Things are heating up on the Flash, literally and figuratively. First there’s a new meta in town who likes it hot. Then we see the set up for the next couple of episodes to come. Spoilers Ahoy!
We start with a flash back to two years ago, when the particle accelerator exploded. Two thugs are holding a man upside down over a vat of tar demanding a bank account number. They drop him into the vat as we see the explosion. In the present day we see construction workers unearth him. We see the man is now a big black blog in a vaguely man shape.
Wally is getting some bonding time with Joe and Iris. Joe and him seem to be getting along fine, but Iris seems to want to push the relationship a bit more than Wally is comfortable. She pushes it even further by showing up to his race and make comments like how he is going to need an undertaker before snapping pictures of those running the show. Iris tries to get Joe on her side about changing Wally, by getting him to quit the one thing he seems to truly enjoy.
Wells is working on the brain matter of The Turtle. He’s also narrating his evil plan to tap into Barry’s access to the speed force and siphon it off out loud conveniently. Barry arrives, and when Wells objects because this world isn’t as advanced as his he speed-reads though his science text. The next day, Wells hides the new device to tap into Barry’s access to the speed force under the emblem on his suit.
Joey goes after the man who dropped him into the vat, killing him with his newfound powers. The police, namely Barry and Joe, arrive at the scene the following day. It appears that he was burned with something like lava, but with a lower temperature.
Barry continues to try and help Wells, but when he starts to get too close, Wells snaps likely out of guilt and he leaves. At that time though Cisco has some more info on their new meta. He uses tar to suffocate people. That’s when Cisco’s new Meta-Human App (not a meta-human tindr) alerts them of an act in process by the newly dubbed Tar Pit.
Flash intervenes and saves Tar Pit’s latest victim from him. At Cisco’s suggestion of cooling him down, Flash tricks him into blasting a fire hydrant, after challenging him with “Hey barbecue, hit me with your best shot”. Stanly, the victim Flash saved is a suspected hit man, but when questioned the Stanley wouldn’t say anything about Tar Pit or who might have wanted to go after him. Cisco hacks into CCPD records also gets an ID on the new meta, and Barry leaves to follow up with CCPD.
When Barry is facing off against Tar Pit we see Wells with a device that glows. Before Barry leaves to follow up with CCPD, Cisco stops him. Barry’s usual speed is about 1,500 but when he fought this last time, he was at 1,450. Cisco is concerned, and asks if Barry is all healthy, which Barry shrugs off.
Iris goes to see Clark Bronwen and tells him she wants him to stop hosting the races. When he declines, she shows him the results of her research talking to his ‘past associates’. She mentions the gambling rings he runs, and thefts he’s been involved with. He responds with threatening her in return. She, understandably, starts to whimper and show obvious signs of fear. She does say though, that she is recording and sending to the paper their entire conversation.
Wally: “Do you got a death wish?”
Iris: “You’re not the first person to accuse me of that, so maybe.”
Wally hears about what Iris did and goes to see her immediately. Iris gets mad and points out that he said he was only doing it to pay off his mom’s medical bills, but now that she’s dead he should stop. She lectures him about how having someone care about him isn’t new, and now she and Joe care about him. He just stands there listening, and leaves when she’s done.
Barry is working alone in the lab when Wells joins him. They seem to hit if off just a little bit, and Wells tells Barry a story about his daughter. When Barry takes this as encouragement, Wells gets frustrated again. He says that he can’t ever be part of the team because he will always be a father first. He tells Barry that one day Zoom is going to make him choose between Flash and his daughter, and unflinchingly he will choose his daughter. Barry says that’s binary thinking and it’s flawed.
After they set talk of Well’s betrayal aside, Barry shows him what seems to be the solution to shutting down the breeches across central city. It was research done by the other Wells (who I’d like to point out wasn’t the other Wells, he was Eobard Thawne and I wish they’d stop making this more confusing for those who aren’t super geeks.)
Wells goes to see Zoom with the dose of Speed Force he stole from Flash and gives it to Zoom. Wells says Zoom needs to release his daughter if he wants the rest, but Zoom laughs. He says he doesn’t need to kill her, he can just torture her to the edge of death until Wells gets what he wants.
Cisco and Joe and working through the CCPD records to find a connection between Tar Pit and his victims, and don’t find anything until they break into the sealed juvenile records and discover they were in the same detention center as youths. Tar Pit was bunkmates with the first victim, so they decide to go look for Clark Bronwen who was bunkmates with the second victim. If that name sounds familiar, it’s because it’s the same guy Iris tried to threaten earlier. That’s when Iris swoops in with the info they need to find him.
Wells also shows up with his new device that should work with the breaches. Him and Flash head out to give it the first trial run. Flash mentions that he’s not feeling too well lately. He speed throws the device into the breech, and we see it shut down on itself.
Joe and Iris head to the street races to find Clark. They also get to see Wally’s race of the night, before it’s interrupted by Tar Pit’s powers messing up the road. Iris phones Flash right away, and he’s able to save Wally before his car can crash on the crazy new course. He’s not fast enough to catch all the glass shards heading for Iris though, and one stabs her approximately between her clavicle and third rib which likely means a punctured lung.
Barry takes her right to the hospital, and presumably nothing else of interest happened after she was injured. She waked up in the hospital with an injured shoulder. Wally shows up to bring her flowers, but makes a quick exit. Joe goes after him, and gets through to him a bit, about what being a family means to him. Wally agrees to stay with her while Joe heads off to help the team.
Back at the lab Cisco cooked up a new device to help take on Tar Pit. Nitrous grenades, ten times the concentration of the nitrous tank of the cars that were racing the previous night. The grenades themselves are triggered by intense heat (650 degrees).
Barry’s distracted the whole time Cisco is geeking about his new tech though, and finally he says why. He admits to Cisco that maybe he was right, that he was slower. They dismiss the idea that it’s the suit, the readings are normal and Cisco takes great care of it. The next conclusion is that there’s something wrong with Barry, but there’s nothing he can think of that would change that.
Until Caitlin shows up with her assessment. The last 60 days the components in his blood show the Speed Force at 100%, but then today he’s at 98%. They start looking into what could cause it, but can’t think of any likely culprits. His fight with Zoom was weeks ago. When Barry asks Zoom, he shrugs it off because it could be any number of things.
Barry gives an emotional speech about how he feels guilty about how Iris got hurt. He thinks if he couldn’t protect her from an average meta-human, how is he going to be able to protect everyone from Zoom. After listening to all this Wells admits to the team what he did. That’s when Joe arrives. Then he punches Wells. Then throws him into a cell in the tube.
Joe takes out Clay from holding, and uses him as bait. It works before they get to the steps, as Tar Pit shows up pretty quickly after that. Flash uses one of the grenades and it works rapidly to cool him down. Once his outter meta shell is broken it leaves just the man. Then Joe punches him as well.
Barry goes to talk to Wells in the pipeline. Wells points out that he told Barry he would betray him, that he would have to choose. Then he says that the solution here is to send him back to Earth-2 and seal the breaches now that he has a way to. If the breaches are closed, then Zoom can’t crossover to steal his speed.
Iris awakens again in the hospital and finds Wally there by her bedside. He finally tells her why he liked racing. When he was younger they didn’t have a lot of money, so he remembers enjoying time with his mom was driving around listening to her music. He races because he feels nostalgic for that time, and doesn’t quite finish saying why he doesn’t want to stop, but it’s heavily implied by his emotion. Iris laughs and says “see, that wasn’t so hard.” and Wally replies with “actually, it was pretty hard.”
Back at the lab we see Caitlin analyzing the changes to Barry’s access to the Speed Force. Not only is is presenting with 2% less access, but with chromosomal damage as well. The team seems onboard with the plan to send Wells back to his own world, until Barry speaks up.
Barry points out that when it comes to family, they’re all vulnerable. When Snart kidnapped Cisco’s brother, Cisco did what he said. He asks what Joe would do if he was in Well’s place and it was Iris locked up. He also says that even though it’s not his world in danger, it’s still a world full of people, and he can’t just shut the breaches and forget about it.
Then he says what happens next has to be a group decision. Then we see them releasing Wells from the pipeline and Barry says the words I’ve been waiting for all season, “We’re going to Earth-2.”
Here’s my take: I’m not saying Iris is wrong about street racing being dangerous. I’m not saying street racing is good. What I am saying is that her methods of trying to change someone she barely knows, without getting to know him or what that thing means to him is ridiculous and selfish. She assumed she knew what it was about, despite just meeting Wally. Then when he tells her, she laughs it off. Like the reason didn’t matter, or that it was a silly reason.
So Francine died, and therefore she has no medical bills for her family to pay off? I want to live in that world.
The slow-mo of Iris getting stabbed with the glass was super cheesey. And semi-unrealistic. I don’t even think that would have been a serious enough injury for her to lose consciousness unless she hit her head on the way down.
I love that moment when wells tossed the grenade to Cisco without even looking up with what he was tinkering with.
Given the number of muscles that would have been damaged by that glass shard, Iris’s arm should have been in a sling and swath. Girl shouldn’t be moving that shoulder for a while, or the arm attached.
Cost City Pizza was referenced again. Seriously either deliver or stop teasing us like this CW.
KILLER FROST AND DEATHSTORM INCOMING.