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Dragged to 2049, Barry finds an unlikely ally in the resurrected Eddie Thawne. But how long will that last with the Negative Speed Force determined to make Eddie into its new avatar?
The Flash comics of Mark Waid (character of Cobalt Blue and mention of the Savothians), Gail Simone's The Movement (Cecile's new costume and Virtue codename), the Venom movies with Tom Hardy (a blonde man named Eddie is pushed around by an alien force that takes control of him.), and the Doctor Strange movies (Cecile pushing the Negative Speed Force out of Nora resembles astral fighting.)
With the exception of Candice Patton having some grey streaks in her wig, no attempt was made to make any of the actors in the 2049 segments look 25+ years older than they are in 2023. Danielle Nicolet is looking particularly spry considering Cecile should be in her mid-70s at that point.
Daisy Corber shifts attitude from trying to arrest Eddie Thawne to trying to get him to a hospital so they can figure out how he's alive between episodes.
Allegra has a rapid recovery from radiation sickness off-camera and is somehow allowed to be near Iris in spite of having just undergone treatment for radiation exposure. Even allowing that her light-control powers may give her some shielding from radiation, the hospital still should have been reluctant to have her walking around, much less being in the maternity ward.
The establishing shot of the Flash Museum in 2049 shows a dark sky, but everyone acts like it is early in the day, what with the museum being open and Chester talking about finishing Cecile's new costume by that afternoon.
Cecile seems to take control of her future self far too easily. Shouldn't her future self, who is more powerful, be able to sense a psychic intrusion and fight back against it? (Maybe she didn't notice since she can't sense her past self being a hostile threat.)
The show seems to forget that Jenna West should be approaching 30 in the year 2049, so it is rather odd that Cecile expects her to still be living with Joe West. (Perhaps the housing crisis of 2023 is even worse in 2049?)
Nobody in Future Team Flash thought to call Iris West-Allen and let her know that Eddie Thawne was back from the dead?
The future Iris West-Allen shows a shocking lack of compassion for her former fiancee.
Future Cecile just vanishes from the scene of the fight with the Negative Speed Force after telling Barry to call her Virtue.
While having to deliver some amazingly narmy speeches, Rick Cosnett still manages to convincingly portray Eddie Thawne's mental breakdown in a way that is generally plausible so long as he is interacting with other characters and not shouting to the void.
The subtitle of this episode is Changes, according to the title card, but the subtitle does not feature in the actual episode title.
Mention is made of a villain called The Chronarch. There are two characters with the title Chronarch in the classic DC Comics books. One was the tyrannical ruler of 64th Century Earth, who was defeated by an unlikely team-up of The Flash and Abra Kadabra. The other was a 30th Century scientist named Circadia Senius, who was appointed head of the Time Institute during the time of the Legion of Superheroes. The Arrowverse version is probably based on the former, given it was mentioned in 704 by Abra Kadabra, and Allegra says she was trying to blast him back into the 64th Century.
Mention is made of the 2049 Barry being on something in space called The Watchtower. This was the name of the Justice League's base of operations on Earth's moon in the comics during the Grant Morrison JLA era. The name has since then been appropriated for various satellite bases in the cartoons ever since.
Chester makes mention of the Savothian freedom fighters. The Savothians were a race of aliens who appeared during Mark Waid's run on The Flash. The Savothians were a brilliant race of scientists and philosophers, but had no concept of how to begin a resistance movement after their planet was conquered by another race of aliens. Thankfully, they were able to pull Jay Garrick to them through the Speed Force (which they had studied intensely) and he was able to help free their planet.
Cecile's future supersuit design and the codename Virtue are based on a different DC Comics character. Created by Gail Simone and Freddie E. Williams II for the series The Movement, Virtue was the leader of the titular team. The original Virtue was a woman named Holly Ann Fields, whose Empathy based powers allowed her to read the emotions of others, project emotions on to other people, give herself increased strength and size by tapping into her rage, intangibility and flight.
Eddie Thawne is giving off high levels of Hawking radiation, which is only found inside Singularities.
Chester says he thinks he can build a cuff to destabilize the quantum field around Eddie Thawne.
A Code Scarlet is the 2049 Team Flash phrase for an emergency.
The entirety of the opening scene, in which Rick Cosnett delivers the most restrained scream possible for someone watching someone else get sucked into a black hole.
The remix of Elton John's "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues" in the final scene is similarly at odds with the sinister tone of the acting.
In the opening scene, Daisy Korber is sucked into a breach, while trying to convince Eddie Thawne he needs to go to a hospital.
Team Flash is trying to find Barry.
Iris is still in labor at the hospital, but Allegra is staying with her.
Cecile feels a wave of terror before Speed Force Nora manifests again.
Speed Force Nora says that Negative Speed Force was cloaking Barry, but she was able to briefly sense his presence in the year 2049. The crystal is also going to 2049.
Speed Force Nora says that if Barry dies and the Speed Force is extinguished, it will erase the timeline and everything in it forever.
In 2049, Team Flash is still operating out of STAR Labs, despite it now also being The Flash Museum. (Presumably the levels with the command center are off-limits to civilians?)
In 2049, XS has just taken over as the leader of Team Flash and led a mission against a villain called The Chronarch, who was previously mentioned in 704.
The Barry Allen of 2049 is said to be in space, on the Watchtower.
Future Cecile now wears a costume with a mask in the field and her powers have grown to where she can sense Barry Allen's emotions despite his being in deep space.
Allegra and Chester are married in the future and still madly in love.
Chester is working on a new super suit for Cecile. He says the nano-welding should be complete that afternoon.
The Flash Museum has displays for Ray Palmer's ATOM suit and Jesse Quick's costume, along with The Flash's costume.
Eddie Thawne watches a video on the Reverse Flash in The Flash Museum, which talks about how he returned time and time again to fight The Flash. This makes him realize how pointless his sacrifice was.
Eddie is confronted by a woman who looks like Nora West-Allen, but with a blonde bobbed haircut. She introduces herself as Eddie's daughter and tries to guide him through a breach.
Nora runs upstairs after Chester detects an energy spike and pulls Eddie away from the breach. It and the blonde Nora disappear before she sees them, however.
Nora recognizes Eddie Thawne and takes him to Chester's lab.
Chester confirms that Eddie has the DNA and fingerprints of the Eddie Thawne who died 34 years earlier.
Team Flash theorizes that Eddie might be creating the breaches subconsciously.
Chester makes reference to his developing the ability to open singularities in 601.
Nora unmasks herself. Eddie recognizes her as the woman he saw earlier, but guesses that she is Barry's daughter based on what he has learned.
Nora makes reference to 806, where she briefly met Eddie Thawne while time-traveling to 2013.
Eddie tells Nora about the singularity that killed Daisy Korber. She tells him about the large singularity that nearly destroyed Central City on the day of his death.
Eddie says he's thankful to be alive, but he can't help but wonder why when Iris, the best thing in his life, is gone and there's no way he can be with her given her life with Barry Allen.
In 2023, Team Flash is out of ideas on how to help Barry in the Future.
Chester suggests that since Cecile's powers allowed her to sense Barry in the past, albeit not with any degree of accuracy, that maybe she could use her powers to project her mind into her 2049 self.
The Watchtower is said to be on the Dark Side of the Moon, meaning it cannot be contacted for another 12 hrs and 52 minutes.
The blue crystal reveals itself to Nora and possesses her.
The Negative Speed Force possessed Nora tells Eddie that the singularities are tied to his emotional state. The idea that he killed Daisy Korber, coupled with the revelation that Iris went on to marry Barry Allen, just like destiny said, starts to push him over the edge.
"Nora" suggests they return to Mercury Labs since that was where he first started to regain his memories.
Cecile is able to take control of her future self's body
Cecile is horrified to learn that she apparently hasn't visited Joe and Jenna more than twice in the past year. The rest of Team Flash doesn't find this unusual, suggesting that her future self prioritizes being a superhero over her family.
Chester says Cecile was busy with The Cronarch Wars and helping the Savothians free their planet that year.
Cecile faints and her mind returns to the Present. She refuses to go back to the future again.
Chillblaine, Chester and Khione discuss trying to talk to Cecile. Khione says that Chester should be the one to talk to her.
"Nora" suggests that Eddie was brought back to life for a purpose and that maybe it had something to do with the other Thawnes in the future. This causes Eddie to remember his talk with Eobard Thawne, who told him that Eddie was the only Thawne to be forgotten by history, in 121.
"Nora" tells Eddie about the Negative Speed Force and how it needs a host, trying to build Eddie's resentment at how pointless his sacrifice was and how Barry got the life he wanted with Iris.
Eddie runs from "Nora," refusing to take the crystal she offers him, unable to believe this is all real.
Barry teleports into the lab at that point, when the Negative Speed Force attacks him through Nora.
Eddie returns and distracts the Negative Speed Force, allowing Barry to grab Eddie and run.
Barry takes Eedie to Joe West's house, which it turns out is Malcolm Gilmore's house in 2049.
Barry thanks Eddie for saving his life and helping stop Eobard Thawne.
Barry asks Eddie to help him figure out a way to save Nora.
Eddie says he wishes he could help, but he has no idea who resurrected him or why he was living the life of Malcolm Gilmore.
As Barry is looking at a framed award belonging to Malcolm Gilmore, it flashes blue and changes into a certificate for Joe West. Eddie says the same thing happened with his driver's license in 911. Barry says he's seen the same thing happen before and that it is caused by negative tachyons.
Barry theorizes that everything created for Malcolm's life was made using negative tachyons, suggesting he was resurrected and manipulated by the Negative Speed Force, so that he would become its new avatar.
Cecile tells Chester about how her future self apparently has only been home twice in the past year. She rejects Chester's suggestion that maybe there's some tech 25 years from now that lets them keep in touch through VR.
Cecile fears she's lapsed back into her workaholic ways that caused her to miss her own mother's death.
Chester tells Cecile that he can't believe that her future self would neglect her family and that she should trust her future self because he trusts her now. He says her dedication to the ones she loves is a real virtue.
Barry thinks the Negative Speed Force needs Eddie to choose to become the avatar. He rejects this idea, as the Negative Speed Force starts talking to him directly and telling him that Barry is just trying to keep him away from Iris.
Eddie speculates that the Negative Speed Force can give him the life he should have had with Iris. Barry says that's not possible and asks him to consider what Iris would want to do.
Barry leaves Eddie alone to fight the possessed Nora.
Cecile agrees to try and reach her future self to help Barry again.
Eddie goes to future Iris West-Allen to ask her what he should do.
Cecile is able to push the Negative Speed Force out of Nora's body before it can kill Barry.
Cecile says her superhero name is Virtue.
Iris' talk with Eddie only makes him more determined to bond with the Negative Speed Force.
Allegra confirms that Team Flash in 2049 has no memory of the fight with the Negative Speed Force in 2023. Barry says this is because of the attacks happening simultaneously across the timeline.
Cecile says that Speed Force Nora says that all that remains of the Speed Force now lives in the West-Allen family bloodline.
Future Iris asks to talk to Barry alone and tells him about what Eddie Thawne said to her.
Iris confirms that she still loves Barry in the future and that they had a good life together, just before Barry is once again trapped in blue light and teleported away.
Eddie Thawne returns to Mercury Labs, where he finds the blue crystal in a display case.
The Negative Speed Force gives Eddie a vision of Godspeed, Savitar, Zoom and the Reverse Flash before telling him they will end the Barry Allen legacy forever.
Central City - 2049
The Bottom Line
A bit of a mess all around. Like the previous episode, this feels oddly padded out. Again, Barry is next to useless and has to be saved by a deus ex machina. It is even worse this time, however, with Cecile's suddenly being able to send her mind across time coming out of left field. The drama of Iris giving birth is also put on hold, which is just sloppy storytelling even if, logically, we know she and Nora are okay because of the future storyline.