The Dark Riders motorcycle gang is outside the city courthouse chanting for the freedom of their leader. Reporter Joe Kline broadcasts that Judge Julius Reindell has overturned Nicholas Pike's murder conviction on the murder of Jay Allen due to legal technicalities. Pike and his lawyer, Monica, come out and bask in the adulation. Monica refuses to let Kline talk to Pike but says that he's satisfied that the judge recognized that Pike was framed for murder. She insists that the Flash murdered Jay Allen and pinned it on her client. Barry and Julio come out and Barry gives a terse "no comment" to Kline when the reporter asks for his opinion. The scientist storms over to Pike and warns him that it's not over, but Monica orders him away.
As Pike and Monica drive away, Monica assures her client that it's over. He takes her hand and promises her that it's just beginning and then kisses her. He assures her that he's going to make Central City pay for what it did to him... once he settles his score with the Flash
Later, Barry meets with his nephew, Shawn. When the boy wonders if the Flash actually killed his father, Barry assures him that he didn't and that the law made a mistake. When Shawn wonders what the point is of arresting criminals if the law lets them go, Barry doesn't have an answer.
Later, Barry is eating at a restaurant when Pike and Monica come in. Pike comes over and offers to make peace. When Barry refuses, Pike tells him that he's going to destroy the city and there's nothing he can do about it. He boasts that he killed Jay, calling him a coward, and Barry punches him. Monica leaps in to protest and Barry walks away.
At the station, Garfield berates Barry for giving the police a bad image and warns that Monica is playing the publicity for all it's worth. He has no choice but to suspend Barry for 30 days pending a hearing.
At Devil's Gate Dam, Pike and his gang bring in a covered case. Monica warns Pike that his obsession with the Flash will get him killed, but he says that he has something special for the hero and boasts that he can't outrun what Pike has for him.
At STAR Labs, Barry tells Tina that he's sick of being the Flash and wants a normal life somewhere away from Central City. He figures he might travel around and find someplace he likes. Tina points out that he's running away because he doesn't feel appreciated, and Barry says that he's tired of her critiquing him and that it's not about appreciation. He tells her that she can't understand and leaves to pack. As Barry leaves, Tina wishes him good luck and hopes he finds what he's looking for.
Barry leaves his dog with Julio and promises to call his friend in a week. They shake hands and Barry drives away.
Pike is in a mobile command van and anonymously calls the police to tell them that he's planted a dam at Devil's Gate Dam. He demands $10 million by midnight or promises to blow the dam and flood the city.
At the station, Murphy talks to Bellows about starting a fad electronics store. His partner would rather open a bowling alley. Barry stops by to clean out his desk and Garfield runs in to tell his officers that they have a bomber threatening the city. Donning his costume, Barry reluctantly runs to the dam and finds Pike waiting for him, watching on a television monitor from the command van. He then activates his "surprise": a heat-seeking missile. The Flash runs as fast as he can but the missile remains locked on his heat signal. Bored, Pike finally detonates the missile manually and the Flash is blasted out of existence.
A battered Flash wakes up in an alleyway and stumbles out onto the street. He's surprised to discover that the city is covered with posters of Pike and under martial law. The hero picks up a newspaper that says the name of the town is now Pike City and the date is March 3, 2001. The homeless are huddled on the streets and crime and poverty run rampant.
A heavily armored police car pulls up and the Flash ducks into an alleyway as the officers arrest an older Bellows and Murphy for selling illegal Flash contraband. The hero tries to superspeed to help them but discovers that his speed has deserted him. The police unmask him and scan his fingerprints, confirming that he's Barry Allan, missing for ten years. There is a notification order out on Barry if he resurfaces. However, before the police can take him in, a passing bicyclist tosses an explosive into their car. Barry runs off while Bellows and Murphy fade into the shadows.
As Barry runs down the street, a garbage truck pulls up and blocks his way. He tries to run but the driver gets out and calls to him. It's Julio, who gets Barry into the back of his truck. The police run up and Julio misdirects them and then gives Barry a uniform to wear.
Julio drives Barry to his old address and explains that he and Sabrina married and moved in to Barry's old apartment. Sabrina wonders why Barry disappeared for ten years and complains that they're endangering themselves by taking him in. The babies start crying and Sabrina goes to tend to them while Julio explains that they had twins. Earl Jr. is there although Earl is long gone. Barry offers to explain but Julio tells him that he knows that he's the Flash and figured it out after they both disappeared at the same time.
Barry wonders what happened and Julio explains that after the Flash disappeared, Pike took over the criminal organizations. He corrupted the police and the honest cops quit, and everything went downhill from there. Pike then bought himself an election and became the mayor, bringing factories and pollution to the renamed Pike City as part of his "revitalization plan." The rich have it better than ever and anyone who protests is arrested and given an electrical lobotomy at STAR Labs, now a "police rehabilitation center." Julio assures Barry that his parents moved to California, while Shawn joined the Liberation Underground. Julio stayed because he hoped things would get better, but they need someone like the Flash to get everything rolling. Barry explains that he lost his superspeed and asks where he can find Tina so that they can find a cure. Julio warns that the police are looking for Barry but the latter insists.
Julio takes Barry to the free clinic that Tina started up after Pike shut down STAR Labs. As Barry goes in, Pike's henchman Victor Kelso watches. Inside, Barry finds Tina tending to the sick and injured. She immediately slaps him, saying that he just walked away and let Pike take control. Tina refuses to hear Barry's explanation and Barry leaves. As he walks down the street with Julio, Julio agrees with Tina and Barry says that he was thrown ten years through time by the heat-seeking missile. As they walk, Julio spots Kelso and they run for it. The police cut them off, taser Barry unconscious, and haul him away.
At STAR Labs, Pike has Barry strapped into the lobotomy device and says that he always knew they would meet again. Kelso plays back surveillance footage from Julio's apartment and Monica explains that they've been watching Julio for sometime. Monica condemns Barry guilty of conspiracy and sedition and Pike orders a lobotomy. Kelso activates the machine and Pike advises him not to fight it. They turn up the voltage to maximum but the machinery short circuits. Barry superspeeds away, his powers restored, knocks out the guard, and tasers Kelso unconscious. He frees Julio and straps Pike into the chair, but then his speed fades again. Monica sets off the alarm as Julio and Barry escape.
When Barry wakes up, he finds Tina tending to him at her clinic. They realize that the electroshock recharged his metabolism for a few seconds. Julio has told Tina why Barry disappeared and she apologizes for her earlier reaction. Barry admits that he tried to leave town but couldn't, partially because of her. Tina backs away, saying that she gave up after years of waiting, and explains that she doesn't know what she believes in anymore. She tells Barry to leave but he asks for her help to become the Flash again. Tina warns him that his metabolism is in a dangerous state and any attempt to restore his powers could kill him.
Julio comes in and warns them that the police are on their way. Julio leads Barry and Tina out the back and into the sewers. They make their way to Devil's Gate Dam, the new headquarters of the Liberation Underground and Sabrina greets her husband. Lt. Garfield is there and explains that everyone knows that Barry is the Flash and Pike is offering a reward for his capture. Julio shows Barry their collection of Flash memorabilia, the "Flash Museum." Barry insists that the Flash was just a man, but Garfield says that to the young people, the Flash was a hero. A teenage Shawn, the leader of the resistance, comes in and greets his uncle. He asks if the Flash will save Central City from Pike but Barry admits that he's lost his powers.
Kelso reports to Pike that they've lost Barry and that he's probably joined the underground. Pike tells him to find the fugitive or undergo rehabilitation himself.
As Garfield passes out synthetic food, Shawn returns and tells them that Pike plans to execute all of his captive resistance members at noon tomorrow unless the Flash turns himself in. They don’t have enough weapons or people for a rescue attempt and Garfield warns that Pike won't keep his word in any case. Barry insists that he isn't the Flash but Julio warns that without the legend of the Flash, the citizens will give up. Tina suggests that they send Barry back to his own time so he can stop Pike from winning in the first place. They have to break into STAR Labs and Tina assures the others that she can override the security systems. They agree to her plan and Barry goes to the museum to admire the faux Flash costume they put together. As Tina comes over, Barry wonders if he can be what the people want him to be. She tells Barry that she believes in him. Barry dons the costume once more and tells the resistance that it's time.
Barry approaches STAR Labs and disables the guards with smoke grenades. Julio and Tina join him and they get inside, bypassing the security systems. Tina sets off an evacuation alarm and then changes the entrance doors. As Barry goes on ahead, a stray guard prepares to shoot him. Julio shouts a warning and the guard shoots him instead. Barry knocks the guard out and runs to his friend only to discover that he's dead. Tina tells Barry that they have to focus on stopping Pike and making sure that Julio hasn't died for nothing.
Kelso briefs Pike on the situation and the mayor says that he'll be there in five minutes.
Tina synthesizes a booster injection that should restore his powers for ten minutes. She warns Barry that his body could literally tear himself to pieces but he says that it's too late for second thoughts. Barry staggers and then realizes that he's regained his superspeed.
Pike arrives outside and tells Kelso to blow open the doors.
Tina explains that they have to create an explosion like the one that sent Barry through time. Their only option is to overload the laboratory's nuclear power plant. Barry points out that it will kill everyone, but Tina says that if her theory is correct then it will be as if nothing happened. They realize that they have no choice and Tina activates the overload. They kiss as the reactor reaches critical mass and Barry runs out just as the explosion goes off...
The Flash arrives in 1991 at the point just before Pike launched his missile. He shuts down the missile systems and then merges with his present-self. The Flash then runs to the van and captures Pike, Monica, and Kelso. He tells Pike to confess so he can record it but the criminal refuses. When he does, the Flash activates the missile and aims it at the van. Unless he redirects it, they all die. Pike finally cracks and the Flash tells him to reveal where he hid the murder weapon. When he does, the Flash redirects the missile just in time.
Later, Barry drives back to his apartment and cheers loudly as Earl and Julio come up. Julio wonders why Barry is staring at him and Barry hugs his friend in relief. Later, Tina comes over and they watch the news as Joe Kline apologizes for suggesting that the Flash killed Jay. She asks why Barry changed his mind about leaving and he explains that he realized that what he had was more valuable than what he thought.
Written by Gadfly on Dec 3, 2018