Violet recaps Season 2 Episode 17 of The Flash, titled Flash Back, where Barry goes back in time so he can get the Eobard Thawne version of Dr. Wells to help him get faster! Following the recap, both Violet and Josh share their thoughts about the episode.
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Episode Recap of The Flash, Season 2 Episode 17: Flash Back
Barry is determined to crack the speed equation code and improve his speed so that he can stop Zoom.
Joe and Iris try to comfort Barry, telling him no one saw this coming about Jay. Iris tells Barry that she went on a date with her boss, Scott Evans. She says that it makes her think about Eddie. Barry assures her that Eddie would want her to find love again, and encourages her not to keep herself closed off. Wally joins them for dinner and tells them about his engineering project. This causes Barry to have an idea.
Barry heads over to STAR Labs and tells Caitlin and Cisco his plan: to run back in time and have the other Harrison Wells, the Eobard Thawne version, give him the secret to getting faster. The current Dr. Wells overhears and doesn’t approve of the plan. He warns Barry that the other Wells will know he’s a different Barry. However, Barry thinks this is the only way.
The plan is for Barry to go back to the time when Wells was distracted by Hartley Rathaway, and when the team had just found out that Wells had known the particle accelerator might explode and were angry with him. Catilin gives Barry a tranquilizer dart that will knock out the old him for 6 hours. Cisco warns Barry not to tell them the truth about Wells, and that he must keep the timeline intact.
When Barry arrives in the past, he’s a bit early, and sees himself with Hartley. Something begins interfering with Barry’s comm system. When the old Barry gets thrown, present Barry takes the opportunity to go after him, and has to chase him down to tranq him. Then he swaps their Flash symbols, and goes back out to apprehend Hartley.
When they return to STAR Labs and put Hartley in the Pipeline, Hartley refuses to take out the devices that are in his ears. However, Barry remembers what happened last time, and tells Cisco to scan the devices for low level electromagnetic pulses (“e-bombs”), suggesting that’s what was interfering with the comms. Cisco runs the scans, and of course, Barry is right. Dr. Wells comes in and says they’ll make some non-explosive replacements.
Barry talks to Dr. Wells about improving his speed and asks for his help with the speed equation. Dr. Wells agrees to help.
At the police station, Joe asks Eddie to search Wells’s house. Suddenly, some sort of ghost starts flying around, and the police officers shoot at it to no avail. Wells gets an alert, and tells Barry to run over there. Barry reluctantly goes, but gets there just after it flies away.
Barry takes a look around the lab, where the ghost originated, and says he’ll try to figure out what it is. Joe notices that Barry is acting weird toward Eddie.
Barry returns to STAR Labs, and admits that he’s seen the “dementor” before, when he was running to take Hartley down. Cisco tries to figure out how to track it.
Dr. Wells calls Barry into his office – and knocks him out. When Barry wakes up, he is handcuffed to Dr. Wells’s wheelchair. Dr. Wells asks Barry who he really is. He tells Barry that time wraiths go after someone who travels through time and doesn’t know what they’re doing. Dr. Wells has figured out that Barry knows who he is and that he’s from the future. Wells asks Barry why he’s here, and Barry admits that Wells is the only one who can teach him to go faster, because he’s the only one who has figured out the speed equation. Barry asks him how he did that. Wells realizes that if Barry’s here, then his plan must have failed, which means that he won’t get to go home. He is just about to kill Barry, when Barry stops him, and convinces him that he does get to go back to his own time, that he won. Barry says a singularity formed, and that the only way to stop the singularity from happening was to come here. However, Wells comes to the conclusion that he doesn’t need this future version of Barry. However, Barry says that if Wells kills him, the past version of Barry learns everything from a hidden letter, so if anything happens to this Barry, then Wells never makes it back home. Therefore, Dr. Wells has to help him get faster.
Cisco pays a visit to Hartley, lets him out, gives him some replacement ear devices, and demands to know how his gauntlets work. Meanwhile, upstairs, Caitlin is chased by the time wraith. She runs down to the Pipeline, and the three of them hide out in Hartley’s cell, while the wraith pounds on the glass, trying to get to them. Barry and Dr. Wells see that the others are in trouble, and Barry pleads with Dr. Wells to let him loose so he can help them.
Cisco reluctantly hands over the gauntlets to Hartley, who disarms them, which results in emitting a destructive signal through the speakers – which the wraith does not like. Barry and Dr. Wells arrive at the cell after the wraith has already gone.
The team returns upstairs, and despite Hartley saving them, Wells says Hartley has to stay in his cell. The team has figured out that the common denominator of the two places the wraith has attacked is Barry. Caitlin and Cisco get to work on repairing Hartley’s gauntlets. After they leave, Dr. Wells admits that he doesn’t know how to stop a time wraith, but does know it won’t stop until it ends Barry. Dr. Wells says he’ll work on figuring out a solution, and sends Barry to CCPD to work on it as well.
Over at CCPD, Barry isn’t finding anything helpful in the mess the wraith left behind in the lab. Barry has Eddie make a video message to Iris, pretending it’s part of a birthday video montage that he’s working on.
Back at STAR Labs, Cisco is stuck. Dr. Wells agrees to let Hartley help, but only if he stays in his cell. Just then, the Barry from this time runs in, and they have to explain what’s going on. Dr. Wells tries to stop future Barry from saying too much, so as not to disrupt the timeline.
Dr. Wells tells future Barry that tachyon enhancement is the key to the speed force, and gives future Barry a drive that has everything on it that he needs to know about getting faster.
Barry prepares to run back to his rightful time so that the wraith chases him there. This will give Caitlin and Cisco a year to figure out how to beat it when it comes through following Barry upon his return. Before he leaves, he and the other Barry switch back to their rightful emblems. He also secretly tells Cisco that Hartley knows where Ronnie is. Barry then runs in a circle in the pipeline, with the wraith chasing him. It seems to be slowing him down, so past Barry runs in and pushes the wraith away. Barry is able to run back to the present time, with the wraith trailing not far behind.
When Barry arrives back to the future, Cisco points a gun at the wraith — but it doesn’t do anything. The wraith attacks Barry, with its hand to his throat, seemingly sucking the life out of him — when Hartley steps in and kills it with his gauntlets. He explains to Caitlin and Cisco that he suddenly realized “low frequency, high intensity,” and they nod in understanding, realizing their mistake. Barry is surprised to have Hartley welcoming him back from his trip. Hartley tells them that he has enjoyed working on this side project with them, and leaves for dinner with his parents.
Barry shows Caitlin and Cisco the flash drive that he got from past Dr. Wells, and they go down to insert it into Gideon. At first it seems like it doesn’t work — but then it does. The speed equation is displayed in hologram form.
Barry goes down to talk to Dr. Wells, who has had no luck finding his daughter.
When Barry returns home, he finds Iris looking through a photo album containing pictures of her and Eddie. She says she doesn’t know when she’ll be able to move forward. He then gives her his phone with the video message from Eddie, and leaves her alone to watch it.
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 2 Episode 17 of The Flash: Flash Back
I’m not so sure I would have supported Barry’s decision to go back in time. Carrying out his plan seemed way more dangerous and like it would have a lot more lasting negative consequences than not doing it. Really, this is the only solution Barry could come up with? Did he want to cause another singularity?? Despite the craziness of the plan, I do quite enjoy it when the show employs time travel. What I don’t like is when it breaks its own rules. Barry is supposed to avoid disrupting the timeline, and yet, he does several things that could change things significantly, like when he tells the others about Hartley’s ear devices, and then again at the end when he tells Cisco that Hartley knows where Ronnie is. Then when Barry gets back, it seems like the only thing that has changed is that Hartley is a “good guy” now, and he’s out and about in society. This Caitlin and Cisco cannot possibly be the same Caitlin and Cisco that Barry originally left. Things had to have changed quite a bit more than we have had a chance to see. I’m waiting for the shoe to drop in the next episode or other upcoming episodes when Barry finds out just how different the timeline is that he has returned to.
I’m also surprised that Dr. Wells actually gave Barry what he wanted. When Barry inserted the drive and it didn’t work at first, that made sense. Why would Dr. Wells actually help this Barry get faster? There’s nothing in it for him. I’m wondering if there’s something missing or something wrong with the information that Dr. Wells gave Barry. But I’m guessing most likely what is going to happen is that it really was the correct speed equation, and Barry can now be as fast as Zoom, and nothing else will be amiss from the timeline being disrupted, aside from being able to call upon Hartley for help at some point. Oh, and probably something to do with Ronnie somewhere down the line. Well, guess it’s time to start going after Zoom!
Josh’s Thoughts: The Flash, Season 2 Episode 17: Flash Back
Ok Barry, we need to have a talk. I understand the need to go back in time…to an extent. But you were warned to not change time. You already had an experience where changing time was a problem when you tried to save your mother. Why on earth do you deliberately go out of your way to mess with the timeline yet again? So frustrating!
It was interesting seeing Hartley switch to the “good guys” after being a pretty big jerk in previous timeline. I wonder if we will be seeing more of him in the future. I also thought it was interesting watching Eobard work with this Flash, even though he really wishes to kill him.
This concept of the Time Wraith is interesting I guess. I am curious why we have not seen this in Legends of Tomorrow yet, since they are changing things in time practically every episode. Maybe their Waverider ship gives them an exception to the rule?
I really thought that the future should have been changed a lot more from Barry’s actions though. He made quite a few big changes, and I wonder why Eobard Thawne didn’t make any big moves to stop Barry, given he knows approximately when Barry came from, and a bit more about the future than he did before.
Even though I have a pretty big problem with how time travel was handled this episode, it was pretty fun regardless. I just hope the writers take a look at the way they are writing time travel so that future episodes don’t seem so mediocre in their story elements.