Mark Mardon, brother of the deceased Clyde Mardon from that first episode, returns with weather wielding powers to exact revenge from Joe for his brother’s death. His first few attempts on Joe’s life are thwarted by the Flash, but things get increasingly tense. Joe knows that when Mardon comes for him, it won’t just be for him – he’ll be coming for his children, Barry and Iris. Eventually, Joe takes matters into his own hands and goes hunting for Mardon, only to be captured and held hostage to lure Iris and Barry to their intended deaths. After getting a call from Mardon, Barry and Iris go together to the waterfront where Joe is being held. As Mardon creates a tsunami, Iris reveals that she loves Barry and Barry reveals that he’s the Flash. Barry runs back and forth along the shore line to create a wind barrier to stop the tsunami, but ends up running so fast that he travels back in time to the beginning of the episode.
Meanwhile, Cisco gets suspicious about Dr. Wells and does some investigating, only to find out that the Reverse-Flash they contained was simply a recording. Dr. Wells, momentarily distracted by Caitlin, figures out that Cisco is up to something and knows that his secret will soon be revealed. He leaves his wheelchair and speeds to STAR Labs where he confronts Cisco. He tells him that his name is really Eobard Thawne – distant relative of Eddie Thawne – and that he’s from the future. He was indeed responsible for Nora Allen’s death, but what he really meant to do that night was kill Barry – though his reasons for this are vague. For whatever reason, the Flash is necessary for him to return to his time. Of course, he can’t let Cisco reveal any of this, so he kills him. Of course, Barry accidentally going back in time undoes this. Next week, Cisco is still alive and no one but the audience knows Wells’s secret.
Thawne is one of the many “Reverse-Flashes” from the original comics. Basically, any speedster who is against the Flash is called a Reverse-Flash. It was pretty likely from the beginning, considering the character of Eddie Thawne, that Eobard Thawne would feature in some form – whether that was Dr. Wells’s true identity as it turned out, or that Eddie would turn out to be one of the Reverse-Flashes as some thought. Thawne, also known as Professor Zoom, is a major adversary of the Flash in later comics. That whole storyline is pretty convoluted and complex, so I can’t really begin to summarize it here. Lets just say that bits a pieces appear to have been culled from these various storylines to put together what we know of Wells’s backstory. If the series starts getting into the Thawne/Allen feud and Barry’s long lost twin brother, then they might have jumped the shark a bit.
Iris and Barry
The episode starts out with Barry and Linda on a date at the bowling alley and running into Iris and Eddie who are also on a date at the bowling alley. They join up for a double date but Eddie and Linda end up feeling like outsiders as Iris and Barry banter and flirt. Both Linda and Eddie are clearly upset about what happened at the bowling alley. Eddie tells Iris that whatever has changed between her and Barry that he’s not okay with it. Linda tells Iris that she clearly has feelings for Barry. In the end, Iris realizes that this is true and tells Barry that she can’t stop thinking about him. They kiss, but don’t have time for anything else because a tsunami is headed for them. Barry, with no way to hide from Iris, changes into his Flash suit and rushes off to save the day.
This episode was the game changer for the season, if not the series as a whole. We finally find out who Harrison Wells really is, relationships are tested, lives are put in danger, people die, and then its all undone – and by “undone” I mean that basically everything that happened the entire episode only happened for Barry and the audience. The good news is, it was the best episode of the season so far and bodes very well for the rest of the series.
Everyone in this episode puts in a superb performance, especially – as always – Jesse L. Martin. The fear and determination he conveys when Joe is afraid for the lives of his children is heartbreaking and beautiful. You don’t doubt for a second that he would do anything to keep them safe, and that includes giving his life.
I also appreciate how the CW handles same-sex relationships. While they are a rarity on other networks, same-sex relationships are pretty common among the shows on CW. And to have the Captain of Central City Police not only be a gay man, but openly gay, and to have his sexuality revealed as an incidental and ordinary fact was exactly the way same-sex relationships should be portrayed on television. The scene would basically have played out the same way if his fiancee had been a woman.