The Flash has done the unimaginable: he’s run faster than he ever has before. So fast, in fact, that he tore through the fabric of space and time and wound up back in the past. He receives communication from the S.T.A.R. Labs team, who tells him that he needs to report to a silent alarm at the city morgue.
“I was there yesterday,” he realizes, confused by what has happened.
Indeed, he returns to the scene of Mark Mardon’s mortician murder, where he starts filling in details that he couldn’t possibly know, but has already experienced (oh, the paradoxes!), which allows him to deal with situations far more efficiently. He reports back to the lab, where Wells confronts him, knowing that Barry has disrupted the time continuum. Concerned, Wells sneaks off to his secret lair, where he confirms that the newspaper from the future has shown that nothing has changed.
Disregarding Wells’ warnings about disrupting the time stream, Barry uses his knowledge of the future to quickly snap up Mardon and imprison him in the makeshift prison housed in the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator. Wells is upset, further warning Barry that any tragedy averted by his foresight will be replaced by time in order to balance things out.
We then cut to a mobster’s office, when Captain Cold and Heatwave are dragged in, restrained. They quickly escape their restraints and warn the mob boss to clear out of town; they’re running the organized crime in Central City from here on out.
Barry desperately tries to replicate the speed that he needed to break through the fabric of time, but he’s unable to do so, probably because he doesn’t have the necessary adrenaline to bring himself up to the necessary pace. Joe shows up, curious about how Barry managed to hunt down and nab Mardon so quickly. Barry chalks it up to “luck,” which leaves Joe curious.
Cisco and Caitlin attend a party for Cisco’s brother Dante, whom Cisco is clearly bitter toward. Dante’s an accomplished concert pianist, and Cisco’s parents believe he can do no wrong, while not recognizing Cisco’s accomplishments in the field of science. There’s clear tension between Cisco and Dante, with Dante clearly looking down his nose at his brother.
Barry goes to meet Linda at CCPN, where she lets him down easy: she knows he loves Iris, and tells Barry that he needs to follow his heart and “go get her.” Once again, everybody on the damn show sees something I don’t: that Iris is a woman worth chasing, as opposed to a bland, unattainable no-prize. Barry takes Linda’s misplaced advice and sets up a coffee date with Iris.
Later that night, Barry and Cisco meet up at the bar. Cisco’s drowning the stresses of the day in alcohol, when a mysterious blonde shows up and offers to buy Cisco a drink. Drinks turn to conversation, which turns into Cisco and the blonde, whose name is Lisa (where have we heard that name before?), returning to her home for a nightcap. Unfortunately for Cisco, it was all a trap: Lisa is actually Lisa Snart, aka Leonard Snart’s sister. Cold tells Cisco that he and Heatwave both need new guns, and drags in a bruised and battered Dante as collateral.
Cisco starts rebuilding guns for Captain Cold and Heatwave in between bickering with his brother. He completes the guns for the crooks, but Lisa Snart pipes up, saying that she wants a gun as well. “Something with gold,” she smirks, referencing her comic alter ego of the Golden Glider.
Barry meets Iris at Jitters, where he uses his future knowledge to try and coerce a loving confession out of Iris. She does the unexpected, and tells Barry that she doesn’t have romantic feelings for him. “Nothing has changed,” she confirms.
Barry returns to the lab dejected, but he barely has time to process it before Joe calls him up: Snart has been spotted at a mob-run casino.
Indeed, Cold, Heatwave, and Lisa enter the mobsters’ casino, wreaking havoc on the patrons and the crooks alike. We see Lisa’s gun in action, and it entombs its victims in a sheen of gold. Mercifully, Barry enters and stops the mayhem by taking Lisa hostage. Cold warns Flash that he has Cisco held hostage, and Lisa is released, allowing the three criminals to make their escape.
Things don’t get any easier for Barry, as Eddie decks him for trying to make a move on Iris. Once again, Barry retreats to the lab, where he talks to Wells about the future behind and asks a somber question: should he use his time-hopping speed to go back in time and save his mother?
We then go to the swank mansion where the super-crooks have holed up, and Heatwave’s taking flaming shots while musing on the properties of fire. Cisco and Dante bury the hatchet, and Dante tries to overpower Heatwave, which he miserably fails at. Cold enters and asks Cisco for the true identity of the Flash. Cisco denies that he knows who the Flash really is, and Cold responds by shooting Dante’s fingers with his freeze ray. Cold warns Cisco that Dante could never play the piano again if he takes another freezing blast to his fingers…
…and Cisco returns to the lab, looking distraught. He tearfully apologizes for revealing Barry as the Flash, but he had no choice. Barry forgives him, but Cisco insists that he no longer belongs at S.T.A.R. Labs. He starts packing his things, and Wells enters, luring Cisco down to the containment unit. We don’t learn what Wells’ angle is, as the rest of the team figure out why Snart attacked the casino: any attempt to rob a casino means all of the cash needs to be moved to a secret location, which will allow the Rogues to hijack the armored car on the open road.
The Rogues are doing just that when Barry shows up and super-speeds Cold into the woods. Cold mocks Barry, claiming that as long as he knows Barry’s alter ego, he is untouchable. Barry relents, and enters into a gentleman’s agreement with Cold, that will lead to no more fatalities so long as Barry gives the Rogues a wide berth. Wait – what???
Barry returns to Jitters, where Eddie gives him a concerned hug and even Iris seems sympathetic. Caitlin told them that Barry’s accident gave him “lightning psychosis,” which means that he is unaware of his own actions at times.
Finally, we cut to the interior of the CCPN, where Mason Bridge’s working on his expose of Harrison Wells. Reverse Flash enters and kills Bridge by driving a vibrating hand through his torso (get a new technique, Eobard!), and wiping out the article. Barry sees a news report on Bridge’s disappearance (how long has transpired between these moments?) and finally approaches Joe, telling him that he thinks there’s something off about Wells.
Meh. While this episode gave more of the Rogue’s action that this series thrives on (seriously, Captain Cold and Heatwave are a hell of a lot of fun), the odd dismissal of time travel and its potential paradoxes is maddening. Are there two Barrys running around simultaneously? If Barry goes back in time and prevents the event that made him go back in time in the first place, has he even gone back in time anymore? I have never seen a show be so oddly blasé about someone tearing a hole in the fabric of space and time.
There’s also the weirdness of the “gentlemen’s agreement” between Barry and Snart. While Snart technically has Barry by the short hairs, I feel that there are a lot of ways that Barry could potentially weasel his way out of this one, but instead it fizzles out of nowhere. That, coupled with Barry’s time reversal wiping out all of the grave developments of the last episode, makes this episode feel like a series of cheap outs.
Catch new episodes of The Flash on The CW, Tuesdays at 8PM ET/PT