beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
[personal profile] beccaelizabeth
Just finished watching what gets called, in episode, Eobard Thawne's origin story.

The entire morality of this show depends on the physics of time travel, and yet it can never decide what the damn rules are.

Okay, so, one, if Eo was telling the truth - big if - this cannot be his original origin story. It can't be where he learned about STAR labs, because he broke history to make it go faster. If the accelerator launched in 2020, none of what we just saw could have happened. So everything Harry said about predestination was wrong. Which makes sense since he's not the time traveller here, and his authority derives mostly from habit and plausibility.

Okay, but

Within the logic of this episode alone, changing history is destructive, trying to change it makes with the seizures and so forth, and you're just stuck with the past even if it is somebody's personal future.

That's why they let Thawne go, physics, you can't change time without destroying people, specifically Vibe.

So, do they mean you can't change time? Uh, no, because... everything we've ever seen ever.

Do they know for certain it was paradox and not like a hangover from the glasses that did all that? Also no, but the timing was suggestive and I'll accept the writers wanted to mean that.

So they let Thawne go specifically to save Cisco. Everything else that has happened ever is so Cisco didn't die here. If they'd let him die they'd...

... make a massive great paradox, pretty much same like when Eo unexisted.

... same as in the world survived it last time? or same as in singularity?
because that's ... a confusion.

Except Thawne purely shouldn't exist there then, or indeed ever, and their inconsistent handling of that with 'something something speedforce' is maddening.

It kind of makes sense if the Speed Force is a save point and every single time Reverse Flash ever popped out of it still exists. He was never born, he got destroyed... somehow... because he hadn't jumped in yet... but every time he was in there the Speed Force saved him. Which is really weird because then the Speed Force is entirely not to do with causality. I mean this isn't kinetic energy he's hiding from, this is purely having effects without causes. Speed Force is what???

Well it's whatever the writers want it to be, but you can't make any judgements based on that.



Simplest reading of the story they were trying to tell is: Barry let Thawne go because you can't change the past, and Cisco was the illustration of that.

But that makes Reverse Flash's entire life not villainy but tragedy.

In the normal way of things what he told here, how he spent so long trying to be the Flash, only to time travel and discover the truth, that he was going to be his greatest enemy... well it's how Barry read it, hurting him because he can't be him, petty childish spite. Thawne by that reading is just a shallow dick that couldn't handle being second best.

But they put that revelation right next to him knowing all about paradox, and knowing he was going to get released, because you can't change time.

... because Barry was like "that's why you killed my mom", which, you know, is a problem, because Thawne hasn't done it yet and right at that moment learned he was going to. And if you can't change history, well, Barry just gave him his marching orders.

All of the Reverse Flash's history is orders. If he learned about it before doing it. If he knew he'd become the Reverse. The story of this episode is that he ceased to have a choice.

Like they had no choice but to release him.

None of it his choice? Not villainy. Just the tragedy of the hero who couldn't.


But next to nothing else supports that! What the show says about time travel here isn't what it says or does anywhere else. Entire seasons are about trying and to some extent succeeding to change time.


So they didn't have to let Thawne go?


The question loop is endless.


So we don't know how to read Thawne.




... simplest reading is jealousy and fanboy fail.

... temporal physics turns it to ????? instead.




This cannot be the original origin story, if Eo!Wells told the truth. Simplest answer is he lied, but he told most of his observable lies by slicing the truth really damn fine, which leaves that less simple.

What this absolutely can be is a way to build a stable loop. Everything we observed can be a logical consequence of what Thawne heard here.

With the teensy tiny problem of him not being born anywhen, which takes the 'stable' right out of it.



I still haven't seen Legends season two - I'm rewatching slowly so when the dvds come out I'll have everything fresh and well chewed over - but I imagine it'll complicate more than clarify.


The whole ethics of the situation and reading of a pretty central character depends on their laws of time
but their time has no laws
and the speed force is even more a chaotic thing of itself
so there's no making sense of anything
or anyone.



Still, whatever his reasons, Thawne does seem to have a lot of fun being a villain
which undermines the predestination tragedy reading pretty thoroughly.

Simplest if he's just a jerk.



But most fitting the canon thus far if he's a time traveller trying to deal with shifting memories while staying focused on the goal of maintaining a stable timeline where the Flash was the inspiration for Reverse Flash and he, in a backwards way, returned the favor.

... yet stable timeline is not a thing you associate with him by simplest reading...


and round and round the illogic goes.




Time travel. Why did they focus on time travel? It takes so much work to even vaguely make sense.



... and I realise people not me are putting less effort into making sense of Eobard Thawne, but, you know, villains and rogues...
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beccaelizabeth: my Watcher tattoo in blue, plus Be in red Buffy style font (Default)
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