A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
Like all initial traps to capture villains, the titular trap laid by the STAR team to capture Dr. Wells backfires miserably. But the expected inevitability of Wells escaping this week couldn’t mar a terrific,exciting episode that provides plenty of tension for the final episodes of the season. The pre-credits sequence brings us back to Morena Baccarin’s A.I. Gideon, who reveals more information to our dynamic trio within about three minutes than a decent amount of actual episodes put together. In 2024, the Flash disappears in an explosion of light after a fight with the Reverse Flash. Iris’s last name is West-Allen. The Reverse Flash’s purpose is to kill Barry because he was angry that he escaped yet he needs Barry to become the Flash of the future. As Dr. Wells comes closer and closer to the chamber, Barry tentatively asks Gideon to not reveal that they were, in fact, there to begin with. She accepts his request, much to everyone’s surprise. The Flash, after all, had created her to begin with. That alone opens up a plethora of possibilities for the series going forward. There’s already time travel in this universe (which Eddie understandably finds a bit difficult to believe) and combining that with artificial intelligence (my hope, anyhow) should prove to be particularly compelling.
Outside of my infatuation with artificial intelligence already making me a little mad with glee, the rest of the hour is a fantastic potential harbinger of things to come. One of my biggest worries about this show was that they were going to do a super dramatic line reading of Barry revealing to Iris that he indeed the Flash. That would inherently have been too expected and too over-dramatic, regardless of how well-executed it was. To drop that revelation in the final moments of tonight’s episode was a really nice touch and reaffirms my faith in the creative team behind the show. The flashbacks to Barry in a coma were extremely powerful in this regard, giving just the slightest bit of foreshadowing. Iris touches an unconscious Barry with just a slight bit of electricity crackling from his hands. As Iris is facing certain death at the hands of the Reverse Flash, the Flash suddenly arrives just as Reverse Flash kidnaps Eddie. The Flash promises Iris that he will do everything humanly possible to save Eddie’s life. Right before he takes off, their hands meet and that same electricity sparkles. “Barry,” she whispers quietly. That renders the whole “we can never tell Iris” thing completely moot, but I’m glad we got that out of the way.
Speaking of Eddie Thawne, he begins this hour by telling Barry that he’s going to propose to Iris. Barry, having seen the article headline from the future, is notably a little queasy about that certain development. But to Barry’s credit, he never tries to wedge himself between Iris and Eddie. He simply has too much respect for the two of them and the lifelong friendship that he shares with Iris to do such a thing. Eddie respectfully tries to ask Joe’s permission to ask for Iris’s hand, which is more of an outdated courtesy than anything else. I’m not saying respect shouldn’t exist as far as your intended spouse’s or partner’s parents are concerned, but here the dynamic between Eddie and Joe goes back towards the thinly veiled misogyny that is borne out of Joe’s overprotectiveness. Joe doesn’t necessarily come from a bad place in that he wants Iris and Barry to cement their relationship. But it’s beyond maddening that he is once again ignoring that his daughter is a fully-grown adult with a career and a boyfriend she lives with. If the relationship doesn’t work out, then it simply doesn’t work out. Life happens, but Joe can’t steer her the way he believes she ought to go. Has Joe ever read The Monk? He should read through The Monk.
The titular trap they sent for Dr. Wells using Cisco’s consciousness was an obvious homage to Christopher Nolan’s Inception (Cisco mentions as much), but it’s done exceedingly exceptionally. As it turns out, their plan to catch their villain wasn’t a bad one but when the man you’re trying to catch is simply watching all of your talks and moves through a massive surveillance system, it becomes fairly difficult to do your job properly. Dr. Wells had smartly switched his place with Everyman, who dies at Joe’s bullet as he was about to “murder” Cisco in cold blood. The most fascinating aspect of The Flash on a character level is the absolute complexity of the relationship between Barry and Dr. Wells. Barry confesses to Joe that in moments of kindness he finds himself even liking the man he’s convinced is responsible for the murder of his mother and the subsequent imprisonment of his father. His words, his belief in Barry gives him strength and seeing Barry struggle with that dichotomy is extremely rewarding on a character level. Dr. Wells escapes, revealing in his wake that he had intended to murder Barry and never his mother á la Harry Potter, further driving the feelings of guilt that Barry was already struggling with and promising a fight for the ages in the future.
Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+The music keeps on getting better
+“I already went back in time,”
+“I think I’ve got a really bad idea.”
+“You never cease to impress me, Caitlyn.”
+“Never get married, Allen.”
+“I have a feeling she’s gonna want to hyphenate.”
+“That’s how you get him to shut up.”
+“You are your biggest obstacle.”
+Iris finding out about the metahumans was nice, subtle foreshadowing
+“I don’t have any powers.”; “Clearly.”
+“I am always one step ahead.”
+The shot of Central City at night when Iris and Eddie were taking a stroll was beautiful
+“Because we’re family, Eddie.”
+“I promise you that Barry Allen will die.”
Title: The Trap
Written By: Alison Schapker & Brooke Eikmeier
Directed By: Steve Shill
Image Courtesy: Keep On Geekin