Zoom has started an all out siege of Central City.
At the end of the last episode, Zoom was shown rallying a small army of metahumans and telling Caitlin to choose a side. As a short time has passed, Caitlin has been allowed to safely return to STAR labs and the metahumans have started an assault on the city. Even though she’s safe, Caitlin is suffering from PTSD after her ordeal and keeps imagining Zoom. Wally is also dealing with events in his own way. Wanting to prove that his life was worth saving, Wally’s taken to the streets to fight crime on his own. Joe is obviously upset about this and asks Barry to talk to Wally about it. Barry does go to see him, but ends up believing that Wally is destined to be a hero and that it’s not his place to stop him. Unfortunately, neither Wally nor Jesse seem to have gotten powers when the dark matter hit them. Jesse’s actually had Caitlin testing her to make sure. When Wells finds out about it, he tells her that her intellect is what she can use to fight with, not powers.
With his powers back, the Flash is able to take the metahumans down in big groups, but they have no idea how big the army actually is. Despite being in the middle of what people are calling the “Metapocalypse”, Barry has an unrelentingly cheerful disposition. One of the recurring themes of the episode becomes different characters taking Barry aside and basically telling him to stop acting like he’s invincible and that there’s nothing to be scared of. However, the new Zen Barry believes that this is just confidence he’s gained because of his recent experiences in the Speed Force. That newfound confidence allows Barry to race off to a confrontation with Zoom after the latter burns a flash symbol in the CCPD building. Zoom wants to show Barry that they aren’t that different. They both suffered from losing their parents at an early age, but Barry wants to play the hero and not give into his anger. In order to illustrate his point, Zoom has one of his last remaining lieutenants randomly start knocking down buildings around town.
Zoom knows that Barry will race off to save the people in those buildings instead of confronting him. The meta bringing down the buildings goes by the name, Black Siren. She’s the doppelganger of Laurel Lance, the Black Canary. At the beginning of the episode, she attacks Mercury Labs but Barry is able to save Dr. McGee from the falling building. After Zoom makes his intentions clear, Barry mobilizes the team into trying to find a way to take out all of the metas at once. While they’re working on that, Black Siren appears. Barry is shocked when he sees Laurel’s face and is beaten by Black Siren and her sonic powers pretty easily. As she’s standing over him, she tells him that she’s surprised that Zoom is actually afraid of the Flash. Fortunately, Wally followed him and hits Siren with a car, allowing the Flash to get away.
While Barry’s been doing this, Cisco and Wells have come up with a solution to the meta problem. Basically, they can send out a frequency pulse that Barry can ricochet back across the city by running around it’s perimeter. The pulse will disable anyone from Earth-2. Just as they’re about to prepare to unleash the wave, Black Siren shows up on the meta app. Wanting Barry to be able to focus on bouncing the pulse, Cisco comes up with a terrible idea. He and Caitlin pose as Reverb and Killer Frost and try to stall Siren. Their rouse comes undone pretty quickly, but an unexpected reverb blast from Cisco buys them just enough time to allow Barry to bounce the pulse across the city, taking down all the metahumans. The wave even takes down Wells, who gives Jesse the headphones he built to keep them safe after hers malfunction. The one exception is Zoom who seems to punch a breach open and escape.
With all the metas either in the hands of the CCPD or in the Pipeline and Zoom in the wind, things are looking all kinds of up for Barry and Team Flash. There’s a dinner party at the West’s where finally relaxing and Barry and Iris finally agree to give their relationship a go. During the entire episode, Cisco has been vibing visions of birds. He doesn’t understand the Hitchcockian visions and ignores it for most of the episode. Of course, during the dinner party, he realizes that the visions are of Earth-2 splitting in half. At that same moment, Zoom appears and abducts Henry Allen, forcing Barry to run off after him (revealing his secret identity to Wally in the process). Reiterating his assertion that he and Barry are the same, he’s decided to let Barry experience the death of another of his parents. With Barry looking on, he vibrates his hand through Henry’s body, presumably, killing him.
- Thank you Mr. Allen – Tina McGee
Another fun opening sequence. This time it was Tina McGee providing the dry humor as she pointed out how easy it was to observe that Barry is the Flash.
- We didn’t just know her, we loved her. – Caitlin
I thought the episode did a really good job of, essentially, eulogizing the Black Canary through her doppelganger. It did kind of strike me that the show had never acknowledged her death despite Barry being at the funeral.
- Cisco and Caitlin play bad guy
I loved how Cisco was just reciting lines that Reverb said to him. Too bad Reverb didn’t live longer or Cisco might’ve had enough dialogue to actually make his plan work.
I didn’t realize just how much really went on this episode until I started doing the write-up. They really did cram in a lot of stuff to set up the season finale, which looks like it’s just going to be a race (which is what most things come down to with the Flash). I have to say that I’m almost surprised at how much I like where all the characters are right now, even if I didn’t love the way that all of them go there. Barry’s upswing in confidence makes him feel a bit more like the happy-go-lucky Flash from the comics. Iris and Barry are finally on the same page romantically, although seeing his dad die might put a damper on that. Wally and Jesse are starting to come into their own and still hold the potential to get super powers (although, I’m not sure what was up with them making googly eyes at each other over dinner). Cisco’s powers are starting to develop and play an considerable role. Wells has finally come out of his unnecessary, “I’m gonna be a dick about everything” persona. Even Caitlin has become interesting, which I feared would never happen because she seemed doomed to just be stuck in some kind of tragic romance loop.
Now all that’s left is for the finale to show us the face of Barry’s father as the true Jay Garrick in the mask on Earth-2 and Zoom and the Flash can have their final showdown. I have no idea what the apocalyptic vision that Cisco saw was about, or why it would only become an issue so late in the season. Hopefully that will be resolved during the finale and not left as a cliffhanger (I don’t know how many more cliffhangers I can take on TV this season).