Let’s start with a Flashback, shall we? Remember when the Mardon boys terrorized Central City and almost made a clean getaway in a small plane? Well the particle accelerator blast made one hell of a rough ride for the brothers, disintegrating their plane and irrevocably transforming them in the process. In case you missed that, tonight’s hour opens with a gentle reminder of that fact.
Back in the present day, Barry Allen is up to his usual heroic efforts, like going out on a date with Linda and bowling alongside Iris and Eddie. While Barry’s busy doing important things, Mark Mardon is bullying the city’s coroner for information on his brother’s death. The trouble at the morgue soon gets the attention of both Detective Thawne and The Flash, leaving Linda and Iris to have an awkward moment at the bowling alley.
While rushing to the morgue, Barry sees another suited speedster keeping pace with him before outrunning him completely. That mystery will have to wait, because the Central City PD has their hands full with the other Mardon brother and his new goal to seek vengeance on Clyde’s killer, Joe West. The S.T.A.R. Labs team soon deduces that the surviving Mardon brother also possesses the ability to control weather, although Mark’s got a better handle on it than Clyde did. In fact, he’s good enough to strike Joe’s car with a deadly bolt of lightning, even while driving! Luckily, Barry’s faster than a lightning strike, so he escorts Joe to safety before the car explodes. The bad news for Joe is that his captain grounds him and orders him off the streets; good thing the lab team is on the case.
Though the stage is set for a big showdown between Mardon and West at the police station, Cisco’s technology will hopefully give the cops a fighting chance. Too bad he leaves just as Mardon walks in, though the quick case of the chills gives Cisco just enough time to call Barry. Joe lunges for the Wizard’s Wand but is blown back by Mardon. The rest of the department trains their guns on the meta-human as Joe warns them to stand down. Mardon unleashes a torrential wind on them and summons a powerful lightning strike meant to stop Joe’s heart. Captain David Singh takes the blast instead, jumping in front of his detective to protect him. The Flash shows up a second too late and draws in Mardon’s powers with Cisco’s device, then spirits Singh away to the hospital where his fiance awaits the doctor’s diagnosis.
Meanwhile, Cisco is using Caitlin to test his theories about Wells’ behavior during the particle accelerator explosion. While Caitlin is initially reluctant to buy into Cisco’s idea that Wells orchestrated the whole thing, she does offer to help him by keeping the Not-So-Good Doctor distracted. Barry’s also looking into Dr. Wells, finally, by visiting Iris at the paper. He runs into Mason instead, who admits that he has some dirt on Wells that will explain the death/disappearance of Stagg, and just how Wells manages to get around with (or without) that wheelchair of his. Back at the lab, Cisco runs some tests on the accelerator to find out just what happened that fateful night, but a surprise appearance by Reverse Flash shakes things up a bit. Good thing it’s just a recording … but what does it all mean?
On the streets, Joe and Eddie team up to take down Mardon, revisiting the meta-human’s old haunts. They just miss getting the drop on him, and Mardon uses a powerful gust to blow Joe out of the apartment’s window. We don’t see him land, but we do see him regain consciousness, handcuffed to a pier and really busted up with a broken leg. Mardon’s standing over him with a roll of duct tape and an intimidating air. (Apparently Eddie abandoned his search for Joe rather quickly since he makes a beeline for the department to rally the troops.) Mardon makes a call to Iris to let her know that he’s got Joe at the waterfront, and she and Barry head off to rescue him (without telling the cops).
Wells leaves Caitlin (and his wheelchair) behind at the coffee shop in order to zip back to S.T.A.R. Labs just in time to catch Cisco replaying the recording of Reverse Flash and his introduction to Dr. Wells himself. Wells reveals his true identity as Eobard Thawne, as well as his past intention to kill Barry Allen. Apparently he’s been stuck in our time for 15 years, and The Flash’s speed is the key to get him back to his own time, but he’s just not fast enough yet. Wells reveals that he has come to regard Cisco as his son … right before he plunges his vibrating hand through his heart.
And now’s the perfect time for Barry and Iris to admit they still have feelings for each other and share a kiss, right? Too bad he has to reveal his secret heroic identity in front of her in order to “run really fast” and cancel out Mardon’s epic tidal wave that’s about to level Central City. Is he fast enough? Well it turns out that he’s so fast that he becomes the blur he saw alongside himself earlier in the episode! The Flash has just successfully time traveled for the first time! Things are about to get weird since Barry’s essentially just plunked himself down in an alternate timeline. We won’t find out just how different things are going to be – Will Joe survive Mardon’s attack? Will Cisco elude Dr. Wells’ handshake? Will Barry make the right choice to date Linda? – until The Flash returns next Tuesday.
Rating: ★★★★ Very good — Damn fine television
(An explanation of our ratings system follows here.)
Dr. Wells: “He’s taking being hunted by a revenge-seeking meta-human rather well.”
Is it cold in here, or is it just Eddie and Iris’ relationship?
Did you ever have the feeling that a dark cloud was following you? It’s probably just a Weather Wizard.
Look, when Intrepid Reporter Iris West is trying to tell you that Dr. Wells is shady, maybe it’s time you finally listen up.
Cisco: “I call it the Wizard’s Wand!” Caitlin: “Subtle.”
Reverse Flash: “Dr. Wells, we meet at last. I’m not like The Flash. In fact you might say I’m the reverse.”
Cisco: “I can help you.” Dr. Wells: “You’re smart, Cisco. But you’re not that smart.”
Dr. Wells: “Forgive me, but to me, you’ve been dead for centuries.”