Last week, Barry accidentally went back in time while trying to prevent a tidal wave from hitting Central City. He’s now back before any of it happened – before Captain Singh got injured, before Joe was kidnapped, before Iris told Barry she loves him, and before Harrison Wells killed Cisco. Wells picks up on Barry’s strangeness pretty quickly and deduces that he’s experiencing a time shift, telling him not to alter the timeline under any circumstances. However, knowing all the harm that will come to innocent people, Barry disregards Wells’s warning and captures Mardon, thinking that he’s prevented the entire ordeal.
However, in place of Mardon, Snart and his Rogues Gallery return to Central City to replace the Santini crime family. Snart kidnaps Cisco’s brother Dante and holds him ransom until Cisco makes them weapons. Snart also forces Cisco to reveal the identity of the Flash, giving Snart leverage as he builds his criminal organization. Barry makes a deal with Snart, allowing him to go about his business as long as he doesn’t hurt anyone. Cisco, thankfully, doesn’t die and doesn’t become suspicious of Wells in this timeline, but Barry does become suspicious after reporter Mason Bridge – who was writing an incriminating investigative piece on Harrison Wells and his connection to Simon Stagg’s disappearance – suddenly goes missing. Barry meets with Joe to tell him he thinks he was right about Wells.
Iris and Barry
Perhaps the most painful part about Barry’s time travel mishap is the lost opportunity with Iris. Barry and Linda break up, but Barry looks to a future with Iris. Of course, when they meet up and he tries to bring the matter out in the open, Iris protests her love for Eddie and is angry that Barry keeps trying to force the issue. Eddie even punches Barry in the face when he hears about it. Barry, being a straight-forward, genuine kind of guy, doesn’t understand why Iris feels differently now than when she was under life-threatening circumstances. Thankfully, Caitlin explains away Barry’s behavior with an invented condition called “lightning psychosis”, causing Iris and Eddie to forgive Barry and apologize for their reactions. Everything pretty much goes back to normal.
While Cisco never has the inspiration to suspect Wells of any wrongdoing in this timeline and Mason Bridge never has the chance to approach Iris – or for Iris to approach Barry – with his own suspicions, Wells’s secret is in danger of being revealed nevertheless. Barry knows that Bridge suspects Wells of being involved in the disappearance of Simon Stagg, so when Bridge mysteriously goes missing – after Reverse-Flash kills him and destroys the hard drive containing the evidence – Barry connects the dots. And for Barry, perhaps Wells’s most loyal friends and supporters, to finally believe in Wells’s villainy is kind of a big deal. It will be interesting to see who else besides Joe is brought in on the investigation and whether Barry will approach Caitlin or Cisco about his suspicions. After this episode, it seems unlikely that Cisco will be inclined to side against Wells, considering their father/son moment – but we’ll have to see where the line falls.
Next week is finally the week that we see the Trickster’s return! Based on the teaser, it looks like not much has changed between the 1990 series and this one as far as Mark Hamill’s hammy character goes – and that includes the crazy hair. I am all about seeing Mark Hamill get out and about in more live action roles, and between this, Kingsman: The Secret Service, and the upcoming Star Wars: The Force Awakens, perhaps his screen acting career is getting a new boost. Either way, next week’s Trickster episode looks campy, over-the-top, and just delightful.