Heart don’t fail Barry now. Courage don’t desert him now that he’s here (or then). People always say life is full choices, and that’s definitely something Barry’s going to learn on his journey to the past tonight. What are the consequences of messing with the past? Should he alter the past based on his knowledge? Is knowing what happens actually a good thing? These are all questions he’ll face tonight.
Following last week’s episode, tonight’s episode’s most important responsibility should have been explaining the rules of time travel in The Flash. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite do that. Thankfully, scenery chewing masters Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell return as Captain Cold and Heat Wave to bring some fun to an episode that was lacking in it at times.
As is to be expected, Barry is experiencing major déja vù when the episode kicks off and it’s très unsettling. When he arrives at the crime scene in the morgue, he’s able to walk Joe through everything that happened without even examining the body. Later at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry is able to finish everyone’s sentences, which tips Wells off that he’s experiencing “temporal reversion” from traveling back in time.
Barry’s time traveling exploits worry Wells. He’s scared that Barry’s actions have not only altered the immediate, but the future to which he’s trying to return. To protect his future, Wells commands Barry not to tell anyone what happened and to repeat his day exactly as he did already. Wells rushes to his chamber of secrets to check his futuristic newspaper and, at least for now, the future remains unchanged; the Flash still disappears in a crisis.
Surprise, Barry does exactly the opposite. Remembering how much pain Mardon caused Captain Singh and Joe, and not to mention the rest of the city, Barry quickly takes care of Mardon before he has a chance to do any real damage. Obviously, this annoys Wells and he warns Barry that if he doesn’t watch it, he’ll learn what Clark Kent learned in that Smallville episode where Clark travels back in time to save Lana from dying only for his father to die instead. Time doesn’t like being trifled with and if you avert one tragedy in the timeline, it’ll just hit you with an even worse one.
After an unsuccessful attempt to time travel again, Barry runs off to meet Linda for a lunch date—by lunch date, I mean, a mutual and cordial break-up. Both parties realize that Barry’s feelings for Iris far outweigh those he harbors for Linda (also he’s clearly feeling guilty for what he did the first time through this day). So, with Linda’s blessing, Barry’s goes to get his girl and asks her out for coffee to “talk.”
Meanwhile, Caitlin accompanies Cisco to his brother Dante’s birthday party. We spend very little time with the rest of Cisco’s family, but it’s clear his parents dote on Dante more than Cisco. There’s also some tension between the Ramone brothers, and after Dante hits on Caitlin and insults Cisco, Cisco storms off and makes his way to the bar. Cisco believes his day is starting to turn around when a very attractive woman asks to buy him—and not Barry, who meets up with him—a drink and to talk. Sadly, upon returning to the woman’s current residence, Cisco finds out he’s not that lucky. The woman in question is Lisa Snart (played by another Tomorrow People survivor, Peyton List); she is Leonard Snart’s sister, and she was tasked with bringing Cisco right to her big brother and his fire-obsessed friend. (ASIDE: Where were Captain Cold and Heat Wave last week? Were they scared off by the wacky weather?)
In a nice change of pace, Barry’s confidence actually ends up screwing him over. During his coffee date with Iris, he brings up his feelings again and says he knows that Iris feels the same way. Unfortunately for Barry, she shuts him down again and explains how unfair it is for him to keep bringing his feelings up and making her the bad guy for having to say no every time. Like the actual act of time traveling, there were several other factors that provoked Iris’ confession of love last week and all of those are missing right now.
NEXT: A deal is struck