Before The Flash paused for another break between new season 2 episodes, the series packed a lot of drama into the life of Barry Allen (Grant Gustin). The harrowing escape from Earth 2 and Zoom, another battle with King Shark, and the abrupt death of Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears) has left our hero reeling. The biggest twist came at the end of “King Shark”, when Zoom was unmasked to reveal…Jay Garrick.
While viewers are still contemplating the true nature of Zoom’s identity, things won’t be slowing down for The Flash. When the series returns on March 22, Barry will be dealing with another speedster threat, this time in the form of Eliza Harmon a.k.a. Trajectory (Allison Paige). After a crossover episode with Supergirl, The Flash will then face off against some former friends and foes.
According to TVLine, Barry will travel back to a time when Eddie was still alive, before he sacrificed himself to save the present and future from his descendant Eobard Thawne, a.k.a. The Reverse Flash. The official synopsis of episode “Flash Back” reveals Barry following a familiar path set by several characters on this show: the relentless pursuit of more speed.
“After the shocking revelation that Zoom is Jay Garrick, Barry is more determined than ever to get back to Earth-2 to stop Zoom forever. Desperate to find a way to increase his speed, Barry decides to travel back in time and masquerade as his earlier self in order to get his arch-nemesis, Dr. Harrison Wells/Eobard Thawne, to teach him how to run faster. However, things don’t go as planned and Barry is stunned to face familiar foe Hartley Rathaway (guest star Andy Mientus), as well as old friend Eddie Thawne (guest star Rick Cosnett). Iris makes peace with her past in order to embrace her future.”
For those who don’t remember, Hartley Rathaway was a former protege of the original Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh), who turned up after the particle accelerator accident to wreak havoc on the S.T.A.R. labs team. The self-named “Pied Piper” also got Cisco (Carlos Valdes) to let him out of metahuman prison – and while that mostly backfired on Cisco, it did lead to the discovery of the presumed-dead Ronnie (Robbie Amell) being reborn as Firestorm. While the Piper’s superhuman hearing and powerful sonic gloves could cause Barry plenty of trouble on his return to the past, the villain’s genius intellect and skill at psychological manipulation is just as dangerous.
As for Eddie, Barry will no doubt have an emotional reaction to once again seeing his former friend and rival for Iris’ affections. As he did with going back in time to that pivotal moment in his childhood, Barry will have to face dealing with someone whose demise he can’t — and shouldn’t — prevent.
While it’s likely Eddie’s appearance will stay in the past, there’s always a possibility he may turn up in that lingering Zoom storyline. After all, the man in the mask in Zoom’s prison appeared to be blond. While many suspect he’s another Jay Garrick or doppelganger Hunter Zolomon, The Flash writers may just put one of the Thawnes in that role. Whether that will be revealed in this episode or a later one isn’t yet known, but it would add another layer to the synopsis line referring to Iris making “peace with her past.”
The Flash season 2 returns with ‘Trajectory’ on March 22nd on The CW. Episode ‘Flash Back’ airs on March 29.