Episode 212 “Fast Lane”
And we’re back to the Metahuman of the Week story. Although, to be fair, it does manage to tie in with the ongoing family story and is affected by the main Zoom arc, so … progress? This week, more Hallmark Moments with the West family, Jay Garrick is MIA (again), and Zoom gets a little taste of success.
Freshly single, Barry (Grant Gustin) decides he’s going to hang out at STAR Labs and help Harry (Tom Cavanagh) figure out how to seal the breaches. Harry doesn’t need the help, doesn’t want the help, and is certain Barry won’t even understand the physics behind the work — until Barry speed-reads the books and starts spouting off physics.
Last season, the family drama centered around Barry’s efforts to get his father out of prison. This season, with Henry free and clear and out on walkabout, the focus has shifted to the West family, as Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Iris (Candice Patton) try to adjust to the fact that there’s this kid named Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) who’s now suddenly part of the family — whether any of them want it or not.
Wally is still in town at the drag races, something that neither Joe nor Iris understand, as Francine is gone and the medical bills are over. — How that’s possible, I’m not sure. Just because someone dies doesn’t mean their medical bills just evaporate. But it’s comic books, so… — Iris, being the big sister, dresses to “fit in” and heads down to the races to get an idea of just why this is a big thing. Reporter that she is, crusader that she can be, she figures she can throw a spotlight on the activity and try to put a stop to it before someone dies.
Wally, naturally, doesn’t quite see it the same way. As he explains later, he’s got a thing for speed. The rush reminds him of day trips he’d take with Francine, just watching the world pass by the window. And yes, he’s thoroughly put out by what Iris is wearing.
Of course, if my sister showed up in booty shorts and a halter, I’d be embarrassed, too.
The West Family Drama intersects with our Villain of the Week story, as the guy running the races was the wheel man for a gang hit on the night of the explosion. At an asphalt company, these guys dumped Joey Monteleone (Marco Grazzini) into a vat of boiling tar. Seems Joey stashed away stolen money that was supposed to be split four ways. The others didn’t quite take to the idea of Joey keeping it all to himself.
The STAR Labs explosion gave Joey the ability to control tar, leading Cisco (Carlos Valdes) to name him “Tar Pit” just a half-second before Barry does it. Barry races out to stop Joey from killing the second of his killers — getting the first one is how he popped up on the radar (and Cisco’s new app) — and Barry is just slightly slower than normal, even though he’s fast enough to stop Tar Pit with a handy dose of cold water from a nearby hydrant. Thanks to Team Flash knowing that the viscosity of asphalt is affected by temperature, and Barry just needs to cool him off.
But that slowdown is a concern for Cisco, even though Barry’s not too worried about it.
Especially since he manages to help Harry with the breaches, giving the professor a research paper from the Earth-1 Wells, and they’re off to the races to develop a “breach inversion bomb” that actually works. And it’s all fine and well and good until he gets the call that Tar Pit is at the races.
And they he’s not quite fast enough to stop a shard of glass from hitting Iris when Tar Pit goes after the racing guy. And while Barry manages to stop Tar Pit — at least temporarily — the glass hitting Iris puts more focus on the loss of the Speed Force.
So, while Iris recovers in the hospital and bonds with Wally, the rest of the team listens to Harrison Wells admit that he’s responsible for Barry’s speed loss, using a device planted under the emblem on his costume. He’s given the speed to Zoom, because he’s that guy that will do anything to get his daughter back. So all the while he’s been helping Cisco and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) work up nitrogen capsules to freeze out Tar Pit and stop him for good, he’s also been working on this method for stealing the Speed Force.
Ultimately, however, Barry realizes that given the same circumstances, any member of the team would do the same thing. He even points out that Cisco helped Leonard Snart because his brother’s life was in danger. So instead of condemning Wells and locking him away for good, Barry figures it’s time to take the fight to Zoom.
Time to go to Earth-2.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.