By Jay Berringer
Barry Allen: We thought we set a trap for him, but he set a trap for us.
Harrison Wells is not who he claims to be. We’ve known he was sketchy from the first episode when he killed Simon Stagg. After tonight’s episode, everything is out in the open, and Team Flash knows exactly who he is, and what he wants.
As “The Trap” begins, everybody’s favorite Star Labs brainiac trio is standing in Dr. Well’s hidden time vault as Cisco, (who has a thing for naming stuff,) decides to call it. Barry, Caitlin, and Cisco are there examining a newspaper’s front page that states The Flash has gone missing after a fight with the Reverse Flash. Highlights include the date being April 24t.h… 2024(!) also known as the future, the writer of said article being none other than Iris West, and my personal favorite, her name is Iris West-ALLEN. Barry infers this means he is married to Iris in nine years, as does Cisco who congratulates Barry with a “Mazel Tov?”.( As is usually the case, Carlos Valdes’s delivery here is hilarious.) This leads Gideon, Dr. Well’s futuristic artificial intelligence, to appear to state that Cisco’s congratulatory message is Hebrew. The rest of the scene plays out very much like something out of I Robot, complete with very good CG of Gideon answering questions Barry has. The most significant one, “why did Wells come here?” is answered “To kill you”. Wells enters the building and they are forced to rush out. After a bit more Q & A where we discover that Barry has a promotion in the future, is a founding member of something Gideon didn’t get a chance to fully say, (the Justice League perhaps?!) and that Gideon herself was apparently created by Barry in the future, Mr. Allen super-speeds them all out of there as Wells is about to enter.
Cut to Eddie and Joe having a cup of coffee in Jitters, where the kindest person in the entire CW/DC universe asks Joe if he can have his blessing to propose to Iris. Joe’s answer is a resolute-sounding no. I understand that we are supposed to ultimately be rooting for Iris and Barry to get together, but it’s tough to not feel bad for this guy. He can’t really catch a break. Joe receives a call from Barry to head to Joe’s house for a meeting of the Secret Society for Getting to the Bottom of Barry’s Mom’s Murder and Finding Out Who this Wells Guy Truly is. Ok, I realize I need to work on the name. How about abbreviated, SSFGTTBOBMMAFWTWGTI? Where is Cisco when you need him? Anyway, back to the secret meeting. Barry tells the others about his time travel jaunt from a few weeks back. Barry tells Cisco his recent nightmares are actually memories of the other timeline where Wells killed him. He then announces he has “a really bad idea”.
After a quick convo with the captain, who is getting married, and a run-in, more of a bump-in with Iris, Barry has a super awkward talk with Eddie, where the young police detective asks him to talk to Joe to try to get him to change his mind about giving his blessing. Barry, of course is beyond excited at the prospect of helping Eddie and Iris get engaged.
Back at Barry’s loft office, Cisco, Kaitlin, Barry and Joe begin step one of Barry’s “bad idea”. This involves causing Cisco to have a lucid dream, where he can relive the minutes leading up to his “death,” and tell them all what Wells said through the beauty of science… stuff. This made me think of Fringe, which I just started watching on Netflix, as something similar to this occurs in the pilot, and also Tom Cavanagh’s underappreciated early 2000’s dramedy series “Ed,” which had an episode that was almost entirely the titular character’s lucid dream. As Cisco’s dream/memory plays out, the group discovers Wells’ name is Eobard Thawne, and he didn’t intend on killing Nora Allen. Of course, these are things we already knew, but it’s interesting to see the character’s reactions, as well as getting sort of a replay of one of the best scenes this series has had thus far. After Cisco is nearly killed in the Matrix, I mean his dream/memory, he almost has a stroke in the “real world.” The team successfully gets him to wake up, and Barry receives a call from Dr. Wells informing him of a fire in the building where Captain Singh’s fiancé Rob works. With Dr. Harrison Eobard Thawne Wells’ assistance, Barry is able to stop the fire and save a floor-full of people including Rob.
Back at Joe’s house, Joe feels guilty that he ever let Wells save Barry in the first place. This does not completely make sense to me, as without Star Labs, Barry would be dead or in a coma. Moving on to part two of Barry’s really bad idea, the group tries to bring Wells into the bunker and trick him into confessing to Barry’s mother’s murder. This does not go particularly well. Wells walks into the room, threatens Cisco, and then reaches up to “kill” him with his super-speed karate chop. Joe shoots Barry who tries to stop the bullets but is only able to stop two of three after one has crossed through the containment field, which Cisco has reversed the polarity of, so that speedsters cannot enter. The bullet pierces Not-quite-Harrison-Wells’ heart and Caitlin pronounces him dead. Except, it isn’t him at all, it is the shapeshifter from the previous episode. This was a great fake-out that I did not see coming.
Eobard’s voice comes over the PA at star labs. He tells them he is one step ahead and that he will be coming to see them all very soon. (Props to Tom Cavanagh who is wonderfully devilish in this scene. He is showing these people he has been hiding from for so long who he truly is, and Cavanagh perfectly captures it with some slight tonal and inflection changes to his voice.) Barry darts to the time vault where he sees nine screens replaying video from all of the places Barry and his friends have frequented over the last several months. He realizes they’ve been watched this entire time and that wells was setting them up.
As this is transpiring, Eddie is on a bridge about to propose to Iris. The reverse flash runs up, and knocks Eddie back. He then threatens Iris. The flash gets to her as he is prepping his favorite martial arts chopping move. Reverse flash takes Eddie and runs off. Barry tells her it will all be alright and as he is running away Iris feels a shock similar to one she felt taking Barry’s hand when he was in a coma. Iris realizes in this moment that Barry is the Flash. Welcome to the party, it’s a bit crowded but you’ll fit right in.
Finally, in this week’s epilogue stinger, the Reverse Flash reveals himself, and his name and familial connection, to Eddie, before telling him he is his insurance. We then flashback to Wells standing over Barry in a coma at Star Labs several months prior where he shares that he’s been watching Barry for 15 years, and while he must “create” the Flash, in order to get home, he will kill Barry Allen at some point.
Overall this was another excellent episode of what has quickly become one of my favorite shows currently running. (See what I did there!?) While it does not reach the heights of an episode like “Out of Time,” this is definitely one of the best chapters in this young series.
4 stars out of 5
Wells to a comatose Barry: “But fate, fate’s tricky, isn’t it? I come here to destroy you, and then to get home I have to be the one who creates you… And to be clear, nothing is forgiven. There will be a reckoning, I promise you Barry Allen, and you will die.”
Cisco realizing he may have caused Barry to change the shade of red of his suit by looking at Future Flash: “That would mean we’re living in a causal nexus. Wow, this is so trippy, like Marty and the Polaroid trippy.”
Eddie: “Iris Thawne, sounds pretty good eh?” Barry: “I have a feeling she’s gonna want to hyphenate”
Cisco: “Except I’m pretty sure I die in this dream. If I go back into it, am I gonna die in real life? I mean what are we talking about here, is this Inception or Dreamscape?”
What did you think of this week’s episode?
Please let me know in the comments.