Season two of The Flash delivered one of its better episodes with ‘The Reverse-Flash Returns’ airing on January 26, 2016. An incredible amount of important details were revealed over the course of episode 11, however there was still room for each character to get in some quieter moments amid all of the action.
Recap of The Flash Season 2 Episode 11
Barry (Grant Gustin) is out playing good samaritan while at S.T.A.R. Labs Dr. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) are bickering about pretty much everything, and Cisco deliberately irritates Harrison by slurping his coffee. Out on the street, Barry attempts to stop an out of control truck before it explodes, and of course he does so just in the knick of time. Cisco’s convinced they can still use Turtle to help get Harrison’s daughter back, but Jay (Teddy Sears) and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) barge in to deliver the news Turtle’s dead.
Meanwhile, Reverse-Flash/Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher) is ecstatic he’s confirmed what time period The Flash is from.
The team try and figure out how Turtle died and Jay thinks Harrison had something to do with it. After Harrison leaves, Jay says, “Every time you think Wells is on your team, something happens that makes you doubt it.”
At the Central City Police Department, Patty (Shantel VanSanten) wants Barry to check out the runaway truck. Barry’s super quiet and icy toward his former girlfriend, and Patty quickly picks up on the change in his demeanor. He doesn’t want to talk about things and she leaves as Iris (Candice Patton) arrives. Barry tells her Patty’s leaving to follow her dream at college, and then Joe (Jesse L Martin) appears to let them know Francine doesn’t have much time left and it’s probably best Iris visits her now to say goodbye.
Harrison is working on The Flash/Turtle problem when Cisco arrives to suggest they figure out how to control his powers so they can find Zoom. Harrison says they need to determine what triggers his vibe, but Cisco has no idea what it is that sets him off. Suddenly, Harrison has an idea. He sends Cisco off to the time vault which he enters slowly and apprehensively. In pops Harrison in his Reverse-Flash outfit and Cisco lets out an embarrassingly high-pitched squeal in fright. Harrison’s figured out Cisco vibes when he’s scared due to a rush of adrenaline. He strangles him and Cisco vibes. He sees the real Reverse-Flash in action and knows for sure now that he’s there.
Reverse-Flash shows up to snag Christina McGee (Amanda Pays) and The Flash appears to save her. The Flash calls him Eobard Thawne and, shocked, Reverse-Flash promises that soon he will kill him, grabbing Christina and disappearing.
At S.T.A.R. Labs. Harrison explains how Eobard is alive, a complicated process that boils down to Thawne being from the future and he’s not yet killed Barry’s mom. This Thawne doesn’t know Barry’s name and hasn’t met him before, and although he can’t bring his mother back, Barry wants to end Thawne once and for all. Everyone leaves except for Caitlin and Barry, and Caitlin uses the opportunity to explain that Jay’s sick and the only way to save him is by finding Zoom. Although, she adds, another possible solution is they find his Earth 1 doppleganger and use him to replace Jay’s dying cells.
Eobard needs Christina’s tachyon technology in order to return to the future.
Joe and Iris visit with the dying Francine and she’s alert enough to be happy to see them both. Joe leaves Iris and Francine alone for a little mother/daughter bonding and Francine says she knows her son is off getting rid of his anger, and she hopes he will heal soon. Iris opens up to her about her childhood and how she wonders what it would have been like if her mom and Wally had been there. Iris forgives her and leaves the hospital room, crying.
At the police station, Caitlin’s hoping Barry can find Jay’s doppleganger when Patty shows up. Caitlin leaves and Patty’s confused about why Barry is working with S.T.A.R. Labs, with Barry explaining he and Joe help out there occasionally. Patty finds that very interview, but she really came to see if they could talk before she leaves. Barry’s still doing his detached act and accidentally reveals he loves her. Barry says he doesn’t want her to have regrets or miss out on what she wants to do. He’s sorry things can’t work out for the two of them.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Harrison is working on Cisco’s goggles to make them stimulate the fear receptors in his brain. The upgrade will make Cisco able to vibe for a longer period of time. He puts on the goggles and sees the Reverse-Flash kill Christina.
Cisco explains to Caitlin and Barry about how he and Harrison were able to activate his vibe and he watched the Reverse-Flash kill Christina before fleeing through a speed machine Christina helped him activate. He’s been flung back to the future. Fortunately, the event hasn’t actually happened yet. Cisco can now see the future and the clock in the room where Reverse-Flash killed Christina read 9:52pm – nearly four hours into the future. Cisco’s astounded he can see into the future and needs to immediately think of a cool name for his new goggles. They have 3 hours and 52 minutes to find Christina and stop the Reverse-Flash.
At the station, Patty’s looking through case files and Joe tells her he’ll miss her. She’s actually been looking through Barry’s old files and has put two and two together. She knows Barry is The Flash and that Joe has known all along. Joe doesn’t confirm her suspicions and jokes that Barry runs like a slow-assed duck.
Iris visits Wally and they work out some family issues, with Iris insisting Wally go see his mom. As Wally tries to leave, she tells him about her dead fiance and how she regrets not getting to say goodbye to him. She did get to say goodbye to her mom and hopes that he’ll go see her while he still can.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, the gang tries to figure out where Reverse-Flash will attempt to return to the future. Caitlin asks if Barry’s found Jay’s doppleganger and he tells her she should just ask Jay about it. Joe gets Barry alone and lets him know Patty’s figured out he’s The Flash. His squirrelly behavior combined with police reports led her to that conclusion. Joe thinks Barry should just tell her now, but Barry doesn’t want her to know to keep her safe from Zoom, etc. Then suddenly they learn the Reverse-Flash’s location and The Flash barely gets there in time to stop him from killing Christina. After she’s safe, The Flash destroys the speed machine and Reverse-Flash is, understandably, furious. “That was my way home!” he yells, and Barry assure him he’s not going home. Reverse-Flash tells Barry he’ll find another way home and takes off, but The Flash is right on his tail. They speed through the city until Barry finally grabs him and takes him down, repeatedly hitting him and promising he’ll never lose to him again. He’s pummeling him when Joe yells over his headset not to kill him and to bring him in.
They lock Reverse-Flash up in the cell they used to contain Dr. Wells last year, and Barry wants desperately to go talk to him. No one thinks that’s a good idea, but Harrison tells him not to do it because the more he learns about Barry, the more power Reverse-Flash has. AS they’re talking, Cisco gets a nosebleed that only Harrison notices.
Caitlin and Jay meet and she tells him her dad died of multiple sclerosis and she won’t watch Jay die if she has any way to help him. She can’t find his doppleganger and Jay says there’s a good explanation for that. He tells her to meet him at the park the next day.
Cisco goes to visit Reverse-Flash in the cell and asks how he got his suit and ring. Reverse-Flash doesn’t know him but Cisco says he wants him to know he was the one who found him. And, Cisco tells him it’s ironic because Reverse-Flash gave him his powers. “Bye, Felicia,” says Cisco, closing the window to Reverse-Flash’s cell as he gets yet another nosebleed. [For confused viewers, here’s the scoop on the origin of Bye, Felicia.]
Barry visits Patty at the station after she texts him, and she wants him to admit he’s The Flash. He won’t say it, even though not admitting it is making her feel stupid. He tells her it’s insane, and he still won’t tell her the truth. If he admits it, she says she’ll stay. He says he can’t admit it because he’s not The Flash. She says it would have been nice to stay and walks away, crying.
Barry (in shadows) visits Eobard wanting to know why he hates him. Eobard admits he wanted to be him but the ability to travel through time revealed he wasn’t going to be as good as The Flash and would instead be his biggest enemy. He dedicated himself to being the reverse of The Flash, taking whatever he could from Barry because he couldn’t be him. Barry tells him the race is over and he lost. Eobard says he will learn his name one day, and just then Barry gets an urgent message from Caitlin.
Cisco is in a state of continual seizures and they don’t know what’s happening. Caitlin manages to make him stop the seizures but that leads to Cisco seemingly disappearing in front of their eyes. He yells out that he doesn’t know where he is or what’s going on, and Harrison figures out they affected the timeline by bringing in the Reverse-Flash. The only way to save Cisco is to send Reverse-Flash back to the future. Barry doesn’t want to but Harrison yells at him that otherwise Cisco is dead. Joe agrees. Barry says he destroyed the machine to send him back but Harrison says Barry’s speed combined with Eobard’s will be enough to send him back. All Barry has to do is provide him with enough momentum to get past the space-time barrier. Harrison also tells them that now Thawne knows about Barry, about S.T.A.R. Labs, and about all of them. “There’s nothing I can do about it; there’s nothing you can do about it. This is his origin story and it’s going to happen no matter what you do,” says Harrison. But Barry can save Cisco by sending Thawne home. They exchange threats before speeding off together.
It works! Eobard’s gone and Cisco is back.
Caitlin meets Jay at the park where he points out his doppleganger. She couldn’t find him because they don’t share the same name. It seems his doppleganger was adopted and grew up with a different name: Hunter Zolomon. [That name is familiar to fans of the comics, but I won’t spoil who Hunter is for those who aren’t up on The Flash‘s assorted characters.] Jay says it doesn’t matter anyway because their DNA won’t match. Jay’s has been mutated because he became a speedster. They have to catch Zoom and get Jay’s speed back in order to cure him.
Wally visits Iris to let her know he’s going to go see their mom. He asks her to go with them and Iris quickly agrees.
Cisco’s not fully recuperated and everyone stands around his bed glad that he’s okay. They tell him Barry sent Thawne back to his time to save Cisco. Harrison heads out to get food, taking burger orders before he goes.
Joe has a brief heart to heart with Barry about sacrifices and then Patty calls telling him she needs help. There’s a man on the train with her holding a gun. Barry says he’ll get her some help and takes off. There isn’t any gunman on the train. Patty says it was a false alarm and they have one final moment before he takes off again. After he’s gone Patty whispers, “Good-bye, Barry.”