Warning: Spoiler Alert
We start this week with Barry Allen going on a date with Linda Park. I can’t emphasize enough how strange I find it that Barry Allen is dating Linda Park. Unless I’m missing some critical factor of The Flash lore. The date gets interrupted by a robbery call from Cisco. Barry wants to defer to the cops so he can finish his date, than Cisco lies on the guilt trip pretty thick. Barry ends up foiling two different crimes in progress and returns before Linda even notices he’s gone.
A middle-aged man walks through a door just to be met by Robbie (or at least we think it’s Robbie). He goes on the tell this man that they were classmates. University of Chicago class of ’74. Robbie probably wasn’t even born by 1974. After a story that this man never told anyone but one person, Robbie is identified as Martin. As in Dr. Martin Stein (played by Victor Garbor).
Barry, Caitlin and Cisco meet up at the coffee shop. After about two minutes making cracks about Barry moving too fast with Linda and how later he may ‘move too fast’, Cisco gets a text. He has to help a friend. The friend is Joe and the reason pertains to the case of the death of Barry’s mother. The woman who now owns Barry’s childhood home is something straight out of Desperate Housewives and someone Joe and Cisco need to avoid. Upon some deep digging Cisco discover silver nitrate. The hope being, that maybe the mirror they found it on may have photographic evidence of what happened that night.
At Star Labs the news report of Firestorm’s alleged attack escalates our team’s sense of urgency over dealing with Ronnie. We now know that the concept behind Firestorm is that Dr. Stein’s mind is controlling Ronnie’s body. Seeing a picture of Dr. Stein sends Barry into a flashback when he met Dr. Stein on a train. When Stein makes it to Star Labs, he is knocked to the ground when the accelerator exploded. When he fell a rig (say six inches cubed) holding a suspended sphere falls from his case. Stein holds the apparatus as a wave of something including Ronnie’s aura or soul collides with Dr. Stein.
Barry, Caitlin and Wells pay a visit to Mrs. Stein. Nothing seems all that helpful until Barry shows her a picture of Ronnie. She believes someone is watching her and that someone has to be Dr. Stein in Ronnie’s body.
Barry has planned out his second date effectively. But with Linda in the house and Joe most certainly not, Linda decides something else should happen. Side note, never in the history of ever has assumed coitus followed a man of any age using the phrase “Fro-Yo”. As it were, things begin to heat up just when Firestorm makes an appearance at the Stein residence where Dr. Wells and Caitlin are on a cop like stake out.
Wells (to Caitlin): So I’m assuming you have Barry on speed dial…?
The call comes at a great time as Barry is having trouble controlling his speed. When he arrives, he finds Ronnie’s body and addresses it as Dr. Stein. He announces his intentions and then too late asks Professor Stein to not “Flame on”. Stein then takes Barry on a ride, flying overhead. He drops Barry but feet before impact catches him and drops him into the windshield of the van Caitlin is driving.
At the old Allen residence, Cisco has created a device that will produce the photographic images. Then stepped it up and created a way to project 3D holographic images instead of 2D. That leads to Joe peeling back wallpaper and finding actual usable blood samples. Dr. Wells should be worried if he knew what was going on.
Barry placed a tracker on Ronnie’s body when Ronnie’s body took him for a ride. This time when they approach, they have a special new addition, Mrs. Stein. Fill in this next part with any Vice Versa/Big style attempt to convey that its him on the inside that knows her. Then surprisingly, Dr. Stein asks for their help.
Now twice Barry has had to cut out on Linda. So Linda pulls Iris aside to ask about Barry’s relationship history as they are ‘BFFs’. The result of which is Iris vaguely telling Linda a story about unrequited love, which Linda immediately interprets as that woman in question is Iris. Which then prompts Linda to decide to break it off. Barry then confronts Iris about it. Including telling her that he no longer has feelings for her (Iris). News flash Barry, you don’t develop feelings for someone over the course of 15 years and shake them in a matter of weeks.
Joe and Cisco use Barry’s lab to run the blood samples. Two different samples. Two speeders were the theory. Cisco goes to run the samples against the CCPD database. Then Joe asks something that will slam on the brakes in a hurry.
Joe: Can you run them against a specific person?
Cisco: Yeah sure, if we have someone to match it to. Who are we looking at?
Joe: Dr. Harrison Wells.
Caitlin preps Dr. Stein for some tests. Then she asks if she can speak with him (Ronnie). Stein conveys that it doesn’t work like that. But the good news is that Stein can feel Ronnie. Possess memories that belong to Ronnie and their respective intensity. One in particular. The place where Ronnie purposed. However, if his temperature keeps rising, he could go nuclear.
After a short but revealing conversation between Barry and Dr. Stein where Stein explains that life is too short to not live, Barry heads straight for Linda. He proclaims that he is not into anyone else. And to prove it he will heat a ridiculously hot ghost pepper if she doesn’t agree to go out with him again. In the cold open she out ate him in hot wings on their first date. She claims he’s bluffing and he wastes no time chomping into something I wouldn’t want to be in the same room with. Of course it works. Much to the dismay of Iris.
In the Braille room Wells pulls a hand gun from the near the Reverse Flash suit. His intention is to use it on Dr. Stein, thus killing both Ronnie and Dr. Stein to prevent a massive nuclear event. Hopefully a last resort. Instead, Wells asks Gideon if the Tachyon prototype can be retrofitted as a quantum splicer? The answer is yes, but it would delay whatever big picture plans Wells has. Naturally, the moment they have a feasible plan, Dr. Stein is gone.
Dr. Stein has taken himself to the ‘badlands’ 30 miles outside the city. Minimum distance for the blast radius to keep Central City safe. They finish converting the splicer and Wells goes to hand it to Barry but Caitlin grabs it first. She insists on going along.
Cisco then calls Joe to admit that while not proud of it, he ran the blood samples. One was unidentifiable and the other was most certainly not. Remember, two speedsters. The assumption is that one was Dr. Wells. If that is true, then Wells is the unidentifiable one.
Cisco: It’s Barry’s.
Joe: We all know Barry was there that night.
Cisco. No. No. You don’t understand. The blood had high levels of P16. A protein that builds up in the blood as we get older. And these levels were way too high for an 11-year-old. This sample was from Barry, as an adult.
Barry and Caitlin arrive just as Stein is about to put a bullet in his brain. She quickly explains the plan. Then painfully and awkwardly, tries to talk to Ronnie. She says, “Ronnie, I love you”. Then Stein pulls back and says, “that was from him”. Say what you will about The CW. They do pursue a specific target audience. But, at the same time with shows like Supernatural , Arrow and now Flash are making strides in quality. And Robbie Amell has done an incredible job channeling his inner Victor Garber.
The splicer is not working and Caitlin has a full on breakdown. Even fighting Barry’s efforts to get her to safety. As Barry sprints away, Stein/Ronnie do in fact go nuclear. The splicer looks like a discus with other small circles attached to it. When Caitlin placed it over his heart, the device expanded. Leaving a very specific design/logo/image on Stein’s chest. One large circle over his heart and two smaller ones over the right side of his chest.