So you’ve found your mentor’s secret lair that not only serves as the final proof of his betrayal but points to the most bizarre revelation of all—namely that he’s from the future, what do you do? Why, gather more information, of course. Topping off the Wells mind bender is the fact that 1) Barry stares at the proof of his own disappearance, 2) Iris is holding down the “Allen” last name and 3) the snazzy AI, Gideon, is a creation of Central City’s own Barry Allen.

Barry, Caitlin, and Cisco discover the Wells Time Vault

The STAR Labs trio exits the Time Vault just ahead of Wells’ arrival and they call Eddie and Joe (who are having their own issues) in to break things down. Though they still don’t know the reason, Wells’s true goal was to kill Barry. When he failed, he turned his anger towards Nora Allen. It’s a tough sell but Barry shares with the group his previous experience with time travel during the Mardon tsunami. The revelation brings home the idea that maybe Cisco’s dreams are clues to the previous timeline. With everything on the table, Barry speaks up on his “really bad idea”—namely, have Cisco access his subconscious, gain all the info he can from the Wells encounter, then be the cheese for the Wells trap, goading him into admitting the truth about killing Nora Allen. It’s not a great plan as things go but, right now, it’s their only option to exonerate Henry Allen.

Taking Cisco’s usual spot of gadget invention, Caitlin builds a pair of specs to allow Cisco to “objectively enter [his] dreams and facing [his] fears”. In a nutshell—lucid dreaming. Adding to the tension is Wells arriving in time to offer his own advice into making the glasses work.

At the police station, right after Barry’s warned by Captain Singh to “never get married,” Eddie pulls him aside, asking Barry to convince Joe to give his blessing to Eddie’s marriage proposal to Iris. The request adds to Barry’s already whirling pit of emotions but he has to put it all aside as he steps up with Caitlin to begin walking Cisco through his dreams. Part one of the plan is a success with Cisco confirming Gideon’s claim of Barry being Well’s original target.

From here, things move forward pretty quickly. Barry puts out a huge fire at Bradford Towers (where the Captain’s fiancé works), Joe gives the reason for not granting Eddie his approval to propose to Iris, they solidify the con on Wells and Barry absolves Joe of any guilt for allowing Wells to take him post-lightning induced coma. “Every bad thing that has happened to us—all of it—it was him. And now he’s gonna pay for it.”

Though she’s on the periphery most of the episode, Iris hasn’t been idle. She’s put together a portfolio of all the weird incidents that’ve occurred in Central City over the last year and has theorized a single common factor—all occurred after the Particle Accelerator explosion. It’s so dead on that Barry stumbles through an explanation before skipping out on her with a promise to look through her notes. Iris watches him go and has her own memory into the past during Barry’s coma where, after touching his hand, she receives a small, sharp shock that meant nothing at the time…

Wells–always one step ahead of the good guys

Everything is set when Wells arrives and Caitlin sends him down to the Bunker where Cisco’s waiting. The ensuing confrontation is an eerie reflection to their original encounter where Wells ended Cisco’s life. Though Cisco does his duties, Wells doesn’t openly confess to the murders but when he steps through the barrier, Joe has no choice but to shoot, killing Wells. But it’s not Wells but Hannibal Bates. Then Wells calls in, reminding the group that he’s been ahead of them from the beginning. This is no more apparent than when, after Wells takes everything from the Time Vault, Barry sees the broadcast from every single hidden camera Wells planted to watch all of them. Though Wells is gone, Barry realizes Iris may still be in Wells’s sights.

Iris and Eddie are taking a stroll across a bridge when the Reverse Flash comes calling. He takes Eddie away moments before Barry gets there. As the Flash, he promises to bring Eddie back and, when she reaches out to touch him, Iris receives the familiar shock she received months ago when touching a comatose Barry.

Wells takes Thawne to an abandoned facility and he introduces himself to the detective as Eobard Thawne, admitting the familial connection. “You, my friend,” he tells Eddie, “are simply my insurance.”

In the past, Wells speaks to the comatost Barry in a monologue filled with disdain, hatred and irony as he’s forced to be the one responsible for creating his own greatest enemy. Despite the eye-opening humility, Wells’s has not forgotten. “Nothing is forgiven,” he says,” there will be a reckoning, I promise you, Barry Allen. And you will die.” 

One-Upping the Good Guys

  • The only thing better, in my opinion, than a well thought out plan to catch the villain is the revelation that said villain has been one step ahead of the heroes the entire time. Though Barry and the gang had the right idea, things were going just a bit too smoothly. Yeah, it would have been nice to have the good guys get the upper hand but the way things turned out make for much better drama. It also builds the Reverse Flash up as an even greater adversary.
  • Continuing on the Wells thread, his thought to use Eddie as insurance; what does this mean? My first thought was that he’d do the same thing to Eddie that he did with the real Professor Wells, but wouldn’t that come too close to screwing up Eobard Thawne’s timeline? There are so many uncertainties when it comes to time travel, would Eobard even take the chance? I think not but, for him, Eddie does serve as insurance because Barry and the gang has no idea of this particular kernel of knowledge.