A masked figure in black drives to the docks and goes inside. Meanwhile, revolutionary Steve 4X and his men with the People's Army are celebrating after kidnapping heiress Felicia Kane. They turn on the TV and watch Joe Kline's newscast about the kidnapping. Steve 4X calls Garfield, who has Barry and Julio run a trace. The revolutionary demands $3 million and the release of his men in custody
Before Steve can end the call, the masked figure walks in and opens fire. Garfield and his officers hear the gunshots and then nothing. Julio finishes the trace and gives Garfield the address, and Barry runs to the warehouse as the Flash. Steve and all of his men are dead. He frees the sobbing Felicia and leaves as the police pull up outside. Meanwhile, the vigilante drives away, chuckling.
The next day, Dr. Rebecca Frost arrives at the station. She bumps into Barry as he goes into Garfield's office and goes in with him. Frost is Felicia's psychiatrist and refuses to let them talk to Felicia after the shock the girl has suffered. The only coherent thing that Felicia has said is "the Flash," and Frost suggests that the speedster is an unstable individual. When Garfield defends the Flash, Frost points out that they know nothing about the hero. He isn't interested in hearing it and tells her to let him know when they can talk to Felicia.
That night, Kline interviews Frost and radical lawyer Chesley Keefe, who is defending what's left of the People's Army. Frost argues that the Flash can't tell the difference between right and wrong, while Keefe suggests that the Flash is working for Felicia's father and Felicia joined the People's Army willingly. Tina and Barry are watching the TV as Frost attacks the Flash and finally turn it off in disgust. Barry is angry that Frost is ruining his reputation and Tina tells him not to let it bother him. He explains that before the accident he always ran second to his father and brother, and he wonders if perhaps he was changed more than he realized. Tina suggests that he talk to Desmond and share his feelings.
Desmond calls Frost into his office and asks what she's up to, and reminds her that her media profile reflects on the hospital. He then asks about Felicia and she assures him that she's recovering. Businessman Curtis Bohannan comes in with a check for the hospital foundation and Felicia recognizes him as the son of a famous mobster of the 1950s. He explains that he's back from Germany and trying to make amends for his father Derek's crimes, and insists that the Flash didn't kill the People's Army. Desmond agrees and Felicia complains that they're condoning vigilantism. As she leaves for her next appointment, Curtis invites her to dinner but Frost says that she's too busy. Once Curtis leaves, Desmond takes a call from the Flash asking for a private meeting so they can talk.
The new vigilante is in his secret hideout watching Kline running a news story on how the Flash may have become a killer. The vigilante, disgusted that the Flash is getting credit for his work, shoots out the TV screens and then calls Kline's station. The operator dismisses him as another lunatic and hangs up, and the vigilante vows that he'll get to Kline and make him listen.
Desmond is cleaning up his hideout when Barry superspeeds in without his mask. The retired hero admits that he's not particularly surprised and wonders why Barry there. Barry wonders if Frost is right and Desmond tells him that Frost means well but he shouldn't take her seriously. He figures that if Barry is questioning his sanity then he still has it, but warns him that wearing the mask can make someone think that they're judge, jury, and executioner. Barry sets out to find the killer and Desmond says that he won't don his mask once more. However, he's run a check on Felicia's father and learned that he's hired some people to track down the People's Army. Barry gives Desmond his mask back and leaves to check his street contacts.
Fosnight visits an old friend, retired criminal "Double Decker" Johnny Dortmunder, who is now running a bar. Johnny admits that he used to work for Boss Bohannan running numbers in the 50s until Nightshade busted things up. The vigilante guns the ex-racketeer down and drives away. Barry is outside, hears Fosnight yelling for help, and speeds after the vigilante. However, he discovers that the car is electrified and is stunned when he tries to open it. The killer doubles back and almost runs over the Flash before he can duck out of the way.
Desmond is at his office working late when Barry comes in with the ballistics report from Johnny's murder. The slugs match those at the People's Army massacre and Barry regrets that he hadn't gotten there soon enough. Kline is on TV again and runs a tape sent to him by the vigilante taking credit for both killings. He introduces himself as the Deadly Nightshade, much to Desmond's surprise.
The next day, Desmond talks to Felicia, who insists that the Flash wasn't responsible for the massacre. She describes Deadly Nightshade and breaks into tears, and Frost takes her back to her room.
Later, Barry bumps into Frost again at the station and he notices that she's dropped a Gothic romance novel. She explains that the Chief of Police has called her in as a psychiatric advisor on the Deadly Nightshade. Frost still insists that the Flash is disturbed even though he's been proven innocent in the murders. Julio overhears them arguing and jokingly suggests that they make an interesting couple.
The Flash goes to Nightshade's hideout and finds him donning his costume. He wants to clear his name even though the Flash points out that the police are looking for him because they don't know there's an imposter. Desmond angrily drives off and the Flash follows along.
At the Deadly Nightshade's hideout, Curtis checks on the plans for a strength-enhancing exo-skeleton in preparation for his inevitable conflict with the Flash. He vows to make up for his father's sins by hunting down criminals and those who would protect the guilty... and his next target is Chesley Keefe.
Nightshade and the Flash return to Johnny's bar and Nightshade explains that he wants to talk to his old stoolie from the 50s, Fosnight. Inside, Fosnight and the others, including an elderly moll named Pearl, are holding a wake for Johnny. The Flash speeds in and demands answers and all of the petty crooks draw guns. Fosnight tells him that Deadly Nightshade has been picking off small-timers. Nightshade comes in and assures him that they're all too old to be adversaries and they have nothing to fear from him. Fosnight insists that Johnny went straight and the Flash heads out to get a profile on their vigilante while the Nightshade's former adversaries get him a drink.
Keefe is having dinner at an expensive restaurant. Barry brings Frost there to get her assessment of Deadly Nightshade and she immediately goes to work. He interrupts and suggests that she slow down, and Frost admits that she's having trouble dealing with the abduction of her patient. Frost insists on giving him her assessment on both Deadly Nightshade and the Flash. She suggests that both vigilantes turned to crimefighting after losing a family member to violent crime. As they talk, Barry snags a basket of breadsticks at superspeed and Keefe sees him and realizes who he is. Keefe comes over and accuses Frost of hiring Barry to track down Felicia. Before he can explain, Deadly Nightshade pulls up and guns Keefe down. Barry goes after him but the vigilante drops caltrops behind him, delaying the Flash and making his getaway. Barry goes back to the restaurant as Frost confirms that Keefe is dead.
Deadly Nightshade soon sends another tape to Kline vowing that no one is safe. Kline insists that every criminal is entitled to due process and Deadly Nightshade is no better than the scum he wants to wipe out. Curtis, watching, promises to make Kline pay.
Barry meets up with Desmond after confirming that the caltrops were bought from an arms manufacturer in Germany and can't be traced. They have brought a blindfolded Fosnight there and ask him who defended Derek Bohannan and let Johnny take the fall. Fosnight tells them that Keefe defended Derek and they figure that someone with resources got hurt and is out for revenge. Desmond suggests that Curtis may be Deadly Nightshade and they go to pay Curtis a visit after dropping Fosnight off.
The Flash gets to Curtis' estate first and is shocked when he touches the electrified gate. Nightshade arrives and shuts down the gate, and the two heroes go inside. The Flash finds Curtis' high-tech hideout and the exo-skeleton. There's also a scrapbook of Nightshade's exploits and they figure that Curtis is a fan. When Nightshade came out of retirement to deal with the Ghost, Curtis decided to emulate him. The Flash finds a new tape from Curtis' personal diary vowing to kill Kline and the host's show is live at 10.
Kline is interviewing Frost when Deadly Nightshade bursts in and tells Kline to confess. Frost tries to get through to him and Deadly Nightshade promises that he'll deal with her next. The Flash speeds in and gets Kline and Frost to safety as the vigilante opens fire. Deadly Nightshade manages to shoot the speedster in the leg and then uses a smoke grenade to cover his escape. Kline goes over to interview the Flash and remove his mask, but Nightshade arrives and knocks out the host with a tranq dart. The elder hero then helps the Flash out.
Later at the station, Garfield finds some old files belonging to his predecessor, Police Captain Julius Schwartz. Schwartz refused to bring in Nightshade, believing he was a force for good, but suspected the vigilante's real identity. Garfield discovers that Schwartz suspected Desmond.
At the hospital, Desmond treats Barry's wound and figures that Curtis has gone into hiding. Barry promises to go at half-speed and sets out to find the vigilante. However, Garfield arrives with his men and puts Desmond under arrest for murder. Once he's in a cell, Barry talks to Desmond privately and asks why he didn't tell him that Curtis is the killer. Desmond points out that he couldn’t have revealed what they know without incriminating Barry and exposing themselves as vigilantes. Barry promises to get Desmond out by bringing in the guilty party, and walks out past Frost. The psychiatrist asks if he's Deadly Nightshade and Desmond asks what she thinks.
Later, Curtis drives to the station and dons his vigilante costume, and then walks into the station.
The Flash returns to Curtis' hideout and discovers that he's taken the exo-skeleton with him. A map shows that Curtis has pinpointed both Desmond's garage and the hospital and the Flash realizes that Curtis has figured out that Desmond is Nightshade. When Barry returns to the station, he discovers that Deadly Nightshade broke in using tear gas, ripped down a cell door, and took Desmond with him.
Curtis takes Desmond to his old hideout and asks him to join him, but Desmond refuses. The vigilante insists that he's killing scum, not people, and shows his idol the exo-skeleton that will let him match the Flash's speed. The Flash arrives and attacks Curtis, who tosses the Flash aside and fires at him. The speedster disarms him but with his wounded leg is unable to match Curtis' combined strength and speed. Curtis throws the Flash outside through the hidden entrance while Desmond frees himself on one of his old trophies. The retired hero then shoots Curtis with a tranq dart, giving the Flash the opportunity short-circuit his exo-skeleton. As police sirens sound in the distance, the Flash reassembles the entrance and takes off.
Later, Barry comes to see Desmond at his office. Desmond has received book and movie offers and wonders why Barry is dressed up. Frost comes in, wearing an evening dress, and they leave for dinner. Desmond advises him to take it slow and tells Barry that he plans to have a garage sale.
Written by Gadfly on Dec 3, 2018