Welcome back, Speedsters, to another fun-filled episode of The Flash! After a two week hiatus, I'm sure you're all just as eager as I am to find out what's next for the Scarlet Speedster as he prepares for his inevitable final battle with Zoom. And from the look's of this week's promo, we're in for some interesting surprises.
We open with a flashback from Barry's childhood as he discusses how traumatic events in someone's past can effect the person they become. Thanks to the West family, Barry's tragedy didn't stop him from becoming a great man.
Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for everyone. From there, we move to Earth 2 where we meet a little boy named Hunter. The boy wakes up to the sound of his parents arguing and goes downstairs to find his father beating his mother. His dad gives him his war helmet before murdering his mother in front of him. After Hunter's father is arrested, the clearly traumatized boy is left alone in a dreary orphanage.
Back on our Earth, Barry is testing the tachyon enhancer and it seems to be working. With the help of the enhancer, Barry is able to run four times faster than usual, making him even faster than Zoom. Once he's back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry asks Harry to make the enhancer smaller and he agrees. Unfortunately that's where his help ends, as he refuses to help them reopen the breaches in order to stop Zoom. Harry tells Barry, Caitlin, and Cisco that if they let Zoom back into their Earth, he'll use their loved ones against them, just like he did with Jesse. Barry vows to get back to Earth-2, with or without Harry's help.
Meanwhile, Iris has a date with her editor. Barry tells her that he's glad that she's finding a way to move on and she thanks him for supporting her. After their talk, Iris seems a bit apprehensive. Maybe she's thinking like the rest of us and wondering why she's dating some random editor instead of the freaking Flash! Then again, maybe not...
At the West house, Barry tells Joe that Harry doesn't want him reopening the breaches and Joe agrees with Harry. Barry tells Joe that he's fast enough to stop Zoom but Joe doesn't understand why he'd want to go down that road again. Wally comes over to do laundry and tells Joe that he's no longer living on campus because it's too expensive. Joe offers to help him pay for it but Wally refuses. Once he's gone, Joe muses as to whether Wally's doppleganger is as confusing as he is.
This gives Barry and idea and he heads to S.T.A.R. Labs, where he finds Caitlin and Cisco trying to solve the breach problem. Barry tells him that he has an idea and they go to Harry, asking him questions about Cisco's doppleganger, Reverb. Barry believes that Reverb had the ability to manipulate multi-dimensional energy, meaning he can open a breach. Of course, this means that Cisco can do it too. Barry tells Cisco that the way back to Earth 2 is through him.
They go to the Speed Cannon to test the theory. Unfortunately, Cisco doesn't have much success. Cisco says that maybe he's not the right man for the job and leaves. Barry, however, is still convinced that this plan will work.
Harry goes to visit Joe to ask him about Jess and ask him to convince Barry not to reopen the breaches. Joe tells him that Barry's not going give up as long as Zoom is terrorizing Earth 2. He asks Harry to help Barry because he has a better chance of defeating Zoom if Harry helps.
Meanwhile, Barry asks Cisco to try again at another breach but, again, he fails. Harry arrives and tells Barry that he'll help. He gives Cisco a set of glasses, just like Reverb's, that will help him harness the multi-dimensional energy and open the breach. Armed with new tech, Cisco is easily able to reopen the breach and we see Jay on the other side, encouraging him to continue so that Zoom can return to Earth 1 and kill The Flash. Before the breach is completely open, Cisco freaks out and tells Barry not to ask him to try again.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Joe and Iris show up to help. Joe asks Barry for advice with Wally and Barry tells him that he should offer him a place in the West house, rather than money. As Caitlin and Iris watch them bond, Iris reveals that she never actually went on her date with her editor. Caitlin asks her if it's because of Barry and Iris says that everything seems to be pointing to them being meant to be (I was right! Woo!).
At the West house, Joe shows Wally the room that he set up for him and asks him if he want stay. Wally agrees and actually calls Joe "Dad" for the first time! These aren't tears! I have allergies!
Later, Barry talks to Cisco about why he freaked out. Cisco tells him that he's afraid that if he uses his powers too much, he'll become just like Reverb. Barry tells him that his S.T.A.R. Labs family will be there for him, keeping him grounded. Afterwards, Cisco agrees to try again.
Harry finally finishes Barry's updated tachyeon enhancer- this one is small enough to fit behind the emblem- and the team prepares to reopen the breach for real this time. Caitlin tells Barry that she's not ready to face Jay, letting slip in the process that his real name is Hunter Zolomon. This man, according to Harry, is not only the little boy from the earlier flashback, but also a psychotic convicted serial killer on Earth 2. Zoloman was locked in a mental institution and given daily electroshock; this, combined with the particle accelerator, turned him into Zoom. Now that they know about his past, Barry realizes that they can use this knowledge against him.
Team Flash hides out in a Zoom-proof room as Barry and Cisco prepare to reopen the breach. Immediately after it's open, Zoom comes through, vowing, as always, to take Barry's speed. But Barry has a plan and leads him to S.T.A.R. Labs, boosted speedwise by the tachyon enhancer, where the team has set a trap for Zoom. Barry uses cutouts of Jay/Zolomon's parents to distract him long enough to capture him.
Once unmasked, Jay asks how Barry found out about his past and his identity as Zoom. Barry tells him that he slipped up when he told Caitlin his doppleganger's name. He says that they would have helped cure him but Jay says that their solution was only temporary, and that he needed a permanent solution, no matter the costs. Jay compliments Barry on using his family against him, and tells him that family is a weakness. He then breaks free and Barry is unable to catch him before he escapes again.
At the West house, Joe, Iris, and Barry come home to find a mess and a message from Zoom in Wally's room: "Your Speed For Wally". On Earth 2, Wally is locked up with the man in the iron mask (Seriously, who the hell is that?). Zoom tells Wally that the only way he'll get out is if the Flash comes to save him. Back at the house, the team strategizes ways to get Wally back. Barry tells Joe that he's going to give Zoom what he wants- his speed- in order to get Wally back.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco uses Jay's helmet to contact Zoom, telling him that Barry has agreed to his demands. Zoom shows up with Wally and the team prepares to make the trade. Harry readies the device that he used to steal Barry's speed before, while Jay tells the team all about his plan. Apparently the Jay they knew was a time remnant that Jay manipulated to help him. Barry asks who the man in the iron mask is but Jay says that he wouldn't believe him if he told him. Caitlin calls him a monster.
Finally, Barry transfers his speed into Harry's device, making him human again. Once it's done, Jay injects himself with Barry's speed, looking even more demonic and terrifying than before. As Jay prepares to kill Barry, once and for all, Caitlin pleads his case and Jay let's Barry go. Unfortunately, he grabs Caitlin instead and we're left to wonder how the team will get her back now that Barry has lost his speed.
Okay, I can't be the only person here who's slightly infuriated by what just took place! Although Cisco learning a new skill was pretty damn cool, I'm a little irked that they just so willingly gave Zoom Barry's speed. I know that if they'd gone back on the deal, Zoom probably would have just taken another member of Barry's family. But, seriously, guys, that whole transfer went down way too easily! Now, I'm wondering how long it'll take Wally to find out that Barry is the flash. Also, how long it'll take the team to get Caitlin back. And, most importantly, who the hell is in the iron mask? So. Many. Questions!
But what did you think? What are you theories about Zoom's plans? How do you think Barry will fare without his speed? Who do you think is behind that mask? Tell us in the comments!