FLASH SPOILER Review: Episode 1×23- “Fast Enough”

The Flash (1×23) – “Fast
Teleplay by: Gabrielle Stanton & Andrew Kreisberg
Story By: Greg Berlanti & Andrew
Directed by: Dermott Downs
This week starts with the conversation that has been
building for the entire season.  Barry
heads down into the Pipeline alone and comes face to face with Eobard
Thawne.  Thawne is rather glib about the
whole situation and the first thing Barry asks him is why he killed Nora
Allen.  Thawne explains that he hates
Barry, not as he is today but the man he will become.  The two of them have battled many times in
his past/Barry’s future and were too equally matched until he learned Barry’s
name and used that to try to prevent Barry from ever becoming the Flash by
killing his mother. 
However, by preventing Barry from becoming the Flash he cut
off his access to the Speed Force trapping him in the past so he had to create
The Flash again and then get him to run fast enough to rupture the Space-Time
Barrier.  He then lays out his trap; he
will tell him how to travel back to the night of Nora’s murder and he gets to
go back to his own time.
Barry won’t do it, in fact he’d rather kill Thawne.  Thawne remarks that he understands Barry’s
anger and felt it once but he claims he has truly grown to care for Barry which
angers the younger man.  Thawne restates
that he’s offering a chance to save his family and undo everything he has done
to him.  Barry leaves.
Team Flash along with Ronnie and Dr. Stein debate Eobard’s
offer and it seems that each of them are as conflicted as he is.  Stein is intrigued by the opportunity but
wary of the risk of changing such a pivotal moment of Barry’s life.  Caitlin sees it purely as a chance to save
someone he loves.  Cisco is wary and
worried that as a result none of them will meet but Joe is adamant.  Barry must go back and save his mother. 
Joe leaves and Barry follows him and points out if his
mother lives, Barry never gets to be part of Joe’s family but Joe says that
after all the lives he’s saved since becoming the Flash that it’s time to save
his own by saving his mother.
Barry visits his father in prison and explains his
opportunity and Henry Allen is as adamant as Joe.  He must not go back.  Barry says they can be a family again but
Henry says they already are and more importantly he is far too proud of the man
Barry has become to risk him changing that. 
Not just the powers but the compassion and kindness Barry is
capable.  He points out that his mother
wouldn’t risk that changing either, even in exchange for her life.
Back at STAR Labs, Ronnie tells Caitlin that he and Dr.
Stein have decided to return to Central City to stay.  So he can be with her and they can finally
get married.  That night, Iris finds
Barry on the roof of Jitters and they talk about offer Eobard has made.  They even theorize that Barry living with Joe
and Iris has undone their future marriage. 
He asks her what he should, he even asks her to tell him what to do.  She tells him to do what he feels he needs to
Barry returns to the Pipeline and asks Eobard what he would
need to do.  Eobard then reveals that
what the Particle Accelerator has always been designed to do was be used as a
way to send Eobard home.  If Barry can
run fast enough and collide with a particle he will open a wormhole to any time
he desires and from there travel back in time and Eobard can go home.
When he and the Team discuss Eobard’s plan Cisco has gone
from wary to pretty solidly against the plan. 
Barry however is committed and he needs something else form Cisco.  He takes them down into storage and explains
that Eobard has been building a time travel vehicle and Barry needs Cisco and
Ronnie to finish it.  However, Cisco and
Ronnie quickly discover a design flaw in the time ship.
Cisco heads down to the Pipeline to discuss the flaw but
their conversation quickly turns to Eobard and from there Cisco’s memories of
the other timeline.  Eobard then tells
Cisco he’s sorry, not for killing him in the other timeline but that the reason
Cisco can remember that is because he too was affected by the Explosion and his
powers are manifesting as an ability to see other realities.
Dr. Stein is still do calculations in the lab later and
Eddie is there in case Eobard gets out. 
He and Stein talk about all the things Eobard tells him about his
future.  Stein has an alternate interpretation:
he says that while everyone around him has been placed in these events by
Eobard’s interference thereby being forced to play the roles he intended for
them, Eddie has the freedom to decide his own fate.
The monitor’s catch Dr. Stein’s attention and he learns of a
problem.  He calls the group together and
explains that while the risk if Barry doesn’t gain enough speed before strike
the particle is that he will die, if he does succeed and creates the wormhole
it will not remain stable for long and will create a black hole that will more
than likely destroy the Earth.
When they ask Eobard he tells them that he knew it would
happen.  He tells Barry that he has a
window of one minute fifty-two seconds to return, enough time to save his
mother but not enough time to stop Eobard from going home.
Barry leaves the lab but Joe follows him and the two talk
about Eobard’s plan.  Barry is worried
that he can’t save his mother and return in time but Joe has faith in him.  Barry then reveals another worry, by saving
his mother and preventing his father from going to prison, Barry would
sacrifice another parent.  He would lose
everything that Joe has become to him.
Eddie visits Iris at the newspaper and he talks to her about
the night they met.  He believes now that
while he doesn’t have a grand destiny like Barry and Iris had, he has something
with her and he wants to fight for it.
After the group gathered outside the lab so that Caitlin and
Ronnie could get married before Barry potentially changes the past, Barry heads
down into the Accelerator tunnel to make his attempt.  He says goodbye to each of his friends.  Cisco explains that there will be three Barrys
there that night and he’ll have to wait un future Barry gets past Barry out of
the house before he can make his attempt.
As Barry passes mach two, he begins to see visions of the
past and future and even other timeline as he comes closer to connecting to the
Speed Force.  Eobard tells him he could
travel anywhere in time and space this way and he has to concentrate out that
night specifically.  Cisco injects the
particle and Barry strikes it, opening the wormhole.
He arrives in his childhood room after young Barry has run
down to check on his mother.  He sees his
future-self fighting with the Reverse Flash and the future Barry stops and
looks at him then shakes his head sadly before racing off with the youngest
Barry.  Barry is heartbroken as he
listens to the Reverse Flash stab his mother then race off.  He goes into the room and talks with Nora
then tells her that he came back, but only to be with her one last time and
tell her that he and Henry are alright in the future.  Nora Allen dies moments later.
In the present, Eobard is back in his Reverse Flash costume
and about to enter his time ship.  The
wormhole flashes and a silver doughboy helmet with golden wings clatter on the
ground.  Cisco and Joe are baffled by it
and Eobard says that’s his cue to leave to which Cisco tells him to never come
Just as Eobard’s about to go through Barry comes flying out
of the wormhole and his punch destroys the time ship.   While Caitlin and Ronnie scramble to stop
the wormhole, Eobard asks Barry why he didn’t save his mother to which Barry
claims he wasn’t willing to sacrifice his present to save his past.  The two fight but when Eobard gains the upper
hand and prepares to kill Barry and gunshot stops him.
Eobard is uninjured but it turns out Eddie has shot himself
in the heart, thereby negating Eobard’s existence.  The man from the future disintegrates shortly
afterwards.  Unfortunately that leaves a
new problem, the resulting paradox has itself created a black hole that quickly
threatens to swallow up Central City. 
While his friends watch from the ground and around the city and his
father from prison, Barry races up a building and into the black hole to
attempt to unravel it like Clyde Mardon’s tornado in the pilot.
This episode was fantastic, I admire that the writers had
the characters debating the pros and cons of giving the villain exactly what he
wants and that some were never really convinced.  The fact that the two fathers in his life are
at odds and that it was Henry that disagreed with the plan that would free him
from prison was particularly strong. 
Again we see that any episode that relies on Gustin Martin and Shipp
emotionally is going to leave the audience satisfied.
Also strong were Tom Cavanaugh and Rick Cosnett.  Cavanaugh again knocks it out of the park as
he swings from glib, to genuine to menacing and back around.  Eobard is presented as a man that is willing
to do anything to return home even if it means undoing everything he’s done to
the man he hates the most.  While Cosnett
may have far less to do in terms of screen time he does a lot with every moment
he has leaving you feeling his death keenly.
Carlos Valdes also turns in a strong performance.  Usually Cisco is the most daring and cavalier
of the group so it means something when he is the one saying “We shouldn’t
do this.”  His arc for season two is
also set up as his powers are now recognized for what they are and if Barry
manages to prevent reality from being undone and the black hole from swallowing
the earth Cisco has a lot to do next season.
In the end we’re left with a big question for Season 2,
while Barry may have chosen not to change his past, Eddie has changed it anyway
by taking Eobard Thawne out before the man was ever born.  Black holes aside, what is the result of
Eddie’s sacrifice and will Team Flash even remember it happening?  Can this even be resolved? 
Eddie killed himself to prevent Eobard from being born but
that is only because Eobard has been born.  So if Eobard doesn’t exist
Eddie has no reason to kill himself which means Eobard has the chance to be
born so Eddie can kill himself… and that is the conundrum we get to try to
unravel for the next five months.
There’s also the matter of Jay Garrick’s helmet. 
This means that some version of the original Flash exists.  That means there is an Earth-2, which has
been confirmed by an interview with Grant Gustin and Carlos Valdes.  This opens up a whole new door for the show
going forward.
This was definitely an example of what happens when this
show is running on all cylinders. 
Three Things We
Learned This Week:
The Particle Accelerator was always designed to
be a time machine.
Cisco is a metahuman and his powers seem to be
related to seeing/interacting with other realities.
CW-Earth One has been contacted by CW-Earth 2.
Why did Barry change his mind?
Will Jay Garrick/Earth-2 appear next season?
What are Cisco’s powers exactly?
Does Caitlin have powers as well or was that
just in the alternate reality we glimpsed?
Is Eobard dead?
Is Harrison Wells alive?
If Eddie killed himself and Eobard, does that
mean that Nora Allen is still alive?

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