The Flash season 8 used the apparent resurrection of Eddie Thawne to acknowledge that his sacrifice to stop the Reverse-Flash was completely futile.
Warning: The following contains SPOILERS for The Flash season 8.
A critical meta commentary in The Flash season 8 affirmed just how pointless the death of Eddie Thawne ultimately was. Introduced into the series as a Detective with the CCPD, Eddie Thawne (Rick Cosnett) was also an ancestor of the Reverse-Flash, Eobard Thawne (Matt Letscher). Eddie took his own life in The Flash season 1 finale in an effort to end the menace of the Reverse-Flash once and for all. Sadly, this effort proved completely ineffectual, and the character was largely forgotten until The Flash season 8 brought him back for a number of guest appearances.
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The second major story arc of The Flash season 8 found the heroes of Central City besieged by multiple threats. Most of the team was focused on tracking down a metahuman killer using cold fusion fires to burn his victims to death, who was ultimately identified as the entropy avatar Deathstorm. At the same time, Iris-West Allen (Candice Patton) was trying to maintain her grip on reality, as she coped with the side effects of a time sickness that risked drawing her into the Still Force and causing her and other objects and people to become unstuck in time and space.
Related: The Flash Season 8 Finally Fixes Its Biggest Villain Problem
It was not immediately clear what was responsible for Eddie Thawne’s apparent resurrection in the opening scene of The Flash season 8 episode “Death Falls,” when Eddie suddenly appeared in the apartment Iris shared with Barry Allen (Grant Gustin). While Iris originally thought she might have pulled her former fiancée across time by accident, he was ultimately revealed to be an illusion created by Deathstorm so that he could feed upon Iris’ grief. To further play upon her guilt, Deathstorm, in the form of Eddie, spoke of how he sacrificed himself to try and stop the Reverse-Flash from ever being born, but how it didn’t matter as Eobard Thawne somehow “came back, again, and again, and again, and again.” This dialogue mirrored many complaints about the ongoing story of The Flash and how the Reverse-Flash kept finding ways to escape the consequences of Eddie’s actions.
The first time Eobard Thawne escaped death was because of Barry Allen, who abducted his arch-enemy before he could kill Barry’s mother, establishing the alternate timeline later dubbed Flashpoint. This gave birth to a time remnant of Thawne, who went on to form the Legion of Doom and search for the Spear of Destiny in Legends of Tomorrow season 2. That remnant attempted to create hundreds of other time remnants in his efforts to destroy the Legends, with at least one of those time-clones surviving to return to menace Barry Allen yet again.
The Reverse-Flash’s continually cheating death is true to the comics, where Eobard Thawne became a living paradox immune to the effects of causality thanks to his continual efforts to change his own past. That being said, it still seems like the writers of The Flash, in their efforts to emulate this idea, severely undercut the nobility that Eddie Thawne showed in sacrificing himself to try and save all of reality. It is gratifying to see Eddie finally get the credit he deserves, even as his descendant finds new ways to defy the universe in his quest for revenge and keeps coming back for more.
More: Flash Season 8 Finale’s Shocking Cameo: Who It Could Be
The Flash releases new episodes on Wednesdays on The CW.
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Matt Morrison has been writing about comics since before the word
“blogging” was coined. He got his start writing for the
legendary DC Comics digital fanzine Fanzing,
before receiving his own column, The Mount. Since then he has gone on
to write for over a dozen websites, including 411
Nexus and The Cult of Nobody. He holds both an MS in Information
Science from the University of North Texas and a BFA from the
University of Texas at Arlington. Known as a font of comic book
history trivia, he has delivered lectures on the history of American
Comic Books, Japanese Manga, Doctor Who, and Cosplay at over a dozen conventions
and served as an Expert In-Residence for a course on Graphic Novels
for Librarians at the University of North Texas. In addition to his
work for Screen Rant, Matt is currently the Editor In Chief of
Kabooooom.com and writes reviews for No
Flying, No Tights – a graphic literature and anime review site
aimed at teachers and librarians. He also maintains a personal blog –
My Geeky Geeky Ways –
which hosts his extensive episode guide for the television series
making up The Arrowverse as well as his
comedic Let’s Play videos. What little spare time he has is
devoted towards acting, role-playing, movie-riffing and sarcasm. You
can follow his adventures on Twitter, @GeekyGeekyWays.
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