15 years ago, that night we’ve heard about in every episode of the series, we see both The Flash and the Reverse Flash enter the past from wherever they were in the future. Barry’s mother tucks him in and goes downstairs only for her glass of wine to begin floating mid-air. We then see the scene play out like never before, as the hero and villain duke it out around Barry’s mother in what was previously just lightning flashes and swooshing noises. In the present day, Barry and Joe go over the evidence against Dr. Wells, of which there is little. They ponder if Dr. Wells wanted him to become The Flash on purpose and break it down that everything he’s done has been to keep Barry safe. Barry wants to shake him down for answers, but patience is a virtue.
As they talk, tiny presents descend into a park in Central City and promptly explode when they touch the ground. Barry runs to the scene and saves a kid with the same name as his father. In the distance we see the mastermind behind the bombs, The Trickster. He makes a video of himself taunting the city. Cisco and company examine it at STAR Labs and Joe makes the remark that this guy stole his name from a terrorist 20 years ago, who is locked up in Iron Heights. After Barry takes a swipe at Dr. Wells, Joe says the two of them will go to talk to him.
Back in the past, Barry’s father yells at young Barry to run which prompts future Flash Barry to pick up young Barry and plant him blocks away. Everybody got that? Meanwhile, the Reverse Flash takes off too but tumbles to his knees. His computer Gideon reveals to him that his cells contain no trace of the Speed Force and that he can’t return home. As he howls at the moon, he removes his mask, and he’s definitely not Harrison Wells but someone with very bad hair.
Barry and Joe traverse the underbelly of Iron Heights to the cell specially made for James Jesse, and their escort hands them some Twizzlers before they enter. Jesse is a playful Hannibal Lecter behind the glass, and when told about his copycat does not take the news very well. He never told anyone about his bomb formula, but it was used in creating the tiny presents anyway. Though he calls the new Trickster a pretender, he tells Joe and Barry that the only way he could pull this sort of thing off is if he found his old lair. At CCPD, Iris talks to Eddie about Mason Bridge’s disappearance and he promises when he has a minute to look into it.
Joe and Barry head to Jesse’s old lair, which Joe says looks like no one has been in since the ’90s (get it?). They find a locked door, which Barry vibrates open, but it was booby trapped and a bomb on the other side goes off. However, there was nothing on the other side because the new Trickster took it all. The pair return to Iron Heights where Barry gets a quick word in with his dad and tells him that he’s close, real close. Back at Jesse’s cell he reveals the content behind the door, a really big bomb that could destroy the city. Just then the new Trickster debuts a vlog, which when shown to Jesse makes him shriek, crying for the fraud to take off his mask.
The team regroups at STAR Labs though Cisco can’t seem to track the video since he’s using a “Felicity”-level scrambler. Barry takes another swipe at Dr. Wells who asks him for a word in private. In what seems like a tense moment at first, Dr. Wells empathizes with Barry for the situation he’s been in, going to Iron Heights and seeing his father behind bars. Wells promises to help find his mother’s killer, but right now they should focus on the Trickster. Iris texts Barry, asking to meet up, but she means The Flash. We flashback to Dr. Wells sitting on a beach with his wife Tess Morgan where he talks about the particle accelerator. She comes up with the STAR Labs acronym, and the real Reverse Flash watches from afar.
Iris waits at Jitters and The Flash bursts in. She asks him to look into Mason Bridge’s disappearance and though it takes some convincing he agrees. Cisco calls Barry and alerts him that the Trickster is broadcasting a new video where he reveals he’s hidden a big bomb in a section of town. Barry goes looking for the explosive but can’t find it. Dr. Wells tries to get him to pull back since it appears to be a trick, but he doesn’t give up. Eventually he finds the box but there’s no bomb, it was just a trick. Meanwhile, the new Trickster has broken into Iron Heights to set the old Trickster free. Barry calls Joe to alert him to this, and Joe drops the bomb (ahem) that they took a hostage, Henry Allen. In a nearby warehouse, Henry Allen sits tied up and James Jesse says, “You have to admit, that was one hell of a trick.”
The two tricksters sit around fanboying about each other and the younger one asks why the took the hostage, because he’ll provide a great bargaining chip. As they talk it’s revealed they had been exchanging letters for some time and now that he’s out the James has his big plan, his masterpiece, his “Breaking Bad” Season 5. When young Trickster asks why he was chosen to succeed him, James tells him he knew he had the strength, plus it was in his blood, because he’s his father. In case you guys didn’t know, Mark Hamill was in this movie in the ’70s called “Star Wars” and someone says this line to him in that movie. Ask your parents about it. Anyway, at STAR Labs we learn the new Trickster is named Axel Walker and he and James Jesse have been writing each other for over a decade. Barry is upset with himself for not listening to Wells, blaming himself for his Dad getting abducted.
We flashback again to Wells and Tess driving down a road at night. They approach a spike strip set up by the Reverse Flash which sends their car tumbling down the street. Reverse Flash approaches the wreckage and when Wells cries out for him to help Tess he replies, “She’s been dead for centuries.” Barry stares at the door to their little prison and he’s joined by Joe, who comforts him and tells him he wish he could be more like him in his ability to see the good in people. Despite the compliment, Barry weeps, knowing he can’t lose his father too.
Iris enters a fancy banquet for re-electing the mayor, but the Tricksters are handing out champagne. As the party continues, Jesse takes the microphone and throws out some quips to the audience. He then informs the crowd they’ve been poisoned, and one gentleman that arrived early falls to the ground with foam pouring from his mouth. They instruct them all to transfer all the money they have to them or in one hour they’ll be dead. As this goes on, Iris calls her father and Cisco traces her signal to the party. Barry bursts in and corners Jesse, allowing Walker the chance to snap a device to Barry’s wrist, which like the movie “Speed” will explode if Barry goes under 600 MPH. As he runs, Dr. Wells talks him through learning his next power, phasing through matter. Wells delicately gives Barry the tools he’ll need, and Barry shifts right through a truck and leaves the device behind.
The money keeps racking up at the banquet, but Barry runs in and gives everyone an antidote. He asks once again where Henry Allen is, and we see him in a room with a box dangling above his head. Barry enters and saves him just as the knives in the box tumble down and stick in the chair. Henry goes with Barry to STAR where he meets all of his buddies and gives a special thanks to Dr. Wells, which is ironic. Henry and Joe leave and Barry shakes Dr. Wells hand as well, saying he’s lucky to have him.
We flashback once again and see Wells crawl from the wreckage, only for the Reverse Flash to reveal his name (Eobard Thawne) and that in 2020 he’ll create the particle accelerator with Tess, but he needs that timeline moved up. He pulls out a device and sticks one end in Wells and another in himself, and like that Dr. Wells is a dried up husk of a corpse and the Reverse Flash magically looks like Wells. In the present, Eddie meets up with Joe who tells him he needs to stall Iris from looking into Mason Bridge’s disappearance. When asked why, The Flash enters and Barry unmasks in front of Eddie. Later, he convinces Iris that Mason went off to Brazil, and the three of them plot their next move against Dr. Wells. Back to the past for one last scene as the police approach the crash site and Dr. Wells, secretly the Reverse Flash, emerges from the car.
You can check out a preview for the remaining episodes of the season in the players below. The next episode is titled “All Star Team Up” and is officially described as follows:
“Barry (Grant Gustin) is surprised when Felicity Smoak (guest star Emily Bett Rickards) arrives from Starling City along with her boyfriend, Ray Palmer (guest star Brandon Routh), who flies in as the Atom. They’ve come to visit S.T.A.R. Labs as Ray needs help with his suit. Their timing turns out to be fortuitous because it’s all hands on deck after a meta human named Brie Larvin (guest star Emily Kinney) unleashes hundreds of robotic bees to attack and kill her former co-workers, including Dr. Tina McGee (guest star Amanda Pays). A group dinner with Barry, Felicity, Ray, Iris (Candice Patton) and Eddie (Rick Cosnett) turns into a disaster.”
Directed by Kevin Tancharoen and written by Grainne Godfree & Kai Yu Wu, “All Star Team Up” is set to air April 14. “The Flash” airs Tuesdays at 8 P.M. EST on The CW.
The Flash Episode 17 Recap, Plus Promo for the Remaining Episodes - SuperHeroHype