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The Flash – S2E17 – Flash Back

Previously on The Flash, ‘Trajectory’

For at least the third time over the course of this series, Barry Allen’s friends are way too comfortable letting him do things (mainly, travel back in time) that might alter the lives, even winking them out of existence.

Images: The CW

Thanks to Wally’s own research, Barry gets the idea to travel back in time to get Wells’ (as Thawne) help in increasing his speed. Everyone is cool with this idea except E-2 Wells who fears Barry will screw up the timeline.

Barry’s arrival is scheduled to occur after they’ve captured Hartley Rathaway and Wells-Thawne has admitted to knowing the particle accelerator might explode. The plan is to incapacitate Barry in the past and work with Well-Thawne without giving away who he really is.

Of course, Barry does almost everything he’s not supposed to do (including allowing his past self see his future self and arriving early), and Wells-Thawne figures out who he is and when he’s from thanks to Barry’s weird behavior and a time wraith that follows Barry through the speed force.

The Flash S2E17 - Barry Allen

The episode had a few highlights, and every scene with Wells-Thawne and future Barry qualifies as one of the best – particularly watching the two threaten and negotiate a plan that gets them both what they want: Barry gets faster and Wells-Thawne can still maintain his secret long enough for his Barry to get faster and help him get home. Tom Cavanagh has done an amazing job separating the different Wells: original E-1 Wells, Eobard Thawne as Wells out and proud, Eobard Thawne as Wells pretending, and E-2. (Don’t even get me started on E-2 Wells having to pretend he’s Thawne-Wells in the Grodd episode.) Here, he brought out Wells-Thawne’s terrifying quiet rage perfectly and called back a few of his character traits like proclaiming, “Oops!”

Backed into a corner, Wells-Thawne gives Barry his speed formula. With a little help from Barry from the past, future Barry returns home with the answers he needs, and having only changed the timeline slightly – we think. Hartley is now a part-time member of Team Flash and has a healthy relationship with his parents. At least we know one person gets a happy ending.

The Flash S2E17 - Caitlyn, Cisco, and Hartley

Other Positive Outcomes of Barry’s Time Traveling

He obtains a beautiful video message from Eddie to Iris. When she watches it in present day, it gives her the peace and closure she needs to move on with her romantic life.

Realizing that he can’t control Barry and always keep him out of harm, Wells finally admits that he has to give Jesse the time she’s chosen to take to forgive him.

The Flash S2E17
  • 8.5/10
    Plot - 8.5/10
  • 10/10
    Dialogue - 10/10
  • 9/10
    Action - 9/10
  • 9.5/10
    Performances - 9.5/10


This may be one of my favorite episodes of the series. The wraith was poorly explained, but coolly rendered. It was almost as terrifying as thinking Wells was going to stand up and call Barry out during their very first conversation.

I like that Barry is still flawed (he has the best intentions, but still… every rule, Barry? Really? You had to break damn near every one?), and I’m happy to see he’s not moping over Jay’s betrayal. He’s laser-focused on what he needs to do to bring Zoom down.

Candice Patton was her typically flawless self whenever they give her scenes where raw emotion is required.

User Review
5 (2 votes)
About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

7 Comments on The Flash – S2E17 – Flash Back

  1. For the Podcast.

    I like how Wally and Barry are getting along now,it’s not overly lovie like they’ve known each other for ever but they get along. And of course Wally thinks Barry is weird, cause that fool weird. I wonder if Wally will be building engines in STAR labs and get his flash powers. 🤔

    I like how Barry immediately went back in time and started breaking rules. At first I was thinking “Jesus Barry what are you doing?!? Ahhh!!” then I thought wait, that’s who Barry is he really can’t help himself. So to me it wasn’t a big issue because it was true to the character. He kept his head when Wells was abut to exacto knife his 🍑 though.

    That was a touching scene with Eddy. I kind of miss Eddy.

    Good to see Barry in that time vault again. I keep wondering when and why he’ll build Gideon, and possibly open STAR labs.

    Can’t wait to see Barry on Speed steroids, then see E2 Wells improve on E1 Wells design and give Barry that juice.

    How much change do you think we’ll see throughout the rest of the season because of Barry’s disregard for the rules? Like do you think Henry still camping? He he in a stu

  2. For the podcast: THIS SHOW HAS ME IN MY FEELINGS!!! It was just so good. When the only person with sense (Wells) told Barry it was a bad idea, he just said nothing bad happened the last time he time traveled. But wasn’t that what caused the breaches to open up & bring us the punk that is Jay-Zoom? Well hopefully the speedster-demeanor scared Barry enough to not do this again. He’s getting very bold in his quest for more speed. So it’s starting to feel like we’re heading towards ‘the end justifies the means’ territory. Cisco as usual was AMAZING. Especially during the Barry-Barry scenes. I teared up with the Eddie stuff even though I’ve never seen it for him (he was in the way of my WestAllan ship). Iris’s boss is not sweet, so I want sure why she used that in her description. Do y’all think that we’ll still deal with the ramifications of Barry’s time travel in the future? Like him telling Cisco about Ronnie & that other dude knew where he was. Or even the fact that new Barry knows that he can time travel now. I really wish I could just binge watch the entire season.


    GOT DAMN THIS EPISODE WAS 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was afraid it was just me who loved this episode!!( I mean you guys have a questionable track record when it comes to excellent tv see this weeks TWD podcast 😜) immediately after watching I thought it’s a top 5 episode for me hands down!! Lets jump into my highlights!!

    First is Barry and his never ending struggle to be such s good guy!! Man I swear if I was the flash things would be so different!! 1. I wouldn’t even be sweating Jay’s punk ass on earth-2, hell everybody on my team Gucci so why stress! 2. It was a playa move to get that ok from old Eddie so that way Iris’ mind clear for him!! 3. Speaking of Iris I would’ve told her da fuq you doing with this corny ass nigga, he just a fake ass Perry White, while I’m your true destiny and a justice league member all in one!!

    Lastly is this wells situation!! Got damn it was good seeing 💩y wells BYKE!!!!! The standoff had me feeling some type of way! Speaking of feeling things, I kno y’all notice Wells say I kno you’re not my flash bc my dick hasn’t gotten hard yet teaching him how to phase through things(although I swore he had at this point! Correct me if I’m wrong Nina)

    That’s all I got can’t wait to hear the podcast ✌🏾️

  4. FOR THE PODCAST: 1. When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong – Am I the only one who didn’t like Barry recording that message from Eddie and playing it for Iris? I thought about it a little, and it felt wrong to me. Especially since he lied about how he got the footage. I think it’s that whole idea they always say about not doing anything to change the past because it will influence the future. It felt like that moment was artificial. Even though it was what Eddie really felt, it wasn’t a moment that happened previously. So, in some way he changed the past to influence the future (his time line). It was a nice message and probably gave Iris some closure, which I liked, but it just seems like he should have left it alone. Also, since Iris is a part of the team, it’s totally possible that she could somehow find out that he went back in time on this occasion. If she figures out that the video actually came from this it COULD end up being problem. It might not be, but just imagine there being something that does upset her about the fact that he went and did that. I don’t know, maybe I’m buggin… 2. Smoke Baby – This episode proves that Barry either needs to take some acting classes, or never time travel again. He just can’t help but do dumb shit while he’s in different realities. He fucked up from the jump. As soon as he went through the time warp he let Millesandre and Stannis’s smoke baby out of wherever the fuck he was to wreak havoc on everyone. This dude got on my nerves most of the episode. I’m ready for Wallace to get his powers. I am ready to accept him as my personal Flash and savior!

  5. For the podcast:

    I’ll keep it short. Wallace’s “THEY DEAD” was so black.

    I loved seeing Eddie again. I miss him and that video made me cry.

    Barry got body blowed! So good. Tom is fine! His voice was so velvety when he was speaking with Barry in his chamber. And I was loving all of this professor Xing in that wheelchair.

    Why in the hell does Barry keep fucking up the timeline? I know he wants to get faster but it always feels like he doesn’t know what he shouldn’t be doing to fuck it up. How can’t you see that you have to FUCKING not be so obvious? FUCK! When he got caught he kept talking and I got pissed and I was glad Wells told him to stop talking. Man I am pissed but somewhat excited for the aftermath of this latest Barry fuckup. Because I know that nothing is just that easy. Do you think there is more that is affected in the timeline?

  6. This is probably late.
    For the podcast

    Loved the Barry vs. Barry scenes. But what was he thinking? Bad stuff always happens with time travel. But loved that Thawne knew it wasn’t his Barry. But I wonder about Reverse Flash’s relationship with Zoom. Remember when Jay’s helmet came thru the breach, RF was like it’s time to bounce. I thought cause of Jay but do you think he knew about Zoom and made sure not to cross paths with him? Considering how much hatred he has for the Flash, what do you think RF would do if confronted by Zoom?

    I’ll admit that scene with Iris & the video of Eddie got me a little teary eyed. Hope she doesn’t start dating the new boss tho. Cause it’s tacky.

    That’s it. Love the WestAllen family dinner. So when do you think Wally is gonna find out about Barry? Cause it’s gotta come out by the end of the season.

    That’s it. Can’t wait to hear the podcast!

  7. FOR THE PODCAST: Hey Nina! (And John and Donny) All I really want to do is say that Grant playing Barry pretending to be Past!Barry and then Cavanaugh going back to Eobard Thawne pretending to be Wells. This cast is just amazing. Even though this episode wasn’t the best for me in terms of being engrossing I really like how well these actors know their characters. And Candice was great in that last scene with the video of Eddie. Just all heart. TAKE NOTES ZACH SNYDER!

2 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. The Flash - S2E18 - Versus Zoom | Project Fandom
  2. The Flash - S2E23 - The Race of His Life | Project Fandom

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