“I’ve been running a lot lately, trying to go faster than I’ve ever gone before because there’s someone out there who’s better, faster, and stronger than I am and I need to be ready. But no matter how much I try or how hard I push myself, I keep running into the same problem. “

In a much different ‘The Flash‘ than we’ve seen in the last season and a half, one thing remains constant: Barry’s voiceover hits the nail in the head in regards to his current dilemma. Bottom line is, in order to have a chance against Zoom, he needs to get faster. Try as he may, he’s not gaining ground in the speed department and though it seems as if they’ve tried everything, the Earth-2 Wells has an idea…

Vandal Savage, a different kind of villain, turns up in Central City

While Barry is working to get faster, a mysterious stranger, armed to the teeth with knives of every shape and size, had made it to the shores of Central City. After slaughtering a half-dozen men at the docks, he murmurs “Soon another sacrifice will be made” accompanied by a vision of a person with wings. The next day, Barry, Patty, and Joe are investigating the murders with the senior of the trio teasing his two partners on their burgeoning relationship. Speaking of relationships, Cisco and Kendra seem to be getting along pretty well. In fact, they’re ready to have a bit of an intimate dinner at Jitters when the mysterious stranger—we all know it’s Vandal Savage—breaks up their evening together by targeting Kendra, who he calls Priestess Shiera. Thanks to Cisco’s 911 alert to Barry, the couple escapes Vandal’s assassination attempt. The Flash knows he’s dealing with someone not meta but different—mystical—and there’s only one person he knows that has experience dealing with this type of person…

Star City

Barry and Oliver partnering up once again

We catch up with Damien Darhk in media res, raiding an A.R.G.U.S. site with his Ghosts when the Green Arrow gang steps in to thwart his plans. It’s going pretty well until Darhk gets his hands on Oliver and enacts his Shang Tsung mojo—but Barry intercedes, running to the rescue as he taps Oliver for help in protecting Kendra. While Barry is tripping out over the new Arrow lair, Oliver’s not too enamored with Barry’s careless invitation of an unknown—Kendra—into the fold, despite her knowing Barry’s secret. The entire gang share a few cocktails at the penthouse where Barry remarks on Oliver’s new disposition. “Being with Felicity has given me a real sense of peace,” he tells Barry. But the friendly gathering is interrupted by Vandal Savage’s rather rude intrusion. Showing himself a magician with throwing a blade, Savage ultimately becomes a human pincushion to several arrows before falling over the balcony all the way to…well, into thin air.

Being targeted for the second time by this crazed knife-wielding psycho, Kendra is understandably upset. Cisco comes clean with her about his vibe and that’s when Malcolm Merlyn shows up and spills the dirt on the rather immortal Vandal Savage. This new revelation has her begging to get some air and Cisco tries to calm her down. He relates to his own struggle with learning of his newfound abilities. “Every day gets a little bit more normal,” he says right before Hawkman swoops in and steals the girl.

Kufu, or Carter Hall, tries to convince Kendra of her true identity but ends up being interrupted by Oliver and Barry. Though he initially holds his own, the duo end up taking him down and chaining him up. Unable to do anything but talk, Carter explains Savage’s relation to the reincarnated duo. Each time he kills them, his power grows and, considering he’s currently 206 wins in the success column, it’s no wonder Carter wants to take Kendra on the run with him. But to have a chance, Kendra needs to have her own awakening. Despite the craziness, Oliver believes Carter’s story and despite the first attempt to have her sprout wings fail, after pep talks from Barry and Cisco, Kendra Saunders—Hawkgirl—finally gets her wings.

Central City

While Barry and Co. are trying to keep Kendra safe, Caitlin and Wells have been working on a way to boost Barry’s speed. The concoction is Velocity-6, a NOS injection to augment the Speed Force. To test it, Wells calls in Jay Garrick who, much to what we’ve seen of him all year, goes full emo/coward mode (Wells’ words…and mine). He rails against the professor’s attempts to manipulate the Speed  Force, something that, to him, is a living, breathing thing. But when Patty shoots Wells in a case of confusion/mistaken possession of a weapon, Garrick takes the serum in order to save the good professor. It works and even after Wells thanks Garrick, the former Flash gruffly replies on how Velocity-6 never be given to Barry.

Kendra discovers a destiny she had no idea was hers.

After Malcolm offers Barry and Oliver more information on Savage as well as his need to find a weapon to combat Barry’s speed, the two heroes return to Central City in search of the Staff of Horus. By the time they find its location in a Central City church, Savage already has it in hand. Their best attempts are stopped by the immortal madman and the only thing to save them is Savage sensing Kendra’s ‘awakening’. It throws him off just enough to allow Barry and Oliver time to escape the church before Savage immolates it from the inside. Sounds like it’s time to regroup.

With everyone on their way to Central City to combat this new Savage problem, Barry and Oliver are at Jitters about to get a bit of a caffeine high when Oliver’s life comes to a halt when he sees an old flame—Sandra Hawke—with a young boy who, based on Oliver’s reaction, knows is his son…

Flash Facts

  • It seems as if, every time I think ‘The Flash’ is good, it gets even better. First off, the chemistry between Barry and Oliver is simply top notch. Gustin and Amell play off one another so beautifully; Oliver’s dry humor and Barry’s sarcastic wit form a perfect union between friends and partners. The fact that this two-night event is a legitimate crossover instead of a bit part guest appearance strengthens the story as we work towards the launch of ‘Legends of Tomorrow.
  • Speaking of the spinoff, the backbone of this episode was Kendra Saunders aka Priestess Shiera aka Hawkgirl, coming to terms with her identity. Both Barry and Cisco understand her predicament and both give her sound advice in accepting her powers. “Just believe in yourself and your true self will emerge,” Barry advises and, after Cisco offers his own self to help her Kendra realizes what many of us do when facing a crossroads; she has to make the leap alone but, more than that, “I have to embrace my destiny; I have to believe.” Nothing great has ever come without great faith/belief in one’s self. We may not have wings or super speed in our reality but that doesn’t change the lesson.  It’s one of the primary reasons so many people have taken to ‘The Flash’; not just for the wondrous Easter Eggs and care to build from the comic book lore but telling the story of an everyday man, someone who feels overwhelmed finding his true self and believing that he has the ability to affect so many lives for the better.