It’s that “Time” – Review of THE FLASH Ep 2.17

How could they top last night’s Supergirl/Flash crossover? That would be a tough one…but this was one of the most outstanding episodes of Season Two…or is that Season One? Or Season One/Two? Hang in there, we’ll explain after the jump…

SOME SPOILERS AHEAD! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

NOTE: This review is being published prior to THE FLASH airing on the West Coast USA. If you haven’t seen the show yet, you may want to come back to this article after watching the show.

Barry has felt betrayed by more than one person he trusted without question, first Harrison Wells/Eobard Thawne, and now Jay Garrick/Zoom. He is determined to find out the secret to the speed he needs to defeat Zoom…and realizes he may need some special help. In a dinner at the Wests, Wally mentions reading the journals of past engineers to help him in his own engine design. That gives Barry the inspiration to get his own help from someone no longer around…by going back in time to work with Thawne!

You heard that right…he wants the help of the man in the yellow suit!

Harry Wells of Earth Two advises against it, noting that Thawne would be especially dangerous if he figures it out…and that almost anything could change in the time stream. But, Caitlin and Cisco agree to help. The plan? Go back in time to when he fought the Pied Piper, use a tranq to knock out “old” Barry for six hours, talk to Harry and return. What could possibly go wrong?

Enter the Time Wraith, something that looks remarkably like a cross between Harry Potter’s Dementors and the Black Flash. It follows Barry into the past time stream and really messes things up.

Yes, Thawne figures things out, and it sets into action some of the coolest scenes that might have happened in Season One but only happen here. Seeing Tom Cavanagh back in his “old” Harrison Wells persona, getting up out of his chair to attack Barry, was a “wow” moment…but far from the only one in this show. Barry does get Thawne’s help…but not before nearly being killed.

Eventually the two Barrys meet – that tranq didn’t last long enough…but it sets up some even more amazing scenes as you see the less confident Barry of Season One meeting the somewhat more mature and a little jaded Barry of Season Two.

In the end, Barry does make it back, and the Time Wraith is defeated with some help…from a very surprising source. That help comes from a Season One character who is now back and who works from time to time with the good guys…and that character is…

SPOILER

SPOILER

SPOILER

Hartley Rathaway, the Pied Piper!

YES! Glad to see the good guy version of Hartley showing up now, and it is handled exceptionally well. We do find out that Thawne is still gone, and that Eddie is still dead – can’t change that. But, Barry had managed to get a “birthday message” from Eddie recorded during his visit to the past, and he is able to play it for Iris. The only thing we don’t know about at this point is the impact of his having told Cisco in the past that Hartley knew where Ronnie was…that may play out in future episodes. Speaking of that, we will have to wait until April 19th for the next episode….drat!

Barry did bring one more thing back with him – a secret contained in a special drive from Thawne that gives him the “Speed Equation”! Now, Barry will be able to go after Zoom – and hopefully defeat this big bad for Season Two!

SUMMARY: There were a LOT of special treats in this episode – seeing Eddie again, turning Hartley into a good guy who works with S.T.A.R. from time to time. But, the real highlight for me were the acting turns of Tom and Grant as Harry/Thawne and New/Old Barry. If you wonder about how the characters have developed over time, here is the showcase. And, if you want to see some excellent acting range, just look at the nuances each actor brings to these multiple roles. And yes, the whole cast did a great job of returning to the places their characters were back in Season One, before anyone in the group had figured out Thawne. But, the focus was on Thawne and present-day Barry…and they truly shined here. This was a great episode for me.

What do YOU think? Add your comments here!

10 thoughts on “It’s that “Time” – Review of THE FLASH Ep 2.17

  1. Golddragon71

    Drat! I was really hoping Barry would ask Thawne/Wells how he gets the costume in the ring!!!
    Other than that, it was awesome! I really hope we get Hartley as a recurring character. It would be really cool to see Barry deal with the alterations that Hartley as an ally might have made to the series as we know it. ( I really want a new comic series from DC that explains these changes on the side.)
    The real drag is these constant delays between episodes.

    Reply
    1. FLASH

      That question would have been a nice bonus! But I still agree with this write up. It was one of my favorite episodes. I watched it twice.

      Reply
      1. Lee H

        Ditto.

        Even more so the Time Wraith, who was more or less the Black Flash (even had a decayed Flash mask look to his face on close-ups). I’ll be shocked if they don’t use the Time Wraiths build up to Black Flash in a later season.

        Reply
  2. Kelson

    I saw Barry telling Cisco about Ronnie as an attempt to get that part of the timeline back on course, but I suspect it’s also what led to them forming a better working relationship with Hartley. Take out the fight at the bridge, add some bonding through fighting off the wraith together and a little more trust, and you have a chance for Hartley to rebuild his life instead of remaining antagonistic.

    Here’s hoping he shows up more often going forward.

    Reply
    1. Lee H

      Agreed. It was definitely Barry trying to maintain the timeline with regards to Ronnie and Firestorm. It would have been a huge plot hole to not address it.

      I’d love for Pied Piper to become a recurring cast member, and eventually interact with Wally.

      Reply
  3. banks

    I noticed that everyone in the comments all had the same take away from this episode as me.

    1) Pied Piper is now a good guy
    2) Speed Formula!

    I loved this episode. The fanboy in me really reacted to the idea of the Pied Piper being an ally.

    But the plot had some big problems and I am concerned about the use of time travel in the show. It isn’t being thought out.

    Eobard Thawnes plan to get home relied on a speedster who could go fast enough to go through time. Guess what he had chained to his wheel chair!

    Also, the show has clearly established that time travel has terrible consequences. At the end of this episode, Barry had the means to run faster AND a new ally in Hartley with no negative consequences. I dislike when shows / movies set up rules then clearly ignore them.

    That said, YAAAAAY HARTLEY! Let’s get him back in ASAP!

    Reply
    1. Lee H

      I actually think this episode had the best and most logical use of time travel. Other episodes played fast and loose with the rules.

      Eobard needed a willing speedster to get back to his own time. Season 2 Barry clearly wasn’t up for that. Furthermore, he had a Time Wraith chasing after him – something Eobard wanted to avoid at all costs. Season 2 Barry was a wrench in the works – Thawne didn’t need him, didn’t want him, hadn’t planned for him.

      Terrible consequences hasn’t been a rule for time travel in show. Time travel isn’t an evil genie. It’s always been about unintended consequences, both good and bad (Iris doesn’t realise her feelings for Barry, but at least Weather Wizard didn’t destroy the city and Cisco wasn’t murdered).

      I think it was refreshing to have a time travel story where everything turned out for better. It subverted the cliche, and it was nice to see Team Flash get a clear cut win, after struggling against Zoom all season. Besides, there’s always room for the writers to explore a negative consequence later on (do the Time Wraiths have Barry’s “scent” now, was Thawne startled enough to create a contingency plan, etc).

      Reply
      1. banks

        I did enjoy the happy ending. I literally cheered aloud when it was Piper defeating the wraith. And I do like the idea of the wraiths very much. I think that is a neat addition.

        I think you make a good point about time travel being about ‘unintended’ versus ‘bad’. The show has definitely put the focus on the bad part of time travel which is likely why I got it in my head that it is now a rule set up by the show. I shall go back and watch the time travel episodes again through a new filter! 🙂

        I know it would be no fun if Barry followed everyone’s advice and left things the same, but I would like Barry to follow everyone’s advice just once.

        Reply

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