It’s a trap! There, now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get to “The Trap.” We pick up where we left off, with Caitlin, Cisco, and Barry discovering Wells’ hideout, the evidence for his time-traveling nature, a future byline by Iris West-Allen (with the help of the Green Arrow), and Wells’ AI, Gideon. The helpful computer program reveals that Future Barry is not just The Flash, but also the director of Central City Forensics Department. Before they can get much info out of Gideon, Wells arrives to spoil their party. Barry asks the AI to keep their presence a secret from the doctor, and surprisingly, she agrees. Why? Because Barry created her. With that revelation, Barry spirits the others away before Wells can bust them. Phew!
Calming things down over a cup of coffee, Eddie chats up Joe at Jitters. His news? Nothing to do with the Flash, but everything to do with asking Joe for permission to propose to Iris. Joe withholds his blessing, but doesn’t get a chance to explain why because Barry calls him to talk about their encounter with Wells. At the West household, Cisco and Barry remind audiences of the alt-timeline and Barry’s time-traveling abilities, plus all the mind-melting twists and turns that go with it. Barry comes up with an admittedly bad idea.
Then, we cut to the weeks after Barry was hit by lightning where Joe has been sitting by his adopted son’s side in the hospital all the while. The doctors rush in to stop Barry’s sudden seizure, and Dr. Wells makes his first introduction to Joe with an offer to help save his son.
Back in the present, Barry plans to use Cisco as bait to lure Wells into confessing his murder of Nora Allen. With me so far? Step One in their plan is an experiment exploring lucid dreaming, with the hopes to recreate Cisco’s alt-timeline experience. Cisco goes under and experiences a vivid dream state while still being able to communicate with Barry and Caitlin. Dream Caitlin is off to distract Wells at the coffee shop, allowing Dream Cisco to retrace his alt-timeline steps. It’s a pretty cool scene that mainly serves to remind viewers about Cisco’s discovery of Wells’ alter ego … and the moment of his death. Luckily, they spring him from his nightmare before the reality of it can kill him for real.
As if intuiting that his students are up to no good, Dr. Wells calls to inform Barry of a bad fire at a downtown highrise, a building that just so happens to be the workplace of Captain Singh’s fiance. Once he’s on the scene, Barry realizes that the sprinkler system isn’t working and even he isn’t fast enough to save everyone. Wells’ solution? If Barry can make fast-enough arm circles, he can create a vacuum that will suck out all the air and extinguish the flames (just long enough to prevent the survivors from dying of asphyxiation, I presume). It’s another moment that allows Wells to encourage and support Barry, one that bridges into a conversation in which Barry’s mentor assures him that he possesses all the speed he needs to reach the next level. It’s a great example of just how likeable and how evil Wells/Eobard really is.
Meanwhile, in Relationship Land, Iris and Eddie both want to talk to Barry, but Thawne gets to him first. Awkwardness ensues when Eddie tasks him with getting Joe to change his mind on giving his blessing. Standing in the way of that conversation is a more heartfelt one in which Joe confesses to bringing Dr. Wells into Barry’s life with the aim of saving him; Barry reminds him that everything bad that’s happened has been by design of the mad doctor.
They bring Eddie into the fold (but no word on if they’ve mentioned the Thawne-y problem of Wells’ identity). Now that Cisco’s already seen what Wells has planned, he’s ready for him thanks to a reverse-forcefield; take that Reverse-Flash! Now’s as good a time as any for Barry to broach the topic of Eddie’s proposal. Joe wants Iris to end up with her true love, who just so happens to be Barry. They’re the words Barry wants to hear, but not the words he can relate to Eddie. Right on cue, Iris calls Barry up to reveal something to him … the fact that she’s been investigating the meta-human population explosion, finally linking it to the particle accelerator accident. Barry tries to play it down and actually turns the conversation back to her relationship with Eddie.
Another flashback shows Iris talking to a coma-stricken Barry. She has a tearful plea for Barry to return to them, and especially to her.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, the team is ready to spring the trap on Wells. Cisco watches the Reverse-Flash hologram as Wells walks into the room. The thing is, this time around the others are listening (and hopefully recording Wells’ monologue), and Cisco is ready for Wells. Too bad that Wells is one (literal) step ahead of them and manages to pass through the forcefield. Before he can kill Cisco, Joe shoots Wells down. Barry rushes in and manages to stop all of the bullets but one, and that one pierces Wells’ heart. Barry berates Joe for his rash decision since now his father’s one shot at freedom is gone with Wells’ death.
But wait! It’s not Wells at all, but Hannibal Bates, the mimic from the last episode (and easily the best moment for the Everyman character). He stood in for Wells, or rather Eobard Thawne, while the real villain was safely tucked away elsewhere, gloating over the S.T.A.R. Labs team about how much he’s looking forward to meeting up with them all soon, very soon. Barry rushes to the time vault to try and nab Eobard, but only his wheelchair remains. He sees Eobard’s video wall with secret surveillance from all of their favorite haunts, including a screen showing Iris. Barry knows now that Iris is in danger and he rushes off to the rescue.
Meanwhile, Iris and Eddie are out for a romantic stroll in which Eddie is about to propose. Too bad Reverse Flash steals Eddie’s ring and then Eddie himself as The Flash arrives in hot pursuit. A quick conversation and a static touch lead Iris to the shocking revelation that The Flash is actually Barry.
Tonight’s stinger has Eobard revealing his familial relation to Detective Eddie Thawne. Eddie thinks that Eobard’s machinations have been about him, but his distant descendant says that Eddie is merely his insurance policy.
Eobard also pays the unconscious Barry a visit in the hospital and threatens to give him the ultimate joy buzzer, but realizes he must help Barry realize his potential if he’s to have any hope of getting back home. He promises Barry that eventually, he will die by his hands.
A great episode that brought many of the season’s storylines to a satisfying conclusion while opening up lots of potential for future versus battles against Eobard Thawne. Audiences have known Dr. Wells’ true identity for some time now, and our heroes have even been privy to this knowledge for a few episodes at least. “The Trap” served to put the nail in the coffin of Dr. Wells and unleash Reverse Flash out into the wide world where he can cause no end of havoc to the S.T.A.R. Labs team. Now we have a real reason, and more importantly an investment, to root for The Flash in his endless conflicts against his speedy counterpart. This episode also sets up Reverse Flash as the brain behind what’s sure to be some more well-planned villainous capers in the hours to come. First up in this brave new world: Gorilla Grodd!
Rating:★★★★ Very good
Note that the voice of Gideon is the one and only Morena Baccarin, who also moonlights as Dr. Leslie Thompkins on Gotham.
Wells’ stealth wheels are an excellent modification to his mobile command unit. They will be missed.
Eddie: “Iris Thawne. Sounds pretty good, huh?” Barry: “I’m pretty sure she’s gonna want to hyphenate.”
Barry: “I couldn’t have done any of this without you.” Wells: “I feel the same way about you.”
Cisco’s Indiana Jones reference might be my favorite line of his so far.
Wells: “There will be a reckoning.” But first, there will be Grodd!