There’s an old saying that “to every hero, there is a villain”, for Flash, more than anyone else, it’s the Reverse Flash. Much of what made Season 01 great was the fact that Reverse Flash was done so well both in writing and in performance. In fact, it was done so well that Zoom’s lack of depth and performance in Season 02 makes him look incredibly less threatening than Reverse Flash was in Season 01. Yet, with the season finale, it appeared he wouldn’t return…how wrong we were. And thank goodness we were.
Though he technically arrived last episode at the end, “The Reverse Flash Returns” showed once again just how much of a threat Eobard Thawne was, as well as giving the true Eobard Thawne, Matt Letscher, time to truly shine in the role. His Reverse Flash was very, very, different than the one Tom Cavanaugh played in Season 01, and that’s a good thing, as this is a Reverse Flash who was stick in time for 15 years, but one who’s fresh and still has great hate of the Flash.
It was truly fun to see this Reverse Flash not only clash with Barry, but Cisco, E2 Wells, and more. Even him noting that he’ll get stuck in the past in a future trip was funny as he laughed it off. Oh, if he only knew. The highlight for me was not only when Cisco went full Vibe (complete with glasses!) to find Reverse Flash, only to realize he was seeing into the future! Awesome. And, of course, Barry actually beating Thawne in a speed fight, something he never did last season.
Then, to let him go in order to save the timeline, and Cisco, was brilliant. Adding to the “promise” from Reverse Flash earlier this season that “Barry will never be happy”. Cause here he had a clear victory, but to save his best friend, he had to give it up.
Speaking of giving up, Barry and Patty. I really hope this is the last episode with the two of them together, cause that was just painful to watch. I don’t mind Barry’s motivation about not telling Patty he was Flash to start, cause he wanted to protect her. But the more the episode went on, the dumber both he and Patty looked. Yes, she figured out he was Flash, which I dug! But when she confronted Barry about it, and he STILL lied to her? After it was clear that she wasn’t going to believe him? Man, not fun to watch. Oh, and that ending scene? Dumb on numerous levels, can’t believe Patty pulled that. These two were great together, but then they threw every couple cliche at them to break them apart. Next thing you know he’ll be dating Iris…
Yes, I still don’t like Jay and Caitlin together, and though the Hunter Zolomon reveal was fun (Zolomon is the real life name of Zoom in the comics), finding out that there is (yet again) no way to save Jay other than getting his speed back was tedious and boring. Another strike against the character of Jay Garrick.
But, after last weeks West family debacle, I found this episodes family struggles much better. As Iris went to see Francine, presumably on her death bed, and tell her the truth about how she felt. It was honestly a powerful moment, as was Iris confronting Wally about not seeing her before it was too late. This was a much better use of the West family, and I hope it continues going on.
In the end, “The Reverse Flash Returns” was a better return to form for Flash, much better than last weeks mid-season premiere. Next week marks the start of the true back half of the season, let’s hope things pick up quick. Cause we’re running out of time.