Screen / The Flash

The Flash: “The Trap”

“The Trap” is a much better episode than last week’s, if only because there’s a lot of forward momentum. The episode plays much like a season finale would, the Star Labs team coming up with a plan to get Wells to confess to murdering Nora Allen. There’s no doubt that it won’t go well, since this isn’t the actual season finale and Wells still has plenty of time (three episodes to be specific) to worm his way out of this particular problem, and he does so very quickly using last week’s baddie Hannibal Bates to do so. In plenty of ways, it’s annoying to see so much time spent on a trap that’s sure not to work, which we know as soon as Barry and co start explaining it and coming up with force fields to keep out speedsters. 

After the slower “Who is Harrison Wells?”, this episode is a relief to see. Everyone banding together to stop Wells (minus Iris, still left stupidly in the dark) gives the episode a nice burst of energy. And picking up where last week’s left off, with Barry, Caitlin and Cisco discovering Wells’ secret room (and a very accommodating Gideon), is just as thrilling. But the hints dropped by Gideon are ones the episode doesn’t have much time to explore, save the news that Iris will eventually become Iris West-Allen, but we’ll talk about that later.

Cisco’s return to his dreamscape is a trippy but highly enjoyable sequence. Lately Cisco’s gotten a lot more dramatic material to work with, and Carlos Valdes gets to show his range, and is distancing Cisco slightly from the pure comic relief  he was when the show began, in an episode that has him revisiting his murder at Well’s hands. Cisco being killed was one of the show’s most shocking moments, even with the knowledge it likely wouldn’t last. And it was traumatic even from a viewer standpoint to see Cisco realizing his mentor’s betrayal and then being murdered via vibrating hand. So having Cisco return, even if its not real, is equally traumatizing.

But it does its job and confirms to everyone that they can get Wells to confess to everything under the right circumstances. Hence “The Trap”. It’s a bad idea even before Barry calls it one, mostly because as viewers we’re more inclined to knowing that things aren’t going to go well. And it’s just a bad plan. It puts Cisco in danger with no guarantee (though he does come up with that speedster wall) of his safety. How Joe and Barry are expected to be able to go up against the Reverse Flash, when they couldn’t really manage it before, is beyond me. And if the plan had gone as intended, with Wells confronting Cisco, I’ve no doubt that Cisco would have ended up dead.

But back to the interpersonal wrinkles happening among the character. Just as the STAR Labs peeps are learning that Iris and Barry will eventually marry, Eddie’s deciding he’s ready to propose to Iris. So he makes the mistake of going to Joe for his blessing and is surprised when Joe refuses to give it. Despite my Westallen shipper feelings, I’m much more partial to Iris coming to a realization about her feelings for Barry on her own than having her father dictate her life for her. And I’m also partial to Eddie and Barry just telling Joe to shut up and let them do what they want with their lives as well so it’s a relief when Eddie decides to go ahead with his proposal anyway. Whatever Iris’ feelings for Barry may or may not be, they’re hers to sort out, and various men, but especially Joe, making those decisions for her has become particularly tired. This has been Joe’s most enduring character trait, ever since the pilot when he learned he wouldn’t “let” Iris become a cop, and now he won’t “let” her marry Eddie or “let” her know the truth about Barry. But look how that all worked out.

Keeping Iris in the dark does nothing to protect her from Wells’ surviellance equipment, convenientyl placed throughout town, and it does nothing to keep her and Eddie from being harmed when Wells finds them after the trap fails. Iris is the first person Wells goes after, before spiriting Eddie away for reasons unknown. At the very least “The Trap” makes a good case for why the secret keeping was such a bad idea from the start.

Stray Observations

  • So Eobard being Eddie’s descendant seems to indicate that removing Eddie from the picture would also remove Eobard as a threat. That seems  too dark a notion for The Flash to entertain, but it’s there.
  • Was I the only one really annoyed by Barry trying to keep Joe from shooting who they thought was Wells? Not shooting him would have meant that Cisco would have been killed so….Lucky for Barry that wasn’t Wells but still.
  • I’m confused about how old Eobard Thawne was when he showed up in Central City and killed Nora. The year is 2024, and that’s a nice ten years from now but if Eobard hasn’t been born yet then how is around in 2024 is he battling the Flash? He’s called 2024 his home, but how can this be? Or did someone already iron out this plot thread forever ago and I’ve just missed it?
  • Like usual, I’m very sorry for how late these reviews have been lately.
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