Team Flash and the Central City speedster are back in this week’s The Flash and this time out, he’s facing a new speedster whose petty crime nature is causing a ripple effect for our titular hero. But first…
Despite the Earth-2 breaches closed, Barry still wants to get faster. What better way than to walk over water? In this case, it’s a canyon test-jump that doesn’t go so well. Lucky Cisco thought to bring the drones. When the team returns to the lab, Cisco suggests they all need a break and proposes they go out for some clubbin’. Jesse’s included in this though she has to beg Harry to let her go. He capitulates and the quartet (Barry, Cisco, Caitlin, and Jesse) are met by Iris and Wally, the latter of which hits it off right away with Jesse. But any deeper conversations (including Iris and Barry speaking about their Earth-2 counterparts) is interrupted when a speedster flashes through the crowd, taking purses, money, and phones from everyone in the club. Barry gives chase but the surprising speedster is faster than our hero.
“I don’t want people thinking the Flash is a petty thief,” Barry tells Joe the next morning as they case the scene. Too late Barry as Scott Evans, Iris’s new editor, seems to have an axe to grind with the Flash. He repurposes his staff to find everything they can to denigrate the Flash, Iris included. For obvious reasons she can’t explain to Evans, Iris knows Barry is innocent and when she attempts to explain it to her editor without naming the source, she stalls, offering him out for coffee to discuss the piece. Somehow Evans sees this as her way of expressing interest in him and walks away like a dejected teen when he realizes her aim was to open his mind towards the new speedster being someone other than the Flash.
Another major development is the strain between Jesse and Harry. During the timeout with Team Flash, Jesse stumbled across her father’s audio files during her captivity and his determination to get her back. It’s an overreaction on her part, not understanding the lengths one may go to protect a loved one. This plays out in the final act but first, we have to wonder exactly how this other speedster came to be.
During the group discussion on the new speedster, Caitlin and Harry tell Cisco and Barry about Velocity-9 and its dangers. During the increasingly heated conversation, Cisco vibes about Zoom but before he can tell the group, the metahuman app alarm blares on another sighting of the new speedster. Once again the speedster one-ups Barry but this time, he sees her face. So who is she? Caitlin and Joe pay a visit to Eliza Harmon, a Mercury Labs scientist Caitlin tapped to help with the V-9 formulation. Their talk with Eliza offers no insight as she does a good job selling her innocence. But later that night, Eliza showcases a duality based on the need for V-9. She tries fighting it but succumbs to Trajectory, her alter ego. From there, she goes to the one place where she can get more V-9: STAR Labs.
At the Lab, Barry has already swiped the last injection of V-9 but Harry catches on to it. “If the game is already rigged,” Barry demands, “why can’t I level the playing field?” It’s a good point but Harry makes a better one. “You lose a chunk of your humanity,” he replies, “every time you compromise your values.” It’s food for thought, one Barry takes to heart and he gathers with the rest to devise a plan that doesn’t include V-9 when, somehow, Trajectory gets the drop on Barry and the gang, locking Barry in the pipeline while holding Jesse at gunpoint, forcing Harry and Caitlin to make more V-9. They synthesize a few doses for her, one of which she injects into Jesse, to make sure no shenanigans were involved. Jesse’s adverse reaction to the V-9 forces Harry to give her a transfusion. When she awakens, her lack of understanding is further shown. “How many more terrible things are you going to do to protect me?” she asks Harry and he has no real answer for her.
One thing Trajectory doesn’t count on is the tracker Caitlin planted in the serum. It pinpoints her location to a bridge that, for some insane reason, she wants to destroy. Barry arrives on the scene, saving more than 200 civilians before the bridge collapses. Barry’s earlier test of the ‘canyon jump’ comes into play when he has to hit Mach 3.3 to ‘walk over water’ to the other side of the bridge, taking down Eliza. He tries reaching the fractured woman but her need for V-9 trumps all his words. When she runs after the latest injection, Trajectory’s lightning becomes blue and, seconds later, she vanishes, leaving her suit behind.
In the aftermath, Iris’s message to her new editor that “it’s okay to believe in [heroes]” finds purchase, Jesse heads out on her own to Opal City and, most importantly, Barry and the gang discuss V-9 and its connection to Zoom. “He’s dying,” Harry says, “that’s why he wants your speed.” Just like Jay’s dying. When Cisco opens up about his vibes, they use Jay’s helmet to discover the truth. And it’s hard to bear…
“I saw Jay,” Cisco murmurs. “He’s Zoom.”
- Wow, talk about a wonderful reveal. Sure, we as the audience knew the Jay/Zoom connection but to have Team Flash work out the particulars was great TV. Sure, Barry’s Darth Vader “Nooooo!” was a bit over the top but, as a whole, the pain each member felt at discovering the truth was a genuine heart-breaker. I am even more curious as to how they deal with the revelation from here on out.
- Jesse Quick’s gone like that? And here I thought she and Wally had a personal vibe going on. Of course, gone doesn’t mean she’s gone for good; after being injected with Velocity-9, despite Harry saying the drug’s out of her system, my thoughts are we haven’t seen the last of Jesse and, more to the point, I’m wondering if there will be lingering effects of her experience.
- Finally, one has to wonder where things are going with Iris. I had the feeling Barry’s experience on Earth-2 with her counterpart could possibly jumpstart something between her and the Flash but now this thing with her editor, Scott Evans rears its head. Though he’s only had a few moments on the show, I’m not a fan of the guy and it’s only in part due to his hankering to prove the Flash isn’t a hero. The writers usually do a good job with the relationships on the show but the Iris/Evans thing seemed a bit too shoe-horned in. Time will tell if anything develops between the two or falls by the wayside in favor of a rekindled Barry and Iris ‘ship.