Previously on The Flash, ‘The Flash vs. Arrow.’
The episode kicks off with Barry chasing The Man in the Yellow Suit through the streets of Central City. What? Did you miss something? Yes. We all did: the events leading up to this. It is revealed via a time rewind.
Deck the Halls
A call interrupts Joe, Iris, and Barry having some family time over tree decorating and spiked egg nog. When Joe leaves, Iris and Barry exchange early Christmas presents. She got him a new microscope and he got her a replica of her dead mother’s wedding ring, which Iris lost in grade school. Barry wins ALL THE EVERYTHING. Even Eddie thinks that’s an intimate gift and side-eyes the entire fuck out of it and Barry when he arrives.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry hands out gifts and we learn Dr. Wells hates the holidays because of course he does. He’s the worst. At Jitters, Eddie proposes Iris move in with him after she convinces him that Barry does not, in any way, have feelings for her like that. At this point, we’re to assume Iris is mentally ill and being treated for it, right?
Caitlin encounters a man on fire in a parking garage. It’s Ronnie! Ronnie really needs a haircut. Caitlin runs away because man on fire.
TMIYS kills two guards at Mercury Labs. At the crime scene, Joe and Barry learn that they are indeed dealing with the man who killed Barry’s mother. Barry wants to consult his files, and Joe has to admit that he knew about the TMIYS for weeks, but he had to keep quiet because he threatened Iris. Oh, and also, he totally took all those damn files.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Wells figures out that TMIYS must have been looking for a specific piece of technology (that I’m not going to attempt to spell) that Mercury was using in research.
Caitlin visits Jitters and asks Iris about the sightings of The Burning Man on her blog. Iris will look into it. She then asks Caitlin point blank if Barry is keeping a secret from her and Caitlin lies and says no, but does encourage Iris to talk to Barry.
Barry and Joe visit Dr. McGee and ask to borrow Mercury Labs’ prototype in order to draw out their suspect. Of course she tells them to kick rocks.
Caitlin tells Cisco about seeing Ronnie. He doesn’t believe her at first because duh. He does agree to help her find him.
Let It Go
Barry remembers his last conversation with his mother in which she told him he wasn’t afraid of the dark, only of being alone. As he gets older, he’ll learn that you’re never truly alone. He then remembers the flashes of light around her before she died. Iris interrupts and breaks the news about moving in with Eddie. She tells him about Eddie’s concerns and he insists he doesn’t have romantic feelings for her. Iris is so damn relieved it’s sad. She skips her oblivious ass out the door. Barry stares out the window, up in his feelings, and spots TMIYS on a nearby rooftop.
Barry chases him through the streets, ending up in a football stadium where Barry gets beaten. TMIYS taunts him, saying it’s Barry’s destiny to lose to him.
Barry reports back to the team and tells everything that went down between the two of them. Joe and Barry head off to try to convince Dr. McGee to give up the prototype bait. She refuses, but Barry blackmails her by threatening to tell the press everything he witnessed while walking through their labs. She gives in.
Eddie confronts Joe about being updated on the Mercury Labs case. He knows The Flash was involved and will go over Joe’s head if he doesn’t agree to let his Flash Taskforce in on the investigation.
Caitlin and Cisco track Ronnie through some tunnels. When they find him, he insists that he’s not Ronnie and warns her to get away from him. He only says one word before igniting and then taking off: Firestorm.
Now that they have the prototype, Wells and Joe decide that Barry shouldn’t be there when TMIYS arrives. Barry doesn’t like it, but leaves. Cisco tries to comfort Caitlin, who admits she wishes Ronnie had died that day instead of becoming what he is.
Barry goes to visit his father in prison and apologizes for losing TMIYS. His father tells him not to be sorry. He has sacrificed enough over this revenge, even Iris. That’s right. Daddy Flash knows how Barry feels about Iris making it official that everyone on this show now either knows or suspects Barry’s feeling for Iris… except Iris.
Taking his father’s advice to basically “get a life,” and no longer wanting to lie to his best friend, Barry finally tells Iris he loves her. And she reacts by not saying a single damn word.
Wells’ trap works and they have TMIYS – from now on referred to as Reverse Flash – contained in a force field. The barrier falters and Reverse Flash grabs Wells and pulls him into the containment area. He beats Wells, then comes out to stare down Eddie, swipe the prototype, and remind Joe that he wasn’t supposed to be hunting him anymore.
He’s about to get way when Barry arrives and the two fight in front of the building, causing those yellow and red lights swirling around – just like the ones around Barry’s mother before she died. Again, Barry is no match for Reverse Flash and he’s only saved when Ronnie shows up to shoot some fireballs. Before he leaves, Ronnie tells Caitlin to stop looking for him. Then he flies away.
Eddie wonders later why Reverse Flash stared at him, but didn’t kill him. Joe doesn’t have an answer for that, but he throws his partner a bone and tells him about the existence of metahumans, but stops just short of confessing The Flash’s secret identity.
Wells isn’t mad Cisco and Caitlin kept the news about Ronnie from him, and he promises Caitlin (on his life) that he’ll find him.
Joe and Barry bond in Barry’s office. Barry feels like he needs to be (or should have been) someone else. Joe insists that Barry remain exactly who he is.
At Joe’s house, Cisco and Caitlin join Barry, the Wests, and Eddie in lighting the tree. Cisco pulls Joe aside and tells him about the lights he saw when Barry fought Reverse Flash. They looked much like how Barry described the night his mother died. They deduce that there must have been two speedsters there that night. Thankfully, the rest of us figured that out weeks ago.
Our after credits easter egg scene shows Wells using a ring with The Flash symbol on it to open a secret part of his vault. Inside is Reverse Flash’s suit. Is Wells Reverse Flash? I think that’s too easy. It does look like he found a way to use that prototype, though.
- Love Cisco enthusiasm at getting some spiked egg nog. “Now that’s that I’m talmbout.”
- Grant Gustin TOTALLY killed it in that scene with Daddy Flash.
- Then he did it again in the next scene confessing to Iris.
- Eddie is absolutely Reverse Flash, right? Early into the episode, I wondered if they would ever turn Eddie bad. Damn near everyone I know who watches this show thinks that Eddie is almost too likable. There has to be a catch. I wonder if – now that Iris knows about Barry’s feelings – Iris will start to view Barry differently for who he is (she should; he’s great) and not because he’s The Flash. Will that lead her to break Eddie’s heart. Will Eddie do something stupid and either take the tricked out suit in Wells’ vault or will be convinced (by Wells) to become Reverse Flash. How cool would it be that Barry inadvertently created Reverse Flash and his mother’s death. It would also explain Reverse Flash not killing him and his fixation on Iris. And if it’s Barry and Eddie who are fighting around Barry’s mom, it would make sense that older Barry would grab himself and run him away from the danger. “Barry’s destiny to lose to him?” Uh huh.