“My name is Barry Allen, I am not the fastest man alive. That title belongs to the man that killed my mother…
“But not for long…”
One thing is certain; now that he’s come face-to-face with the ‘Reverse Flash’ (a name even Professor Wells can get behind), Barry has been hell bent on improving his speed. With the help of his STAR Labs compadres, his pushing the envelope and it’s working. Though all his focus has been on getting faster, Leonard Snart, aka Captain Cold, returns to town with his pal Mick Rory and they (read: Snart) has a singular focus as well; drawing out the Flash. When their first efforts don’t work, they draw up a second plan by stealing a $25m art masterpiece (in the loosest sense of the word, that is). After a conversation with Wells though, Barry ends up telling West that, while he wants to help, the Reverse Flash is a much greater priority.
Life goes on for the rest of our Central City good guys. Iris and Eddie are ready to move in together and things are still awkward between her and Barry, from the fallout from his admission of love towards her. When Barry arrives for his “nerd survival kit,” West notices the discomfort between his two kids. Barry shares the difficulties between he and Iris with West and the good detective provides the same support he would his daughter.What is F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M.? A mouthful, that’s what
With Barry’s priorities on getting faster, Cisco and Wells introduce a new shield composite to fight Snart and his cold gun. Many of the officers still hold the Lab accountable for the explosion, an opinion Cisco recognizes as accurate but only “wants the chance to make things better.” After the successful demonstration of the new tech, West and Wells have a bit of an unfriendly exchange of ideas and how Wells has affected Barry’s train of thought. Speaking of, young Mr. Allen comes across Caitlin researching anything she can find on her fiance Ronnie, aka Firestorm. He’s come to her for advice on how to deal with the new dynamic between he and Iris and something she says sparks an idea about her fruitless search. What if Firestorm is not a word or a name, but an acronym? Well, if you thought S.H.I.E.L.D. was a mouthful, how about F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M. or Fusion Ignition Research Experiment & Science of Transmutation Originating RNA & Molecular Structures. The 800 page paper describing this theory/condition was co-written by grad student Jason Rusch and, for the first time, Caitlin has a solid clue in discovering more about her fiance’s current condition.
In regards to conditions of cold and heat, Snart and Mick nab the painting and get surrounded by the cops. The cold gun provides ineffective against the shields but Mick’s heat gun is a different story. It gives the two partners what they need to escape but are at odds when Snart accuses Mick of losing focus and Mick throws the accusations right back at him. “With weapons like these,” he tells Mick, “no one can stand against us. Except the Flash.” Mick is willing to listen and Snart surmises that “the Flash isn’t so different from us. He’s got partners, too.”
Caitlin arrives at a meeting with Jason Rusch and at the mention of FIRESTORM, he wants nothing more than to get out of the meet but she’s able to convince him to stay. The project’s focus was on transmutation: the ability to alter matter on a molecular level. Spear-headed by one Professor Stein, the project lost its funding and the good professor promised to gain private backing for the continuation of the research. The next day the army confiscated all research and the good professor hasn’t been seen from since. Caitlin’s unable to make much use of the information when she gets taken by Snart and Mick, the one lure guaranteed to get the Flash out in the open.
At STAR Labs, Barry and Wells bond on their relationship over the past few months and how they’ve pushed one another to get better. Cisco brings to them his theory on the heat and cold guns being on the opposite spectrum thus should be able to cancel one another out. Barry just needs to get the two weapons to cross streams, ‘Ghostbusters’ style. And then comes the news from West on Caitlin’s disappearance. They don’t need to do much searching as Snart broadcasts the time and place for this two-on-one matchup, one that will change everything because, after tonight, everyone will know the Flash is real and not just an urban legend for the tabloids.Cross the streams, Barry!!
The showdown is here and no matter what Barry does, he’s unable to get the two streams to connect. When he gets popped with Snart’s cold gun, Eddie Thawne, the man that has wanted to take the Flash down for so long, steps in and saves him. It’s not much but gives Barry and Wells time to realize that going slower, not faster, is the key. He allows himself to get hit by both beams, slowly guiding them towards one another and BOOM!! Captain Cold and Heatwave are put down for the count.
All’s well now, with Cisco and West rescuing Caitlin during the fight, with Snart and Mick in custody. Though Eddie gets a congrats from Barry, he gives all the credit to the Flash and gives the guns to Cisco for safekeeping. Though initially skeptical, the Captain offers the young scientist a thank you for his work.
Back at the West ranch, the gents finish helping Iris move out but she and Barry still need to resolve their issues. West gives them some alone time and, despite the difficulties of the last few weeks, he believes things will be okay and they will be best friends again. With Iris and Eddie gone, that leaves Barry and West alone. Two bachelors living on their own but not for long as, on West’s casual suggestion, Barry moves back in.
Snart and Mick are on their way to Iron Heights and though the latter is livid for their predicament, the former is quite calm. “Everyone’s seen the Flash now,” he tells Mick in his trademarked cool demeanor, “that changes things…again.” The van gets rocked by an explosion and the doors open to reveal Snart’s sister leading the breakout.
- It was bound to happen sooner or later but now, it’s official. The Flash is no longer a cheap tabloid story but will be headlining the front page. This could be both a boon and a weight for Barry. There will be some criminals who think twice about breaking the law but others—those like Snart and Rory—will take the Flash’s existence as a challenge. He’s Central City’s avatar, and what better way for a baddie to make a name for him or herself than to take down the fastest man alive…
- After a confession years in the making, Barry and Iris have been flying in an epic holding pattern of awkward hellos and patently ignoring the elephant in the room. Though she denies it, Iris is having doubts about everything now but still goes ahead with her planned move-in with Eddie. She’s able to mend some things with Barry towards the end but we all know how these type of things have a way of popping back up at the most inopportune times.
- Reverse Flash aside, it appears that Leonard Snart will be that bad penny that continues popping up and getting into Barry’s craw. He’s cool, calculating and knows how to plan. Add to that his two partners in Mick Rory and his yet to be seen sister and this trio will be reinserting themselves into Barry’s lives sooner or later, with my money on the sooner.