Obviously, lots of spoilers about the first season of the TV Show The Flash ahead!

The main plot of the first season of The Flash is the fight between our hero and his nemesis, the Reverse-Flash. During the course of the show, we learn that

the Reverse-Flash is Eobard Thawne impersonating Harrison Wells. He is from the future and his plan is to be Barry's mentor and train him to be fast enough to travel through time and "help" him to go back to his time. He is also a relative of Eddy Thawne, a cop and friend and love-rival of Barry Allen.

In the season 1 finale,

Eddie commits suicide, erasing Reverse-Flash and the thread he represents from history.

My question: why did Reverse-Flash reveal his identity in the first place? Is it just arrogance and the certainty that his plan will be carried to the conclusion he planned?

Being a super-villain of the MasterMind kind, it seems to me a pretty stupid strategical mistake. He knows it since

towards the end of the season, he kidnaps Eddie, and after revealing his name to his ancestor, he explains that Eddie's kidnapping is his "insurance policy".

As far as I remember, the only person he reveals his identity to is

Eddie, his relative, but it seems unlikely he wants to make him an ally, since he explains to the policeman that he is the spoiled member of the family.

There was no way that other characters would find his identity.

  • I would be very happy to know about the downvote
    – Taladris
    Aug 4, 2015 at 13:07
  • 1
    Isn't it a rule that all super villains must announce their master plan as it enters its most critical stages? :P Aug 4, 2015 at 17:09
  • Umm, because it is on the CW, which doesn't believe in secret identities? Aug 4, 2015 at 20:22

1 Answer 1


There's two different things going on here: Why the Reverse Flash revealed his identity to Barry and his crew in general, and why he specifically revealed his identity to

Eddie Thawne.

The Reverse Flash revealed his identity to Barry, Caitlin, and Cisco only after those three figured out who he was on their own. Remember, he had hidden cameras all over the lab, so he was always well aware of how close they were to uncovering his secret. By the time he openly revealed himself, they had discovered his secret room and knew almost everything. At that point, he had little to lose, and it meant he no longer had to keep up his secret and was free to act like a villain.

Why he chose to go into so much detail about his identity with


given how vulnerable it makes him, isn't as obvious. Obviously, he hadn't found out on his own by the time the Reverse Flash kidnapped him, since he was shocked by the revelation.

I suspect the answer is a combination of gloating, overconfidence, and an irrational hated for all the people in Barry's life. In the comics, the Reverse Flash is not entirely a sane person. He's been driven rather crazy by his hatred for Barry Allen, and doesn't always behave sensibly. When he found someone that was both :

related to him and close friends with Barry

it probably drove him a little bit more bonkers than usual. He would definitely want to ruin that relationship, especially by showing him the future and seeing how Barry would mess things up. He also, as a super villain, had no real fear that a half-trained, immature Barry was going to be able to beat him. So, he got a bit of sick pleasure out of emotionally crushing someone he didn't like in the first place, and in his mind, there wasn't really and risk involved.

  • Good answer. Arrogance was also a factor, I'm sure, given that his response to Barry in 01x20 - "I'm always one step ahead... Flash."
    – Omegacron
    Aug 4, 2015 at 13:31

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