they find out more about Harrison Wells and his diabolical master plan. Taking cues from Arrow this week, they peppered in flashbacks to the time Barry was in a coma after the explosion at STAR Labs. These flashbacks play into the overarching narrative of the episode, explaining both Joe’s distrust of Harrison Wells and the dedication behind Iris and her hunt for the truth.
This is the episode I’ve been waiting for since the surprising mid-season finale. Barry’s clever, but this is a man who has fooled countless friends and colleagues for the better part of 15 years. Eobard Thawne is not a man to be trifled with. Eddie continues to be one of my favorite characters on the show, I feel bad for the guy because he truly loves Iris and I genuinely feel likes he’s a good man. I honestly feel that if given the opportunity, and especially to protect Iris, he would sacrifice himself to erase Eobard Thawne from ever existing.
The only slight reprieve from the investigation comes in the form of a high-rise fire at the office Captain Singh’s fiancé works. More of the Flash’s powered repertoire is put to the test and committed to muscle memory when Wells advises Barry to rotate his arms at a high enough speed to create a vacuum to suck the air out of the room, extinguishing the fire. Despite knowing who he really is, it’s demoralizing for Barry. He knows he’s a villain, he knows he killed his mother, but despite all that, “sometimes he’s just so kind, in the moment I [Barry] actually like him.”
Despite nothing else standing in their way, the events this episode unfolded a bit slower, with a few major revelations. Though Wells and Joe share little in common, one thing they do share is that Wells also seems to be just as big of a Barry/Iris shipper… or rather, Eobard Thawne doesn’t want Eddie to marry Iris. It’s all about assuring his existence.
The finale is only a couple more episodes away and the final battle is coming, how they plan to resolve this is still up in the air… I have my theories… but personally I’ll save them from going on the record; what I will touch on is that Eobard Thawne’s reach is proven to be far. The Reverse Flash and his eventual reckoning is close at hand and despite Team Flash making considerable gains in their investigation, the genius behind Eobard Thawne isn’t one to be taken lightly. For every step forward Barry takes, Thawne takes two… it’s villains like this that define a hero and for a defining series like The Flash, it took a villain of this magnitude to show us, the viewer, what a superhero TV series can be.
Quote of the week goes to Gideon, Eobard Thawne’s AI assistant. When Barry, Cisco, and Caitlin are confronted by Gideon in the time vault, Barry expresses surprise when Gideon knows who he is… Gideon replies, “of course, Barry Allen; director of Central City Police CSI division, also known as The Flash, founding member of-“ aaaaaand Barry cuts her off, but we all know the next line would be “The Justice League,” that is unless she was going to say “Central City Speedy Pizza Deliveries.” The former sounds more likely.