Run, Iris, Run
Barry meets Joe at Jitters to discuss his future with CCPD. It appears Barry’s suspension will last for awhile because the mayor wants to meet with the DeVoes, which [again] might require Ralph’s impersonating skills. Meanwhile, a bank robbery takes place as a metahuman uses intense heat powers to melt the safe. A brave citizen confronts the metahuman and distracts him with small talk as he moves closing enough to touch the metahuman. When he does, he gets punched in the face [right hook style] but manages to drain his power and transfer it to another person. Cisco and Joe arrive to investigate the robbery. They speak with the robber who says he’s not a bus meta and has had his powers for years, yet they suddenly stopped working. Cisco scans his body with a detector that also affirms that no dark matter is present. Joe and Cisco return to Star Labs and isolate the civilian hero, Matthew Kim. Joe and Iris head out to question him – since Ralph teases that Iris only sits behind the desk and doesn’t know the dangers outside of the protection of Star Labs.
Joe and Iris find Matthew at his job and begin questioning. Matthew tries to deny knowledge of the robbery and becomes paranoid they came to try and steal his powers. In a bit of a panic, Matthew snatches Iris and puts a blade to her neck, so Joe dispatches Barry with a distress signal. The Flash arrives and rushes Matthew to free Iris. Upon making contact, Matthew drains Barry’s power and transfers it to Iris. After returning to Star Labs, Iris gives her newly acquired speed a trial run and tests confirm she’s now a speedster. The crew switches gears and begins discussing how this new bus meta (who they nickname Melting Point) might fit into DeVoe’s plan. In theory, they are going to attempt to enlist his help and use his ability to drain DeVoe
Cisco and Harry pull an all-nighter postulating what they should do about the remaining bus metas. Cisco leaves for bed while Harry continues to diligently work. The following morning, team Flash arrives and is informed of Harry’s knowledge of an intelligence booster gathered from security footage of seeing exactly how DeVoe became hyper-intelligent. In theory, he wants to form a thinking cap of his own by harnessing dark energy to out think The Thinker. Cisco feels it’s risky and strikes down the idea, although the rest of the team wants to explore the option. Ralph exits the cortex [frustrated] because he knows this thinking cap could save him, so Harry says he plans on executing the idea even if Cisco won’t help.
Harry made quick headway on creating a thinking cap. Upon placing it on his head, it’s apparent that the cap works as he flaunts his increased intelligence on Ralph. Ultimately, the cap catches fire and will need reconstruction, so Harry approaches Cisco for help. Cisco remains adamant about not helping – after being mocked and flustered by Harry. Caitlin steps forth and tells Cisco that Harry’s thinking cap isn’t a bad avenue to explore since they are running out of ideas.
Iris continues to test her speedster ability on a treadmill. Barry tries to coach her on how to slow down, but she comes to a complete stop and is flung into a wall. An alarm sounds from the Cortex because of a skyscraper fire. Iris begins delegating duties, then [also] steps up to fulfill the role of Flash. She zooms to the building – with purple fluorescent lightning trailing her – and quickly rescues 5 individuals near the top floor. This sequence provides stunning visuals and more detail in the process of being a hero, as we see her purple streak actually run up the staircase with first-person visuals. After rescuing the citizens, Iris runs back to the level of the fire and tries to stifle the flames with whirlwind arms. The fire worsens, causing structural damage, and a chunk of the ceiling falls and pins her legs. The situation starts looking more tragic as another piece of the ceiling plunges towards Iris, so Cisco quickly acts and breaches Iris out of the building.
The team convenes for a status update. Caitlin doesn’t believe that she can reverse the speed transfer, so the team HAS to find Matthew to invert the process. Ralph leaves in melodramatic fear, and Harry leaves in [continued] frustration because he feels his thinking cap could’ve helped. Cisco approaches Harry detailing two conditions of him helping with the thinking cap. Iris heads back to training because she finds peace while running. She tells Barry that she needs to prove to herself that she still possesses the fearlessness she had as a field reporter. Her next opportunity quickly arrives as an alert blares from the intercom. Team Flash briefly meets in the cortex as Iris prepares to play hero. Cisco presents her with a new suit that she quickly snatches and heads to distressed location.
Run, Iris, Run
Matthew approaches Fire Hands – for lack of a better nickname – and tells him his power transfer was a mistake. Matthew is almost blasted into oblivion, but Iris saves him and places power dampening cuffs on his wrists. Iris then prepares to deal with Fire Hands, who then elevates his power to a blazing cyclone. Iris needs to know how to quell the metahuman, so Harry puts on his thinking cap and reaches the solution of creating a tidal wave. Barry relays these details along with a quick pep talk that finishes with “now run, Iris, run!” Moments later, Iris dashes to the nearby ocean and zigzags back to the fire cyclone while pulling a massive tidal wave behind her – this possibly might have been the best special effect sequence of this season! Ultimately, she pulls enough water to douse the metahuman.
Matthew instantly apologizes for the harm he caused and explains he thought he was helping clean the city. He then proceeds to transfer speedster capability (with permission from both parties) back to Barry and vows to never use his powers again. Team Flash uses this as the opportunity to recruit Matthew’s efforts against DeVoe; Matthew obliges. Iris approaches Ralph to ask him to use their buddy system and look after Matthew. She also seizes the opportunity to clear the tension that has been brewing between them and they put their differences aside.
Barry knows Iris didn’t have to give up her speed and asks why she did it. She tells him that [being] the Flash is his destiny and she wants to return to her own destiny of writing. Meanwhile, Cisco and Harry give the thinking a cap another run after stimulating Harry’s proton flow. The cap works and gives Harry the intelligence to determine the identities of the last two bus metas.
From where we stand Team Flash is starting to accumulate multiple avenues for possibly defeating DeVoe: Cecile’s ability to read minds, Harry’s thinking cap and Cerebral Inhibitor, as well as Matthew’s ability to drain and transfer power. There’s no telling how each of these dynamics might come into play, so be sure to follow the latest plot developments after a brief, seasonal intermission on Atlanta’s CW!