The Flash is DC’s television adaptation of the comic book of the same name. It airs Tuesday nights at 8/7 Central on The CW. Our writer, Nicole Drum recaps the series each week updating you on the latest episode here in The FlashBack.
This week’s episode opens with Barry speed-reading and indulging in some guilt. He blames himself for trusting Jay now that the team is aware Jay is Zoom. Barry equates this to his trust failure with Dr. Wells-Thawne, catapulting Barry to take the matter of improving his speed into his own hands. The speedster tries to crack the speed equation, while Cisco continues to get bad vibes off Jay’s helmet. Cisco would like to get rid of the helmet, but Barry keeps it anyway, saying it keeps him focused. Meanwhile, Caitlin has some information: It seems that all the Flashes run at the same speed, but everyone except Barry keep their feet off the ground more, making them faster. Caitlin also suggests that maybe Barry just can’t be faster no matter what he does.
Over at the West residence, Joe and Iris are trying to cheer Barry up because he’s struggling with the Jay/Zoom situation. Additionally, Iris confides in Barry of a date she went on with her boss, Scott Evans. However, Iris is struggling with her own issues, specifically moving on from Eddie. In a heart-to-heart, Barry tells Iris not to keep herself closed off. Soon enough, Wally shows up for family dinner, boasting about his academic acclaim. In fact, Wally is doing so well that one of his professors has asked for his help. Wally’s work on getting more speed out of small engines inspires Barry. You see, to help him figure out problems, Wally picks the brains of great, past engineers via reading their progressive journals. Barry doesn’t want to read though. He’s been doing that to no avail and wants to go back in time to talk to an expert—in this case Dr. Wells-Thawne. When he tells the team of his plan, Harry thinks it’s a terrible idea and warns Barry that time travel could mess things up, like the timeline but Barry doesn’t care.
With the help of Cisco and Caitlin, Barry decides to go back to the time they were dealing with Hartley Rathaway. It seems like a good moment because Wells-Thawne would be distracted and might not notice Barry being weird. Caitlin and Cisco prep Barry on what to do and not to do, and tell him to return at exactly the moment he is leaving from. It sounds simple and Barry’s off. However, there’s an issue with the plan. Barry encounters something weird in the time travel and pops into the past too early. Seeing his “past self” as he deals with Hartley, Barry’s coms are interfering with his “past self.” Nevertheless, Barry sees this as an opportunity and decides to catch his “past self” now and fill in after switching symbols. Hartley is defeated, just he was supposed to be.
Back at STAR, Barry can’t separate his future knowledge from the situation. He calls out Hartley’s devices in his ears (the ones he used to escape with in the original timeline), so the team’s able to solve things in advance. It also brings Wells-Thawne in and the not-so-good doctor and Barry have a chat about Barry’s interest in the speed equation. Wells-Thawne agrees to help, but seems suspicious.
Meanwhile at the police station, its Eddie! It’s nice to see him again as he talks to Joe. Eddie’s supposed to go to Wells’ house and search everything. However, in Barry’s lab, that creepy time ghost thing we saw earlier shows up. This trip to the past isn’t proving harmless the way it was supposed to be. When the trouble alert goes off for the police department, Barry is reluctant to go help and suspicious Wells-Thawne makes him.
So the creepy ghost thing did some damage to the police station, but things are more complicated than that. Seeing Eddie moves Barry deeply and Joe notices. Barry shrugs it off and gets back to STAR, where Wells-Thawne is waiting for him. The team is tracking the ghost thing and Barry lies, saying he saw it earlier when running to get Hartley. Wells-Thawne has Barry meet him privately to discuss the speed equation, then knocks Barry over the head. Wells-Thawne definitely knows what he is up to. He ties Barry up in the secret room and confronts the speedster. It seems that the ghost thing’s a Time Wraith, out to kill the time traveler aka Barry. Wells-Thawne also knows that Barry knows who he is, so Barry calls Wells-Thawne by his real name. It’s time to cut to the chase: Barry wants Thawne to tell him how to go faster. Thawne knows that means his plan went poorly, but Barry lies. He says that Thawne’s plan works but Barry needs to get faster to stop a singularity that resulted from the situation. Thawne’s amused but decides to kill our hero anyway. Barry tells Thawne that the other Barry has a letter revealing all and ruining Thawne’s plan. That stops the doctor and now Thawne has to help Barry.
In the pipeline, Cisco’s tormenting Hartley with music. Only when Hartley agrees to help with understanding the gauntlets, Cisco turns off the music and gives Hartley new ear pieces to stop the ear pain he has been experiencing. Upstairs, Caitlin gets visited by the Time Wraith. It chases her to the pipeline where she and Cisco flee into Hartley’s cell. It’s not safe there and since Thawne and Barry aren’t responding, Hartley has to play hero. He uses his gauntlets to drive off the wraith.
The team has to stop the Time Wraith, which totally derails the efforts to solve the speed equation. This doesn’t make Barry happy, but he goes to his police lab to seek clues. While there, Barry gets a moment with Eddie and sees an opportunity to help Iris. Barry tells Eddie that he’s making a video montage for Iris’ upcoming birthday and asks Eddie to say to the camera what she means to him.
Back at STAR, Future Barry and Past Barry meet after the sedative wears off. It’s explanation time. It’s awkward, but Thawne manages to give a brief update about Future Barry, but the pressing issue is that they have to stop the wraith. This leads Thawne to giving Barry the information about the tachyon device and its speed enhancement. Why? That, apparently, is the answer. The technology from the tachyon is what enhances speed. Now that Barry has the information he needs, the whole team prepares to deal with the Time Wraith. The plan for that? Barry has to leave. Before going, Barry tips Cisco that Hartley knows where Ronnie is.
So Barry takes off running to head back to his own time, but the wraith’s slowing him down. It looks for a moment like the wraith will win, but Past Barry helps out. Our Barry makes it home, blasting back into his own time as planned. The wraith chases him and is about to kill Barry when Hartley saves him? Yep, that’s right. Hartley is a hero! He knows who Barry is too. Turns out that now Hartley’s just a good guy helping out the team instead of being a villain. With the wraith dealt with, Barry goes with Cisco and Caitlin to check out the data Thawne gave him. For a moment it looks like Thawne played Barry, but after a frustrated fist slam, its clear Thawne kept his word. Barry has the info he needs to get faster.
At home, Iris sits and looks at a photo album. She’s missing Eddie a lot and Barry imparts to her that she needs to move forward. After recording the “birthday” message for Iris, Barry gives her the video he recorded of Eddie. Iris plays the video as Barry leaves the room and in it, Eddie tells Iris how independent and fearless she is. He also tells her that she deserves to be happy for the rest of her life. It’s just what Iris needed to hear. (I miss Eddie.)
So what’s up now that Barry has the secret to the speed force? Zoom. See you next week!