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Monday, October 5, 2020

Caitlin and Cisco in season one



I might be saying stuff that people who haven't done a The Flash entire series watch might not appreciate yet, so scroll at your own risk.

I'm being serious.

There will be SƎIOԀS

If you continue, this is on you.

~~~~~~~~~~~ƧƤѲƖ˩ЄЯƧ~~~~~~~~~~~~






Things we're learning on our The Flash rewatch-

  • Caitlin keeps a blood collection kit in her purse, saying she has hobbies. -dark-
  • Dr. Wells and Cisco have a veiled very strained relationship.

I didn't think about these things during the original watch because I was so distracted with real life, I just didn't have the extra time to reflect on what I was seeing. The setup behind first season Flash isn't about what we're being told, it's about what we're not being told.



Knowing what I know now, I can look back and say neither Cisco nor Caitlin ever knew so much as an inkling about original Wells, excepting by way of fake Wells (who apparently even wrote a biography). I know that was obvious by the end of season one, but I didn't put in much think time on it. Eobard got to know both Caitlin and Cisco very well. He manipulated them like puppets and they never caught on. This was not originally intended during his quest to find Flash and kill him, but unfolded into bigger picture plan over 15 years, which takes us awhile to find out.



Eobard hand picked Caitlin to be part of the S.T.A.R. Labs team before the particle accelerator construction was finished, we know that much, possibly as early as medical equipment came in, so several years. We get hints early on that Caitlin has a private dark side to her, but the hints are so slight or simply passed off over the death of her fiance Ronnie Raymond that most of us might not even notice she's an odd duck. She's older enough than 'the children' (per Harry, season 2) that she's a bit bossy and often stands in equal agreement/opposition to Dr. Wells concerning the younger ones, Cisco, Barry, Jesse, and Wally being very late teens to mid-20s. Caitlin is practically a widow because her fiance died, a sort of parental figure for rules and regs as she runs the lab's biological tech department (from medical to satellite sciences), and she's acutely aware of her professionalism and status. Long before Frost came along breaking into her inner demons, Dr. Snow was rigidly authoritative, sometimes rife with hidden doubts and anxieties, which we get to see develop later when she finally delves into her mom issues.



What did Eobard Thawne see in Caitlin? Why her? After all, he was her employer. Not Wells. Dr. Wells never employed Dr. Caitlin Snow. You can really twist your mind up on this stuff. Personally, I think Eobard sensed that Caitlin could be secretive (I'm sure he knew exactly the kinds of things she kept in her purse), and that she would staunchly keep his own secrets as part of her guarded world if she were manipulated correctly. Caitlin was easily emotionally manipulated. That accident was planned, remember? 'Wells' hung back while Ronnie and Cisco ran down to attempt stopping the reaction. They were all expendable. We didn't see Eobard-as-Wells holding Caitlin's world together via S.T.A.R. Labs after Ronnie died. We didn't get to see her falling for the kindness and foundation he offered for her to continue there. After all, she could have tried going after a wrongful death lawsuit, or simply just left out of despair, but she wound up becoming extremely devoted to Wells and S.T.A.R. Labs despite her fiance being killed in the explosion.



Eobard Thawne, masked as Dr. Wells, was a criminal deluxe, a murderer who fiddled around screwing up the timeline worse than anyone, ever, which we find out later in crossovers. I've kind of been feeling obsessed with this since last July when I wrote
"I guess that brings me back to Thawne. If you haven't seen that or know what I'm talking about, I'm not going to rehash. Anyone who's felt like their life was stalled out on sticky tape for years on end would get it, and I daresay that's probably quite a lot of us. I live for the 'think' moments, when years of this or that thought trail congeal into a rush of knowledge. 

One day a very long time ago, I wondered how no one creating a fiction to share could seem to grasp the idea that a self on its own timeline could affect its past. The Thawne escape arc is brilliant, thank you for making that dream exist for us to experience a reality together in, guys."

From season 5, pic of my TV


So this really evil guy, who is willing to do ANYTHING to get what he wants, including encouraging a meta to kill someone for him (s1.5), employed Dr. Caitlin Snow as part of his scheming. She is literally part of his plan, and, for now, doesn't have a clue. She's been working with this guy for years and has no idea how evil he is because he's playing such a long game. His focus is so intent that he doesn't make friends or have a social life, and everyone is surprised when he knows which wing of the mall the Big Belly Burger is in. I get the idea that he lurks alone and everyone is so used to it that he comes and goes whenever without question.

click to see more quotes


Let this sink in. This is how it works in real life, too. You are being shown on a screen how well a really evil person can manipulate other people to get what he wants, especially if there is a long game going on. Anyone who is incredulous that a real life person couldn't possibly be bad after they get caught doing something heinous, he was such a nice guy, or so thoughtful or whatever, this is how true evil works. That's what makes it so evil. I have loads of respect for the creators of The Flash series for sticking to the integrity of what evil really is. I've seen way too many other series cop out to finding the humanity in the bad guy, only to blur the lines of good and evil so badly that they may as well not have brought it up in the first place.

That being said, I remember ranting a bit during my original watch to give me 5 minutes in lockup with Thawne, I'd fixed so much stuff for him. 😂

You guys, I'm not even a Flash fan, I'm #TeamWells, and I rant about Wells getting sloppy all. the. time. For a genius he's just pretty stupid. I want five minutes in lockup with evil Wells/Thawne, I will fix so much stuff for him. Fortunately, Scott has never lost it over me hitting the pause button every 30 seconds when I go insane over writing problems.

Yes, I was mad at Thawne for being stupid about a few things. The thing about writers making a character an evil genius is that the character is only as smart as the writer.

So we're not being told yet that Dr. Wells is an evil body snatcher in season 1, and that he was the one who supervised S.T.A.R. Labs construction and hired all the staff, not the real Dr. Wells. We find out later that he retained Dr. Wells' memories after murdering him and swiping his entire body code, and that he actually misses Tess because of that, and we also find out he had feelings about working for years with Caitlin. *sick* The writers never go into the deep end of that pool, but that was enough to tell you huge amounts about this evil sicko manipulating people who were already dead to him. (Imagine a psychopathic murderer body snatcher being able to revisit someone else's deep feelings about their wife after he murdered them both. Just bringing that up opens to the door to the very slightest hint that he might've gotten off on that. 😖😧😭)

This and the next four screenshots click to the fanvid I lifted them from.


And what about Cisco? Fake Wells and Cisco very obviously have a sometimes rocky working relationship, very different from fake Wells and Caitlin. Probably because it's already weirdly tense for Cisco after the explosion with all the extra guilt about Ronnie dying trapped inside him, instead of approaching Dr. Wells with his concerns about possibly having to stop Barry if he ever went evil, Cisco built the cold gun completely on his own, apparently unbeknownst to his employer. Imagine having that level of access to materials and making the brash decision to use those materials to create new very dangerous tech. S.T.A.R. Labs was already designated a hazard site, I can imagine they'd have been very thoroughly inventoried by outside agencies in that wake, and here Cisco is creating tech weaponry beyond anything ever invented. Eobard is plenty pissed when Cisco creates a situation that draws the wrong attention to his carefully constructed manipulation of S.T.A.R. Labs. The explosion was planned, the hazard designation was part of the cover, but anyone snooping around later stealing stuff that could come back to bite was most definitely not wanted in Eobard's master plan. I'm kind of getting the feeling here that the reason Eobard never made the place more secure was because it makes a good cover if the Lab is assumed to be so crippled that it's not dangerous at all. Eobard put Cisco in a lead position because he was easy to control.





One note I feel the need to make in particular- If Eobard ever treated Caitlin as rough as he did Cisco, Caitlin would be gone. I don't think we ever see Eobard really knuckle down on Cisco like that in front of other people, and Cisco presumably keeps much of this to himself out of guilt or something. Yes, this dynamic can be blown off on Eobard's end as 'parental', but it was also very telling. When Eobard later tells Cisco he'd shown him what it was like to have a son, I'm pretty sure there was no love lost. Psychopathic murderers don't have a clue what that even means, and it definitely showed. There is no compassion whatsoever in this moment.





Cisco had the capability within him to bring Eobard down early on if he'd only known who he was. Eobard wisely kept Cisco feeling emotionally vulnerable on purpose as part of his long game. It's funny Eobard got so attached to Flash through hate, but had so little feeling for Cisco that he killed him without an eyeblink. I can imagine Cisco may have somehow felt this weird void between them at times and not known what to do with it.

Quick jaunt into alt Earths. Harry on Earth 2 pretty much keeping pace with Eobard's developmental timeline of S.T.A.R. Labs is incredulous but handy. Either that is a writing problem, or it's a shrug off, a plot device. I take my TV viewing seriously, so I almost immediately assumed that Harry would be another form of evil or even just mean, not because of Thawne in any way, but because he was faster on his timeline and a bit more ego fail from selfish orientation than our original Wells on Earth 1. Remember, the accelerator explosion was stepped up on Earth 1 when Eobard showed up, moving the timeline up by several years. If Eobard had NOT done that, Harry would have lost everything to Zoom and the other metas he himself created in his own hubris because what created breaches on Earth 1 would never have happened. Now, to be fair, that is from Harry's motivation developing the way it did after losing Tess in his life, so he's obsessed to the point of neglecting responsibility. His team left him after the explosion. He had no one but himself to blame and to try to fix things. However, it's really interesting that Eobard is essentially his unwitting contemporary. Can't help wondering what Eobard ever thought of that, or did he even waste his time thinking on that one? I'm sure I've missed hints that I'll pick up on in this rewatch. Eobard seems pretty single sighted, which is actually probably normal for his pathological psychotic interpretation of genius. Anyway, whatever the backstory, you can see after season 1 how difficult it is for Cisco to work with Harry when he shows up. There is a similar lack of relationship development for awhile that makes everything super awkward.

You guys didn't just see me unglue a bunch of sticky rice I forgot about.



Ok, back to Cisco. Season 1 Cisco knows his own genius, but he's still 'young', not self confident enough to take proper responsibility or stand up for his decisions and actions as he is later in the series. He's a wandering high IQ waif who Eobard snaps up after S.T.A.R. Labs is already established. Cisco winds up displacing Eobard's favorite brainchild, and from my point of view, it's because Cisco is also easily emotionally manipulated the same way Caitlin is, as we can see during Eobard and Harry episodes where they both intimidate him. Cisco has his own demons, wrestling with inner guilt and self inflicted judgments, so even the slightest emotional reward is going to easily affect him. Yes, he does step up and rescue Barry against his own rogue tech, the cold gun, but we don't get to see how Eobard feels about this or whether he even knows about it after the crabbing out he did. Is this the first time Cisco and Caitlin created a workaround without their Dr. Wells being involved? Eobard is very unhappy about that cold gun showing up in his lab, of course, BUT in the bigger picture beyond that, I'm not seeing Eobard giving a rat's ass about it one way or another. (I hate to shrug this off as a writing problem.) As long as that cold gun doesn't screw his own ultimate plan, he could care less what happens to it. Apparently, as far as we are aware, Cisco and Caitlin either don't seem to question this problematic divergence, or they are already so used to keeping their own secrets that they team up and continue to keep more secrets together, apart from Eobard's agendas. If Eobard is noticing this at all, we aren't seeing yet that this bothers him. On the side he's busy incorporating Joe into the overall picture, using Joe to motivate Barry under Eobard's control, and he's had Cisco and Caitlin under his thumbs for so long, maybe he isn't worried about them possibly turning on him down the road. After all, they are expendable.

And that is where our heads need to be before we get to season 2, where Caitlin and Cisco have realized how truly expendable they were, which I'm sure was a jolt and will take time to process. As for Eobard Thawne, he seems very capable of adapting to and incorporating pop up situations into his overall plan, so his evil IQ is probably way higher than several alt-earth Dr. Wells put together, who all seem to get amusingly stuck in their own perspectives. We have to remember, though, that Eobard genetically enhanced himself with original Wells' IQ and memories along with the new body, which would probably be quite the discussion if anyone out there in youtube were to feel up to it (and I have yet to run into. Wonder if Eobard could outthink the Thinker, DeVoe. Alas, we may never know.) (Remember, Eobard loops back into existence, but I'm not going there yet.)

Time to take a break! Have some after dinnerthink brainmints. I couldn't decide what to throw out, so I just left them all in. Have a great week. 🍒🍦🌻🌞




















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