The Flash 2×17 Recap — Flash Back

On this week’s episode of The Flash, Barry makes a risky trip back in time to ask an expert how to improve his speed. Nothing seems to go as planned, and Barry winds up having much more to worry about than just disrupting the timeline. Can he get the information he’s searching for without doing irreparable damage in the process? We’re about to find out.

Flash back

Barry is more determined than ever to take down Zoom now that his true identity has been revealed. He trusted Jay, and his betrayal was personal. It’s not the first time Barry has allowed himself to trust someone he shouldn’t have, and he’s going to do everything in his power to fix it.

The problem, however, is that he just can’t seem to get faster. He’s done the math, but he’s completely out of ideas. Caitlin can’t help but ask if the reason is just because Barry just isn’t able to go as fast as the others, and we can’t help but wonder if he shouldn’t want to, especially after we saw what happened to Trajectory and what appears to be happening to Zoom. Maybe going too fast is what will kill him?

It’s dinner with the West family that inspires Barry to take a leap into the past. Wally mentions his success with an engineering project after reading through old journals of experts. Something clicks and Barry realizes he has to do the same. However, the only expert he can really ask is the man in yellow himself, Eobard Thawne. That’s when Barry decides to take a huge risk and travel back in time to get the information he needs.


Time Wraith

Wells has serious concerns about Barry’s plan, and he’s right to. Time traveling is extremely risky, and should Barry interfere with the timeline in any way, he could damage his future in ways that he can’t even imagine. Barry insists that he’s done this before and he’ll be careful enough to avoid too much trouble. They plan and prepare methodically, but Barry doesn’t even exit the wormhole before things start going wrong. He catches a glimpse of a ghostly figure before he lands too far back in the past, leaving him vulnerable.

He decides to act rather than wait, and wastes no time in changing things up. He first incapacitates his double, but he knows he only has a few hours before he wakes up. He then catches Hartley Rathaway far earlier than he was meant to, and even prevents Hartley’s impending escape from the pipeline using his knowledge of future events.

He immediately starts questioning Wells about how to get faster, but it’s clear that Wells is suspicious of Barry from the get-go. One slip up too many ends up with Barry cuffed in Thawne’s lair. He’s been caught, and it’s only with threats that he manages to avoid being killed right then and there. He reveals why he’s truly come to the past, but before they can really get anywhere they discover a disturbance in the Lab.

Thawne calls it a time wraith, and it’s a ghostly dementor-like figure that is hellbent on finding Barry. According to Thawne, it’s one purpose is to correct the timeline, and in order to do that it has to take out Barry. Caitlin, Hartley, and Cisco manage to scare it away using Hartley’s gauntlets, but they know it’s only a matter of time before it returns.


Getting home

Things are complicated when Past Barry shows up at S.T.A.R. Labs demanding to know where the “other Flash” is. Barry has no choice but to reveal himself and his plans. They all agree that he needs to get back to his own time before the wraith comes back and kills them all, but Barry won’t leave without what he came for. Thawne hands him a small disk drive and tells him everything he needs is stored on it. Barry doesn’t know if he can trust him, but with time running out he has no choice. He tells them all they have a year to figure out how to stop the time wraith.

Barry speeds down to the pipeline and begins his rapid laps to generate the wormhole. It’s not long before the wraith is on his tail, and it gains on him quickly. Past Barry speeds into the pipeline and manages to deflect the wraith long enough for Barry to make it home.

He lands back in his own S.T.A.R. Labs, and his message apparently paid off because Cisco and Caitlyn are ready with an anti-wraith weapon. It fails, however, and it’s actually a cleaned up and amicable Hartley Rathaway who saves the day. It’s clear Barry didn’t make it home without some significant changes, because Hartley is now apparently a guest member of Team Flash.

The whole ordeal is behind them, and after a trip to Thawne’s old lair to test the drive they finally have the information they need to make Barry faster.



  • Barry and Cisco have apparently watched Wrath of Khan together at least five times and at the end of every viewing Cisco turns to Barry and does the vulcan salute while saying “I have been and always shall be your friend.”
  • So many Harry Potter references
  • Barry managed to snag a beautiful video of Eddie from the past telling Iris how strong and perfect she is and I definitely cried. I think we all miss Eddie.

That’s it for this week’s episode of The Flash! The next episode looks like a big one, so hold onto your pants and click the player below to watch the promo for 2×18, which airs April 19th.