Having run fast enough to travel back in time one day and having replaced his past self, Barry is able to stop Weather Wizard's plans for revenge on Joe West before they can even begin. Dr. Wells warns Barry that trying to change the past could only create a worse future, but Barry doesn't care. Not when he now knows for certain that Iris shares his feelings and he has a chance of winning her heart.
Unfortunately, while Barry may have broken multiple laws of physics, Murphy's Law still works. And without an excuse to ditch his brother's birthday party, Cisco may be heading down a road that will see him dead at the hands of Captain Cold and Heatwave.
Countless Flash comics about the perils of time travel and altering the timeline, The Butterfly Effect and the Back To The Future movies.
Wells finds security camera footage of Cisco getting into a car with Lisa Snart, but notes that the licence plate is iced over. How is that possible when Captain Cold didn't have his ice gun back at that point and Central City appears to be in the middle of spring?
Once again Wentworth Miller steals the show as Captain Cold.
We don't see much of Peyton List as Lisa Snart but what screen time she has provides a fun, flirty counterpoint to her cool and controlled brother.
Carlos Valdes has been getting a lot more serious material over the past few episodes. He's proven that Cisco is more than mere comic relief.
Again, Tom Cavangh kills with a speech about fatherhood that is such a wicked and yet oddly touching bookend to last week's speech, made all the more screwed up by the fact that now we're fairly certain he DOES mean it... in spite of everything he's done.
The scene in which Barry and Captain Cold negotiate is very well shot, with both figures' faces hidden in shadow as everything is revealed between them.
Dante Ramon is the name of Cisco Ramon's older brother in the comics.
In the comics, Lisa Snart (aka The Golden Glider) was Leonard Snart's younger sister. Lisa shared her brother's love of the cold and became a world-class ice skater. She also dated her brother's fellow Rogue, The Top, who coached her spinning making her an even better skater. After The Top went mad and died as a result of his plan to blow up Central City, Lisa swore revenge on The Flash and decided to go into the villain business herself.
As The Golden Glider, Lisa used a number of gadgets to try and kill The Flash. Chief among them were a pair of special skates, based on her brother's technology, that generated their own ice, allowing her to skate on any surface and even create ice paths in midair by freezing the ambient moisture.
In The New 52 universe, Lisa Snart somehow gained the power to astral project her spirit whilst her body lay in a coma. This astral form could move at fantastic speeds, phase through solid matter, fly and also controlled a number of deadly tendrils. Calling herself Glider, she reformed The Rogues and set them after The Flash.
The gun Cisco makes Lisa seems similar to the signature weapon of the Flash/Green Lantern villain Goldface a.k.a. scientist Keith Kenyon. Kenyon developed a formula that gave him golden skin and increased his strength. He also wore gold-platted armor and utilized a gun that covered objects with liquid gold. He eventually reformed and became an honest union leader in Central City.
Captain Cold says that he learned how to put his gun together and take it apart. This is a reference to the original comics where Leonard Snart, despite lacking the technical know-how to build his cold gun in the first place, did have the knowledge needed to assemble, disassemble and repair it with the proper parts.
The agreement Captain Cold and Barry make regarding how they will proceed mirrors the code of conduct Captain Cold created for The Rogues Gallery in the comics. Chief among these rules are an avoidance of lethal force except in cases of self-defense, not robbing anyone who can't afford the loss and a promise not to go after the friends and family of superheroes and law-enforcement officials.
Wells describes what Barry has done by rupturing the time continuum as "temporal reversion". He describes time as a fragile construct and says that an deviation could result in a cataclysm.
Wells theorizes that Barry's emotions, circumstances and cortisol levels could influence whether or not he can time-travel when he runs at the appropriate speed. Barry further suggests that his adrenaline levels might be a factor.
Captain Cold is able to alter the intensity of his cold gun. He zaps Dante Ramon with a blast that causes first-degree frostbite. At that point, the fingers can still be saved with proper treatment. Without it, they require amputation.
Caitlin explains away Barry's behavior to Iris and Eddie as Lightning Pscychosis. The symptoms include mood swings, sudden outbursts of affection and other lapses in judgement. She says it's a very uncommon neurological condition and kerauno-medicine is just now starting to study it. This is, of course, total BS.
Wells: Whatever tragedy you think you've just averted, time will find a way to replace it. And trust me, Barry, the next one could be much worse!
Cisco: These are nice things.
Lisa: Oh, we're just squatting.
Lisa: Yeah. Me and my brother.
Cold: Hello, Cisco. What exactly are your intentions with my sister?
Cisco: Oh come on! (sighs) I should have known better! I am not that lucky! (beat) Please don't kill me for kissing your sister.
Cold: You kissed him?
Lisa: You're not dad, Lenny.
Cold: I know. Dad's in jail. Sterling role model.
Cisco: What do you want, Snart?
Cold: Guns. Hot and cold, to be precise.
Cisco: There is no way I'm making weapons for you! Never again!
(Heatwave brings in a bound and gagged Dante Ramon)
Cold: I know I would do everything in my power to protect my family. The question is... will you?
Cold: My sister needs a weapon. Something that suits her personality.
Lisa: Make me something pretty and toxic. Like me. How about something with gold?
Barry: I screwed with Time and now Time is screwing with me!
Wells: You only traveled back in time one day. What if you traveled back decades? Centuries? Imagine the havoc you could wreak.
Barry: But.. I will have the opportunity to travel back in time in the near future and save my mom. Are you saying I shouldn't?
Wells: I'm saying how many more people could die if your mother lives?
Wells: Making a choice between two people you love - that is the hardest dilemma you will ever face.
Cisco: Well, you won't have to worry about me making the wrong decision again.
Wells: All you proved today, Mr. Ramon, is that you are human. All you proved today is that you love your brother. And the reason that we all want you to stay is that we love you too. Now, I am not a parent. But, in many ways, you have shown me what it is like to have a son.
Barry: I know Cisco told you who I am.
Cold: Can't really blame the kid for giving you up. You or his brother? C'mon! I put him in a tight spot. Same kind I got you in right now. Can't really stop me now that I know who you are.
Barry: I could speed you to my own private prison where you'll never see the light of day.
Cold: You could. But then I won't be around to stop my own private uplink that will broadcast your identity to the world. So, the million dollar question - what to do with me now, Barry Allen?
Barry: I won't let you keep stealing whatever you want, whenever you feel like it. It needs to end!
Cold: Can't do that. It's what I do.
Barry: Then find a new line of work!
Cold: Don't want to.
Barry: Why's that?
Cold: The same reason you keep running after guys like me. The adrenaline. The thrill of the chase. I love this game. And I'm very good at it.
Barry: Then go play it somewhere else! Leave Central City!
Cold: Can't do that either. I love it here. (inhales deeply as if savoring the air) This city is my home.
Barry: You've seen what I can do. You know that I can stop you. You want to keep pushing your luck? Go for it! But from here on out, no one else dies. If you're as good as you say you are, you don't have to kill anyone to get what you want.
Cold: ...that's true.
Barry: And if you...or anyone in your... rogues gallery... goes near any of my friends or family again... I don't care who you tell my identity to. I'm putting you away.
Cold: I guess your secret's safe... Flash. For now.
(Barry starts to put his cowl back on)
Cold: Oh, I don't suppose you'd give me a ride back to town, would you?
(Barry runs off, leaving Cold in the middle of the woods)
Cold: (scoffs) The Rogues. Cute.
Reverse Flash: (To Mason Bridge) You really were onto the story of the century. Well, this century anyway.
According to Gideon, Barry's actions do not change the future that Wells is watching.
As a result of Barry's actions, numerous events from the previous episode change.
Barry already knows all about the evidence at the scene of the coroner's murder.
Barry captures Mark Mardon and locks him up in The Pipeline before he can start stalking Joe West.
Captain Singh is no longer hospitalized.
Without the excuse of staying at work to track Mardon, Cisco goes to his brother's birthday party with Caitlin.
Barry breaks up with Linda Park.
Barry interrupts Mason Bridge before he can ask Iris to investigate Harrison Wells and the people who work at STAR Labs. As such, he doesn't learn who Barry is, his connection to Wells and they never have the conversation that originally makes Barry suspicious of Wells.
Barry makes a coffee date with Iris.
Extremely depressed following the party, Cisco goes out for a drink with Barry.
Cisco meets Lisa Snart, who takes him back to her brother's hideout.
Cisco remakes the cold and heat guns for Captain Cold and Heatwave. He also makes a gun for Lisa Snart, that seems to coat objects with gold.
Barry manages to drive a wedge between himself and Iris at their "date", professing his love again and creeping her out once again.
Captaiin Cold robs the Santini crime family's casino.
Eddie Thawne punches Barry at the scene of Snart's latest robbery, because of what he said to Iris.
Dante confesses to Cisco that his high school girlfriend - Melinda Tores - had a crush on Cisco and that he told her that Cisco wanted to be a priest so that he could peruse her himself, because he was jealous of Cisco and his intelligence.
Cisco reveals The Flash's secret identity to Captain Cold.
Joe West has a conversation with Iris, telling her about the fight between Barry and Eddie and telling her she has to settle things between them, no matter what her feelings are.
Because he was held hostage by Cold, Cisco never stumbles across the secret hologram projector and his conversation alone with Dr. Wells - while similar - is much more touching and does not end with Cisco's death.
Caitlin smooths things over with Iris and Eddie, explaining Barry's odd behavior as a rare condition caused by being struck by lightning.
Mason Bridge is killed by Harrison Wells and declared "missing" by the local police.
Barry is now suspicious of Wells, following Bridge's disappearance. He tells Joe West that he now believes he was right about everything regarding Wells.
The Bottom Line
An amazing episode that has left me hungry for a The Wire-style spin-off focusing on The Rogues. Time travel stories are a tricky thing at the best of times but the script handles the science well enough even as everything we thought we knew last week changes. The guest stars are all wonderful and the final scene between Barry and Snart may be my personal favorite moment of the show so far.