The Flash Recap: “Flash Back”

the flash header

“Sometimes the only way to move forward is to revisit the things in your past that were holding you back. You have to deal with them head on, no matter how scary.” – Barry Allen – “The Flash”


Feeling betrayed by someone he trusted, not just once, but twice, Barry/Flash (Grant Gustin) is obsessed with cracking the speed code so he can stop Jay/Zoom once and for all. With all efforts exhausted, Barry believes his only hope is Harrison Wells/Eobard Thawne (Tom Cavanagh), who just so happens to be dead.

The only way to get to Wells is to travel back in time. Needless to say, Harry (Tom Cavanagh) discourages this, citing all the horribly bad things that could happen should Wells figure out who he is. Not to mention what it could do to the timeline.

Barry doesn’t want to hear any of it. He traveled back in time in an effort to save his Mother and didn’t disrupt anything. He will be just as careful now.

With that said, Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker), Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Barry plot out just the right time for Barry/Flash to go back to. Deciding the moment just before Hartley Rathaway (Andy Mientus) blew up the damn. Wells was distracted by Hartley and would be less suspicious of anything inconsistent with Barry.

Landing back in time too early creates a glitch in the plan. Getting there just as the Past Flash is about to take down Hartley. Hartley’s gauntlets trigger Future Flash’s earpiece, which in turn causes him to scream in pain and get spotted by Past Flash.

the CW
the CW

This gives Hartley a clean shot at Past Flash, knocking him through a building, at which time Future Flash pursues Past Flash. Future Flash takes the upper hand, successfully knocking Past Flash out with a tranquilizer thus allowing him to stand in as Past Flash.

Once Hartley is taken into custody, Future Flash remembers Hartley’s earpieces were actually explosives, so he makes a suggestion to check them out, thus eliminating the explosion, which had allowed him to escape.

This insight does not go unnoticed by Wells, especially when he discovers Future Barry working on an unorthodox approach to the speed equation, which he would love Wells’ assistance on.

The Flash -- "Flash Back" -- Image: FLA217b_0307b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R) Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells and Grant Gustin as The Flash -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Flash — “Flash Back” — Image: FLA217b_0307b.jpg — Pictured (L-R) Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells and Grant Gustin as The Flash — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Before this conversation can go any further, an alert goes off regarding a disturbance at the CCPD. Future Barry wants to blow it off, he’s here for one thing and it isn’t to be the Flash.  Wells won’t have it and sends him off to be a superhero.

A Time Wraith has shown up in search of Future Flash. He’s breaking all time travel rules and needs to be dealt with.

By the time Future Flash gets to the CCPD, the Time Wraith has taken off, but seeing Eddie (Rick Cosnett) makes Future Flash behave a little out of the ordinary, which isn’t surprising considering he blames himself for Eddie’s death and Iris’ heartbreak.

The Flash -- "Flash Back" -- Image: FLA217a_0119b.jpg -- Pictured: Rick Cosnett as Detective Eddie Thawne -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Flash — “Flash Back” — Image: FLA217a_0119b.jpg — Pictured: Rick Cosnett as Detective Eddie Thawne — Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Back at Star Labs, Future Flash comments that he’s seen this thing before but thought it was an illusion. This is all Wells needs to realize this Barry/Flash is not the one he knows.

Setting Future Flash up with the intent to teach him about the speed equation, Wells gets him just where he needs him, knocking him out and locking him inside his time vault.

When Future Flash comes to, it’s 20 questions time. Future Flash plays it cool, but Wells isn’t buying it. Eventually he figures out he’s from the future and if that’s the case, it means he never made it back home because Flash defeated him.

Photo 4 - Wells Confronts Future Flash

Doing some fast talking, telling only half the truth, Future Flash convinces Wells that he did make it home, but when he came back after helping to get him home it created a singularity which opened the gates for a faster, meaner speedster that needs to be eliminated, which he can’t do without going faster, which is where he comes in.

Wells is just about ready to give in when he realizes he doesn’t need this Future Flash, he can kill him and still go forward with his plan. That’s when Future Flash tells him about a hidden letter should he not make it back home. Goading him by saying, “Go on kill me, see how this ends, now you’re gonna tell me how to get faster.”

This is all Wells needs to crack, downloading all Future Flash needs to know how to get faster onto a flash drive.

In the midst of this, the Time Wraith shows up at Star Labs, cornering Caitlin and Cisco into the cell with Hartley. By using the speakers in his gauntlets, Hartley is able to find a frequency that zaps the Wraiths’ hearing and chases him away.

Photo 5 -Frequency Blast on the Time Wraith

With attacks at the CCPD Lab and Star Labs, they all realize this thing is after Barry and until it’s stopped no one is safe.

By this point, Past Flash shows up, having awakened from the tranquilizer and he wants to know what’s going on. It’s true confession time for Future Flash, with no time left to spare.

Photo 6 - Past Flash confronts Future Flash

With the Time Wraith closing in on Future Flash, it’s time to go, but not without first telling Cisco Hartley knows where Ronnie is.

Moving at his fastest doesn’t seem to be enough. The Time Wraith is gaining on Future Flash, but just as he gets to him, Past Flash steps in and throws the Wraith off Future Flash’s trail.

Photo 7 - Wraith Closes in on Flash

This is enough to get Future Flash back to his present time, but not enough to keep the Time Wraith away. He comes through right behind Flash. Fortunately for Flash, Future Hartley has figured how to use his gauntlets to destroy the Time Wraith doing so just before he literally sucks the life out of Flash.

Photo 8 - Wraith Sucks Life out of Flash

Flash made it back safely and got what he wanted, but how much of his actions on this time travel adventure will have repercussions on the future timeline are yet to be seen.

On a Softer Note

While in the past, in the guise of making a birthday video for Iris, Barry talks Eddie into recording a statement about how important Iris is to him. Once he’s back in the present he gives it to Iris (Candice Patton) as a means to help her heal and move forward.

Photo 9 - Iris Watches Eddie Video

And, Harry reveals that before his daughter all he wanted was his science. His wife had to convince him to have a child. Now, she’s the most important thing to him.

About Mariann E. Danko:  A single Mom just trying to make it through every day without losing her mind. Fortunately I have a passion for writing, which is why I decided to share my thoughts and somewhat off-beat parenting tactics with all who are willing to read them. You can check them out at or my writers page at or follow me on twitter @Danko818

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