Ignorance is bliss, unless you’re ignorant of your daughter’s death, which ironically sets the stage for Wally [his son] to be the hero. Wally’s speed rapidly evolves, and Barry feels he is the force that can prevent Iris’ death. So, why not have a friendly race to see just how fast Wally is?
Rookie vs. Veteran
Wally approaches the race with the mindset that he (the underdog, no less) will win, but Barry reminds him that it’s not about who wins but about training and getting faster. Barry reminds Wally that he is still the “fastest man alive”. The crew makes wagers on the winner, with the majority favoring Barry. Out the gates it’s neck and neck, but Kid flash claims the first two checkpoints. As the race enters the home stretch, Barry claims victory by phasing his way through a building that Wally has to run up-and-over. As a result, he invites Wally for training, where his first attempt at phasing was a painful high speed failure. Barry explains that Wally has to connect with the atmosphere and become electric energy to phase.
A chef at a restaurant named Luigi’s was found in almost skeletal form merely 8 hours after his death. While seemingly inconsequential now, the restaurant’s name was one of the future headlines. Iris begins questioning whether they are powerless to change the future or not, but Barry reassures her that he is working tirelessly to force a different outcome.
Although Julian wants to follow CCPD investigation protocol with the chef’s body, Barry reminds him that his new team can shortcut the process at Star Labs, so Julian agrees to bring the body there. Julian and Caitlin prepare to run an autopsy on the corpse, but discover that it has continued decomposing almost to ashes, confirming a metahuman’s effect. Meanwhile, an excited musician celebrates a successful night entertaining a bar. Outside, an eager fan asks to shake his hand, but is actually seeking revenge. His touch begins killing the musician by blackening his veins.
Later, Barry receives briefing that the [now-deceased] musician’s name is Julio Mendez, and recalls that he was a CCPD detective in Flashpoint. Barry also recalls another cop that died in Flashpoint and figures that the two were somehow connected, so he zips Julian away to begin analyzing the corpse. Tests determine that Julian/Alchemy created this metahuman.
Joe pitches a get-together at C.C Jitters to Barry and Iris, hoping they will help embrace Cecile’s daughter. Barry tries to talk Joe out of the gathering in hopes to change the future, but fails. Joanie, Cecile’s attractive and highly intelligent daughter, kicks off the conversation by admitting that she has a crush on Kid Flash. Intrigued, Wally begins probing why she likes him and slickly lands a few compliments. The conversation progresses and [comically but awkwardly] places Joe in the precarious position to reveal a preference between The Flash and Kid Flash, but he manages to deflect a direct answer.
Caitlin and Julian call Barry to tell him that the Metahuman’s name is Clive Yorkin, who [coincidentally] walks into Jitters announcing that he is seeking Joe West -this CANNOT be good! He begins speaking menacingly and quickly exhibits his decomposing powers on one of the coffee tables. Joe draws his pistol and fires multiple rounds, which all bounce off Yorkin’s torso as if he were bulletproof. Wally reappears as Kid Flash and blows the metahuman through the Wall using turbine speed arms, saving the day for Joanie to witness.
Back at Star Labs, Barry tries to persuade Joe to stay put. Iris overreacts and confesses that Barry saw her future murder. Joe seems less concerned about the news, as he does about the fact that they didn’t tell him sooner. The crew disbands, leaving Caitlin and Julian behind to discuss his creation of Clive Yorkin.
While Iris researches Luigi’s, Yorkin arrives aiming to kill her in hopes of making Joe suffer. Iris quickly manages to sneak a mutahuman alert, but Wally isn’t quite fast enough to prevent Yorkin from making contact. Back at Star Labs, the crew quickly theorizes that the best way to stop deterioration is by freezing. Caitlin is thrust into the position where using her Killer Frost capabilities can stop the decay.
Wally leaves the Lab in disappointment, so Barry follows and says that his teaching was intended to inspire and empower Wally instead of simply coaching him. Cisco and HR discover a way to track Yorkin. They explain the Daughter Universe Theory, which says that for every decision you make, a universe (in this case, Flashpoint) exists where you don’t. So, Cisco vibes his way to Flashpoint and collects the names of the CCPD staff that apprehended Yorkin, hoping to predict his next target.
Initially, the containment process shows promise, but later spirals out of control. Caitlin responds and her efforts initiate a tug-of-war battle between herself and the Killer Frost. Before reaching the “point of no return”, Julian talks Caitlin off the ledge so she can continue healing Iris.
Joe leaves to approach Yorkin’s next target and finds the private investigator working a case at the train depot. They get on a train, but Yorkin has already began decomposing a large cement column to block the train track. The Flash and Kid Flash bolt to the location of Joe’s crisis alert. Upon arrival, they determine there isn’t enough time to get everybody off the train, so Barry runs inside the train and begins to channel energy causing the [entire] cabin to accomplish the incredulous feat of phasing through the barrier. Barry is exhausted and unavailable, so Yorkin forces another showdown with Kid Flash. Barry uses his newest feat (something he has never done before) to inspire Wally to follow suit because he will have to phase his blood through Yorkin to neutralize his powers -in theory, Wally’s blood cells move fast enough to render Yorkin’s useless. Wally successfully completes the phase, and Yorkin is taken in.
Iris recovers and hears the news of Wally’s victory. The team celebrates their great ideas and successful execution. Nevertheless, Joe leads a speech where he relays they will need to push the envelope [even] further to change Iris’ future. Caitlin approaches Julian to thank him for his coaching and says they would like to see a lot more of the good guy they know is buried inside him. Then, she invites him out for a drink.
Joanie says goodbye to Joe and adds that she will return next month. Barry secures his and Iris’ home with extra locks, which prompts Iris to reveal that although she was scared, she feels more connected to Barry because she gets to love and trust a superhero.
The episode closes with Wally alone at Star Labs retesting his ability to phase. A breach opens -oh God!- but fortunately it’s Jesse (from Earth 2), frantically announcing that Grodd has kidnapped her dad.
Is Caitlin on the verge of forming another love interest (as that didn’t work out well in the past)? Will Wally play a major role in saving Iris? Why did Grodd kidnap Wells? As usual, there are questions that need answers, but don’t expect to get answers right away as The Flash switches gears to a two-episode Gorilla City event starting Tuesday, February 21st.
-Taylor Gibson / Atlanta’s CW