Warning: Spoiler Alert
Tonight’s episode starts as it generally does. Barry in a normal social setting when something bad happens and he attempts to save someone doing something that is a step above anything he’s done previously. This one has a nice twist. Barry, Caitlin, Cisco, Iris and Thawne are all out drinking. Due to Barry’s rediculous metabolism post lightning strike, he cannot get drunk. Thawne get’s a call about an explosion and leaves. Barry responds to the same address. But much faster. There he attempts to save a man dangling from a window washer scaffold. Barry saves the man by running so fast he’s running up and then down a huge building.
Once the deed is done, he places the man down and runs out of the alley. Where cars are beginning to accumuliate. Including but not limited to Iris who is standing mere feet in front of Barry (as the Flash). Barry can gyrate his face fast enough that it appears blurry.
Later we find Barry and Joe at the crime scene. Barry can find nothing that connects the explosive to any one person. Thawne found a file room. His theory is that whatever they were looking for is in one of these filing cabinets. It’s a room filled with them. Thawne thinks it will take days to go through. Joe looks at Thawne and says, “let’s let Barry do his thing.”
Back at the precinct, there is a military presence. Joe’s boss walks out of his office and introduces him to a General. The General is Sheriff Corbin (played by Clancy Brown) from Sleepy Hollow. The Army is taking over the case. There is something very fishy about this. His word choice and body language don’t say ‘Army General’.
Cisco finds the name of the would-be bomber from the VA records database. Barry runs to find her. He asks her to come with him. She says not to touch her, he does anyway and his costume begins to erode. She tells him he must take it off. He runs to the end of the street and takes it off a heartbeat before it explodes.
Barry appears at Star Labs sans suit. He tries to bypass the elephant in the room but Cisco won’t let it go. Too consumed with why a meta human would destroy his suite. Then Joe shows up. Asks to speak to Barry in the hallway. Joe confronts Barry about Iris seeing ‘the streak’. Joe insists that Barry do more to keep Iris off the scent. So he does. He lays it on thick to Iris about letting it go. Iris responds like you might expect.
Cisco has a location on the woman. Barry arrives shortly before A) she’s about to harm a military doctor that performed surgeries on her and B) the General arrives. Barry is successful in getting her out as the smoke bombs and laser sights come their way.
At Star Labs, the bomb woman begins to fill in the pieces. Only she believes it was the General. Whereas, Dr. Wells believes the General is not smart enough to create someone like her. Caitlin begins testing her. She discovers something lodged in her arm. Its a tracker. And just like that the General and his men have gained access inside Star Labs. In typical (television) military fashion, they believe they can just take what they want. The only problem is that Barry ran her out of there already.
While they test this woman’s abilities on location, Barry gets a call from Joe. Earlier Barry tried to convince Iris to drop the blog and to quit looking for the streak. That didn’t work. She posted a new article and now has signed her name to it. This is clearly upsetting to Joe.
In costume Barry rushes over to the coffee shop. He disguises his voice and always keeps moving. But he’s there to do a direct appeal to get Iris to stop writing. She graciously resists in the early going. Playing the seeker of truth style journalist. He continues about how big this all is. Then she tells a story about Barry from her perspective and asks the streak to save her friend.
The bad news on the bomb lady is that the bomb shrapnel has fused with her body on a cellular level. Barry gives the hard sell to bring her on as part of the team. He is alone though. The threat of the General as an enemy and the lack of a practical use for her power makes her a risk from every direction.
Joe is in Barry’s lab going over testimony from Barry’s mother’s case. Barry goes and spills the beans gladly about the conversation Iris had with the streak. He even demonstrated how to disguise his voice by vibrating his vocal chords. Barry suggests the only way to keep Iris safe is to tell her the truth.
Joe: You really want to tell her, don’t you?
Barry: I tell her everything.
(Joe shows a smirk and slowly shakes his head repeatedly)
Joe: Mmmmmmmmmm. Not everything.
(Barry looks confused. After they share some non-verbal expressions, Barry starts to get it)
Barry: Is it that obvious?
Joe: Not to her.
Barry: Well…how long have you known?
Joe: I have watched you be in love with Iris since you were old enough to know what love is. And I’ve been waiting years for you to tell her. But you haven’t.
Barry: ‘Cause I was too slow. Now she’s happy and with someone else.
Joe: When the universe wants to make something happen, whether it be giving a young man lightning speed or putting two people together, it has a way of figuring those things out.
If I may be so bold, the above is critical make no mistake about it. Unless they completely turn their backs on the comic book and its fans, Barry will end up with Iris. They will get married. It is an inevitability. As much as I personally, would rather see him end up with Felicity. But that’s an angle for another time. If we accept that Barry and Iris will happen. I thought they missed an opportunity to do something fun. Clearly, Joe would be fine with Barry confessing his feeling to Iris. He all but said it. The grin on his face when he mentioned waiting for Barry to tell her, tells us all we need to know. But, it would have been kind of interesting if Barry turned to Joe and asked, “How would you feel if I had?” Then Joe has a number of ways to go. Embrace the idea 100% and something along the lines of “you’re almost my son. I trust your intentions.” Or “I like you Barry, but a father’s love is still a father’s love”. Or even the more comical,”Well if you and Iris were an item that would mean Iris and Eddie wouldn’t be, so that’s a step in the right direction”. Not being critical, I just thought 20 seconds could have made that scene even a little better.
Dr. Wells rolls in to speak with bomb lady. Little by little the conniving and mysterious side of him comes out. Wells is able to appeal to her sense of loss. Her sense of loyalty to the platoon. Turn it around and make meta-humans her new platoon. And put the idea in her mind that the only way to protect her platoon is to take out the General.
She stages a surrender disguised as an assassination attempt. She does get of a few mini bombs that neutralizes the situation. Then Barry arrives. His arrival distracts her long enough for the General to shoot her in the chest. She shows relief that she wasn’t able to do it. And her last dying words were intended to out Dr. Wells. But she passed after only getting out “Barry, Dr. Wells….”
As she dies, she begins to glow. The presumption is that she will detonate, creating a blast radius much larger than anything she’s done to this point. Barry is able to gain enough speed to run on water. He gets outside the bay drops her and runs back. Barry is able to outrun the blast radius, but just barely.
Side note. Iris chasing ‘the streak’ because she believes its her duty until the whole world ‘believes in him’ is garbage. I can’t speak to any comic book story lines therein. But this sound conveniently lazy even for comic lore. Lois Lane was a truth seeker. Belief is not enough to push this hard. The fact of the matter is, the story needs her to keep pushing because eventually she has to find out its Barry. However, the means in which the show runners decided to transport that idea, is a little lazy.
Barry’s reaction to exhausting everything he’s got to get Iris to stop is to temporarily break up like a boyfriend might do. It shows that he’s serious, but it will probably also force a wedge between them, socially. Now anyone who follows this stuff will remember this from Spider-man. If your loved ones are potentially in danger, do whatever you must to separate yourself from them. Otherwise they will become casualties.
In our Harrison Wells close (that we’ve come accustomed to), the General shows up at Star Labs after hours. The General wants to work together again. He believes that particle accelerator mishap was the beginning of something new. Wells rejects the idea and makes a threat of his own.
Flashback sequence. General and Wells, 5 years ago. The General wants results by any means necessary. Wells wants results but not that way. He kicks the General out of the building and walks into another room where a small Sasquatch looking humanoid sits in a cage labeled “GRODD”.
“GRODD” is a reference to “Gorilla Grodd” an extremely intelligent villain who eventually will see the Flash as an arch nemisis. He is also part of the Anti-Justice League and the Injustice League. My impressions are that Grodd is not going anywhere anytime soon.