The Flash S2E11: The Reverse-Flash Returns

The Flash -- "The Reverse Flash Returns" -- Image FLA211b_0152b -- Pictured (L-R): Matthew Letscher as Eobard Thawne/Reverse Flash, Grant Gustin as The Flash, and Amanda Pays as Christina McGee -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Barry Allen must guide his way through an emotional time in his life as the Reverse Flash arrives back on the scene in a loaded episode of “The Flash.”

Now, prepare to get timey wimey because Eobard Thawne, the Reverse Flash, is back again for the first time. What, wait? Now please, if you can indulge me, will you read my following explanation in a David Tennant voice. Thanks.

The Reverse Flash featured on this week’s episode of “The Flash,” was a Reverse Flash from a past timeline. So this was Thawne’s first time in the modern era where he learns about Harrison Wells and STAR Labs. It’s all very high concept but the episode did a very good job at explaining everything. Yes, this was a less experienced, less desperate Eobard Thawne than the older version Team Flash fought last year but the battle with Thawne did fall under one of my dramatic pet peeves. I hate it when a villain from a previous season returns in a subsequent season only to be defeated ten thousand times easier than he was previously. “Arrow” did that with Slade Wilson last year and it pissed me off, and now “The Flash” did it with Thawne. I mean, it took 23 episodes last year to come close to beating the Reverse Flash and this week, Barry Allen did it before act two was over.

flashthawneBut defeating Thawne opened some emotional doors for Barry and made him realize just how far he came. He is able to prevent Thawne from killing Tina McGee (thanks to some well timed vibing by Cisco Ramon), and managed to prevent Thawne from returning home. Sadly, the rupture of the time line that brought Thawne to 2016 was also killing Cisco so Barry had to help Thawne return. And return Thawne did, armed with knowledge of the past and that knowledge will allow him to find and kill the Earth One Harrison Wells and cause the accident that creates the Flash.

Speaking of multiple earths, we get to delve into Jay Garrick’s troubles this week as he is dying from his speed loss. Caitlin Snow is desperate to find a cure for her new found love interest but so far it’s been all dead ends. So they get the bright idea to seek out Jay’s Earth One doppelganger. Jay finds his double and explains that the Garrick double has changed his name. What name has he changed it to, you ask? Get ready comic fans, it is Hunter Zolomon. I won’t spoil it here, but fans of Geoff Johns’ great “Flash” run just got a chill down their spine.

This week, we also go to see the heroic evolution of Cisco Ramon as Vibe. You guys, this week, Cisco gets the sunglasses. And he also gets the ability to vibe into the future so it is now a whole new day for Cisco who is able to master time and space in order to help his team. This week, Cisco discovers his new power with the help of Harrison Wells who scared the poop out of poor Cisco to activate the future vibe. Let me just say that Cisco’s girlie scream was priceless.

The Flash -- "The Reverse Flash Returns" -- Image FLA211b_0028b -- Pictured (L-R): Amanda Pays as Christina McGee and Matthew Letscher as Eobard Thawne/Reverse Flash -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.So we had some adventure, some laughs, and the continuation of the Reverse Flash/Flash rivalry. But we also had some tragedy as Iris’ newfound mom is at death’s door. Ravaged with cancer, Mrs. West is on her way out as Iris finds it in her heart of forgive the mom that abandoned her. Sadly, Wally did not find the same love in his heart and refused to go see his dying mother. We have a nice moment between Wally and Iris as that story progresses. And thank goodness there was none of that drag racing clichéd nonsense. Yeah, he likes speed, we get it. Yuck?

More heartbreak and a bit of catharsis is in store for Patty and Barry as Barry’s detective GF figures out that Barry and he Flash are one and the same. Of course, Barry is hung up on the whole keeping Patty safe from Flash’s enemies deal so Patty leaves, but not before tricking Barry into racing to save her from a train robbery. Patty proves that her instincts are correct but she also realizes that to Barry, duty as the Flash comes first. In a sweetly melancholy moment, Patty lets Barry go with a thank you. So I guess this could clear the way for Iris and Barry and I must say, the series has done a really good job of refining Iris’s character. She was really annoying and manipulative last year, but this season, Iris has been a rock for everyone.

And with Zoom still out there, a good solid rock may be needed sooner rather than later.

3 stars