‘The Flash’ Season 1 Recap, Episode 20, ‘The Trap’
Welcome back to Up To Speed, home of the the Flashest Recaps Alive. Here we’ll recap the latest episode of The Flash, dispense some Flash Facts and talk about what works, what doesn’t and where the series might be headed, as we try and keep up with the adventures of the fastest man alive, Barry Allen, more widely known as The Flash.
This week we're taking a look at episode 20, titled, "The Trap," and lemme tell you, it is trap-tastic. Revelations! Flashbacks! Lucid dreaming! Reversals! Broken hearts! Grandpa kidnapping! And so much more. Keep reading after the bump for all the trappy, Flashy goodness.
FLASHBACK: What Happened This Week
This week starts off pretty much where the post-credits sting left us last episode, with Barry, Cisco and Caitlin discovering and exploring Harrison Wells'/Eobard Thawne's/The Reverse Flash's super secret sci-fi mystery closet. They read the future newspaper that details a fight between the Flash and the Reverse Flash that results in the Flash disappearing in an explosion. Barry's all into the news, but then Caitlin notices the article was written by Iris West-Allen and then that's all he can focus on because he's a dummy. They also interact with Gideon, the sentient AI, who was apparently built by Barry and can answer any questions he has, but since Barry spent so long staring wistfully at the byline, they can only get out a few questions before the proximity alarm Cisco installed in Wells' wheelchair goes off and they have to get the heck out of there before he finds them/probably kills them with his vibro-hands.
Wells rolls up to the secret room, activates Gideon and asks if everything's okay and she gives the most poop-eating grin when she tells him that "Everything is fiiiiine" that you just know she is up to something as well. Like, did we learn nothing from HAL, let alone the 1.5 good Terminator movies?! Don't trust artificial intelligences, people.
At the coffee shop, Poor Eddie nervously makes small talk with Joe and then drops the bomb that he wants to ask Joe for his blessing in asking Iris to marry him. Joe says, "Nah. No thanks," and Eddie just starts sobbing real loud, Just the ugliest of ugly cries right n the middle of CC Jitters. Okay, not really, but it'd have been so much better if he actually did.
At the West home, Joe is berating the Three Stooges for breaking into the secret room and Eddie is like, "Time travel, really?" But Barry's all, "I've time traveled. NBD." Cisco thinks he's talking about the fight with the Reverse Flash, but Barry's like, "No, I mean, I literally ran backwards in time and that's why you're having nightmares about Wells popping your heart like a water balloon." Then Barry mentions a plan, and you just know that's gonna be a doozy.
Then it's a FLASHBAAACK to Joe sitting with Barry when he was in his lightning coma. Barry starts having a seizure and the doctors flip out. Joe steps out in the hall, and there's Harrison Wells, standing there, glaring, like those twins in The Shining. He proposes that Joe let him help Barry recover and Joe (obviously) agrees to it.
Meanwhile, in the present, Barry's plan is to get Cisco to try a lucid dream session to uncover his "memories" about Wells killing him when who rolls into the room but Harrison Wells. Caitlin tries to lie to him about their lucid dream experiment, and geez, nobody on this show can convincingly make up an excuse, can they? Wells gives them some pointers and then is like, "My work here is done," in a super creepy way.
At the police station, Singh is busting Barry's balls about some case or another, but it turns out it's just nerves because he's planning a wedding. Then Barry literally runs into Iris, who wants to talk to Barry about something really important, but Eddie pulls Barry away to show him the ring he bought for Iris. Barry pretends to play it cool, but reacts like a total awkward goober.
Later that night, they get all Altered States by putting some Sensory Deprivation Oakleys on Cisco and talk him through his alternate reality memories. Cisco dream-walks through the same scenario we've seen, with Wells coming in and killing him after monologuing a bit. Cisco manages to wake up from the dream before he has a stroke, so that's cool.
Immediately after the experience (well, okay, not immediately. Immediately after, Barry whines about his mom being dead for a second, blaming her death on himself), Wells calls to tell Barry that there's a fire he needs to put out. It's in the building that Singh's finance works in. Once there, Barry tries to help, but gets distracted when Wells tells him to spin his arms around to put the fire out. It's moments like these when I wish I were on set to witness the filming of this scene before digital effects. Just Grant Gustin in a pleather Flash suit, swinging his arms around while the director and crew stand around, checking their phones, hoping he nails the take so they can get lunch. Anyway, Barry spins his arms and the fire goes out. Singh and his husband-to-be are reunited and it feels so good.
At STAR Labs, Wells confronts Barry on hesitating at the fire, giving him a creepy pep talk which you know is full of winks and nods toward His Evil Plan.
At the West home, Barry and Joe argue their plan out, with Joe wanting to volunteer to get Harrison Wells to confess to killing Nora. Barry's plan is to use Cisco because, I mean, he already died once; what's another time?
Meanwhile, at STAR Labs, the STAbbers go over their plan, which is to try and match up the circumstances that saw Wells confessing to killing Nora and then killing Cisco. Only this time, they're gonna stop him with the force-field thingy that kicked off this whole thing. Cisco's reversed it so instead of keeping RevFlash in, it'll keep him out instead. They test it out on Barry and he bounces off of it and into a rolling metal cart and it is wonderful.
So that plan is this: Cisco is bait, Joe is there to arrest Thawne, Barry's there to take him out once they get the confession and Caitlin is… gonna watch the whole thing on a monitor? Eddie's like, "What should I do?!" and Joe's like, "Watch Iris, I guess, but don't propose to her or you will be grounded from the TV for a week."
Out in the hall, Joe and Barry discuss Eddie proposing to Iris and, basically, they're terrible. Joe is still trying to manipulate his daughter under the guise of helping her not make a mistake and Barry's just going along with him because it might mean she will finally love him. I really wish the Iris subplot was being played this horribly for all the men who "know what's best for her" to learn their lesson, so they come to include her in their giant Circle of Trust and let her make her own decisions and live her own life, but I somehow doubt that's the case.
Barry takes off because Iris sent him a 911-text, because that's the only way to get him to listen to what she's been trying to tell him. Again, this is just so poorly handled, with Barry not even listening to her because he's thinking she's finally gonna confess her love for him and then gaslighting her, telling her she;s crazy, when she tells him that the Flash and the metahumans all came from the explosion at the STAR Labs accelerator. Like, she is 100% right, but Barry denies it, saying that if that were the case, how come he doesn't have any superpowers, which he does have. Then he blows her off after condescendingly agreeing to look at her cute little papers and ugh. The turd in the punchbowl of what was otherwise a real killer of an episode.
Anyway, we get a flashbaaaack of Iris talking to Barry when he was comatose at STAR Labs, and it's a sweet little moment where she tell him how much she needs him in her life.
At STAR Labs, Caitlin primes the pump, pointing Wells toward Cisco in the bunker. Wells is like, "Welp, I guess I gotta go kill him now." Things go kind of how we've seen them play out, except we never get a clear confession from Wells, and when Cisco tries to hide from him in the anti-Speedster bubble, Wells steps right through the barrier. This prompts Joe to fire three bullets at him. Barry manages to stop two of them, but the third hits Wells oof right in the chest.
They all go in to poke at the dead body, but oops! It turns out it was just the gross hairless, eyeless shapeshifter guy form last week's episode. Then, over the STAR Labs PA system, we hear Wells/Thawne, announcing that their trap for him was actually a … (WAIT FOR IT) trap for them. Cisco gets a notification that Wells' chair is in the Secret Sci-Fi Room/Time Vault, but when Barry shows up there, all he sees is a bunch of footage of the Star Lab crew being eavesdropped on from the same angles as footage used in previous episodes of the program. Wells has been tracking them, setting all of this up. They just got Reverse Flash Reverse Trapped.
Meanwhile, Eddie and Iris are having a romantic stroll together. Eddie gets ready to propose, but before he can pop the question, the Reverse Flash shows up and roughs Eddie up. Iris tell him she knows who he is and, just before he can speed-force karate chop her, Barry's there to stop him and RevFlash grabs Eddie and takes off. Barry, doing his blur-face maneuver, tell Iris he'll get Eddie back, but as she's leaving, Iris feels a shock like the one she felt in her earlier flashback and suddenly, she knows he's the Flash. I honestly hope the next week is her just screaming at Eddie, Barry and her dad for the duration of the episode.
In Wells' secondary villain hideout, Eddie's talking tough, telling RevFlash that he knows he's Wells, but RevFlash is like, "Umactually, granddad, I'm you're descendant." Eddie immediately pulls out his gun and shoots his own head off. And that's how they defeated Eobard Thawne, the Reverse Flash. THE END.
J/K he just talks a little and then we get a flashbaaaack to Barry Allen in his coma at STAR Labs. Eobard is monologuing at Barry's sleeping body, telling him how much he wishes he could kill him, but he has to not do that because he still needs Barry. We also get a glimpse into the utter hatred Eobard has toward the Flash. It is, apparently a whole heaping lot of hate for the Scarlet Speedster. Once he's done talking to himself, he gives Barry a, "Goodnight. Most likely kill you in the morning!" aaand that's the episode.
FLASH FACTS: Random Observations
- Wow! After last week's damp squib of an episode, this was a welcome relief. Questions got answered, lots of fun reverses and turns, and everybody's finally on the same page. Had it not been for the icky/obnoxious Iris stuff, I'd declare it the best episode of the show yet.
- Tom Cavanagh gets to finally chew some scenery in here, and he looks like he's having fun. I enjoy heel turn Harrison Wells a lot, though he still has some weird emphases in his line-reads.
- I like how RevFlash using Hannibal Bates as an expendable distraction fits in with his pattern of using his illegal prisoners as decoys and bullet-catchers.
- No Business Beanie™.
- While I liked them actually giving Singh more to do beyond be a jerk who (probably rightfully, let's be honest here) hates Barry Allen, I kept thinking that all the time spent on his character did not bode well for his survival. But we'll see.
- While we're mentioning characters, you should definitely read this piece from Gerry Conway on DC's recent practice for paying out to creators who created characters that wind up being used in other media; in this case, one Caitlin Snow.
FLASH FORWARD: Future Happenings
Next week's episode is titled "Grodd Lives," and promises some dope killer psychic gorilla action.
Until next week, keep on Flashin'.