The Flash: The Trap
April 29, 2015 6:52 PM - Season 1, Episode 20 - Subscribe

Barry, Caitlin, Cisco and Joe set a trap for Wells. Cisco uses himself as prey which puts him in grave danger. Meanwhile, Eddie makes a decision regarding Iris, which leaves Joe a bit unsettled.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich (26 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
LET'S JUST NEVER LET IRIS MAKE ANY INFORMED DECISIONS OF HER OWN

WHO CARES ABOUT HER OPINIONS, DESIRES, OR AGENCY LOL

(deep breath)

Other than that ... well, no, this episode was still a bit of a mess (the science, oh, the science, I know I should ignore it because the Flash is one of the most science-breaky superheroes of all time and this is the CW ...), but until they fix the situation with Iris I'm basically just here for WellsThawne dropping the facade, so I enjoyed that, and the confirmation he's been fucking with them for two straight episodes. Little touches in characterization that, for me, do a lot with a little: the scene where WellsThawne pauses in the dark hallway, thoughtful, regretful, disappointed; the not quite rightness of Everyman-as-WellsThawne being too menacing at Cisco; the way WellsThawne is hilariously callous at Eddie, with that "aaaanyway" face and tossing the ring.
posted by automatic cabinet at 9:04 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I hope this means Gideon belongs to Flash and Co. now, but if WellsThawne anticipated all this, then he must have done something to ensure that the AI (and the rest of Star Labs) wouldn't fall into their hands.
posted by homunculus at 10:07 PM on April 29, 2015


Our favorite moment is when Eddie says to WellsThawne "This has all been about me hasn't it?" with like a little twinkle of hope in his eye that he might be the center of attention. And WellsThawne is like "Nope! Wrongo!"

My husband and I keep acting out that scene with each other. (This is second only to when Eddie says to Barry about Iris "Thanks for being so cool about this, Barry.")
posted by Crystalinne at 10:21 PM on April 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Hypothesis: he's left Gideon for Barry because Barry still needs help being the Flash, as he did in this very episode, but now he won't be able to get it from WellsThawne. I'd guess Gideon can't help Barry defeat him, but might have information/suggestions on other threats to Barry's life.
posted by automatic cabinet at 10:29 PM on April 29, 2015


Out of all the clues Iris has had to pick up that it's Barry, she may get it from static? Really?

Also how sad it was that she had to 911 Barry to get his attention at all for her big (but not urgent) theory that happens to be completely correct. She may be his "best friend" who he wants to "protect" but he's basically ignoring her. Also, what happened with her being hot to find the missing reporter that WellsThawne killed a few episodes ago? I know we don't need that thread, but it would be nice to see Iris use her reporter skills more on that.
posted by immlass at 11:21 PM on April 29, 2015


Wow, Joe is a total asshole in this episode. Like 100% douchecanoe. YOU HAVE NO CONTROL OVER WHETHER EDDIE CAN PROPOSE OR NOT. JUST BE POLITE AND SAY YES.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:54 PM on April 29, 2015


Hypothesis: he's left Gideon for Barry because Barry still needs help being the Flash, as he did in this very episode, but now he won't be able to get it from WellsThawne.

In the WellsThawne (I still prefer 'Thwells') flashback, Gideon was handheld when Thawn arrived in the show timeframe and got stranded. Why wouldn't he take it with him?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:56 PM on April 29, 2015


Why wouldn't he take it with him?

Well yeah, of course he could have. But like I said? Because he still wants Barry to have help?

The reveal doesn't change what we know his goal to be, which is to return home some 100 years or more in the future. He can't do it on his own, he needs Barry to do something, we don't know what yet -- go fast enough, presumably, which is usually a matter of motivation. So now he's kidnapped Eddie, we know whatever substance he took from Farooq's body earlier this season is still lurking Chekhov's gun-like, waiting to be addressed, etc. But Barry also nearly dies every other week because he doesn't know he can do things like phase through solid matter or create air vacuums. Wells is almost always the one to tell him.

So I'd be interested to see if he left Gideon there.
posted by automatic cabinet at 12:12 AM on April 30, 2015


Thwells/WellsThawne assumed right from the beginning that Team Barry would figure out his secret eventually*, hence the surveillance. So he's thinking, OK, I'm going to train Barry to be as fast as possible while he'll listen to me — and when my cover is blown, I'll team up with the bad guys and/or create situations in which Barry is pushed to run even faster. The faster Barry runs = the faster I can get home to the future.

*although he's probably hitting his head against the wall half the time, saying, surely this will blow my cover now!
posted by adrianhon at 12:44 AM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not a huge fan of how Iris figured out Barry was the Flash. Have we seen other situations in which Barry shocks someone with electricity? If not, it all just seems too neat. I'd have preferred it if she did it with her own investigative skills, which she is more than capable of.
posted by adrianhon at 12:45 AM on April 30, 2015


I hope it occurs to Team Flash that Eddie's not in any real danger because Eobard can't kill Eddie as he's an ancestor.

My theory is that Wells is actually helping Barry. That transfer RevFlash did almost certainly brought not just Wells' physical features, but also his memories and maybe his feelings, too. I can very much see a world where Harrison Wells seizes control of the body from Eobard, but is that too much like Firestorm to actually be in their gameplan?

In addition to the spark (which we saw in flashbacks to when Barry was in a coma...he shocked Iris then, too), it was also that Barry's disguise around her was less drastic in this occurrence.
posted by inturnaround at 1:22 AM on April 30, 2015


I enjoyed the realization of "Oh, yeah, Wells is smart... of course he would have bugged our offices and homes if he was a bad guy!" I mean, duh?

Looking forward to sewer Grodd next week!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:56 AM on April 30, 2015


I can very much see a world where Harrison Wells seizes control of the body from Eobard, but is that too much like Firestorm to actually be in their gameplan?

The comment WellsThawne makes to Barry about the power of the unconscious mind does suggest that the real Wells (his memories or feelings at least, and possibly the Firestorm-like situation you mention -- definitely not too wild a proposition, seeing how WellsThawne knew how to separate them, he just had to be convinced it was the best course of action) has some influence over him.
posted by automatic cabinet at 6:13 AM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow, Joe is a total asshole in this episode. Like 100% douchecanoe. YOU HAVE NO CONTROL OVER WHETHER EDDIE CAN PROPOSE OR NOT. JUST BE POLITE AND SAY YES.

Meh, this is the least awful thing in all the Iris awful. You're going to propose whether or not the parents say yes, you propose. You're going to ask, you have to cope with the answer. Joe doesn't forbid Eddie or do anything else to discourage him, he just refuses his blessing. The fact that it's actually for this gross you'll-want-your-stepbrother-eventually crap is IMNSHO besides the point. You owe them your support and public yeah face, not a one-on-one condoning.

Which doesn't mean you don't reap the side effects of such a refusal, of course, but then they've been willing to sabotage Eddie every other way so who cares? When he turns super-villain he'll be totally justified.

Why he hasn't said "as of 12 hours from now I am no longer lying for your shit. I'll tell Iris she has to take it up with you but I'm not fabricating bupkis from now on" is a mystery to me, and seems out of character.
posted by phearlez at 8:03 AM on April 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


I kept hoping Barry would do the whole backwards a day bit and gain the upper hand against reverse flash...

I'm a little sad that we are only getting one main Grodd story this season. Grodd should be masterminding things more than Wells is, in my opinion.
posted by Catblack at 9:53 AM on April 30, 2015


I know I'm being a broken record, but everything involving Iris is just wrong. A number of things feel very regressive to me, first and foremost that she hardly ever has any real agency -- in the writing she exists always and forever in terms of what she means to these three men around her. It's why she's an uninteresting character, lacking depth. It's hard to see what Barry actually sees in her, or Eddie; and while the show goes out of its way to establish the father-son relationship between Barry and his foster father, we see nothing with any real weight to it in terms of the father-daughter relationship between Joe and Iris. Just platitudes and protective father stuff. Stereotypes. Because Iris just isn't a living, breathing person. She's a plot device. She's Unresolved Sexual Tension and Woman in Peril and The Person Who Mustn't Learn the Truth.

And then, just because this isn't bad enough, all of this lazy, formulaic gender-stereotyped writing is mixed in with what is the whole near-incestious thing. As far as I'm concerned, it's the emotional/psychological context that matters, not the biology -- we don't think that sibling incest involving an adopted child is okay. Barry was, what, about ten when he moved in with Joe and Iris? This isn't a "lived with them for a couple of years when he was in high school" situation. The show goes out of its way to emphasize that they were and are a family. The show wants it both ways -- they're a family, but this isn't incest.

It's as if the show not only doesn't really understand that "we're best friends but I've been secretly in love with you for years thing" is problematic and not a good foundation for a healthy relationship, but then multiplies what's wrong with that by a thousandfold by making them foster-siblings.

The thing is, there's a through-line that explains all of what's wrong, and it's that Iris just isn't a person at all to the show, she's a contrivance. She's so far from being a human being that everything that's so obviously wrong to the audience in how Joe and Eddie and Barry treat her is not obvious to the show because to it she's an appliance, none of these ethical considerations apply, none of the psychological realism is applicable. And it makes me angry on several levels simultaneously. The sexism makes me angry, obviously, but it makes me angry at the show on the show's own terms because the show is so clearly placing so much emphasis on Barry and Iris's relationship and their future together -- it wants me to care, it expects me to care, and yet it can't be bothered to actually write Iris into being even as much as it realizes Caitlin or even police Captain Singh.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:59 AM on April 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


When he turns super-villain he'll be totally justified.

This is also true (even more true, in fact) for Iris!

Personally I think they'd make a great supervillain couple.
posted by mstokes650 at 10:21 AM on April 30, 2015


My theory is that Wells is actually helping Barry. That transfer RevFlash did almost certainly brought not just Wells' physical features, but also his memories and maybe his feelings, too..

I'd like to think that after pretending to be Wells for 15 years, some of his qualities would rub off on Thwells. The guy is very smart, and to simply revert to being a typical petty bad guy after all that just seems like lazy writing.
posted by homunculus at 10:49 AM on April 30, 2015


When he turns super-villain he'll be totally justified.

This is also true (even more true, in fact) for Iris!


hahahaha like they'd do anything remotely that interesting with her.
posted by phearlez at 12:15 PM on April 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


My favorite part of the episode:

                                            Cisco
          If I can get into its operating system, maybe I can disable its memory core.

                                            Barry
          Gideon, can you show us where your operating system is?

                                            Gideon
          Certainly.

Gideon reveals some futuristic looking computerish thingy.

                                            Cisco
          (laughs) Nope, that's not going to happen.


Despite the horrible technobabble, it's worth it for the trope-subversion.
posted by notbuddha at 12:17 PM on April 30, 2015 [9 favorites]


That was a great bit - I fully expected Cisco to start typing away on a holo-keyboard. Thank goodness he didn't.

Funny Reddit comment thread on the glory that is Tom Cavanagh:
echoplex21: Every actor has been doing a great job, Tom is just on another planet.
chaos9001: I know a lot of people think he is a bad actor, but some would say he is the reverse.
Kylestache: Everyone is amazed that he's a great actor, but to me, he's been great for centuries.
posted by adrianhon at 3:21 PM on April 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I hope it occurs to Team Flash that Eddie's not in any real danger because Eobard can't kill Eddie as he's an ancestor.

Eh, I'm not so sure; Thwells could always harvest sperm from Eddie's still-warm corpse and use it to artificially inseminate someone.

Oh, no, wait, what am I saying?? That's possible with real-world present-day technology, meaning it would never ever show up on this show.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:20 PM on May 5, 2015


It might occur to Eddie that if he killed himself it would prevent Thwells from ever being born. If Iris were at risk, I think he'd be willing to sacrifice himself.
posted by homunculus at 5:44 PM on May 5, 2015


Out of all the clues Iris has had to pick up that it's Barry, she may get it from static? Really?

Not a huge fan of how Iris figured out Barry was the Flash. Have we seen other situations in which Barry shocks someone with electricity? If not, it all just seems too neat.

Geeeeez, you guys - it was the Spark of Twoo Wuv.
posted by soundguy99 at 7:03 PM on May 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


it wants me to care, it expects me to care, and yet it can't be bothered to actually write Iris into being even as much as it realizes Caitlin or even police Captain Singh.

Dear lord, this. There are literally a half dozen or more secondary or tertiary characters that have been written with more depth than Iris. I physically cringed when I saw the stupid byline on the future newspaper in this episode, because, just ... ugh. This episode's shocking revelation: we've all been tricked into watching a show that intends to refocus largely on the story of the love between a man and a writer's cardboard cutout that's vaguely in the shape of a female character, but not quite. Don't you see, they love each other because REASONS!

Captain Singh's shaken reunion with his fiancee (after the building fire) was a significantly more touching character moment than the entirety of the Barry/Iris plotline.
posted by tocts at 8:06 AM on January 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


But surely that newspaper headline is about the Barry Allen who became the Flash later in life without Eobard's linear accelerator meddling, whose mom wasn't killed by the Reverse Flash, who disappeared chasing the Reverse Flash back in time, who married Iris Allen because he didn't grow up with her as brother and sister?
posted by straight at 9:51 AM on February 16, 2016


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