Hello ‘ The Flash’ viewers! I’m filling in today for your normal recapper Darryl , so hopefully I can do justice to the ‘Flash’ recaps you normally encounter here on Sciencefiction.com.
Jumping in, this week’s episode opens as most ‘The Flash’ episodes do, with the opening narration about Barry being the fastest man alive, and then shifting into showing how Barry’s mornings normally go with his super-speed, as getting ready, his morning commute, stopping for coffee, and getting his morning paperwork done are all a breeze when he has his speedster powers. Then we see life as it is for Barry now, as he goes through his morning routine as a regular person, and as he takes the bus and stands in a long line for coffee, we can see how much Barry misses his powers, and how defining they were for him.
And, it seems, Barry is not the only one upset that his powers are gone, as Harry has some words for Barry now that he is no longer a speedster, reminding him that his choice has left all Earth’s vulnerable to Zoom. Because of that, Harry is going to find Jesse and keep her safe, and he tells the team he has finally tracked down his daughter because of the cell-phone dead spots that surround people from Earth-2 (which Cisco laments is the reason why he has such terrible cell service when Harry is in the lab). Welles takes off to find his daughter, leaving the rest of the team behind to discuss the fate of Caitlin, and how without Barry’s speed, they have no way of saving her.
Harry arrives at Jesse’s apartment but finds that his daughter still wants nothing to do with him, and has not been able to forgive him for the murders he committed in her name. Understanding her reluctance and need for space, Harry leaves and heads back to STAR labs, a trip that is interrupted when his van smashes into a new metahuman, who we soon learn is named Griffin Grey. Grey has been gifted with incredible strength and resilience (hence why the van was smashed and he was not), but at great cost, every exertion of his powers causes him to age very quickly. When Welles meets the man, he should only be around 18 years old, and instead, he looks to be in his early 40s. Grey blames Harrison Welles for the particle accelerator explosion that turned him into a metahuman, and assumes that the Harrison Welles he has kidnapped is the Earth 1 Welles, and Harry knows it is useless to try to explain the multiverse and his innocence to the villain. Instead, he tries to appease Griffin by working on a cure for his condition, though it is clear from the beginning that Welles is not sure Grey’s affliction can be cured.
Barry and Iris arrive at the scene of the accident, with Barry learning what happened thanks to a dashboard cam, and Team Flash is able to identify Grey, but they have no idea what to do about his aging. Jesse is brought in to help save her father, and she informs the team that biochemistry was one of her 5 majors in college, which impresses all, and is very useful as without Caitlyn (currently being held captive by Zoom) and with Welles also captured , they need more scientific help at the lab.
Meanwhile, Barry, Joe and Cisco track down Grey to an Ace Chemical Warehouse (surprisingly, not an abandoned warehouse), where they approach him armed, but powerless. Barry takes a barrel to the chest as Grey flees, watching the man age due to the power usage, but unable to do anything about it due to his injuries. Back at the lab, Barry is bandaged and the team comprehends how vulnerable they are without the Flash’s powers. Still, they realize that if Grey is aging every time he uses his powers, they might be able to stop him by tricking him into using his powers too much, which will leave him old and frail. To do this though, they need someone who can throw down with Grey, and without powers, Barry is not the ideal candidate. Still, as Iris reminds him, he is still a hero even without powers, and with a new reinforced suit that is capable of taking one solid punch from Grey due to some borrowed dwarf star alloy (thank you Felicity and the ATOM suit technology), the team heads out to Grey’s hideout to confront the man and save Harry. Fortunately, Jesse explains that Harry’s wrist band is sending out a signal about metahumans to a server on Earth-2, but since it cannot reach that server, it is just endlessly sending out a signal, which they use to track down Welles and Grey.
Griffin is keeping Harry at the Central City Amusement Park (abandoned of course), so Iris and Jesse stay behind at the lab and take control of the attractions, remotely turning them on and off to distract Griffin. Joe, Cisco and a fully suited up Barry arrive to enact their plan, with Barry using the bright lights and distractions provided by Iris and Jesse to appear and surprise Grey, potentially making the villain think the Flash still has his powers. Barry of course tries to talk Grey down, but the man is angry, and quickly losing life, and laments that not everyone got the same gifts from the particle accelerator that the Flash did. He punches Barry in the chest, the one punch the suit was able to protect Barry from, but Grey does not age enough, and is still fighting. Barry ends up taking another powerful blow that knocks him down, but he survives, and is able to see Grey age one last time, and then die of “natural causes” right before his body reverts back to its actual age.
They find Welles and take him back to the lab, where he is reunited with Jesse, who decides to stick around. During a heart-to-heart with her dad, she promises to stay as long as he never kills for her again, and Welles promises to try to be the father and the man she always wanted him to be. Barry decides to go meet with Wally, who spent the episode asking Joe to set up a meeting with the Flash (Wally quickly figured out that Joe was the one Zoom was talking about when he said that Wally was close to someone that the Flash knows). Wally meets the Flash, and thanks him for sacrificing his speed for a stranger, promising that he will not waste the life that was given to him.
On Earth -2, Caitlin is left alone in Zoom’s lair, the man trusting her enough to not shackle her to a wall, and while exploring the lair of the supervillain (who is presumably out terrorizing and conquering Earth-2), Caitlin finds her doppleganger, Killer Frost, imprisoned. Working together, the two women come up with a plan to free Frost, who promises to help Caitlin escape Zoom’s lair and descend the cliffs outside. They bond over the realization that they both had mothers that tortured them, but very quickly we see it was not just powers that made the women different. Frost dropped out of a medical school and turned to crime long before the particle accelerator explosion. Once free (thanks to Caitlin’s brilliance), Frost turns on her Earth-1 counterpart, launching an icy dagger at Caitlyn’s heart. Fortunately, Zoom arrives and knocks the dagger back into Frost, killing her on the spot. He then turns to Caitlyn and warns her that if she tries to free any other prisoners (meaning the hooded man whose identity we still do not know), they will also die. Caitlin laments that she just wants to go home, and Zoom decides to oblige her, but not in the way that she wanted. He says they will return to Earth-1, but she will get to watch him conquer her world the same way he conquered Earth-2.
Back at STAR Labs, Welles and Barry make amends, and Welles vows that they will take down Zoom, and to do that, he promises they will get Barry his speed back. In order to do it, Welles states that they will create another particle accelerator explosion.
– So if they are really going to be doing another particle accelerator explosion, are they going to be inadvertantly creating more metahumans/ ruining more lives?
– Is there a chance that both Barry AND Wally will be struck by lightning in the second particle accelerator explosion, thus giving us the Flash and Kid-Flash?
– Team Flash can still cross the multiverse because of Cisco right? Or is it that he can open a breach, but only a speedster can go through it? Some of the science here is a little hard to follow.
– My theory for the man in the iron mask – Earth-2 Wally West, who was a speedster but had not yet publicly launched his heroic career.
Definitely a “villain of the week’ episode for the series, but still a lot of great set-up, and character moments, especially for Barry as he learned he can still be a hero even without his powers. Looking forward to seeing how the new particle accelerator explosion works out, and to see whether the explosion is a Season finale moment (for Barry to get his powers back) or whether they will do it right away so the finale will be an epic fight between Zoom and Barry (and potentially Wally). Either way, looking forward to seeing how ‘The Flash’ will wrap up its sophomore season!