140 days – yes I counted – have passed since Barry sacrificed himself to the speedforce. As a result, he is unavailable to narrate the signature introductory sequence. Instead, Iris assumes the task saying that she has been running as fast as she can at Barry’s request. The lead scene pushes the idea she zooms around town, but its a first-person view of Wally blazing through the city trying to find Peek-A-Boo.
Team Kid Flash
Running the helm at Star Labs, Iris can’t relay Peek-A-Boo’s location fast enough, so she sneaks a sucker punch on Wally and teleports away. Iris calculates her next location and tells Cisco. He breaches to the destination and stuns Peek-A-Boo while Wally tackles her through a portal. After impact, Peek-A-Boo arises first dual wielding pistols. Joe sneaks in and detains her for a Team [Kid] Flash victory. They manage an arrest, but have been failing roughly 33% of the time under Iris’ tight-fisted leadership in Barry’s absence.
Iris returns to “their” flat and glances towards a face down picture – assumed to be her and Barry. A shock-wave rumbles the apartment, so Iris dispatches Cisco and Wally to prepare for battle. There’s no telling how Iris reaches Star Labs so quickly, but she is back at Star Labs calling the shots. Meanwhile, a flying samurai demands the real Flash’s return or promises to destroy the city 24 hours later.
As the realization of the Flash’s 6 month absence becomes clear, panic permeates Central City. Team Kid Flash feels over-matched, so Cisco postulates a way to bring Barry back by stabilizing the speed force. Iris, seemingly fixated that Barry wont return, strikes down the idea. Against Iris’ wishes, Cisco heads to a bar where he cleverly asks Caitlin, a bartender, to prepare a drink that’s “sweet, but deceptively strong with lots of ice.” At first impression she appears to have found a way to suppress Killer Frost, so Cisco recruits “Caitlin’s” help.
Hang Tight You’re Coming Home
Iris strolls into Star Labs finding it devoid of any team members. Meanwhile, the Team [plus Caitlin] prepares to use a modified Speed Force Bazooka and Quarksphere built with Barry’s unique genetic markers to track his specific DNA within the speedforce. Once they find Barry’s location, the Quarksphere will trick the speedforcce into believing he is still there. Sounds simple enough, right? Apparently not, because the experiment failed just as Iris reaches the scene. At least that’s what team Flash believes.
As expected, Iris blows her fuse because the team operated behind her back. Cisco demands an explanation of why it seems Iris doesn’t want Barry back. Before she can retort, Cecile calls and informs Joe that CCPD had picked Barry up on the outskirts of the city. Hope that the beloved Scarlet Speedster is ready for action skyrockets, but instead the team is introduced to a deranged, rambling lunatic.
Caitlin delivers two theories as to what caused Barry’s current state: he has reassigned his own meanings to words, or his prolonged exposure to the speedforce induced dementia. The team awakens Barry from his temporary slumber to determine which theory is true. Barry continues to draw strange symbols, so Iris asks for a private moment with Barry where she begs [her] Barry to return. Her request sends him into a hyperactive state where he dashes in a crazed frenzy around Star Labs. Suddenly, a frost wave renders him immobile as Team Flash fears the worst, but instead of Killer Frost its Caitlin with a snow cannon. Unfortunately when it rains it pours, not only is Barry far from heroism, but the Samurai has returned.
Give Him What he Asked For
A phasing Barry zips to meet the Samurai, so its safe to assume team Flash has employed some trickery. Instantly, a battle ensues and and the situation looks favorable until the Samurai determines this isn’t the [real] Flash and pierces Wally’s leg with a sword. He leaves saying that if he doesn’t have The Flash by nightfall the city will meet its ruin.
Back at Star labs Cisco’s works unceasingly to crack Barry’s code. Caitlin makes a comment about Barry’s language being Greek to her which motivates Cisco to try a different approach. Kids cover your eyes because an algorithm deciphers his message as – drum-roll please – “This House is Bitchin.”
Faith and Belief
Despondently, Cisco stares at an covered version of Barry’s new suit and confesses to Caitlin that he didn’t necessarily bring Barry back to save the city, but more so because he misses his friend. Meanwhile, Joe heads down to containment cell to shave Barry’s newly grown beard and is left with the clue “she goes looking for danger.” It appears Barry has made no progress, but Joe has a conversation with Iris and reminds her that strength means nothing without faith. Joe leaves, so Iris approaches Barry’s cell and sternly tells him “come get me!”
A new day arrives, so the Samurai mounts up to take down the city. Joe and CCPD are prepared to do their best in battle, but Iris walks in and tells the Samurai to take her because she believes Barry will come looking for her. The Samurai does just that and launches the two of them into the sky.
Joe frantically runs to Star Labs to tell Team Flash of Iris’ decision and tries to enlists Barry’s help. He continues drawing random symbols on the wall, so Joe yells that if Barry doesn’t help, Iris is gonna die! Such passion motivates Barry to channel his abilities, blast our the containment cell, grab his new suit, and speed towards Iris. A speedy pursuit ensues [illustrating the best special effects on TV] and Barry manages to free Iris from the Samurai’s clutches before a wind turbine strikes the Samurai and knocks him down. While down, Barry unmasks the Samurai which surprisingly reveals a robotic presence that welcomes the Flash home – that’s a head scratcher for ya.
We Back Baby
The Flash returns to Star Labs where all tests determine that he’s in perfect health. Barry says he feels like he has been reborn. Barry is back! Even Caitlin agrees to a returning role on Team Flash, before visiting the bar to inform her boss that she quits. Bossman doesn’t like this very much and gets physically aggressive, so Caitlin unleashes Killer Frost to reverse the situation and deal bossman a dose of icy retribution. Killer Frost departs looking ready to wreak havoc, but Caitlin manages to overcome this brief episode.
Iris and Barry head back to their flat, which causes an emotional outburst from Iris after realizing that Barry has actually returned. He tells her he finally has a clean slate and is excited about their future together. The moment is short lived because a siren wails, so Barry departs to thwart crime.
The Flash never lets us believes that all is well that ends well, so let’s get to the negativity. Samuroid – a term coined by Cisco – has returned to his creators’ lair. They seem happy The Flash is back in Central City but have some “thinking” to do concerning their next move.
While our arch villain of the season thinks, there are some other things that to wonder about. What happened to Barry in the speedforce? How will Barry readjust to being The Flash? Does his new suit have any modifications? How will his relationship with Iris progress? As usual, there are many questions that need answers. Be sure to watch Atlanta’s CW next Tuesday at 8p.m. to see how the plot unfolds.