Photo: Cate Cameron /The CW Network
Warning: Spoiler Alert
The CW network series “The Flash,” opens its latest episode with a graphic telling us the scene we’re about to watch took place two years ago. We’re on the football field of Central City High School at the end of a victorious game by the home team. One of the player’s stands alone on the field basking in the moment when he’s approached by two of his teammates congratulating him on the victory. One of them on crutches tells the teenager he knew he could do it, but their conversation’s cut short when the team coach throws the game-ball to the young man and says congratulations Jefferson.
As his two teammates head to the locker-room the coach tells the player that the stands were loaded with scouts for collegiate programs. When he scored his touchdown leading to the victory all the scouts grabbed their cellphones, the coach tells his player that he’ll be able to attend any college he wants.
As he walks away the player spikes the pigskin in excitement, but a second later he sees a large explosion across the city. It’s the particle-accelerator exploding and Jefferson watches as a wave of energy approaches the field and he screams to those remaining on the gridiron to run inside the locker-room. He’s about 20-yards from the door when he stops to help his teammate on crutches get inside. As he tries to close the doors he’s hit by a bolt of energy and thrown against a brick-wall. He lies on the floor unconscious as the energy enters his body.
As we return to the present, we join Caitlin, Cisco and Barry in STAR Labs as they try to keep Professor Martin Stein alive. He had a seizure at the end of the previous episode and started emitting flames from his head and his hands as he did when teamed up with Ronnie and became Firestorm. However since Ronnie died closing the Singularity and saving the planet, Stein’s had nobody to bond with and his powers are out of control. Cisco attaches an electronic device to the professor’s chest which stabilizes him. Cisco says this is just a short-term fix as the device will run out of power within a few days.
Caitlin tells Cisco and Barry that she may have found a permanent solution as she’s found two suitable candidates to bond with Stein. Both underwent the same process as Martin and Ronnie did when they got blasted by the particle-accelerator. She says they also both have the same blood-type as the professor, but she’d need another blood test to determine if they’d make suitable physical matches. The Flash takes off and he’s back in seconds with a test-tube of blood from each of the men, he took the samples at super-speed so each thought they got bit by an insect.
Barry runs into Joe’s new partner Patty Spivot and she asks for Barry’s help with a case she’s working on. She gives Allen a plastic bag filled with teeth, she says she believes they’re shark’s teeth as she’s interviewed a bunch of people from a neighborhood who claim to have seen a land-shark. In fact they all said the shark walked on two legs like a man. Barry says he stays away from Meta-Human cases usually but he’ll run some tests for Patty. Joe arrives and greets the pair and asks Patty how her man-shark case’s progressing. Spivot smiles and says Barry’s going to run some tests for her.
Iris sits in Joe’s house looking at pictures of her and her mother before she took off on them. Joe tells Iris he’s very proud that she’s decided to meet with Francine, but we can see by the expression on his daughter’s face that she’s a little creeped out by the situation.
Back at STAR Labs Caitlin says the new blood samples seem to verify her previous information and she believes both men are suitable candidates to converge with Stein and become the new Firestorm. She does however favor one man over the other, he’s Henry Hewitt and he’s a scientist so she thinks he and Stein will have more in common. The other candidate’s Jefferson Jackson the former high school football player we saw earlier and he’s now a car mechanic. Barry says perhaps he’s the better fit as he averaged a 4.0 grade-point average in high school and he’s got an athletic background. Caitlin says she’s going to invite Hewitt to STAR Labs while Martin and Barry go down to the garage that Jackson works at. Cisco says he’s going to keep working on a new stabilizer for the professor and as they scatter we see a figure emerge from the shadows it’s Earth-Two’s Harrison Wells.
Allen and Stein meet Jefferson Jackson at the garage he works at and the first thing he asks them is if they have a car that needs repairing. Barry tells him no, then introduces the two of them telling the mechanic they’re from the Department Of Safety. The mechanic says everybody calls him Jax and asks if the garage’s violated some safety regulations?
Allen smiles and shakes his head and says they want to talk about his encounter with the particle-accelerator. Jax says he refuses to talk about that night as that’s when his dreams went South. He woke up in the hospital with a crushed leg and torn ACL and he could tell by the expression on his mother’s face that his aspirations to play in the NFL had ended.
Barry apologizes for opening up a mental-wound but tells him they’d like to take him to STAR Labs as he thinks they can help him. Jax tells the pair that unless they’ve got a car that needs repair their conversation’s over and tells them to have a nice day.
Francine and Joe are sitting and waiting for Iris to arrive and Francine thanks her former husband for arranging the meeting. Iris walks in shortly later and Francine’s excited to meet her now grown daughter, but Iris looks skeptical. Francine starts saying the speech she likely prepared for months if not years but Iris cuts her off. She says to her mother that she can start by apologizing for abandoning them over 20 years before. The older woman says she’s sorry but Iris has to understand she’s been through a lot.
Iris stops her right there and says to her mother that this might be a good time for Francine to have Iris back in her life, but she never considered whether it was a good time for Iris to have Francine in her life. She says she doesn’t hate Francine, in fact she wishes her the best. However they’ve spent the last 20+ years apart and she’s got no desire to change things and she leaves.
Henry Hewitt meets with Caitlin and Cisco at STAR Labs and he’s strutting like a peacock telling the pair he always knew he was destined for greatness. Barry and Martin walk in and Hewitt immediately starts toadying up to Stein, saying he’s a big fan and he’s read all his papers. Stein’s quite pleased by Hewitt’s flattery and Caitlin tells Barry that Henry wants to converge with the professor. Allen’s a bit taken aback that Caitlin revealed the project to him but she says he’s perfect. Cisco says he’s got an ego bigger than Texas, but other than that he seems fine.
Stein’s informed that Henry’s excited about the merging of the pair into one being and Martin says no time like the present. Cisco gets out a device like the one Ronnie wore and straps it to Henry’s chest, Stein and Hewitt shake hands and some energy passes between them but there’s no convergence. Martin asks him to try again but this time there’s no reaction. Henry asks what that means and Caitlin says they’re not a match.
Hewitt gets belligerent and tells Caitlin that she should be prepared before she builds up somebody’s hopes. Professor Stein assures Hewitt that nobody wanted this to work more than him. Hewitt says he wouldn’t bet on that and storms towards the elevator, we see a small bolt of energy emanating from one of his hands but he’s unaware.
Next scene takes place at Dr. Tina McGee’s facility, as she goes over last-minute instructions with her assistant. Suddenly an alarm sounds in the building and McGee quizzically says applied sciences? She recognizes the man who escapes from one of her labs carrying a weapon and we can hear the shock and disbelief when she says Harrison Wells?
Dr. McGee calls the CCPD and asks them to send Detective Joe West to investigate. Joe and Patty arrive and West introduces Spivot to the doctor, who then said she’d been sorry to hear about Eddie’s death. She then thanks them for coming as she admired his discretion the last time they met, she says this is a very sensitive matter. West knows that he’s investigating a robbery and asked what got taken? McGee says it’s not so much as what got taken as who took it, she says she’s sure the man was Harrison Wells.
Patty says that’s impossible as Wells died, Tina says that’s what she thought and asks Joe if there’s any way he survived? West looks shaken and he tells her that Wells died, no questions about it, McGee says the other strange thing was Wells was walking.
Leaving the facility Spivot says they need to inform Barry as he’d be a huge help on this case and Joe tells her that she’s not to mention this case to Allen. She asks why and West tells her that Wells killed Barry’s mom and he doesn’t want Barry reliving that again. She says she’s a bad liar and Joe says she’d better become a good one. The pair go separate ways when they enter the station and West sees Francine waiting to talk to him.
His patience gone he tells Francine to leave and never come back that she heard their decision. She tells Joe she’s dying of an incurable and her doctor’s say she’ll be fortunate to make it to the end of the year. West looks at his former wife’s face and intuitively realizes she’s telling him the truth. She says she doesn’t want to die without getting to know her daughter and asks him to convey the message to Iris.
Jax arrives unexpectedly at STAR Labs and he’s under the impression they can fix his knee and he can start playing football again. Barry tells him that’s not something they can do, but he can become a superhero and save Stein’s life in the bargain. Jax says he’s not interested in any of that and Caitlin gets ticked off. She says that’s the kind of person he is, he’s allowed one setback to stop him from progressing. She tells him to leave as he’s not worthy of the opportunity, Jax says that’s fine with him and he leaves.
Barry tells her she handled the situation badly and could’ve blown their last opportunity to save Stein. She says she’ll go find Hewitt and bring him back and they’ll find a way to make things out. They’ll all soon realize that utilizing Henry Hewitt’s no longer an option.
Joe and Barry have a father and son conversation starting with West telling Allen that Francine’s dying and now he needs to tell Iris. Then he asks Barry what’s the story with Patty and Barry laughs and says she’s adorable and funny and just about perfect but she’s not Iris. Joe smiles and tells Barry that Iris was his first love and nothing ever replaces that, but you’ve got to go on have the courage to explore new situations and opportunities. The look in Barry’s eyes show that the man who raised him got through to him.
Henry’s sitting at his work station in the lab that he works for when his supervisor walks over and asks Hewitt if he’s finished his project his boss assigned him. Henry says he’ll have it in the morning, the supervisor tells him he said he needed it by tonight and Hewitt says well you’ll have to wait until morning and the lights in the room start to flicker.
Now the supervisor’s angry and he tells Hewitt he may think he’s smarter than everybody else but that doesn’t excuse him from doing his job. He tells the scientist if he pulls this act again he’ll terminate him. Henry starts screaming at the supervisor to get off his back and he’s sick of the way he’s treated. The supervisor’s face reflects his fear as fire’s emanating from his head and hands.
Joe tells Iris that Francine’s dying and the first thing she asks is how can he be sure she’s telling the truth? West tells his daughter that he knows Francine and she’s telling the truth. Joe says that what ever Iris decides he’ll back her decision totally.
The next morning Barry, Stein, Caitlin and Cisco watch a newscaster report a story about some major electrical disturbance at the facility that Hewitt works at and police are searching for Henry to question him. Caitlin says that when they attempted to converge they awakened the dormant gene within him. Cisco says that his history of violence makes him an imminent danger. Caitlin says she didn’t see anything like that in her search and Cisco says his juvenile record got expunged but he hacked into it. Henry’s got quite a few incidents of destruction and assault recorded on the hidden documents.
Martin tells Team-Flash that Hewitt’s not the only one suffering with his abilities and says he needs to lie down. Cisco says he’ll help Stein get there and the professor expresses his thanks. Once they leave Caitlin says this is all her fault that Martin’s dying and she chased away their only chance to save him. Barry basically gives her a shorter version of the speech Joe gave to him, to start thinking outside your ordinary boundaries and it can open up a new world for you.
Caitlin heads down to the garage to talk to Jax and the first thing she does is apologize and says she should never have talked to him the way she had. She says she just got frustrated that Jax failed to realize the life-changing opportunity he turned down. She says that her husband and Martin teamed up as Firestorm and Jax asks the guy who flew into the hole? She smiles and says yes and says he died during that incident, but she says she couldn’t stop him and looking back at it she realizes he’d have been miserable if she had.
Henry Hewitt’s tracked her down and arrives at the garage, he says she did this to him and it’s nothing like she promised. He starts to go after her but Jax tries to stop him and Hewitt tosses him against a wall. He then starts going after Caitlin again but Jax quickly recovers and chucks a metal car-part against the back of Hewitt’s head knocking him out. Snow grabs Jax by the arm and they jump into her car, he asks where they’re going and she tells him STAR Labs.
Iris and Francine meet and Iris tells her mother that she really thought Francine made up that she’s dying but Iris checked it out and confirmed it. She says she hoped that could get her to forgive Francine and allow them to have a relationship but she says she found out that Francine’s still lying and keeping secrets.
Iris tells Francine she’s an investigative reporter and she did some digging on Francine and found out that she gave birth to a boy eight months after she left them. She asks if the boy’s Joe’s and her brother and then says she doesn’t want to know. If Joe found out he had a son that grew to manhood without him knowing about him it would kill him. She tells Francine to never contact them again and leaves.
We’re aware that the character Wally West will get introduced at some point this season. Is Francine’s son Wally West? Wally got introduced to the DC Comics Silver-Age as Iris’ nephew but it’s not much of a stretch of Wally being her brother in this retelling of the tale.
Jax and Caitlin walk into STAR Labs and Cisco tells him that Stein’s dying he’s got a fever of 142 degrees and it’s still rising. Jax says he’ll do it he’ll converge with the professor. Barry asks him if he’s sure and Jax smiles and says his coach used to say in football you leave yourself and enter the team.
Caitlin and Cisco get Martin and tell him that Jax has agreed to converge with him, they help him over and then Cisco puts the electronic device on Jax’s chest. He asks what he needs to do and Stein says they just need to touch however the match’s so perfect that just getting close to each other sets off the convergence. Jax’s eyes turn white and energy emanates from his body. Caitlin asks if Stein’s with him and he says he’s unsure and asks how to check, but we hear Martin’s voice reassuring him he’s with him. Firestorm’s reborn.
He asks when’s their first assignment and Cisco asks if he feels up to taking on one now? He tells Firestorm that Hewitt’s charging himself on the Central City High School football field, he fails to notice that Barry’s slipped off to go there as the Flash. Jax says that’s where he got zapped by the particle-accelerator and Firestorm flies off.
Flash tells Cisco to cut off all the power to the football field so Henry’s power-source get’s cut off. Firestorm arrives at the field and goes after Hewitt but Henry tosses him into the stands. We hear Martin’s voice telling Jax to focus to utilize his athletic ability and the discipline he learned on the gridiron.
Flash tells Caitlin that it seems the angrier Hewitt gets the more powerful he becomes and she says that’s how we defeat him by getting him so angry he blows his circuit. Flash asks Jax if he’s alright and he responds that he’s a quarterback and he can take a hit. Flash smiles and asks him if he’s up for playing a game of you can’t catch me?
Flash darts all over the field at super-speed taunting Hewitt and Henry’s frustration keeps getting greater. He hurls energy bolts at Flash and Firestorm he misses Flash but Firestorm blasts back at him stopping the energy in midstream. He flies over to Henry and hits him with a right to the chin knocking him out and causing Hewitt to pop his circuit and his energy vanishes.
Hewitt’s powers are permanently disabled and Flash says they’ll keep him in the tunnel until he forgets about STAR Labs. Martin says this is goodbye for a while for Jax and he as they’re heading for Pittsburgh to study with a women that helped train Ronnie and him. He says they had a lot of unexplored territory to learn. They converge and fly off and Jax lets out a whoop to express his excitement.
Flash stands outside of CC Jitters and watches Patty inside and he starts smiling and the smile gets bigger until he feels a hand around his neck and pulls him off the ground. He turns to see it’s the man-shark standing in two-legs and likely 14 feet tall. He growls at Flash he’s going to kill him when Spivot runs out of the coffee-shop and tells the creature to release Flash. She empties her service revolver into the creature but he feels nothing. He tosses Flash aside like a rag-doll and grins as he advances on Patty. Suddenly a blast of energy hits him in the back and destroys the creature, when he hits the ground Flash sees a man in a hoodie holding a weapon but he runs away. Flash quickly overtakes him and pulls off the hood revealing the man’s Earth-Two’s Harrison Wells.
The Story Continues Next Tuesday Night at 8:00 pm on The CW.