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PopWrapped | Recaps

The Flash: 02x23, Race Of His Life

Shae Frierson | PopWrapped Author

Shae Frierson

Updated 05/30/2016 9:29am
The Flash: 02x23, Race Of His Life | Race
Media Courtesy of CW

It’s the final countdown, Speedsters, and though I’m sure this moment is as bittersweet for you as it is for me, I can’t wait to find out what the hell happens! I’d give you the usual “Previously on The Flash” tidbit, but I think we all remember the horrible events of last week (you know, with the killing of Henry Allen and both Earth’s being in peril and all that jazz). So why don’t we just jump on in, yeah?

We pick up, sadly, exactly where we left off, with Henry dying on the floor after Zoom put his hand through his heart. Naturally, Barry—along with the rest of us—is pissed, which Zoom seems to find delightful. Zoom tells Barry to use his anger and the two race off into the night. Barry finally catches Zoom but discovers that it’s another time remnant, which the real Zoom promptly kills. He tells Barry that there could be two of him too, he just has to be willing to kill himself. Zoom tells Barry that he’s almost ready.

Later, Team Flash attends Henry’s funeral, where Joe gives a heartfelt eulogy. Back at the West house, Wally thanks Barry for everything that he’s done for him and the city as the Flash. He tells him that if he ever needs anything, to just say the word. Barry tells the team that they still need a plan to stop Zoom and about Zoom telling him that he’s almost ready. Cisco says that there are still a lot of unknown variables, including the fact that he keeps vibing Earth-2’s destruction.

Barry escapes outside and Iris follows. He tells her that he was just coming to terms with his mother’s death when Zoom killed his father, and he’s not sure how he’ll ever find peace. Iris tells him that he has to find a way or it’s going to tear him apart. Zoom shows up and challenges Barry to a race to end all races. The stakes are high—if Barry wins, Zoom will stop his destruction. But if Zoom wins, he’ll kill everyone Barry loves. Seems like a pretty major decision.

Back at S.T.A.R. labs, Barry tells the team about Zoom’s proposal. Joe is skeptical, and for good reason. Harry discovers that the device Zoom had Mercury Labs build is called the magnetar, and using the combined energy from Barry and Zoom’s speed, it could destroy every other planet in the multiverse. Barry tells the team that he doesn’t have a choice.

Joe tells Barry that he shouldn’t race Zoom but Barry is resistant. He tells Joe that he can’t let Zoom kill another person he loves. Joe tells Barry that he’s too angry and if he goes up against Zoom like this, he’ll lose. Barry tells him that he has to do whatever it takes. Joe apologizes and Harry shows up and tranquilizes Barry.

Down in the pipeline, the team tells Barry that they all agreed to stop Zoom without him in order to keep Barry from letting his anger get the better of him. Barry begs Iris and Cisco to let him out, but they refuse. Joe asks Iris if they made the right call and she tells him that they did.

In the cortex, the team goes over their plan to stop Zoom. Cisco tracks Zoom to an industrial park. Harry tells Caitlin that the team would understand if she didn’t want to go through with the plan—where Caitlin distracts Zoom, Cisco opens the breach, Harry and Joe hit him with the boot, and bada-bing bye-bye Zoom. Oh, and most importantly, “Destroy the Magnetar, Save the Multiverse.” The all agree to stick with the plan no matter what, before loading up.

Jesse tells Harry that she plans to go home after they stop Zoom. However, she says that if being on Earth-1 and working with Team Flash makes him happy, then he should stay behind.

At the industrial park, the team prepares to enact their plan. Caitlin approaches Zoom and manages to sweet-talk him into walking within shooting range. He tells her that she’s too late and tries to hurt her and it’s revealed that Caitlin was only a hologram. Cisco opens the breach, Harry hits Zoom with the boot, and Joe tries to tranquilize him but the gun jams. Unfortunately, when Joe goes to stun him by hand, he’s dragged into the breach along with Zoom.

Back at S.T.A.R. labs, Cisco tries to vibe Zoom but can’t get through. To add insult to injury, Harry tells them that he and Jesse couldn’t shut down the magnetar. Wally comes in and Iris tells him about what happened to Joe. Wally is angry that they fought Zoom without Barry and even angrier that they don’t plan to save Joe, having all agreed to stick with the plan and to never reopen the breaches.

Meanwhile, Zoom is keeping Joe captive. Joe tells him that Barry won’t race him but Zoom is convinced that he will. He tells Joe his origin story and finally reveals who the man in the iron mask is—none other than the real Jay Garrick! Jay also says that in the process of bringing the other Jay to his Earth and manipulating the timeline, he gained the attention of the dementors… er, I mean, the Time Wraiths.

Back at the lab, Wally frees Barry from the pipeline and Barry’s not exactly pleased with the rest of the group. The team tells Barry that he needs to get control of his anger before he can face Zoom, that if he just wants revenge, he’ll inevitably lose. Barry tells them that he has to face Zoom—with or without their help.

Cisco projects Barry onto Earth-2 and Barry agrees to race Zoom as long as he returns Joe. Later, the crew meets up with Zoom, where they reveal that they know his plan. He corrects them on one point—while he plans to destroy the other Earth’s, Earth-1 will be saved. The team tells Barry that they believe in him and Iris speaks for us all when she tells him to kick Zoom’s ass.

Zoom tells Barry that in order to stop his plan, he’ll have to beat him before their energy activates the magnetar. The race begins and it looks pretty evenly matched, and the magnetar activates. Barry, however, has a plan in place and creates a time remnant. While one Flash races to free Joe, the other compromises the stability of the magnetar, sacrificing himself to save the rest of the team. Meanwhile, the other Flash does indeed kick Zoom’s ass, stopping just long enough for the Time Wraiths to show up and finish him off.

At the lab, Barry explains (mostly to Wally) what happened with the time remnant. Cisco and Harry finally unmask the real Jay Garrick to reveal Henry Allen’s doppleganger (see, I told you that “mother’s maiden name” thing would be important down the road). Naturally, Barry is emotional at seeing his dad’s face so soon after his death. Jay tells the team that he was The Flash on Earth-3 before Zoom stole his identity.

Cisco tells Jay that he can get him back to Earth-2 and Harry says that he and Jesse will help him get home from there (Bye, Harry!). The team says their goodbyes and the Earth-2 teammates head home. Back at the West house, Barry talks to Iris about missing his dad and feeling broken, despite the fact that they just won. Iris tells him that she hopes that them being together will make him feel like he won, but he tells her that he’s not in a place where he can be with her. She tells him that she’ll wait for him, just like he did for her, no matter how long it takes. They exchange I-love-yous and finally (for the love of god!) kiss.

Iris goes inside and Barry apologizes for what he’s about to do. He races back in time to the night of his mom’s death, where he stops the Reverse Flash from killing his mother. He shares a smile with his Season One time remnant before that version of him fades away. Barry tells his mother that she’s safe no and we’re left to ponder the seriously significant consequences of that move until the fall.

Bartholomew Henry Allen, what the hell did you just do? Are you freaking kidding me? Okay, for starters, let me say that I’m glad they finally stopped Zoom and that Barry didn’t have to kill anyone. That’s all hunky-dory. And, you know what, I won’t even mention the fact that the writers, yet again, dangled West-Allen in our faces, only to snatch it away (albeit appropriately) at the last second. But, what the actual hell, Barry? You’d think, after everything you’ve learned about the sensitivity of the damn timeline, you wouldn’t pull a stunt like this! At this point, I have absolutely no idea what to expect from next season. Which, I guess, from a writer’s standpoint, is a good thing… but still. Not cool.

As per usual, we’re wrapping things up with a rant from me and death glare for the writers. Until next season, Speedsters. And as always, drop your theories about the next season in the comments!

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