Barry, Caitlin, and Cisco discover Wells’ time vault, along with his yellow speedster suit, a newspaper from the future, and Gideon. From Gideon they discover details of the future, like Barry becoming the police chief, that he eventually marries Iris, who becomes a professional journalist, and that Barry created Gideon in the first place. They narrowly escape being discovered by Wells, then assemble a meeting to discuss their plans. Barry reveals that he’s already travelled through time and that Cisco’s dreams could actually be memories from another timeline. They develop a device that allows Cisco to lucid dream and tell them everything that happens. They recreate the conditions in order to provoke the same kind of confession from Wells, hoping to exonerate Barry’s dad before capturing Wells. Unfortunately, Wells has been keeping everyone under surveillance for months, so he knew well in advance of everyone’s suspicions, investigation, and plans. While Wells escapes, Hannibal Bates impersonates Wells as a decoy. Wells then interrupts Eddie’s proposal – and rather than killing Iris, as Barry feared, he kidnaps Eddie. The Flash arrives and promises Iris that he will bring Eddie back, but not without accidentally revealing to Iris who he really is. Meanwhile, Wells reveals to Eddie that his name is actually Eobard Thawne, and that he’s his relative from the future.
This episode is filled with flashbacks to Barry’s recovery just after the STAR Labs explosion, detailing how a desperate Joe sent Barry away with Wells, a man he didn’t trust, in a final attempt to save his son. It also reveals how Iris touched Barry’s hand and received a strange electric shock, the very thing that makes Iris realize that Barry is the Flash. In the end, we also learn that Wells hates Barry and intends to kill him – though we have no idea why – and that he can never forgive him – though we have no idea what for.
Eddie approaches Joe to ask for his blessing before proposing to Iris. Joe flat out says no, which is a surprise to Eddie. While Eddie intends to propose anyway, he knows he needs Joe’s blessing in order to make Iris comfortable with marrying him. Eddie asks Barry to find out why Joe said no, and it turns out its because Joe knows that Barry and Iris are actually meant to be together. Joe tells Barry that Iris has feelings for him, she just doesn’t know how to deal with it yet. Of course, Barry has recently seen a news article from the future written by Iris West-Allen, implying that he and Iris do eventually end up together. Everyone is pretty young and adorably awkward in this show, which is kind of refreshing to see considering how inept real people are about love and relationships in general. Eddie is pretty dorky about his excitement in proposing to Iris and Barry is flustered and confused by what he knows versus the actual status of Iris’ feelings. Iris is pretty smooth and assured most the time. How things might change now that Iris knows Barry is the Flash is up in the air. Chances are things could be pretty rocky for a while after being lied to for months by her family.
I’m going to miss Harrison Wells as the character he seemed to be – the one that the STAR Labs team had come to love and trust as a source of wisdom, intelligence, and humor. That being said, I like how much more broad Tom Cavanagh gets to be as this futuristic villain. His facial expressions are more elaborate, his gestures larger, his tone more varied. I’m looking forward to seeing him behave and interact now that he is not constrained by his Dr. Wells persona. It should be pretty fun.