Two Years Ago
At Roofing Tar Industries, two crooks are threatening to drop a man, Joey Monteleone, into a vat of burning tar. The leader, Clay Stanley, demands the account number where his money is. Joey gives up the account number, and they let him fall. As they leave, the particle accelerator explodes and a wave of energy sweeps over the plant.
A construction crew is working at the abandoned tar company. A hand emerges from a puddle of tar.
The Flash is out running and stops briefly at the West house. The family is having pizza, and Flash speeds off as Joe talks about wanting to be a policeman. Wally says that he wanted to be an astronaut so he could be the fastest human alive. He admits that he's all about the speed, and Iris asks if that's why he's still drag-racing. Wally abruptly leaves, and Joe complains that Iris drove him off. He admits that he's trying to figure things out, and Iris figures that he's ignoring something that could get Wally killed. She says that the person she saw that night isn't the father she recognizes.
At STAR Labs, Harry is using the brain matter from the Turtle to create a device that will let him harness Flash's speed and collect it. As he wishes there was another way, Barry comes in and Harry quickly hides the device. Barry says that he stopped by to come up with a way to seal the breaches, and Harry tells him that it would take too long for Barry to catch up on the science. Thumbing through the book, Barry reads it at superspeed and catches up, and Harry says that Barry can assist but insists that he's in charge.
Wally is drag-racing when Iris shows up dressed for the streets. She claims that she's working on a story for the paper and wants to know what Wally is so fascinated with. Wally gets in his car and Iris takes a picture of Clark Bronwen, the man in charge.
One of the men that killed Joey, Daniel Burge, is watching the news and hears something moving in the back of his garage. He goes over to investigate and Joey solidifies out of a puddle of tar. Joey advances on Daniel and says that he was trapped for two years in the darkness. His hand heats up and he reaches for Daniel.
The next day, the police check out the crime scene. Joe reviews what happened and confirms that Daniel bought the garage two years ago. Barry examines the corpse and determines that it was covered by something like lava. He figures that the killer is a meta and takes a sample back to STAR Labs for Cisco. Joe mentions Wally and says that he's giving him as much space as he can. They discuss Joe bringing Barry up, and Barry says that strength isn't a bad thing.
At STAR Labs, Harry is working on the speed-draining device. Cisco and Barry come into the next room, and Harry quickly puts the device in the Flash suit before they come in.
Joe visits Iris at Picture News and she says that she's researching a story on drag-racing. She shows him photos of injured street racers and warns that Wally could be the next one. Joe insists that he can't stop kids from doing what they want, and admits that he's afraid Wally will reject them if he confronts him over the racing. He says that he's going to get Wally to trust him and then he'll do something about it.
Barry and Harry are going over the breach sealing devices, and Barry refers back to the book. He then says that he's learning a lot from Harry, and talks about Harrison. Harry angrily tells him to stop, insisting that he already has a kid and doesn't need another one, and orders Barry out. Barry goes to the main lab, and Caitlin reports that Daniel died of suffocation, not burns. Cisco confirms that Daniel was fossilized like animals in a tar pit. His new meta app comes up showing an attack by "Tar Pit" in progress, and Barry speeds off.
Harry registers that Flash is on the move and activates his device.
Flash arrives at the attack where Tar Pit is confronting Clay. The pedestrians take photos as Tar Pit creates a ball of molten tar and throws it at Clay. Flash speeds him out of the way, and Cisco and Caitlin tell him to find a way to cool Tar Pit down. The speedster runs over to a fire hydrant and taunts Tar Pit into attacking him. He hits the hydrant and the cold water sprays on him. The villain seeps into the sewers and Flash takes Clay way.
At the lab, Harry takes the sample with the speed force and promises Jessie that she's coming home.
Back at STAR Labs, Flash tells Cisco and Caitlin that Clay is a suspected hit man. Clay wouldn't answer any of Barry's questions. Cisco is running Tar Pit's face through recognition software and identifies Joey. He went missing the night of the accelerator explosion, and Barry calls Joe to have him run a background check on all three men. Cisco follows him and points out that he's going slower than usual. Barry insists that he's fine.
Iris goes to see Clark in his office and he recognizes her from the other night. She explains that she's a reporter and asks him to stop the races. Clark refuses and Iris shows him a preview of the expose that she's writing. She knows all about the gambling thefts and thefts that he's run. Clark threatens her in return and says that they'll see what happens to if she prints the article. Iris reveals that she recorded the entire conversation, and Clark orders her out of his office.
That night at the Picture News, Wally visits Iris after he hears about Iris talking to Clark. He warns that it's dangerous, and she wonders why he's in so deep with the. Wally insists that he can get out anytime he wants to, and Iris points out that there are no medical bills anymore. She says that she knows Wally is a good kid because Francine raised him, and insists that she and Joe care that Wally doesn't get hurt. Wally warns that if Iris shows up again at the races then he won't be able to protect her.
Barry is going over the breach research when Harry comes in and says that when Jessie was 10, she spent days working on a project. He admits that Barry reminds him of Jessie, and that he scolded her as well. Barry says that Harry isn't in it alone, and Barry insists that he's always going to be a father first. One day Zoom will make him choose between the team and Jessie, and he will always choose Jessie. Barry doesn't believe it, and says that he came up on an idea to close the breaches. He went through Harrison's notes and says that they're a team, and Harry goes to look at the work. Barry stays behind to run some computer sims.
Harry goes to one of the breaches and Zoom arrives. The scientist tosses Zoom the sample, and Zoom injects it into himself. He says that he wants more and Harry figures that Zoom won't kill him or his daughter because he won't get what he wants. Zoom grabs him by the shoulder and promises to torture Jessie if Harry doesn't do what he wants, and then speeds off.
The next day at STAR Labs, Joe tells the others that the records on Clay, Daniel, and Joey are sealed. Cisco hacks the court records and discovers that they were all juvenile offenders. Joey and Daniel were cellmates, and Clay is associated with Clark. They don't have an address on Clark, but Iris recognizes him and says that she knows where he is. Harry comes in with the breach implosion reactor that he's built. As he leaves with Barry, he clutches at his injured shoulder but dismisses it as nothing when Barry notices.
The two men go to one of the breaches and prepare to collapse the event horizon. Barry yawns and says that he's tired, and then they toss the reactor into the breach. It implodes and they confirm that the breach is gone, and Barry hugs Harry. Harry thanks Barry, who says that it's the first step in getting Jessie back.
Clark hosts another street race, and Joe and iris arrive. They spot Clark, unaware that Tar Pit is nearby and remembers that Clay and Daniel worked for Clay. Joe and Iris spot Wally getting ready to race. The cars take off down the street... and the road beneath them explodes upward.
As Barry and Harry drive back to STAR Labs, Harry starts to tell his friend the truth. Iris calls Barry and tells him what's happening, and Barry speeds away as Harry takes the wheel.
Tar Pit flips Wally's car over, and Flash gets him out just in time. He then gets Clark out of the way as Tar Pit throws the car at him. it bounces toward Iris, and Flash runs after the shards of glass flying through the air. One piece hits Iris in the shoulder and she goes down. Wally and Joe stare in horror as Flash takes Iris to the hospital.
The next day, Joe is at Iris' bedside when she wakes up. He tells her what happened, just as Wally comes in with flowers. Iris assures him that they're fine, and after a moment he leaves. Joe goes after him and says that he needs to be with Iris. Wally says that it isn't on him, and Joe tells him that he's not alone and they're going to worry about him because that's what a family does. He admits that he's mad at Wally for risking his life, but he's madder at treating Wally like a friend rather than a son. Barry calls Joe and Wally says that he'll stay with Ir.
At STAR Labs, Cisco and Caitlin create nitrous grenades. Cisco tells Barry that they're triggered by extreme heat and will freeze Tar Pit on the spot. Barry says that he felt slower and Harry overhears him. He says that the suit is fine and Cisco agrees. Caitlin confirms that the Speed Force in Barry's blood has dropped 2% in the last 24 hours, and Barry asks Harry if he has any ideas. He claims that he doesn't know, and Barry worries that he's not fast enough to deal with Zoom. He refuses to lose anyone else, and Harry admits that he did it. The scientist removes the device from the suit and tosses it to Cisco, just as Joe comes in. He overhears Harry's confession and punches him, and then tosses him into a pipeline cell. Joe then goes with the others to find Tar Pit.
Joe takes Clay out of the station and says that he's the bait. Tar Pit rise up out of the concrete and prepares to incinerate Clay. Joe gets Clay out of the way, and Flash arrives and throws the grenades. They hit Tar Pit and freeze him in place, and then he explodes. Joey lies among the rubble, and Joe walks over and punches him unconscious.
The next day, Barry and Joe visit Harry. Barry asks why, and Harry insists that he's doing what he has to do to save Jessie. Harry reminds Barry that he said that he would betray them, and figures that he just sentenced his daughter to death to save Wally. He asks them to send him back to Earth-2, and then shut down all of the breaches so Zoom can never cross over again. Barry wonders about Jessie, and Harry says that it's his fight... not theirs.
Iris wakes up and finds Wally there. He says that they're letting her out the next day, and talks about Francine took him for rides and played music. Wally races because he feels the same rush of speed, and if he stops then he worries that he'll lose her.
Caitlin runs a sample of Barry's cells after Harry drained the Speed Force from them. She warns that Harry would eventually have taken Flash's speed permanently, and Barry says that he's not going to send Harry back. He points out that they would have done the same thing in the same position, because they're all vulnerable when they protect their families. Barry refuses to give up on Jessie or Earth-2, and refuses to close the breaches and forget about him. He points out that he's the one who first said they should let Harry stay, and tells his friends that it has to be a group decision.
The team goes to Harry's cell and releases him. When he wonders what they're doing, Barry says that he's part of the team... and they're going to Earth-2 to help him save Jessie.
Written by Gadfly on Feb 3, 2016