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THE FLASH Recap: Barry Tinkers With the Timeline in “Flash Back”

By on March 30, 2016

Pictured (L-R) Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells and Grant Gustin as The Flash -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW

By Justin Carter

As Terminator, 12 Monkeys, and pretty much everything involving time travel has shown us, manipulating the time stream is a very bad idea. It rarely ends well for all parties involved, and the lesson more often than not is “DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING”.

The Flash has shown us the ways this can end badly for our heroes and villains, but Barry clearly hasn’t learned a thing, which is what prompts him to try his hand at time travel again. Since reading up on speed equations hasn’t done him any good, he decides that the best way to improve his speed and take down Zoom is to travel back to roughly a year and gain some insight from Thawne-as-Wells.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t go as planned (does it ever on this show?). Current Barry is too obvious in his being weird to Past Wells, and also not helping is the appearance of a Time Wraith. Time Wraiths are, at least in terms of appearance, the Dementors from Harry Potter, something Cisco and returning guest star Hartley Rathaway (Alex Mientus) are too eager to bring up. The only reason Barry hasn’t encountered one now is simply waved away by him being lucky, and the show doesn’t really explain much about them beyond that. This Wraith looks freaky enough and gets the job done as a villain of the week, but probably won’t be remembered much beyond that.

The highlight of the episode is Tom Cavanaugh getting play both OG Wells and Wells 2.0. It’s a bit too easy that Current Barry is able to BS his way into keeping himself alive after he’s found out, but again, gets the job done.

If nothing else, Cisco’s test to see which Barry is the real Barry is funny. Despite the easy attempts for things to go wrong here, nothing really does, at least not in the sense that we’re used to with this show. The only thing that really happens of real consequence is that Hartley is a good guy now and that Iris has got a video message from Eddie that Barry managed to get while in the past.

Not that those aren’t well done moments, but this episode of The Flash does its job alright enough. As a bridge to what will hopefully be some answers regarding Zoom (I sound like a broken record at this point), April 19th can’t come soon enough.

Additional Notes

  • Not that I don’t like Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally, but can he have something to do besides 30 seconds of screentime?
  • Cisco rick-rolling Hartley was something I didn’t realize I needed until it actually happened.
  • This episode also explains how Barry ends up on Supergirl, sort of. Barry “borrows” Wells’ tachyon device, and it wouldn’t be surprising if that gets a callback when the show returns.
  • Speaking of, how delightful was that crossover? Just pure perfection.
  • See you all again in April!

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