The Flash, S2 Ep11 – The Reverse-Flash Returns

“The Reverse-Flash Returns” sees the return of Eobard Thawne, but not the one we’re used to. While last season’s Reverse-Flash was mostly portrayed by Tom Cavanagh, as Thawne stole Earth-1 Dr. Wells’ likeness for himself, this time we see the Eobard Thawne from a time before he ever did any of that. He’s from well before he killed Barry’s mother and stole Wells’ likeness. This Reverse-Flash, played by Matt Letscher, is from the future and finds himself lost in Barry’s era. “The Reverse-Flash Returns” works as a means of introducing Eobard Thawne to S.T.A.R. Labs and Team Flash, planting seeds for him to eventually do what he’s destined to do and kill Barry’s mother and take over S.T.A.R. Labs as Harrison Wells.

The Flash, S2 Ep11 - The Reverse-Flash Returns (1)The revelation that Reverse-Flash is back comes when Cisco vibes and sees a vision of him. His vibes come when Dr. Wells instills fear in him, proving that Cisco’s endorphins need to be heightened for him to receive visions. For the most part this episode features a lot of strong moments between Cisco and Wells, as Wells attempts to help Cisco learn to use his powers more efficiently.

The reveal of the Reverse-Flash is almost a little too sudden and convenient. Moments after Cisco sees his vision, Barry discovers Thawne at Mercury Labs. Thawne attempts to use Dr. Tina McGee in order to help him find a way back to his time. While there are some cool speedster vs. speedster moments, much of the episode deals with Barry having to let the Reverse-Flash go both literally and figuratively. Once Barry captures the Reverse-Flash, thanks to Cisco and his new Vibe goggles, they soon realize that keeping Thawne contained leads to some issues regarding the space-time continuum. This in turn affects Cisco as he begins to phase out of existence. The end of the episode sees Barry use the particle accelerator to recreate a portal into the future and return Thawne back to his time. It’s compelling to see Barry have to put aside his hatred for Thawne and actually help him for the greater good.

In addition to the plot revolving around the return of Thawne, this week’s episode also shed some light on the West family as Iris and Wally’s mother takes a turn for the worse. There is a very touching moment between Iris and her mother where she ends up forgiving her for everything she has done. Other than this brief moment, this subplot isn’t all that compelling. Wally has issues visiting his mother in the hospital, still feeling resentful towards her for what she’s done. Eventually some inspiring words from his new-found sister allow him to change his mind and visit his dying mother.

The Flash, S2 Ep11 - The Reverse-Flash ReturnsIn a very minor subplot, Caitlyn continues to try and help Jay Garrick. While this wasn’t very pivotal to the overall plot, it’s nice to see some story form around these two. Overall, the subplot was pointless as Garrick’s Earth-1 doppelganger ultimately did not bring anything new to the table. The only way to cure Garrick is for him to regain his speed, which leaves us right where we were last time.

This week’s episode also gives us some closure on the relationship between Barry and Patty. For the majority of the episode Barry is upset with Patty, but still refuses to tell her the truth believing that it would only mean trouble for her. Eventually Patty figures out that Barry is The Flash, and she gets her own closure when she lures him to her train to Midway City and sees Barry for who he truly is.

Overall, “The Reverse-Flash Returns” was a solid standalone episode and a nice break from the main plot involving Zoom. There were some fun moments between Cisco and Wells, and nice moments between Caitlyn and Garrick as she is still determined to save him. The West family subplot was touching overall, but Wally continues to be kind of annoying in my opinion. The episode worked very well as a means of providing an origin for the Reverse-Flash, but there is still a lot we don’t know. All we know as of now is that Thawne became the Reverse-Flash almost out of jealousy, believing he can be better than Barry. Judging from what we know about Thawne, there is still more to his character than that, and being that this version of the character represents him very early in his super villain career, I’m sure there will be plenty more bouts between him and the Scarlet Speedster.

Next week The Flash will take on a new meta-human called Tar Pit. Check out The CW’s official promo for “Fast Lane” and feel free to let us know what you thought about “The Reverse-Flash Returns” in the comments.