Episode Title: Flash Back
Original Airdate: 3-29-16
It’s time to go back, back to the future! Or actually the past as the Flash decides that he needs to talk to the only other speedster that he knows of who just so happens to be based back in the past. A year in the past to be exact back in season one as he visits Eobord Thawne posing as Harrison Wells during the time when he battled the Pied Piper. Though as usual, things don’t go exactly according to plan and the timeline gets changed in at least one unexpected way.
Overall, this was a bit of a fun episode, though one minor detail that I didn’t quite catch the significance of was early on, after present Barry had replaced past Barry he was talking to Thawne/Wells and holding his arm in an unusual way that never seemed to be explained. But this was a great showcase to see yet another side of Tom Cavanagh as he gets to play Wells as Thawne who is reluctantly working with present Barry without having to hide his identity while he still has to hide his identity from Caitlin, Cisco, and eventually past Barry. It’s all a little confusing to try and spell out here in this review, but it’s generally pretty clear as its presented within the episode.
The main villain of the episode is actually something new to the show. There’s apparently something called Time Wraiths that look very much like a dementor from Harry Potter without the hood and about one tenth the effects budget, and the characters from the show have no qualms about pointing out the similarities. It’s one of those odd things that essentially came out of nowhere, isn’t really explained, it’s just there. One of the most fun things to come out of Barry’s visit to the past is that he does end up changing the timeline so that the Pied Piper is no longer a villain, and is a sometimes consultant to Star Labs so that he may just show up some episodes down the line in the same way that Amanda Pays from Mercury Labs would. The last bit of information comes when Barry brings back a video from Eddie to give to Iris, which just so happens to be the exact thing Iris needs to help move on. It doesn’t always make sense how those kinds of things work out, but it was nice to see Eddie back for a brief moment.