When you really think about it, Eboard Thawne aka Harrison Wells aka The Reverse-Flash isn't the most enigmatic character on The Flash. The character who still raises the most question marks — who I don't know much about beyond his nice guy surface — is Eddie Thawne. Joe's partner and Iris's estranged boyfriend seems sincere, and he certainly hasn't displayed the shady behavior that had me questioning Wells from the very first episode. But he hasn't revealed much of himself. He's good on the job. He loves Iris. He keeps Barry's secret and puts himself in the line of fire to serve and protect Central City. He's the prom king, starting quarterback, and president of Student Council, all rolled into one. He's a little too perfect, is what I'm saying. But the significance of Eddie's connection to Eobard Thawne can't be ignored or underestimated.
If comic books and their adaptations have taught me anything, it's that there are no coincidences. Everything means something and everything impacts the wider universe. When the real Eobard Thawne finally stood up, Eddie, a character who had seemed so far to exist kind of outside the mythology of the source material, was drawn straight into it. It's a tie that I'm sure Eobard is surely planning on exploiting. This New Zealand promo for "The Trap" shows a little more than the trailer that aired in the U.S. If you are spoiler-phobic, now's the time to avert your eyes.
Always dramatic, Eobard will introduce himself to Eddie in this episode, with considerable flourish. "Why do you have my name?" Eddie responds, which is the same thing I say whenever I meet someone with the same last name as me. Except that's not true, because that would be stone-cold ridiculous. Even if "Thawne" were the "Smith" of Central City, Eddie's response is still a strange one. Unless! Unless. Maybe it's not Eobard's last name that Eddie is referring to. Maybe he's reacting to hearing his own full name said aloud by a blurry, red-eyed man with Christian Bale's Batman voice. Maybe Eobard shortened his name to Eddie at some point.
Is Eddie Thawne looking into his future when he meets the Reverse-Flash? And if he is, what manner of circumstances could have possibly led him to that life? The other possibility suggested by this brief interaction is that Eddie is a closer Thawne relative than Reverse-Flash initially led us to believe — a son, perhaps? ("Eobard Thawne Jr." has kind of a nice ring to it.) There's so much of Eddie's past still needs to be filled in, anything is still possible.
This promo gives me the distinct feeling that Eobard has a plan for Eddie. I believe that Joe's partner figures in to the villain's bigger plot, whether Eobard is soliciting his help or sacrificing Eddie in the name of his ambition. Whatever his significance to this storyline, "The Trap" promises to be a big episode for a purposely under-developed character.
Images: Cate Cameron/The CW; Giphy