TV Review: The Flash - Season 1 Episode 20 "The Trap"
EPISODE 20: "The Trap"
SYNOPSIS: Barry, Joe, Cisco and Caitlin finally take action against Dr. Wells and set up a trap to trick him into revealing his identity... using Cisco as bait. Of course, problems arise, which put Cisco's safety in jeopardy. Meanwhile, Barry's secret identity may be revealed to Iris once and for all.
RECAP (Beware of spoilers!):
In the past few episodes of THE FLASH, we have seen Barry, Joe, Cisco, and finally Caitlin learn Dr. Wells' true identity as the Reverse Flash. In tonight's episode, all of the speculating, planning, and suspicions have given way to action as the team finally decides to do something about the enemy lurking in their midst.
All of the previous episodes in this season have been building toward tonight’s big showdown moment, where everything is out in the open and Dr. Wells is completely exposed. The nonstop action, double-crosses, and revelations alone were enough to leave me breathless, but add to that the phenomenal acting from everyone in the cast (especially Gustin and Cavanagh), and we are left with another fantastic episode. The quality of the second half of the season has made THE FLASH entertaining for audiences, and especially pleasant to review. So much so, it has become nearly impossible to say anything negative about this show, nor do I really want to get nitpicky. I know I have been saying this a lot recently, but I can't imagine what THE FLASH has in store for us in the remaining three episodes. Every episode seems like a season finale, so as Samuel L. Jackson said in JURASSIC PARK, hold on to your butts.
Tonight’s episode begins right where we ended last week – with Barry, Caitlin and Cisco exploring Dr. Wells’ secret room in S.T.A.R. Labs. Here, they find the Reverse Flash suit, meet Gideon, and read the futuristic newspaper. Not only do they notice the headline, “Flash Missing Vanishes In Crisis”, but they also notice that Barry’s suit in the front page picture looks different AND that the article is written by Iris West-ALLEN! Yep, looks like marriage is in Barry’s future. The team also talks to the Siri-esque computer, Gideon, which provides more info about the future - like that Dr. Wells really is there to eventually kill Barry.
Thanks to a tracker Cisco placed on Dr. Wells’ wheelchair, an alarm goes off that indicates he has come back to S.T.A.R. Labs. So to ensure that Gideon doesn’t tell Dr. Wells that they are onto him, Barry asks it to keep their presence in the room a secret. Surprise, surprise Gideon agrees because it must adhere to all requests from its creator…future Barry Allen! How trippy! The trio makes a stealthy exit before Dr. Wells sees them, leaving him none the wiser.
Now that time-travel is a topic of conversation within Team Flash, Barry starts to piece together that Cisco’s dreams may actually be memories of the alternate timeline – the one he erased when he accidentally went back in time while trying to stop the tsunami. So Caitlin, who has been studying lucid dreaming, creates a pair of glasses that will allow Cisco to experience his visions/dreams again and communicate everything back to the team. With the help of the glasses, Cisco remembers that the image of Reverse Flash in the force field at S.T.A.R. Labs was actually a hologram, discloses Dr. Wells’ real name (Eobard Thawne), and also hears Dr. Wells confess to killing Barry’s mom.
Side note: Do we think anyone from Team Flash will point out that in order to kill Reverse Flash, all they need to do is get rid of Eddie (or at least sterilize him!)? I know this would be a really dark storyline for the show, but that’s what I would be thinking about if I were in this situation.
As we know, this “dream” scenario didn’t end well for Cisco the first time. But even with this knowledge, the team decides to set up a trap for Dr. Wells using Cisco as bait. They want to recreate the situation from the alternate timeline, with the goal of getting Dr. Wells to again confess to killing Barry’s mom. If they can catch that on camera, it could be the piece of evidence that gets Barry’s dad out of jail. Learning from his experience last time, Cisco reconfigures the force field to allow him inside but not speedsters. I’m sure this will all work perfectly, right?!
Finally it’s time to set the plan into motion. When Dr. Wells returns to the Lab, Caitlin entices him to go to the force field room by saying Cisco discovered something. Dr. Wells walks into the room and confronts his protégé. But even though the situation starts off the same as it did in the alternate timeline, the conversation starts to derail – especially when Dr. Wells dances around the topic of confessing to murdering Barry’s mom. Cisco begins to feel unsafe and inches his way under the force field, but of course Dr. Wells is also able to pass through; it has no effect on him at all.
Joe and Barry rush in to save Cisco, with Joe firing three shots at Dr. Wells. But in order to free his dad, Barry needs Dr. Wells alive, so he tries to stop the bullets. Unfortunately, he can only stop two and the third hits its target in Dr. Wells; killing him immediately. But, per usual, Dr. Wells proves he is always a step ahead of Team Flash, and it’s revealed that the victim is actually the villain from last week’s episode, Hannibal Bates, who can shape-shift into anyone. No wonder he was able to enter the force field.
To rub Team Flash’s noses in his master plan, the real Dr. Wells calls to establish that he is not so easily fooled and to warn that a final showdown is imminent. As it turns out, Dr. Wells had CCTV cameras installed everywhere associated with Team Flash in order to ensure he knew what was going on at all times. Dr. Wells was the puppet master, and this entire situation was a setup; he was fully aware of their plans from the beginning and played along for his own amusement. Tricky bastard.
Finally, everyone on the show (including Iris) knows Barry's secret identity. In a flashback, Iris visits Barry while he’s in the coma and touches his hand, which gives her a little spark. That same spark occurs in the present day, between her and The Flash. Finally Iris’ brain is shocked into action and she figures out that her best friend is actually the superhero she has been writing about for months. As I have read in interviews with the show creators, keeping main characters in the dark about Barry's secret identity is the thing they find least interesting in the story, and I would have to agree that it's about damn time she found out what Barry has been hiding.
The fact that Iris found out by herself and not through Joe, Barry, or Eddie doesn’t bode well for any of them. After all, the three most important men in her life, with whom she has the most trust in, have been lying to her for a long time now. And even though they claim it was for her own good, I don’t think she’s going see it that way. Any semblances of trust in her relationship with her father, boyfriend, and best friend have been shattered, and it's unlikely that she will be quick to forgive. Sorry, Barry. In this reality, Iris will not be declaring her love for you and giving you a passionate kiss.
Speaking of kissing, wedding bells were in the air for the entire episode. Thanks to the futuristic newspaper, we learned that, provided nothing changes, Iris and Barry will get married. But in present day it is Eddie that wants to propose to Iris. Eddie takes Joe to Jitters to ask for permission to marry Iris. However, Joe says no. Dejected, Eddie says he doesn’t need Joe’s “okay” to propose, but asks Barry to try to put in a good word anyway. For reasons unknown to even Barry himself, he asks Joe to reconsider. But Joe says he knows Iris will say yes to the proposal, get married, and then down the road wake up and realize this isn’t the life she wants; she loves Barry. And since Iris is such an amazing person (ehhhh…), she will not go back on her vows. Joe doesn’t want that for her.
Regardless of the fact that Joe didn’t give his blessing, at the end of the episode Eddie takes Iris to a random bridge in Central City to propose. But before he can finish the deed, Reverse Flash shows up, snatching the ring...and Eddie. Barry (as The Flash) shows up at that time and vows to get Eddie back, while also accidentally revealing his true identity to Iris. Oops!
STINGER: Dr. Wells brings Eddie back to his lair and reveals that he is a Thawne too - a descendant of Eddie. He needs to keep Eddie safe because he is Wells’ insurance. Then the scene cuts to a flashback, with Barry in his hospital bed after the accelerator exploded. Wells, out of his wheelchair, admits how crazy it is that although he and Barry have a history and he has wanted future Barry dead many times, he now needs him in order to get home. Dr. Wells has to create the very Flash that he hates so much. But even with getting to know Barry on a more personal level, revenge is coming.
DC UNIVERSE EASTER EGGS: When Gideon starts spouting off future knowledge about Barry, like that he will take on a leadership role with the Central City Police, the program also starts to say, “Founding member of the…”, which I can only imagine was going to be the Justice League!
COOL ALTERNATE USE OF "THE FLASH" POWERS: When there is an uncontrollable fire at an office building, Dr. Wells teaches Barry to move his arms really quickly in order to create a vacuum that will suck out the fire.
FAVORITE QUOTE: In response to Eddie's comment about Iris being "Iris Thawne", Barry says, "I have a feeling she's going to want to hyphenate." This is based on what Barry saw in Iris' byline for the futuristic newspaper article.