Regret, possibilities, and new beginnings—these aspects gain significance as the final season of The CW’s The Flash reaches its penultimate episode. After investigating and literally digging his own grave, Malcolm Gilmore realizes at the end of the previous episode that he is, in fact, Eddie Thawne, who, by some unknown miracle, came back to life. Barry continues to be pulled and thrown across the timeline as Team Flash tries to fight the negative speed force symbolized by a certain cobalt isotope of energy. Iris is about to give birth to baby Nora, and at this crucial juncture, not only is Barry missing from her side, the very fabric of reality is at risk of being jeopardized by the machinations of the negative speed force. Eddie’s misery grows relentlessly in The Flash Episode 12 as well, as he is taken through a painful, emotional confrontation of missed opportunities and of a life unlived—something that might be enough to push the poor soul over the edge.
The Flash Episode 12 once again begins by showing the images of blue roses flickering, but now in a more ominous tone, and we are right back in the graveyard where CCPD captain Korber sees Eddie extracting the bullet from his wound. Eddie inflicted the wound on himself nine years ago as he took his own life to stop the evil speedster, Eobard Thawne, aka Reverse Flash, who was Eddie Thawne’s distant relative. Eddie wishes to learn about his demise and the reason why he was brought back and heads to search for the Flash. But given the shenanigans that happen at Central City, Captain Korber is still not sure whether he is really Eddie or a doppelganger or clone version of the real person. Eddie claims in despair that he truly is Eddie Thawne and that he needs to know why he was brought back to life. As he speaks, an ominous-looking portal appears on the horizon and pulls Captain Korber right inside, leaving Eddie to watch in horror.
Back at STAR Labs, Team Flash ponders, hitting upon a plan to help Barry escape from the trap he has been entangled in by the negative speed force. The embodiment of Speed Force momentarily appears all of a sudden and states that after going back in time and dwelling in the present, Barry is now being taken to the future in the year 2049 by the nefarious counterpart of Speed Force, and with him, the piece of cobalt crystal will be traveling across time as well, seeking a new host to torture Barry. The embodiment asks Cecile to help Barry and adds further that if Barry loses his life, it will erase their entire timeline.
In 2049, Barry’s daughter Nora is the leader of Team Flash, which consists of Cecile, Allegra, and Chester. Eddie arrives in 2049 and enters the Flash Museum, located right above STAR Labs, and his arrival triggers an energy alert. As Eddie moves through the museum, he comes across a display board that plays an update about Flash’s archenemy, Reverse Flash, aka Eobard Thawne’s exploits through history. This shocks Eddie, who considered Eobard to have been eliminated from existence by his heroic sacrifice. Seeing that wasn’t the case and that his sacrifice was almost in vain, Eddie is horrified. Negative Speed Force (NSF) further uses this opportunity to present Eddie with an opportunity of a lifetime, as an alternate version of Nora appears, calling herself the daughter Eddie always dreamed to have with Iris. Another of the aforementioned portals opens in the museum, and the illusory daughter of Eddie invites him to go with her to gain back the life he had missed. Barry’s daughter, the real Nora, aka XS, arrives at the spot in the nick of time and rescues Eddie, getting surprised at his existence herself.
A Life Unlived
After running some tests, Team Flash of the Future gets assured that the person is indeed Eddie Thawne, and the radiation levels emitting from his body indicate that his emotions are creating and controlling the portals, which are basically singularities, aka black holes. One such construct appeared and almost destroyed Central City when Eddie died nine years ago and erased Reverse Flash from existence. On a side note, it was absolutely amazing how the makers established that connection and the fact it was planned for such a long time, because back in 2014–2015, viewers couldn’t make sense of its appearance except by considering the Speed Force acting weird.
Eddie laments to Nora that he died for nothing due to the fact that, the threat that he considered eliminated, still looms large, and Nora tries to assure him that if it wasn’t for his sacrifice, Barry wouldn’t have been alive. Eddie can’t help but wonder what his life could have been if he hadn’t thrown it away. Being with a family of his own and with the person he loves feels like a distant dream now that he feels no purpose in his existence without having Iris by his side. Nora related to what he was feeling, as she too had died and been resurrected previously, and asked Eddie to shape his life in a new direction. Nora goes to the Time Vault and records a video log for her father – the future Barry Allen of 2049 to see, who is in outer space at Justice League Headquarters at that moment. However, the crystal appears inside the time vault at the same time and ends up possessing Nora.
In the present, Team Flash tries to come up with a way to save Barry in the future, but with no speedsters around in this era and with Speed Force at its worst operating potential, they have no one to send in the future. Chester suggests the possibility of Cecile using her powers to slip her consciousness into her future self to help Barry, and although it seems like a stretch at first, using the gadgets at STAR Labs, Team Flash manages to make it work. Cecile meets the future versions of Allegra and Chester but gets shocked and saddened to know that she has prioritized her hero career over her family—husband Joe and daughter Jenna—which prompts her to return to the present timeline, unwilling to go back to that era.
On Khione’s suggestion, Chester goes to Cecile and comforts her by reassuring her of his faith in her judgment and goodwill. Chester remarks that whatever the future holds, that shouldn’t ruin the bond Cecile and Joe have in the present. His pep talk works, as Cecile is ready to channel her consciousness to the future once again. To be honest, at least in this last lap of the Scarlet Speedster, we could have done away with unnecessary and irrelevant Team Flash storylines, which viewers hardly care about anymore, but the makers have other ideas, unfortunately.
An Emotional Reunion And Fallout
A negative Speed Force possessed Nora returns to Eddie and shares the fact that his emotions are creating singularities, leading to Eddie blaming himself for Captain Korber’s death. Nora suggests he return to the place where all the weird occurrences in his life first started, and the duo return to Mercury Labs.
Nora tries to trigger Eddie’s emotions using his past memories, provoking him to say that his existence is as insignificant as his death and also that he can have it all back if he joins her against Flash. A perplexed Eddie still has the resolve to resist the temptation of the life of his dreams and exits. Possessed Nora speaks with another entity to confirm that Eddie is the chosen one the negative speed force was looking for, which makes it is evident there is another entity involved in the whole ordeal except for NSF.
All of a sudden, Barry arrives at Mercury Labs and becomes happy to see Nora, but his possessed daughter attacks him and holds him into submission. Eddie returns and proceeds to stop Nora, and using this distraction, Barry flees with Eddie to the West household.
It is an emotionally charged moment for both Barry and Eddie and the old friends embrace each other before starting with the matter at hand Barry starts by thanking Eddie for saving his life, something that is long overdue. Eddie breaks down in tears as the life he has been living in an alternate reality turns out to be false, and he doesn’t even know why he was resurrected in the first place when he has no purpose anymore. Seeing the reality of tampering happening around them, Barry deduces that the negative speed force residing inside the cobalt crystal resurrected Eddie to turn him into its avatar. To make their presence stronger, the elemental energies need a host tied to the realm, and with Eddie as the avatar, the NSF will be at its best potential.
Barry states that unlike the Speed Force, which is charged by hope, confidence, love, will, and all the positive emotional connections, the negative counterpart of it charges itself through fatalistic emotional outputs like despair, rage, jealousy, sadness, and low self-esteem, all of which Eddie is susceptible to at the moment given his past and present. However, the only way for the NSF to make Eddie its avatar is for Eddie to choose it himself. Nevertheless, Barry’s worst fear starts to manifest as Eddie is manipulated by the energy gradually. Tormented by the demonic voice of NSF, he was already losing his sanity, and now he states that he is unwilling to go against the very thing that brought him back to life and promised to let him live the past he lost.
Barry urges Eddie to fight back against the false promises and temptations the NSF is feeding him —to no avail. The duo has a brief argument as Eddie wishes to gain what was rightfully his by using the crystal, and Barry reminds him that instead of dwindling in the past, he now has a second chance to start things over. Barry asks Eddie what Iris would have wanted for him, triggering his memory once again, and a possessed Nora calls Flash out by threatening to lay waste to Central City. Barry has to leave to save his daughter from the NSF, but he chooses to trust Eddie’s sound judgment and morality.
The Final Push
Barry and a possessed Nora run across Central City, and Nora pins Barry down. Barry is unwilling to hurt his daughter in the process of stopping her, which allows Nora to easily subdue him and almost end his life—that is, until Cecile appears and expels the negative energy from Nora, causing the cobalt crystal to get removed and disappear.
Eddie goes to meet the future Iris to seek her counsel one last time before making a choice about whether or not to accept the proposal NSF offers. Iris gets the shock of a lifetime seeing Eddie and seeing him emotionally hurt and troubled; she wishes to help him. But the psychological manipulation by NSF leads Eddie to ask Iris for a second chance at life with him, which Iris, understandably, strongly refuses. She is content with how the future has shaped her, and Eddie should try to find that on his own too. Iris’ rejection finally puts Eddie over the edge, and he storms off after threatening her.
Barry notices the red sky and lightning engulfing the horizon, and the future Chester deduces in STAR Labs that the red lighting is caused by a fractured timeline, which is deteriorating quickly. Hence, he can no longer access the Speed Force. Barry asks Cecile to warn Team Flash at present, and Future Iris calls him to have a chat. The duo enjoys a brief moment of catching up, and Barry promises to do whatever it takes to protect their family from whatever is awaiting them when he suddenly gets teleported elsewhere by the NSF manipulation.
Did Eddie Accept His Destiny In The End?
Episode 12 of The Flash ends with Eddie, unfortunately, giving in to his turbulent emotional crisis and accepting the offer NSF presented him with. At Mercury Labs, Eddie takes the Cobalt crystal, which shows his desired vision of having a family with Iris and also of vision of all the other evil speedsters, whom NSF will probably use to assist Eddie in rewriting the timeline and destroying Barry Allen’s legacy. We see Tom Cavanagh’s Eobard Thawne, Hunter Zolomon, aka Zoom, August Hart, aka Godspeed, and the corrupted thrall of Barry, Savitar. Eddie accepts the power of the NSF as he holds the crystal and opens a singularity at will.
The tragic fate of Eddie Thawne continues to haunt him even after his resurrection, and he spirals down the dark side with powers beyond his control. We really wish Eddie gets a deserving farewell this time before the exciting series finale pits Barry against the impossible odds of facing multiple evil speedsters. The Flash finale will see Eddie, the avatar of NSF, turning into Cobalt Blue and joining hands with other evil speedsters, and the Red Streak having to run the fastest to save existence itself from collapsing.