This week, Barry meet goes up against Farooq, aka Blackout. He’s a meta-human that’s basically an electrical vampire.
As Barry’s become more accustomed to his powers he’s started to rely on them a lot in his life. He’s enjoying being the Flash, but he’s also using it to just make his life (and the lives of other) better in general. Wells is concerned that his connection to other people is a distraction that’s preventing him from reaching his maximum speeds. Wells still sees that Barry’s future is intact, but he wants to get him to focus more on increasing his speed. This plan hits a bump when Barry is called to a crime scene. Joe, still shaken by his visit from the yellow flash, and Eddie meet him there. He finds a body that’s been burned to a crisp by a large dose of electricity. The attack was committed by a meta-human who went by the name Farooq. He was transformed on the same night as everyone else, but his transformation also killed his friends. Now he has a constant need to feed on electricity, both from electrical grids and from people.
When Barry confronts Farooq, he gets zapped. The energy transfer gives Blackout a jolt of power he hasn’t felt before and he takes more. The drain results in Barry loosing his powers. While Cisco and Caitlin are working on trying to find a way to help, Wells is checking with Gideon to see if the future has changed. He sees a future that has no mention of Barry or the Flash. At the same time, two different crisis occur. Blackout shows up at STAR demanding to see Wells, and William Tockman (aka Clock King) escapes from custody and takes the police station hostage with Iris and Joe inside. Blackout’s attack on STAR causes a blackout across the entire city, making matters worse.
Wells comes up with the theory that they can jump start Barry’s DNA by giving him a ridiculously high electrical jolt. After failing to reason with Blackout, Barry agrees to go through with it. In order to buy them time, Wells releases Girder from the Pipeline to buy them some time (by telling him to kill Blackout). The shock treatment does something to Barry, but he doesn’t get his speed back. Barry finds Girder dying after his confrontation with Blackout. When he realizes that Wells sacrificed him, he’s irate but Wells tells him he had a decision to make and he’d do it again. The entire time, Wells has been adamant that nothing is more important than protecting Barry. He proves that when he puts his own life on the line in order to save Barry when Blackout corners him. When Blackout tries to take a final shot at Wells, Barry’s emotions activate his speed again, allowing him to get Wells to safety. Blackout tries to drain Barry again but, this time, there’s too much power for him to handle. Blackout ends up “choking” on the power and dies. It turns out that the shock they gave Barry augmented his powers making him even faster and more powerful than he was before.
At the police station, Tockman is laying out his demands to the police. He doesn’t realize that Eddie is also in the station. Eddie waits for his moment and takes a shot at Tockman, but doesn’t realize that the Clock King is wearing a bullet proof vest. Tockman returns fire and wounds Eddie. Tockman does tourniquet the wound in order to slow the process of Eddie bleeding out. He takes Iris as his hostage but, after a plea from Joe, gives her time to say goodbye to Eddie. Eddie uses that opportunity to tell Iris to grab the gun in his ankle holster. So Iris, who’s been waiting for the Flash to come save them, ends up having to take out Tockman by herself. Eddie manages to survive and is taken to the hospital where he’s given a lot of pain medication. After getting his powers back, Barry does go to check on Iris and Joe even though everything’s been handled. He also visits Iris as the Flash and tells her that he’ll never be late again.
After everything’s over, Wells confirms with Gideon that Barry’s future has returned to what it should be. Barry also apologizes to Wells for judging him earlier and shows a lot more interest in doing the research work that they agreed to. With his upgraded powers he feels like he can do even more than he did before. They place Blackout’s body in the pipeline along with the other captured meta-humans. In the last scene from the episode, we see Wells extracting something from Blackout’s corpse. Wells says he wants to know how Blackout was able to steal the Flash’s powers.
- All Those Names
When Wells drops that list of names of people that “died” it turns out to be a list of known DC characters: Al Rothstein (aka Atom-Smasher or Nuklon), Ralph Dibny (aka Elongated Man), Grant Emerson (aka Damage), Will Everett (aka Amazing Man), Bea Da Costa (aka Fire), Ronnie Raymond (aka Firestorm). It’s like Wells created a small faction of the Justice League.
- Tockman’s quotes
“As if you could kill time without wounding eternity”. I just thought those were fun. I was also equally impressed that Joe was able to identify the sources of the quotes.
- You’re worth being on time for
This isn’t so much about the one line as it was Barry’s change of mentality through the episode. The show played on the obvious irony of a man with super speed always being late. It just showed that Barry’s ready to really focus on other people’s needs not just meeting those needs as he sees fit.
For those of us playing the “what’s going on” game at home, this episode dropped a ton of possible clues to relations to different Flash comic book stories. Blackout is probably the biggest possible clue. He’s a minor character that only exists within the Flashpoint timeline. This is a timeline that’s created accidentally by the Flash when he goes back in time to save his mother’s life. That timeline is eventually erased when the Flash figures it out, so I don’t think that means that the show we’re watching exists in that timeline. Instead, I just think that it’s a reference to the idea that a speedster is going to be revealed to be messing with time. Now, we still don’t know who those speedsters are or if Wells or Eddie is actually one of them. This episode also seemed like it was showing us the birth of the Speed Force. In the comics, it’s the source of power for all speedsters and it’s source is Barry Allen. It’s also the more mystical power that explains how the Flash can do things like time travel or rewrite history. The show also seems to be suggesting that we look into the “New 52” for some clues just based on the fact that the number 52, seemed to pop up quite a few times during the episode.
I have to say that Eddie seems like he’s out of the running to be one of the speedsters because he didn’t heal when he got shot. As we’ve seen, that’s one of the added benefits of Barry’s powers. Along with the list of names he fired off, Wells also provided one other big name reveal: Gideon. However, Gideon’s not necessarily the name of a person, but his computer. Now, I’m sure that everyone went straight to their search engine of choice when they heard that name, but Gideon the computer isn’t a DC Character. Gideon is, however, the name of one of the New Gods (as well of a couple of other very minor characters). Back in my episode 3 write up I had mentioned that Wells could be related to Metron, who is also one of the New Gods. Now, the New Gods are kind of over the top aspect of the DC universe that I wouldn’t really expect to be part of the TV universe that DC has created. What I could see is that Wells character is somehow related to them and is just using little bits and pieces of those characters as part of an identity to cover up who he really is.
I am also beginning to wonder if Wells is actually a time traveler or if he just has a gateway into the future. If he were actually from a future that required Barry Allen to exist as the Flash, and that future was rewritten, it seems like something should’ve happened to Wells. Put differently; if the future changing doesn’t change Wells, then he’s probably not from the future. There are some cases where that’s not true. One notable one is also from Flashpoint (hey there’s that name again). In that story, Professor Zoom (one person who wears a Yellow Flash costume) has had his origin separated from the Flash’s existence, which means he exists as a kind of time paradox. So, that’s one way that you could explain a time traveler not being affected by changes in time.
No matter how it plays out, there’s going to be a lot that Barry and friends will have to deal with. As Wells list and some other clues in previous episodes suggest that there’s no shortage of meta-humans or other villains available for the Flash to have to deal with. There’s still the two rogues that are already out there, Gorilla Grodd and the military looking over STAR’s shoulder. As Joe pointed out, they find themselves in a position where Barry is the only thing that can protect the city from what’s going on. It is a little disturbing that a police officer has the attitude of “we can’t handle this”, it is very much true right now. So maybe Barry wants to think about finding his own sidekick sometime soon. Of course, all of that will have to wait because the next week will be dedicated to the big Flash / Arrow crossover.