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the flash 2x11 reverse flash caught
Sometimes it’s hard to remember that Barry only became the Flash a season ago. So when episodes revolving around growing pains are featured, it can really surprise you like a punch to the gut, but in a good way. This week’s episode of The Flash, titled “The Reverse Flash Returns,” brings up the origin of The Reverse Flash. Not necessarily how Eobard gained his powers, but the origin of how he knew to take on the identity of Harrison Wells, how he knew to work at STAR Labs, and more about how he positioned himself perfectly in Barry’s life.

Now before you jump into the recap/review, take this time to think about what you’re about to do. If you haven’t seen this week’s episode, then you should turn away, go watch it, then come back when you’re ready. This will be your only warning about possible spoilers in this article. Otherwise, if you’re ready, then keep reading.

Recap

There are many reasons why people run. They run for themselves, to get somewhere, or to get away. And while it doesn’t directly ask the audience, the following question is posed: Why do you run?

the flash 2x11 truck no wheels
When the audience finally catches up to Barry, it seems that he’s been keeping himself busy with the daily chores of a superhero. And in this case, he was stopping a runaway fuel truck. Luckily, The Flash is able to stop it by removing all of the tires. ALL OF THEM. However, it seems that the whole thing was a setup when it’s revealed that Eobard Thawne was nearby watching the whole thing go down gathering information on The Flash.

After stopping the truck, Barry gets called back to STAR Labs after the body of Turtle had been discovered. According to their preliminary scans, Turtle had died of a brain aneurysm. But if you tuned in last week, you’d know that Turtle died because of Wells.

Back at the CCPD, the tension between Patty and Barry could be cut with a knife. After an awkward conversation between the two, Iris pops her head in to visit her friend. However, that moment is cut short when Det. West comes in and tells Iris that Francine doesn’t have much time left.

the flash 2x11 scared cisco
At STAR Labs, Cisco and Wells continue to work on finding out what triggers Cisco’s “vibes” in order to make him more useful. As it turns out, fear is what has been causing Cisco to go into vibe mode. To demonstrate this, Wells dressed up as the Reverse Flash. However, this also, inadvertently, caused Cisco to discover that Eobard Thawne had somehow made his way back into their world.

The short explanation is that a Time Remnant is why The Reverse Flash still exists. Basically, the current Eobard Thawne is still from the future, but a different time from the future – before the original one had left to kill Barry’s mom.

the flash 2x11 ciscos new goggles
Cisco tells Barry about The Reverse Flash and he races off to stop him. Barry finds him with Dr. McGee, but is unable to apprehend him and The Reverse Flash escapes with the doctor. Later in the day Wells tells Cisco that he’s modified a pair of goggles to help trigger his vibes. Cisco puts on the pair and immediately vibes. His powers allow him to track Eobard and discover his whereabouts. However, there’s a bonus. Up until now, Cisco has only been able to vibe in the present, but thanks to the goggles, he’s now able to see slightly into the future.

Meanwhile, Patty confronts Joe about her suspicions about Barry being the Flash. Joe does his best to maintain a solid front, but she knows that he’s lying. Iris and Wally also have a moment. She tries to convince Wally to take time to visit his dying mother. But frustrated by the whole situation, he walks away from the conversation.

the flash 2x11 eobard mcgee
The future has finally caught up and time is running out in the search for Dr. McGee and The Reverse Flash. Without any time to spare, Barry and the team are able to pinpoint their location and help free Dr. McGee. Barry then disables the machine that Eobard had been working on (the main reason he kidnapped Dr. McGee in the first place). The device was to help The Reverse Flash return to his time period.

A quick run around the block, and The Flash captures The Reverse Flash and throws him into one of the STAR Labs cells. While in the cell, Cisco confronts Eobard and fills him in on events that have yet to occur for him. Soon after, Barry (concealed in the shadows) pays a visit to The Reverse Flash and asks him why he hates The Flash. It turns out Eobard had been obsessed with The Flash and even wanted to be like him. He replicated the reaction that gave Barry his powers and succeeded. Unfortunately, The Reverse Flash’s ability to time travel revealed to him that he would never become The Flash, but the opposite. From that point on, he would try to do the reverse of everything The Flash did.

Upstairs, it seems that Cisco has begun to experience the effects of capturing The Reverse Flash. By preventing Eobard from returning to his time period, the team ruptured the timeline causing Cisco to begin fading out of existence. The only way to solve the problem is to return The Reverse Flash back to his time. However, Barry destroyed the machine that would have allowed him to do so. Now the team has to come up with a new plan. Luckily, they are in a giant lab and are all smart.

the flash 2x11 special effects
The solution: to give The Reverse Flash a push and boost him into the future. After returning Eobard to his time period, Cisco recovers from his event.

The end of the episode comes with Joe delivering “the speech.” He and Barry share a moment where Joe reminds him that along his journey, sacrifices are going to have to be made. Barry has to be ready for the moments where he has to let this go. Of course this is all referring to Patty who is leaving to pursue her dream as a forensic scientist. But at the last minute she calls Barry to tell him that a man with a gun is on board her train. He suits up and runs to her aid. When The Flash arrives, there’s no gunman to be found and people look confused. Patty stands up and tells The Flash that it must have been a false alarm. Realizing what’s going on, Barry stops blurring his face and let’s Patty see him. He tells her that he was just making sure that everything was okay to which she replies that “everything’s good.”

the flash 2x11 end scene
Review

Being a superhero must be really hard – both physically and mentally. As little kids, possessing the ability to fly around, lift tractors with one hand, or run faster than anything on Earth would be a dream come true. That is until you finally get those powers. It’s such a cliché, but there’s so much responsibility with these kind of powers. Tonight’s episode was a good example of exactly this. Watching Barry juggle so many issues makes him more of a hero than his ability to run at super speeds.

The situation between Barry and Patty has become all too familiar in these television shows about superheroes, and it can be a little tiresome. In the end, though, it’s what allows the audience to relate. It’s become a necessary evil.

the flash 2x11 barry face
Someone give Barry a certificate of achievement for the poker face he had to put on whenever Patty accused him of being the Flash. He did his best to convince her that he wasn’t the Scarlet Speedster. But once she had her mind made up, it was impossible to make her think otherwise. It’s frustrating and understandable at the same time. All she wants is for him to say he’s the Flash and she’ll give up her dream of going to forensic school. However, he cares so much for her that his heart comes second to her safety. Someone give this guy a hug.

Going into season two, there were a lot of concerns about how the show was going to make sense of everything going on in the show. From time travel to multiverses, there is a ton of information that would easily scare off a normal person. And who would blame them? This week’s episode was a great example of how the writers on the show have done an excellent job of trying to simply all of the events going on. This wasn’t your ordinary dose of Back To The Future.

the flash 2x11 time remnant
Timeline remnant. Take a moment to let that sink in. If you’re still confused about what it is, don’t worry. You’re probably not alone. For those who did get it, that may be the simplest explanation you’ll ever get. It also helps explain why Cisco was fading from existence. Remember that whole speech about how Cisco was the reason why the Reverse Flash was caught and how the Reverse Flash gave Cisco his powers? Essentially, without the Reverse Flash, the present Cisco would not exist. But by keeping the Reverse Flash from returning to his time period, he wouldn’t be able to go back in time to help give Cisco his powers. This was probably just as confusing.

Finally, this episode showcased some great special effects. It can be easy to overlook the technical side of TV, but it’s hard to ignore something like this. And it seems like it just keeps getting better and better. How many of you out there want to own their own Gideon?

the flash 2x11 gideon
This was another great episode. Even the West family problems didn’t seem problematic. And you finally felt bad for Francine (unfortunately, it took her to be on her death bed to happen). Wally is a different story, though. It’s another frustrating situation that he can’t be blamed for. It’s the environment that he grew up in. Hopefully there will be some resolution for him coming soon.

The Reverse Flash Returns” overall grade – A

Check out a preview for an all new The Flash airing on The CW at 8PM EST.

Category: reviews, TV

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