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Spoiler warning for anyone not caught up with The Flash Season 1
Barry Allen was able to capture Harrison Wells last week on The Flash with the help of The Arrow and Firestorm, but the Reverse-Flash isn’t done antagonizing the Scarlet Speedster. In this new clip for the Season 1 finale, Wells (whose real name is Eobard Thawne) tells Barry why he killed his mother.
Laying the real talk on the titular hero, Thawne (as we’ll be referring to him throughout the rest of the piece) bluntly states that he killed Nora Allen because of his hatred for Barry, or rather an older version of Barry. He describes the two of them as “enemies, rivals, reverses, opposites of one another” in the future, but doesn’t elaborate on how this came to be. The point was that neither was strong enough to defeat the other, but when Thawne learned Flash’s secret identity, that’s when he tried to take his ultimate revenge. If you’re a hardcore Flash fan, you’ll also notice that the show has changed Thawne’s home time period. In the comics, Thawne hails from the 25th century, but Thawne tells Barry in this clip he’ll be born 136 years from now - i.e. 2151 - when people can’t experience the joys of eating a burger because there are no more cows.
Whatever happens between Thawne and Barry in the final Season 1 episode, this conversation implies that we’ll learn in future seasons how this bad blood between Flash and Reverse-Flash forms. I can imagine The Flash doing something similar to Doctor Who in terms of creating a cyclical timeline. For those who don’t watch the adventures of BBC’s Time Lord, one of the show’s most recent major characters was River Song, a mysterious woman who, when he first meets her, is quite familiar with him even though he’s never seen her before. The Doctor eventually learns that River had gone on many adventures with a future version of him. As the series progressed, The Doctor encountered past versions of River Song during his travels through time and learned more about who she was. Eventually, it got to the point where the now-older Doctor was quite familiar with her, but the younger River was just getting to know him.
The Flash may pull something similar in the future. Right now we have a Thawne who has had years of battles with a future version of Flash, but in the present-day, Barry’s superhero career has just started. As the series progresses, Barry will become more experienced, and eventually he will have an encounter with a past version of Thawne, presumably played by Matt Letscher, last seen as Thawne’s original form in “Tricksters.” Whatever goes down between the two, the younger Thawne will grow to hate Barry and try to destroy him. This will lead to him going back in time to kill Barry as a child, but instead killing his mother. Thawne subsequently gets stuck in the past, takes the Wells identity, and builds the particle accelerator that gives Barry his super speed. Everything becomes cyclical.
Look, I won’t blame you if you have to reread this several times. Time travel can wreak havoc on the mind. The point is that even if Thawne is defeated in the finale “Fast Enough,” be it temporarily or permanently, there’s enough backstory to explore between Thawne and Barry for later in the series. Plus, because Barry is now somewhat familiar with Thawne in the present, this may change how he deals with the younger version of his nemesis when they eventually run into each in this new timeline.
You can catch The Flash Season 1 finale “Fast Enough” tomorrow at 8/7c EST on The CW.