Barry combats a new shapeshifting foe, while Joe and Cisco head to Starling City to discover the truth regarding Harrison Wells.
The episode begins with Barry’s team minus Wells and plus Eddie discussing an action plan to collect more information on Harrison Wells. They decide to send Joe and Cisco to investigate the crime scene where Tess Morgan was killed just outside of Starling City.
Much like the rest of the season, there is a transition introducing us to a new villain. A woman is seen on video robbing a bank’s safe deposit box room. The screen pans out and reveals Eddie interrogating the woman who was on the video. She vehemently denies the video proof stating she was with her husband and not at the bank that night. Eddie believes a meta-human is on the loose who has psychic abilities to manipulate people’s minds. No, Eddie it is obviously a shapeshifter!
The next few scenes occur quickly with the tension between Eddie and Iris remaining constant. This scene is heavily contrived because Iris just shows up randomly out of the blue to ask about her Dad. They want to make sure we realize Eddie’s lies are destroying their relationship.
The biggest subplot of the episode is Caitlin’s apprehension over accusing Wells of being the Reverse Flash. It is taking its toll and she is struggling with the information. Barry does some hard convincing to get her to play ball.
After these fast-paced scenes, we dive into our first real action sequence. The police get a tip about someone attempting to sell stolen jewelry and Eddie shows up in plain clothes in an attempt to track him down. The jewel thief makes Eddie and begins to engage with him. Eddie gets his butt handed to him. Luckily, before Eddie can get his butt kicked any further Barry shows up. The shapeshifter is forced to reveal their power transforming into members of the crowd in order to escape.
Barry relays the discovery of the shapeshifter to Wells and Caitlin who fear the meta-human may be able to transform into Barry and acquire his abilities. Wells explains the possibility of an actual shapeshifter existing and how his transformation may work. He is obviously speaking from first-hand experience and his own transformation into Wells that we saw in Episode 17.
After a quick computer search, Wells identifies the most likely culprit, Hannibal Bates. That’s a horror movie name if I’ve ever heard one.
Instead of Barry jumping into action, we return to Joe and Cisco in Starling City. They just happen to run into Laurel Lance at the police station, who reveals to Cisco that she is the Black Canary and asks Cisco for his help on a sonic device. This is a really minor subplot that is more focused on putting a smile on your face rather than character development or plot movement, although the sonic device may show up in an episode of The Arrow.
Caitlin continues to fret over the information on Wells and has decided to do some online digging and even confront the man himself! Fortunately, Barry must have been following her around because he dashes her away just as Wells is about to answer the door. There is some strong character development between Caitlin and Barry as she lets all her worries off her chest. Barry is able to convince her to hold off on confronting Wells until Joe and Cisco return.
Barry and Eddie finally begin tracking down Hannibal Bates and the trail leads them to Bates’ grandmother’s house. There is a very awkward scene where Barry and Eddie attempt to share a loveseat that is way too small for them. It provides some nice comedic relief after the emotional conversation with Caitlin. Hannibal’s grandma is actually Hannibal and he flees the scene. Eddie and Barry give chase, with Barry pursuing on normal speed due to the possibility of Bates being able to replicate his abilities. The chase scene is quite exciting as they run through backyards, jump over fences, and catapult over walls.
The scene reaches its climax with the shapeshifter taking the form of Eddie and gunning down two officers who arrive on the scene. To make matters worse, the patrol car has its camera running and Barry is caught on camera in street clothes using his speed. Unfortunately, this is brushed under the rug. The video supplied to the DA only depicts Eddie gunning down the cops with the rest of the tape blurred out. This is a little bit of a plot discrepancy, if Barry wiped himself out of the video, why wouldn’t he do the same for Eddie?
Nevertheless, the district attorney (DA) is on the warpath and is convinced Eddie gunned down the two patrol officers. Bringing the story back around to Iris and Eddie’s relationship, Iris shows up in a worried mess over Eddie. Her harshness seems to only have been a mask.
Joe and Cisco finally make it out to the crime scene where Cisco pulls out a fancy metal detector, except it detects abnormal sound waves not metal. There is an interesting conversation between Joe and Quentin Lance, Laurel’s Dad, discussing their daughters. The scene transitions away before Cisco’s machine discovers anything.
Back in Central City, Barry is determined to get Eddie off the hook. He gives a ballistic report detailing no gun powder residue was found on Eddie. The DA remains unconvinced and Barry takes rash action breaking Eddie out. Eddie talks Barry down and says the best way to help him is to capture the shapeshifter.
Barry makes his way home, where he is waylaid by Bates who knocks him unconscious and ties him up. Soon after Caitlin shows up describing how she has a serum that can mess with the shapeshifter, interrupting his ability. She even gets to give him his name, Everyman.
There is a short scene where Joe and Cisco discover a body, but they don’t know who it is until Cisco runs some tests. Of course we already know it is the real Harrison Wells. It seems a little lazy on the Reverse Flash’s part to bury Wells right next to the accident, but we’ll go with it.
Caitlin and the shapeshifter, who is posing as Barry, return to S.T.A.R. Labs whereupon Caitlin brews up her serum and continues to detail her plan for putting a stop to the Everyman. The Everyman sensing there is a bit of sexual tension between Caitlin and Barry puts a move on her. It is short-lived. Iris shows up and details all the cases where the Everyman had stolen other people’s identities and framed them. Wells shows up at just the right time to taze the Everyman before he could attack Caitlin and Iris.
It appears the episode is wrapping up nicely, but where is the final battle scene. Barry has to stop the villain right?
That he does. The Everyman shapeshifts into a small girl and convinces a bunch of construction workers that Iris and Caitlin have kidnapped her. Bates manages to flee the scene.
Meanwhile, in Starling City Joe convinces Quentin to attempt to make-up with his daughter, while Cisco gives Laurel her new and improved sonic weapon in return for a picture of the Black Canary and him. Told you this was just to put a smile on your face!
Once again like many of the previous episodes, further information is acquired about the meta-human. Wells reveals Bates is unable to copy Barry’s abilities. They have also tracked Bates to the local airport. Barry tracks him down and a fight ensues where Bates shapeshifts into Caitlin, Iris, and Eddie in a neat combat sequence. He finally shifts into Barry. Could this be some foreshadowing? Will Barry eventually have to fight his future self? Questions for another time. Barry quickly ends the fight with some lightning quick punches displaying his speed and administering the serum. It is interesting to note Bates shapeshifts into Iris as the serum takes effect knocking him unconscious.
Not only was Barry able to defeat the Everyman, he also recorded his fight and shows it to the DA who releases Eddie. This is an opportune time to mend Eddie and Iris’ relationship and that is exactly what happens. They reunite with a huge hug and Eddie reveals to Iris he is working with the Flash.
In typical fashion, Hannibal Bates demands to be released from his cell, but is transformed into his generic state when Wells asks him who the real Bates is. Bates has no idea and is left dumbfounded. I feel this will not be the last time we see Hannibal Bates.
Finally the titular question is revealed to the characters, since we, the audience already know the answer. Joe and Cisco reveal to Caitlin that the real Harrison Wells is dead by showing her his corpse.
Not to be underestimated, Wells runs into Joe at the police department and reveals he knows Joe was in Starling City. He even brings Joe to tears as he hints about the loss of Tess in regards to Iris’ mother. There appears to be a bonding moment between the two and Joe is rocked emotionally.
If the death of Harrison Wells was not enough to convince Caitlin the Wells she identifies with is the Reverse Flash, Cisco leads a search through S.T.A.R. Labs. They discover Wells’ secret hideout that opens to Barry’s touch. The Reverse Flash’s suit is front and center while Wells’ computer displays the Flash going missing on April 25, 2024.
What did you think of the latest episode? Could Wells be a future Flash? Will Barry have to fight himself? Why does the hideout open to Barry’s touch? Let us know in the comments below!
You can also check out the preview for the upcoming episode “The Trap” below.