Barry runs so fast that he literally runs through time and back “a day and some change,” specifically into the beginning of last week’s episode. To recap, he’s ran into a time before [SPOILER ALERT] Weather Wizard 2.0 kidnapped Joe in revenge, before Captain Singh was hospitalized/paralyzed, before the WestAllen kiss, before a tsunami threatened Central City, and before Wells vibrated his fist through Cisco’s chest.
At first Barry’s just testing things out a la Marty McFly, like saying things that are about to happen and just totally NOT blending in, but Dr. Wells puts an end to that with a quick “CAN I SEE YOU IN MY OFFICE, BARRY AND ALSO PLEASE SHADDUP?”
Wells knows Barry is from the future, even if it is only a day. “That means there’s not too much you could’ve messed up yet,” Wells says as he rubs his hands together the way super villains do. It sounds like he has experience. But Wells doesn’t want to know ANYTHING about the future that Barry experienced.
“Time is an extremely fragile construct. Any deviation, no matter how small, could result in a cataclysm.”
-Dr. Harrison “Shady” Wells
(The way Wells reacts, you would think that if Barry accidentally crushed a butterfly, he’d destroy the entire earth and humans would be forced to immigrate on spaceships to a different star system.)
Wells begs Barry to repeat everything exactly and not tell anyone about it. He freaks out by himself in his wheelchair-less Room of Lies and Secrets making sure that his future newspaper from the pilot episode still reads the same headline. He tells his computer girlfriend, Gideon, “If anything changes, alert me immediately.” His glasses are off, which we the audience should recognize is the Real Wells; he takes off his glasses when he’s alone, when he speeds, and when he kills Cisco. It’s like Clark Kent and Superman, but in a bad guy way.
BTW, Barry ignores Wells’ request. He keeps getting guilt-flashes (like hot flashes, kinda) of the future where everything went to shit and all of twitter freaked out.
So Barry imprisons Mark Mardon aka Weather Wizard immediately. Consequences?
- Central City’s police department is never attacked.
- Captain Singh is never hospitalized and critically injured.
- Joe West is never kidnapped/beaten to a pulp/tied to a pole on a rooftop.
- No tidal wave.
- Cisco must attend his brother’s birthday party.
Also, Barry decides to romantically pursue Iris since they kissed and she confessed feelings to him. Consequences?
- Barry breaks up with Linda Park.
- Linda Park is totally awesome about it. And maybe ships WestAllen?
- Barry idiotically speeds into an awkward conversation about knowing Iris is lying to him about her feelings. She rightfully puts him in his place.
- Eddie (rightfully) punches Barry in the face. And destroys my bromantic Beddie dreams.
- Barry, while at the newspaper office dumping Linda, confronts Mason Bridge about his Harrison Wells hunches.
- Bridge does not tell Iris.
- Iris does not tell Barry.
- Barry does not tell Caitlin or Cisco.
- Cisco and Caitlin do not snoop Wells’ personal space.
- Wells does not kill Cisco. THANK THE LAWD.
- Wells does kill Mason Bridge, however.
- Barry finds out about this and tells Joe his sneaking suspicions in a very dramatic, trenchcoat-y, rain on the window-y, clandestine-y way. Cliffhanger.
But there are also new, important stories this week! The Rogues (Captain Cold and Heat Wave) are back, and they’ve recruited Lisa Snart, Cold’s gorgeous little sister [Ed. note: Who also looks a hell of a lot like Lois Lane’s gorgeous little sister, btw]. She gets her gun, too, and Midas’ed a few people… After, you know, seducing Cisco at a bar and then holding him hostage along with Cisco’s brother, Dante Ramon — who is a talented pianist prodigy that gave Cisco an inferiority complex when it comes to the Ramon family. Dante also likes to belittle Cisco’s genius, which makes me really, really dislike him. Team NOC, baby.
Captain Cold and Heat Wave blackmail Cisco to make them new guns; Cisco agrees, despite his older brother being a little bit of a dick. Cisco loves his brother and doesn’t want him to be tortured, especially by Heat Wave who is totally down to burn the land and boil the sea. Eventually, Captain Cold offers the Ramon brothers their freedom in exchange for the identity of The Flash. Cisco resists at first, and Captain Cold gives Dante major frostbite on his precious piano-playing hands. I shiver.
Cisco inevitably saves his brother’s life and gains their freedom; he tells Team Flash at S.T.A.R. Labs the secret he’s divulged, and resigns from the squad. Crying. Because he doesn’t deserve to be there, he claims. “TAKE ME OUT TO THE BLACK. TELL THEM I AIN’T COMIN’ BACK!” Cisco sings. But seriously, this is an incredibly moving moment in Team Flash history: no one is angry about Cisco’s decision, especially not Barry, and are more concerned about losing their own family member, Cisco.
Even Wells looks genuinely concerned and wheels himself to where Cisco is packing his things. This makes me nervous because the last time Cisco and Wells were alone, tears were shed, villainous identities were revealed, and we were down one Person of Color on this TV show.
What I enjoyed most about this scene was knowing that neither Cisco nor wells knew what had happened in the other timeline (not even Barry knew!), but it played out so similarly… and Wells kept his glasses on. I’m questioning Wells’ fondness for the team? It seems real here, but it is agony knowing that his own secrets and future will ultimately supersede the relationships he’s formed in this timeline.
Despite knowing that his identity is no longer a secret to Snart, Barry flashes off to prevent the Rogues from starting a mob war/robbing armored trucks etc. I’m not really sure what was going on because CAPTAIN COLD PUT HIS SISTER IN A MOTORCYCLE SIDECAR. It’s so cute and ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as when he introduced The Flash to his baby sister. He’s a cute, evil, older brother.
Barry flashed Captain Cold away in his arms like a damsel in distress… into a deserted wood. They converse in the moonlight hypotheticals. Barry threatens Cold. Cold threatens Barry. It’s all very pretty to watch. In the end, The Rogues agree not to kill anymore and keep Flash’s secret (“for now”), and Barry leaves him alone in the pretty forest. TBH, I don’t understand what happened here. Cold makes a gentleman’s agreement based on Barry’s challenge to show how talented he is? Huzzah? It’s a slightly anti-climactic ending to an epic-ly beautiful shot scene.
SUPER QUICK THINGS:
Linda Park. I love you, girl. You are seriously the coolest, downest female on this show, and I’m sad that you’re leaving us. Hopefully, this isn’t the end of Malese Jow’s guest stint, even though IMDB says otherwise. I’m still rooting for Eddie and Linda; their ship name would be “Team Mature Honest Relationship.”
Cisco nabbing the girl. I know it wasn’t meant to come off as a joke, but there may have been some accidental vibes of “A beautiful woman wants Cisco? Really? That can’t be true. That would never happen!” Personally, I think Cisco is handsome as hell, but I can understand how his casual tees and long hair might be a turn off to certain kinds of women while scanning the bar.
Papa Joe. He notices things and he doles out good advice accordingly. Barry is freaked out about time travel: “You were acting weird at the crime scene. […] Okay, weirder.” Iris doesn’t know what to do about her love triangle because “she loves Eddie?”: “You need to make them believe that because right now I’m not sure either one of them does, okay?” Thank you, Iris, for telling him he’s amazing. Because he is. You can’t take the sky from him.
Wells talking about screwed up timelines. “Imagine if you traveled centuries.” I wonder, Dr. wells, what things you’ve screwed up and how many times have you wreaked havoc on the events you’re trying so hard to control? Is this an Edge of Tomorrow/Live Die Repeat type of situation?
Caitlin bullshit-diagnosing Barry with “lightning psychosis.” All of Barry’s strange behavior, including confessing his feelings to Iris, can now be attributed as a side-effect of being struck by lightning. From a year ago. I guess the symptoms have a delayed onset? That’s cool because Beddie hugs.
And Iris is all “Okay, cool. We can be friends and he doesn’t know how I really feel” once again. You know… these feelings:
And, most importantly, I get my guilty pleasure Snowbarry adorkableness.
Except that neither Eddie nor Iris look too convinced at the end of it all. Maybe they simply took the “easy way out” of the awkwardness and pretended to buy into Caitlin Snow’s terrible lie. Maybe Eddie thinks that Iris actually believes the lie and is willing to do whatever to keep her? Maybe Iris is just being a lying liar who lies to herself because she’s scared of how everything will change once she’s finally honest? Maybe Snowbarry needs to get a reality check on how bad of liars they are?
So they kind of cancelled everything out from last week, right? Nope, not buying it.
Yeah, me too, Eddie. Me too.