Central City can sure save a bundle on their emergency services budget by just letting The Flash handle all the rescues from now on. Firefighters and police arrive just in time to clean up the aftermath of a one-vehicle wreck, the passengers of which were pulled to safety in the nick of time thanks to the Scarlet Speedster. In fact, it’s the fastest Barry’s ever ran, owing to his rigorous training as of late.
After Barry peaces out for movie night with Joe, Cisco lets Caitlin in on the secret about Ronnie that Hartley Rathaway confessed to him in the previous episode. Caitlin doesn’t want to hear it, and not just because the Pied Piper is a manipulative creep, but because she wants to move on from Ronnie.
Cut to a fun sequence introducing Lashawn “Shawna” Baez, aka Peek-a-Boo (Britne Oldford), as she breaks her boyfriend Clay Parker (Micah Parker) out of prison … through teleportation. Barry’s on the case, but more interesting than the organic particulates he discovers is the chance to see his father without a thick plate of bullet-proof glass between; in a nice touch, it seems that Joe actually arranged this brief meet for Barry. (*Tear)
Back at their swanky hideout, Baez and Parker reunite and make plans for their future. She wants to leave, but Parker wants to use her powers to get enough money to pay off his debts to one Marcus Stockheimer (Jerry Trimble).
After figuring out that it wasn’t Parker, but Baez, who is their newest metahuman on the radar, Cisco pays another visit to the Pied Piper in an effort to get more intel out of him. Rathaway continues to manipulate him by playing on Cisco’s sympathies. It works. Cisco lets Rathaway out – on a short leash. Rathway shows Cisco a bomb shadow, a projection of a body cast during the particle accelerator’s explosion. Rathaway tells him that it belonged to Martin Stein … then, as expected, tries to make a break for it. Cisco finally gets a chance to show some athletic fighting ability, but it’s his reliance on his intellect and gadgetry that keeps Rathaway tethered.
Outside of his heroic activities, Barry meets up with Iris for some coffee, during which she bends his ear about her new editor forcing her to write stories about The Flash. Still crushing hard for her, he plans to figure out a way for Iris to get her headlines. Soon, Barry teams up with Joe to talk to Henry about Parker’s moneyman, Marcus. Henry is playing a dangerous game acting as an informant from within the prison system, so of course Barry is worried about him. Though not too worried to set up a fun night out with stick-in-the-mud Caitlin, however. Their flirtatiousness is interrupted by an armed robbery by Parker and Baez. Not only are her teleportation powers nearly a match for Barry’s speed, but the fact that she’s working with a partner almost spells the end for the speedster. Barry just barely picks a speeding bullet out of the air before it can burrow into his spinal cord; good effects at work here.
While Barry attempts to help Iris out with her work, he arrives too late and finds that Eddie has beaten him to the punch. So, what’s a boy to do? Oh, just go to a karaoke bar with Caitlin on the pretext of looking for Baez and Parker at their old haunts. Barry is making a big mistake by griping about Iris instead of focusing on the perfect woman who’s right in front of him; I may be biased… Then again, a drunk Caitlin’s decision to get Barry singing karaoke ends up causing a meet-cute between Barry and Linda Park (Malese Jow).
Barry and Caitlin are out on the town, but Cisco and Rathaway are busy poring over some security footage. Long story short, Rathaway reveals that Ronnie Raymond and Dr. Martin Stein have fused together thanks to an explosive dark matter wave. (Man, they really went straight for the throat on that superhero origin story, huh?) While Cisco is busy being flabbergasted, Rathaway takes the opportunity to knock his captor out with a sonic device.
On the shady side of town, Parker and Baez attempt to pay Marcus, but he tries to take their money and put Parker down. Baez’s powers put a stop to that, and the intervention of the police puts a stop to any partnership among the criminals. A shot takes Parker down, but Baez teleports them out of further harm’s way before the cops can catch them.
(Sidenote: Barry and Caitlin are my favorite, and I hope you feel the same.) Cisco brings down the good mood by copping to Rathaway’s escape at his hands. He also reveals to the team that he was the one who sealed Ronnie inside the exploding particle accelerator, at Ronnie’s request. Caitlin stands by Cisco’s decision, saying that Ronnie would have done the same thing. Now that that’s out of the way, the team returns to the task at hand: catching a teleporter. Or they’ll get to that after Barry visits his dead, who’s just been stabbed… Henry’s not looking too bad, actually, especially since his intel helped Joe to bring down Marcus Stockheimer. Barry’s not happy with either of his dads at the moment, but Henry tries to show him that he was just trying to be helpful, to repay him.
Acting on Henry’s intel, Barry breaks one of Stockheimer’s thugs out of prison. The rough-looking character by the name of Julius tells The Flash everything he knows about the next heist. Barry leaves Julius outside the prison gates as the guards show up to put him back in his proper place (after a likely spell in solitary). Barry uses this new info to head Parker and Baez off during their theft. Baez now takes to the offensive, using a baton to beat Barry as they zip back and forth across a street tunnel. Parker makes a run for it, but Barry turns out the lights in the tunnel, negating Baez’s powers. Cisco rigs Baez’s prison cell to keep her from ever teleporting out, trying to make amends for busting Rathaway out.
Barry, who tells Caitlin that he’s done pining over Iris, then leaves Caitlin behind to drop off some info about the Iron Heights prison to the intrepid reporter (disguised as The Flash of course, though that secret identity may be threatened thanks to Iris’ quick camera work). He then stops by the office as Barry to pick up Linda Park (who’s actually Linda West in this version, which is interesting) for a date. Must have been a quick date, because Barry soon pays a visit to his father in jail. Henry puts two and two together that Barry is The Flash, even if Barry isn’t copping to it just yet. He’s simultaneously proud of him, and concerned for his well-being. #DadMoments
And now for the stinger:
Utility workers head underground to investigate a problem in the sewer system. A strange growling sound alerts them to the words “Grodd” chalked/scratched onto the walls. We get our first peek at the great gorilla as he attacks the men, dragging them into the shadows.
Rating: ★★★★ Very good — Damn fine television
(An explanation of our ratings system follows here.)
Cisco: “I’d be comfortable calling it ‘our suit.'”
Henry Allen: “Word around here is Parker pulled a Shawshank.”
Rathaway: “Didn’t know you enjoyed yourself a bit of rough trade.”
Cisco: “How can you speak six languages and still sound like a dick in every one of them?”
Barry: “My social life consists of running at super-speed and Netflix.”
Barry: “Guess I’m a lot faster than a speeding bullet!” Take that, Superguy!
Finally, Caitlin gets to name a metahuman!
Catilin: “At least you’re not pining for someone who burst into flames and wants nothing to do with you.”
Man, that Barry’s a pretty good singer. Maybe he has a future in musical television series after this?
Caitlin: “Vodka and superspeed. Not a good combination.”
Caitlin: “Did you sneak a peek at my goods?” Barry: “I wouldn’t be much of a hero if I did.” Caitlin: “Yeah but it’s okay if you did. You deserve a little peek for all the good stuff you do.”