Previously on The Flash
Barry takes down Captain Cold and Heat Wave with an assist from Firestorm. Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, he’s congratulated by Cisco, Caitlin, Dr. Stein, Joe, Iris, Eddie, and Dr. Wells. If you hadn’t already figured it out, this is a day dream, which he snaps out of right after Wells tells Barry there’s nothing else he can teach him.
Barry is alone in a dark S.T.A.R. Labs. He gets an alert and races off as The Flash. In his dream, he claimed he couldn’t do what he does alone. Now, six months after the events in the finale, that’s exactly what he’s doing – fighting crime alone to keep those he cares about safe.
He’s also ignoring urgent mail from a law firm.
Case Meta-Human of the Week
Barry gives Joe the low-down on a body found at a nuclear plant: Al Rothstein, a welder at the plant, was strangled by something large and strong.
Joe wonders if Barry will attend Flash Day, a celebration to honor him and present him with the key to the city. Barry’s leaning towards no since he feels he doesn’t deserve it.
A man hiding nearby takes photos of Barry.
Cisco now consults the police on cases involving meta-humans (and Joe now leads the meta-human task force), and he’s working on a gun that will help officers take them down. He and Joe discuss Barry’s new lone wolf ways, and when Iris arrives to ask about Barry’s attendance at Flash Day, Joe thinks Iris should try to talk some sense into Barry. We learn here that Caitlin has been working at Mercury Labs.
Most importantly: Captain Singh has a sexy new beard.
“Central City Believes in The Flash.. So Do I”
Iris finds Barry using his speed to fix the damage done to Jitters six months ago. He’s been working alone at night and in secret to repair local businesses. All the more reason for him to go to Flash Day and give people an opportunity to see and thank him, she says. Barry still resists, insisting he’s not the man who saved the city.
Six Months Ago
Shortly after Barry ran into the singularity, he stabilized it, but Ronnie and Stein had to separate in the eye of it in order to close it. That works, but Ronnie doesn’t survive.
Damn. Both and Iris and Caitlin lost their loves that day and it explains why Barry feels so guilty.
The Flash does show up at the celebration, and good thing because just as he’s about to accept the key to the city, a cart comes flying out of the sky and headed straight for Barry and the mayor.
The man who threw it wears a metal mask and has his heart set on killing Barry. Cisco’s meta-human defusing boot doesn’t work – the bad guy shakes it off and then increases in size. Joe’s bullets also don’t affect him. It’s not until Barry lobs propane tanks at his face – and Joe shoots them – does the giant stumble. His mask comes off and reveals: Al Rothstein, the dead guy at the nuclear plant.
Less Asking; More Telling
Turns out, Al was not in Central City when the particle accelerator blew AND his dead body has not left the morgue. Cisco investigates whether the meta-human’s appearance had anything to do with all the x-ray and radiation machines giving out in the hospital next to where the celebration was held. Despite all the bizarre details of the case, he can’t entice Caitlin to return to S.T.A.R. Labs, but she does agree to look into the hospital connection.
Iris decides they need to stop asking Barry’s permission to help.
Barry gets a visit from the attorney who has been trying to reach him for months. He’s handling Wells’ estate, and S.T.A.R. Labs, though left to Barry, will be taken away unless Barry watches a video message from Wells.
The alarm at the Labs is tripped and Barry finds Iris, Joe, Stein, and Cisco hard at work on their new meta-human problem. Barry really wants them to leave, but they refuse. Stein and Cisco figure out Al’s location (and Stein dubs him Atom Smasher), and to prove he don’t need no damn body, Barry races off without his comms.
Barry gets every bit of his ass kicked, but does learn that someone sent Atom Smasher to kill him. Oh, and AS is not impressed by Barry at all. Thanks to some intervention from the team back at the Labs, Barry escapes bruised and broken. He passes out at the Labs and dreams of the moment he finally broke down and cried in Joe’s arms after his mother’s death.
He awakens to find Joe watching over him. Joe drops some black fatherhood bars and convinces Barry he needs to stop shouldering all the responsibility – Ronnie and Eddie were grown-ass men who made grown-ass men decisions. Also, he needs to let his friends have his back.
If You’re Watching This
The new and enlightened Barry visits Caitlin at Mercury Labs and learns she doesn’t blame him for Ronnie’s second death. She blames herself for not leaving town with Ronnie when he asked. They hug it out and when Caitlin learns of Wells’ video, she offers to watch it with Barry.
After Wells claims that they were never truly enemies and that he’s not what Barry hates, he announces he’ll give Barry what he wants even though it won’t make him happy. Wells then confesses to the murder of Nora Allen.
Wells’ video does the trick: It has enough details to convince the police he’s telling the truth and Henry is coming home.
Now they need to deal with Atom Smasher. They lure him to a trap in the nuclear plant, lock him in a tube and fill it with radiation. AS can’t absorb it all and it takes him down. Before he dies, Atom Smasher confesses someone named Zoom said he’d take AS home if he killed The Flash.
Henry comes home and it’s a celebration, bitches! The party takes a sour turn when Henry tells Barry he’s not going to stay in town.
This makes zero sense to me, and I will definitely have a lot to say about this on the podcast tonight.
“Your World is in Danger”
At the Labs, Cisco and the team show Barry his new suit with the white emblem behind the lightning bolt. And that’s not all that has changed. They’ve now increased security so no more strangers walking up in there like they pay rent.
Then Jay Garrick walks up in there, like he pays rent.
Episode 2.1 By the Numbers:
- Unannounced Visits to Star Labs: 1 (Jay Garrick)
- Feel Sorry For: Caitlin. Now she’s a widow.
- Best Joe Black Fatherhood Moment: He got through to that boy some mac and cheese and a motherfucking pep talk!
- West-Allen Moment: When Barry blushes and smiles at Iris before taking a sip of his water.
- Barry Saves the Day By: Trusting his friends.
- No extra scene after the end logo!
Overall Thoughts & Questions:
- Any return of Wells will certainly be complicated now that the world thinks he’s 1. dead and 2. a dead murderer.
- I really hope Caitlin remains at Mercury Labs. She’s the only character I feel no connection to. That said, I love Cisco, but I also hope he remains working at the CCPD. Of course they’ll still come together to work cases and whomever the current “big bad” will be, but it’s cool to see them build other areas of their lives that don’t pertain to meta-humans. Plus, Cisco finally got a badge!
- Speaking of Cisco and meta-humans: How long can he keep the secret that he is one? Cool seeing him view Atom Smasher in his world, though.