In tonight’s episode of “The Flash,” the Reverse Flash was back, Patty made her final preparations to leave Central City, and Iris got to say a touching goodbye to her mother. This episode brought some starting revelations, including the possibility of traveling through time, an increase in Cisco’s vibe powers, and the discovery of an Earth-1 Jay Garrick.
When Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett) killed himself in the season one finale of “The Flash,” Barry (Grant Gustin) and the rest of Team Flash watched as his ancestor, Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher) dissapeared from the timeline. They all probably thought that would be the last time they would ever have to see The Reverse Flash again. Imagine their surprise when Harry Wells (Tom Cavanagh) triggered a vibe in Cisco (Carlos Valdes), and Cisco saw the Reverse Flash at Mercury Labs! Barry rushed over to Mercury Labs to protect Dr. McGee (Amanda Pays,) but the Reverse Flash whammed Barry pretty good and escaped. All that Barry kept thinking was, “How are you here? Why are you here?”
Because Cisco’s vibe powers were able to spot the arrival of the Reverse Flash, Harry builds Cisco goggles that amplify the waves that connect to his powers. What’s awesome about these goggles is that Cisco is getting closer to embracing this superhero persona of Vibe. He even promised to name the goggles soon! When Cisco vibes again, this time with the goggles, he can see a flood of images in the time stream. He can see the wormhole that opened up over Central City and the faces of some of his friends. As Cisco begins to concentrate, he finds Thawne and Dr. McGee. Thawne kills her and jumps into her tachyon device. At first Cisco thinks he just watched McGee die, but then Harry realized Cisco was looking into the future. This means Cisco can see between dimensions, and forwards in time.
In addition to the Reverse Flash returning, Francine West (Vanessa Williams) also returned to “The Flash” this week, but this time in a hospital bed. Her cancer had gotten worse and it was time for her and Iris (Candice Patton) to say all the things to each other they wished they would have said before she was ill. In a powerfully emotional scene, Iris was able to tell Francine that she forgave her for staying away so long. Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) should have been at the hospital too, but no matter how much he loves his mother, he is still not dealing with Joe (Jesse L. Martin) or Iris well at all. Iris even tried to encourage Wally to move past his forgiveness and go see her, but he stormed out. Thankfully Wally changed his mind, and agreed to go see her with Iris.
The episode then really kicked into gear with an epic Flash vs. Reverse Flash showdown. Barry came very close to beating and killing Thawne, but he decided to put Thawne in the pipeline instead. Barry wanted to hurt him, to interrogate him, but Harry urged Barry to not mess with Thawne’s timeline. The more Thawne knew about this time, the worse it would become. Unfortunately Cisco decided to flaunt his new powers in front of Thawne, and possibly inspirds him to give The Flash his powers in the future — well, Thawne’s future, Barry’s past. (Can we make an “X-Men: Days of Future Past” reference here?) Sadly, by capturing Thawne, their timeline began to change, and Cisco went into a state a quantum shock. Cisco began to phase in and out of this timeline and was close to dying. This near-death experience forced Barry to make a choice: kill the Reverse Flash and let Cisco die, or let the Reverse Flash go, and restore Cisco’s life. Barry, being the good man that he is, chose to let the Reverse Flash go. Even though Zoom is Barry’s main enemy this season, this episode proved the Reverse Flash will always be Barry’s greatest nemesis.
The episode concluded with two huge bombs being dropped. One, was Patty’s (Shantel VanSanten) discovery that Barry is The Flash. This show has been teasing for weeks whether or not Patty would ever find out, and tonight she did. It took some digging on her part, but she very cleverly put the truth together. The hardest part about her finding out was her knowing that Barry was intentionally lying to her. He had a good reason for lying, he wanted to keep her safe — but can she see past that? Now that Patty is officially leaving Central City, will Barry be able to get over her quickly, or will his feelings for her linger until Zoom comes to threaten him again? Lastly, the biggest “OMG” moment came from Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears.) When Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) tried to find Jay’s Earth-1 doppelganger, Jay told her that Jay Garrick doesn’t exist on Earth-1. The catch here, is that while Jay Garrick may not exist, Jay does have a double, his name is just something different. The “OMG” reveal? Jay’s double is named Hunter Zolomon. Say what?! In the comics, Zoom’s real name is Hunter Zolomon! What does this reveal mean for Team Flash? Will this version of Zolomon become a future adversary for Barry? Is there another Zolomon on Earth-2 and he’s Zoom? This reveal is a tricky one, now that there are three timelines to keep up with: Earth-1, Earth-2, and the future.