As we predicted, the emotional reunion with OG Arrowverse characters in the previous episode indeed turned out to be a glow-up for CW’s The Flash, which is pretty evident from the tenth episode of the final season of the series. This episode begins the long narrative of the four-parter “A New World: Part One,” which will end the final saga of the scarlet speedster on the small screen. The first chapter of the prolonged concluding arc explores the pivotal moment of Barry Allen’s life that shaped the course of his destiny and, in the process, provides a chance for him to make peace with his arch-enemy.
An Alternate Timeline?
The episode begins at the West household in the morning, and the camera zooms in on a bunch of blue roses. Although Joe, Jenna, or Cecile can’t be seen, a man in his 30s, whose face isn’t revealed initially, is seen to be preparing to go to his workplace, Mercury Labs, the rival research facility of STAR Labs. The identity of the person is revealed to be a certain Dr. Malcolm Gilmore, who looks exactly like the character Eddie Thawne, one of Team Flash’s allies, who sacrificed himself during the very first season of “The Flash.” Although it isn’t confirmed until the very end of the episode, Gilmore’s presence hints at an alternate timeline, perhaps one in which Eddie lived, and Barry didn’t.
What Is The Situation In The Prime Timeline?
The scene moves to the prime timeline, where several months have passed since the reunion between Ollie and Barry. The lovebirds Chester and Allegra are working on a super suit prototype and a secret identity for Allegra, all the while enjoying the hassle-free life of STAR Labs employees, not that any new villainous metahumans are popping up randomly. Joe is enjoying his life as a retired parent, while Cecile is balancing her work life and superhero career pretty well. Khione is discovering more about her nature, affinity, and powers, although she misses her friend Mark dearly. In short, nothing seems out of the ordinary.
At the Allen household, Iris is just days away from delivering baby Nora, and Barry is trying his best as a caring husband and soon-to-be father. To add the cherry on top of their happy conjugal life, Iris is informed about her Pulitzer nomination as well. Just as Iris was about to share the good news with her father, Joe, all of a sudden, Barry vanished inside a blue fume right in front of her.
Where Did Barry End Up After Being Transported?
As Barry materializes on the other plain, he finds himself in his hometown, alright, but in the year 2000. Barry tries to run fast enough to create a wormhole and return to his time but fails to connect to the speed force. As a result, Barry is stranded in this timeline, and he wonders what recent tomfoolery led to this. However, Barry remembers that during this time period, Dr. Tina McGee, the chief physicist of Mercury Labs, created a Tachyon prototype device that can temporarily harness the speed force, and if Barry can access it, he will be able to return to his timeline. Barry goes to CCPD, meets Detective Singh, and finds his adoptive father, Joe West, who is working as an officer during this time, to get his help in order to locate Tina.
Barry goes to Joe and asks for his help. Joe understandably doesn’t recognize Barry in his adult self, and Barry cannot give away his identity either, as any mildly sensitive action or piece of information can cause a ripple effect and change the timeline significantly. Barry requests Joe to help him and shows his trust in him, and Joe, relying on his gut instincts, decides to help Barry as well. However, Barry notices the particular date and gets bewildered for a moment—it’s the same fateful date when his mother, Nora Allen, was murdered, something that altered Barry’s destiny forever.
Did Barry Get A Chance To Make Peace With His Past?
Barry desperately rushes out and tries to contact Professor Stein, another physicist, to seek help. By happenstance, he notices his parents, both of whom he lost untimely—Henry and Nora Allen—on the other side of the road. Time stops for the Scarlet Speedster as he almost magnetically moves to cross the road, and a speedster tackles Barry unconscious in the middle of the road. Henry and Nora rush in front to stop the traffic and, a doctor by profession, Henry takes Barry to the hospital to treat him for recovery. Joe and Detective Singh arrive at the scene, and after realizing the same person who got admitted to the hospital previously asked for his help, Joe asks Singh to keep Barry under observation as he suspects his life might be in danger. Suddenly, Joe notices a mysterious blue crystal at the side of the road and picks it up, which possesses him unbeknownst to anyone.
Barry wakes up at the hospital and gets shocked after seeing his parents by his side. Upon their questioning, Barry introduces himself as Bart, hiding his real identity. Despite him continuously expressing his unwillingness to be with them (for obvious reasons), Henry and Nora treat Barry like family and take care of him. As the kindly couple tries to learn more about Barry, he shares that he has been running away from a past tragedy—his parents’ deaths—all his life. Nora and Henry assure him that, even though they’ve met by coincidence, for the day, Barry doesn’t have to go through the pain alone as they are by his side. Nora asks Barry to stay with them for the night; this, coupled with his inability to state everything to his parents, proves too much for Barry to handle, and he rushes off.
At the city, the Man in Yellow, Barry’s arch-enemy, the psychopathic speedster from the 22nd century, Eobard Thawne, aka Reverse Flash, appears in front of him and miserably taunts him about what’s waiting for him. Series fans must remember that it was Eobard who murdered Nora Allen, which resulted in Henry being wrongly incriminated and thrown into prison—an event that practically made Barry an orphan—and he was raised by their neighbor Joe West, who became an adoptive father for Barry. Barry and Eobard have been at each other’s throats all their lives, and aside from being the reason for this life-altering tragedy, Eobard has tormented Barry throughout his life, purely out of spite. Therefore, Barry speculates that Thawne has brought him into this particular timeline to torture him even more, and in anger, he almost prepares to end his life but restrains himself at the end. Thawne reveals that he hasn’t done any such thing, suggesting some other force at play.
This version of Thawne is from the original future timeline and has come back in time to end Barry’s life when he is still a kid and hasn’t received superpowers during the year 2000, thereby erasing Barry from existence altogether. Now that Barry has been stranded in the timeline too, Eobard wishes to savor every moment of the cruelty he wants to subject Barry to. Barry has only two options in front of him, both equally impossible for him to take: either to kill Thawne or to stop him from killing, which will inevitably destroy Barry’s future family forever. Thawne reveals that it was he who knocked out Barry in front of his parents earlier in the morning to subject Barry to the agony of not being able to tell his parents about his future life or even his identity, nor being able to save his mother despite knowing her fate, even after getting a chance to meet them. However, Thawne’s cruelty needs one last note to make his day the most memorable of his life: hearing Barry admit his loss. Eobard’s petty and hateful self takes great pleasure after Barry states that Eobard has won and that he cannot stop him.
Barry goes to his parents for one last time at the hospital and, in a roundabout way, tells them how much their love has shaped Barry’s life and about his daughter Nora and gets his parents’ blessing in return. However, after Nora and Henry leave the hospital, Barry is attacked by a possessed Joe, whom he manages to cure after letting out a powerful electrical surge. Captain Singh is hit by the electrical surge but doesn’t seem to be affected by it.
An Unbelievable Reconciliation
Barry changes into his Flash costume and meets Thawne, and it seems like Barry will stop him and destroy the timeline in the process, but he professes that he wants to save Eobard instead.
Fans might remember that, in the future, the brilliant scientist Eobard was originally a great admirer of the Flash and tried to become a speedster like him by using technology. Idolizing Flash, Eobard wanted to become a hero, but his grand moment was ruined by none other than Barry himself, and he later also came to know that he was going to be the worst enemy of Flash. Driven insane after these two incidents, Eobard made it his lifelong pursuit to torment Flash in various ways. After Eobard learns the true identity of Flash as Barry Allen, he wants to erase him from existence by going back in time and killing him. Now, in front of Eobard, at the very moment the fateful incident might happen, Barry acknowledges his mistake and tries to make amends with Eobard. Before all hell breaks loose, Barry wants Eobard to rethink his decision and be the hero he always wanted to be just by walking away. But Eobard is too driven to think otherwise, and all he cares about now is beating Barry at every turn. Barry warns him for one last time that if he goes through with whatever he planned, Eobard will lose everything, and as we have seen earlier, Eobard’s plan also ends up hurting him, as after killing Nora Allen, he was stranded in the past and had to adopt a new identity and mentor Barry into becoming Flash to get back to his time. However, Eobard ignores his warning and runs off to the Allen household to kill kid Barry.
The two speedsters battle inside the Allen household and create a speed whirlwind that traps Nora, and Barry saves his kid self by taking him outside. We see a 2015 version of Barry too, who came back in time to save his mother, but in the present timeline, Barry asks him not to. Once again, viewers witness the horrifying, heartbreaking death of Nora Allen as, in the absence of kid Barry, Eobard stabs her to death. But just as we know and as Barry warned, Eobard gets stranded in the year 2000 as his powers have been depleted. Eobard is bewildered as to why Barry saved his kid self and let his mother die, and he realizes that it was a fixed point in the timeline.
The death of Barry’s mother set off a chain reaction that led to all the events that followed, and any change in that would have destroyed the universe itself. Eobard gets even more furious knowing that he is stranded in a timeline where he has to witness Barry become the hero while he loses his life and precious years until he can eventually return, and he swears to become Flash’s mortal enemy all over again. Also, to add insult to his injury, Barry confesses that this particular night, which was so traumatizing to him in his lifetime, became less painful today as Eobard unknowingly gave him a chance by making him reunite with his parents, albeit briefly. That incident gave Barry a final opportunity to bid adieu to his parents and became one of the most precious moments of his life, and Barry is grateful to Eobard for that. All of a sudden, Barry once again gets transported elsewhere via the bluish fume, and Eobard keeps shouting in anguish. The next scene shifts to Mercury Labs, where Dr. Gilmore is working a late shift to catch up to his deadline.
Has Eddie Thawne Returned?
The Flash episode 10 ends with Dr. Gilmore getting struck by lightning as the sequence of Barry getting superspeed is recreated. Dr. Gilmore sees a red lightning storm brewing outside, gets alarmed by seeing the chemicals in his lab levitating, and the next moment a lightning bolt strikes him, throwing him backward as he gets doused in chemicals and gets unconscious. Upon waking up, Gilmore comes across a report that turns out to be his lookalike’s, Eddie Thawne’s, death report. Astonished, Gilmore wonders who Eddie Thawne is.
We were introduced to Eddie Thawne, a distant ancestor of Eobard Thawne, in the first season of “The Flash.” As a detective, Eddie fought against metahuman threats and was engaged to Iris. Later, despite being tortured by Eobard through the premonition of a future where Eddie didn’t exist while Barry became the hero and Iris’ husband, Eddie was resolute and brave enough to sacrifice himself to stop him. Much of Barry’s life is shaped up the way it did because of Eddie’s sacrifice, and with a doppelganger of him as Dr. Gilmore in the scene, we can’t help but wonder whether Eddie will finally get his due credit in the concluding chapter of the series. In an episode that was emotionally turbulent with significant reunions, resolutions, and reconciliations, Eddie’s story managed to leave a mark. Also, the mystical Blue force might foreshadow the appearance of Cobalt Blue, a persona that Dr. Gilmore or Eddie Thawne might have adapted in the new timeline already, as it will be explored in the upcoming three episodes.