In Central City, a mother calls her children in, warning that it's not safe. The citizens run away as a motorcycle gang, the Dark Riders, rides through the city, tossing explosives and spreading chaos and destruction wherever they go. When two police officers try to stop them near the Central City Armory, the bicyclists blow up their car.
At the home of the Allens, the family celebrates the 42nd birthday of Jay Allen. He makes a wish and then comments that he wishes he had the brains of his younger brother, police scientist Barry Allen. Barry and his girlfriend, Iris West, assure him that he's doing fine and Jay's father Henry says that Jay is doing great as the head of the motorcycle division. When Henry notes that Jay took down a hijacking gang, Jay points out that it was Barry and his scientists who put them on it. However, Henry dismisses his younger son's contributions, saying that it's the men on the street that are the real cops.
As Iris makes some ginseng tea, Henry asks his sons what the police are doing about the Dark Riders. When Shawn mentions them by name, his mother Eve is shocked and Iris points out that the gang's name was all over the news. Jay admits that they can't get a fix on the gang and they're able to come and go at will. Henry talks about how they would have handled the Dark Riders in his day, and Barry has Shawn go out to the kitchen with Barry's dog Earl. As they go into the living room to have Jay's cake, Barry gets a page. Meanwhile, Iris explains to Henry's wife Nora that she does computer art. Barry checks the call and tells Jay that they've got a crime scene and he's got it covered. Henry makes a passing remark about Barry stubbing his toe on a footprint and Nora takes him to task, but Henry say she didn't mean anything.
Barry is clearly upset and Jay goes out with him, telling him that his father is just blowing off hot air. He reminds his brother that he promised not to become a street cop and Barry thanks him for his support. Barry then gives Jay his birthday present: the medal he won during his high school track days and wore for good luck. When he wonders what happened to it, Barry says that he borrowed it 25 years ago and forgot to get it back.
Barry arrives at the armory and TV reporter Linda Park comes over to get a statement. She asks what Barry can confirm about the death of a watchman and the theft of automatic weapons. When Linda doesn't get an answer, Barry's partner Julio Mendez comes over and bails him out. As they go over the tire tracks, a storm starts up and they hurry to gather evidence before the rain washes out it out. Barry finds a clay sample and bags it.
Back at the police lab, Barry and Julio watch the news as reporter Joe Kline interview Chief Arthur Cooper, who insists that they're doing everything possible. Kline doesn't believe it and warns Cooper that the public doesn't either. Barry turns off the TV and has Julio check the clay sample against one they found a week earlier. Julio points out that they're going into overtime but Barry says that he's going to stay on to break the case. They continue working until Julio dozes off. Barry sends him home to get some rest and Julio figures that Barry is taking Kline's comments personally.
As Barry continues working, storm clouds gather overhead and a lightning bolt strikes a rack of chemicals as Barry gets some supplies. He's thrown back and knocked unconscious, doused in the electrified chemicals. Julio hears the explosion and comes running back, calling for help.
The next day, Henry, Nora, and Iris wait for a report from the doctors. Jay talks with them and brings them in. Barry is feeling fine and preparing to leave despite the objections of his physician, Dr. Lawrence. Henry, impressed, comments about how he did the same thing after he got shot during a case. Iris takes Barry home but they stop at a diner first. As she talks about her work, she notices that Barry seems distracted and he admits that he's been looking at his life since he almost got killed. Iris refuses to discuss it, saying that it's enough that she loves him, and Barry reluctantly accepts that. She wonders what he was doing at the lab at 3 a.m. and asks what he has to prove.
The gang gathers at Devil's Gate Dam and makes preparations for their next assault. Rick talks to one of the girls, Lila, and warns her that they might be in over their heads. Lila insists that their leader, Nicholas Pike, won't let them get captured but Rick doesn't believe it. He has enough money to get them both out of town, and Lila tells him that she'll get the rest of her stuff. Instead she goes to tell Pike what Rick is up to. He sends two of his men to bring Rick to him while he tells the Dark Riders that the city is crumbling. When his men bring Rick forward , Pike promises everyone that they'll get their fair share when they control Central City. He then has his men tie Rick backward to a motorcycle and send it out into the night with an explosive on his back. The bike runs down the tunnel and explodes.
Barry returns to the lab and Julio is surprised that he's back. He tells Barry that Lawrence called and wanted Barry to call him back. When Barry makes the call, Lawrence says that he has sent his test results out. Julio listens in and asks what's going on, and Barry reluctantly explains that there were signs of cell damage and Lawrence sent the test results to a specialist at STAR Labs. He refuses to be a guinea pig for anyone and sends Julio to get some soil samples. As he reaches for a coffee cup, Barry hits it so fast that it shatters against the opposite wall. He dismisses it as an accident and shrugs.
The next morning, Barry is sleeping when Earl brings him the leash and whimpers until his owner takes him out. They go for a walk in the park and Earl chases after a stray baseball. Barry tries to keep up and runs past Earl at superspeed, slamming into the nearby woods. He staggers out and then collapses.
Back at home, Barry discovers that he's suddenly overwhelmingly hungry. He eats every bit of food in the apartment and is still hungry. Earl backs away nervously from his master as Barry checks his messages. Iris has left a message about her gallery opening and he realizes that he's late for helping her set up. When he goes to his car, Barry discovers that he has a flat tire and the bus is halfway down the street. He runs after it... and accelerates to hundreds of miles an hour. Before he can stop himself, Barry runs thirty miles out of town into the lake and finally stops. He passes out and by the time he wakes up, it's evening. He calls Iris from a phone booth and she wonders if he's okay. Barry tries to explain what happened but she doesn't believe him and hangs up.
Back at his apartment, Barry is eating more food when he hears a newscast about a new gang assault. A woman calls and introduces herself as Tina McGee from STAR Labs. Barry says he's been having some unusual reactions and Tina asks him to come in the next day. The next morning, Barry meets Tina—an attractive young woman—and he admits that she's not what he expected. They go into her new lab and she wonders why he didn't want to come to STAR Labs. Barry points out that the place has a reputation for unorthodox experiments. When she dismisses them as rumors, Barry points out that a researcher died a year ago. Tina admits that's true and that the dead man was her husband.
They go into the lab and Tina explains that she's the only one who works there. She has Barry go over what happened and then attaches wireless sensors to his body. Barry starts running on a treadmill and he accelerates to 347 miles per hour until the machine burns out. Tina runs a series of scans and discovers that Barry's metabolism has accelerated and his bones and muscles are changing to keep pace. She has him perform more tests until he becomes exhausted, and Tina confirms that his blood sugar is low.
They go to a pizza place and Barry eats three pizzas. Tina explains that his body is burning up so energy that he has to replace it. Barry worries that he might age prematurely and Tina says that she can help him. However, she wants to keep it secret for the fear that the government will view Barry as a security risk and take him into custody to dissect him. Tina explains that the government did the same thing with her husband David after he developed an enzyme to enhance the senses. When they refused to conduct human experiments, the government threatened their funding and David tried the enzyme on himself and died. Barry agrees and assures Tina that no one else knows about his condition. She's eager to get started but Barry insists that he wants to be cured, not studied.
That night, Barry is feeding Earl when he sees Iris pull up outside. He tries to clean up his apartment at superspeed, only to generate a whirlwind that messes the place up even further. When Barry answers the door, Iris points out that his shoes are on fire and he claims that he dropped a match on the carpet. He blames the mess on Earl and explains that he's been having blackouts. Iris wonders why he was with a specialist on a Sunday and Barry says that he'll be fine. She then suggests that they break up for a while and slow things down so they can figure out what they want. Barry says that he knows what he wants but Iris says that she's too young to get married and leaves.
At the dam, Lila goes to see Pike. He grabs a knife and threatens her, but she says that she's found out about the task force and he kisses her. Lila explains that Chief Cooper is going to show off the new task force on TV at 9, and Pike tells her to have the gang gas up the bikes. Before she goes, Lila notices a book named Central City Police Motorcycle Officer's Handbook. It has Pike's name on it, and he explains that he wrote it a long time ago.
At the police lab, Barry comes in and finds Jay waiting for him. Jay realizes that Iris dumped his little brother and starts to say that he's better than the artist, but Barry cuts him off. Julio comes in and tells them that they got a hair sample from the Dark Riders' latest attack. He also tells Barry that he has a meeting with the head of the Dark Riders Task Force after Cooper's press conference. When Barry admits he wouldn't wish the job on his worst enemy, Jay speaks up and says that he's in charge. Barry congratulates Jay as his older brother takes off.
At the press conference outside the station, Cooper introduces Jay and his squad of motorcycle officers. As Jay addresses the press, the Dark Riders drive by and open fire. Barry sees them and pushes Julio to the floor at superspeed as shots go through the window. The gang wounds Cooper and fire red paint at the building, marking it with their "blood dot" symbol. They drive off before the police can return fire and Jay tries to contain the scene. Linda asks for a statement and Jay promises to bury the Dark Riders. As Barry comes out, Jay starts to lose his temper and the scientist quickly ends the interview before his older brother says something he'll regret later.
At the dam, Pike and his gang watch Linda Park's newscast and cheer. Pike watches as Jay makes his statement and recognizes his former partner, the man who betrayed him and scarred him. He vows to kill Jay and send the city a message.
The next day, Barry meets Tina at STAR Labs' test track. She has him wear a Soviet prototype deep-sea suit with reactive insulation. The suit will regulate Barry's body temperature at high velocities and resist friction. Tina gives him an ear communicator and attaches more monitors, and Barry begins running. He circles the track repeatedly, breaking the speed of sound. When Tina asks how it feels, he picks her up and takes her around the track a few times. After a moment he puts her down and apologizes, admitting he was carried away. Tina confirms that his pulse and breathing are regular as his body adapts, but he momentarily weakens. She suggests it might be dehydration or glucose deficiency and takes him back to the lab to check him out.
At 6 p.m., Julio starts to leave the lab just as Barry arrives with Tina. She explains that she asked Barry to show him around, and when she walks away Julio comments that Barry is a fast worker. Tina notices a DNA report coming in on the hair sample and they confirm it belongs to a former motorcycle cop, Nicholas Pike. Barry remembers that he was Jay's partner and was thrown off the force three years ago when Jay realized he was running a hijacking ring. Jay chased him down and Pike's cycle crashed and burned. Julio warns Barry that Jay is on patrol under radio silence, guarding a truck with medical supplies on the same highway where Jay trapped Pike three years ago. He starts to leave and Tina, realizing what he plans to do, warns him that anything could happen. Barry says that Jay's his brother and takes off.
The task force escorts the truck down the highway and spot a car blocking the road. Lila waves them down and tells Jay that her engine died out on her. As the officers move up to push it out of the way, Lila asks Jay for help and he agrees to radio for a tow. Once he goes back to his bike, Lila runs off and Jay realizes that it's trap. The car explodes, killing Jay's men and blowing him to the ground. Pike rides up and knocks Jay down, and then circles back and rams him off the road. The gang leader grabs him and Jay realizes who he's dealing with.
Barry runs through the city to the highway and finds Jay's discarded helmet. He spots his brother off the road and runs to him, only to discover that Jay is dead.
A day after the funeral, Henry goes back to Jay's grave to cry privately. Barry finds him there and Henry explains that he wanted to say his own goodbye. When Barry checked on Eve and Shawn, Shawn wouldn’t let go of his uncle. Henry angrily says that he was nothing but a beat cop, but Jay could have gone all the way to the top. Barry tells his father that he's going after Pike but Henry tells him that a man has to know his limitations. He assures Barry that he has faith in him but won't give his blessing. When Henry warns Barry not to make empty threats, Barry assures him he has what he needs to bring Pike in.
Barry goes to Tina at the lab and tells her that the testing is over. He figures that she'll understand because she's lost a loved one and asks her to build a mask and gloves for the suit to conceal his identity and his fingerprints. Tina warns him that his power is unstable and points out that he wanted to get rid of his power, but Barry says that he's changed her mind. She refuses to help and Barry says that he'll do it without him. As he goes, Tina agrees to give him what he wants if she'll let him add sensors to make sure that he's okay. Barry agrees but asks her to incorporate an insignia, one to strike fear into Pike's heart. He shows her a sketch of a yellow lightning bolt.
That night, the Dark Riders raid passing Central City Chemical for more ingredients for their explosives. A masked Barry speeds along behind them and releases the catch on one cargo container. The driver goes back to get it and a figure past him. When the driver turns back, he discovers that his motorcycle has been completely disassembled.
Barry catches up to the rest of the gang and thrusts a board into the wheels of the trailing motorcycle. The other gang members pause briefly but remember Pike's instructions to keep going. Barry appears in front of them and uses a pole to knock the lead drivers off their bikes. However, he weakens momentarily and the remaining two bikers go past. Recovering, Barry yanks one off of his bike and the last one, Lila, crashes trying to escape. No matter where she runs, Barry speeds in front of her. When he rips off her helmet, Barry realizes that she's a woman and hesitates long enough for Lila to stab him in the leg. As she runs off, Barry pulls the knife out and hides as the police arrive and capture Lila.
Tina is in the STAR Labs mobile lab and tracks Barry via the sensors. Meanwhile, Barry steals a set of clothes from a line and walks down the street. Officers Murphy and Bellows are on patrol and spot him. They pull over to ask how he's doing and Barry claims that he was chasing Earl. They offer him a ride and he accepts, and the officers extend their condolences. As they pull out, Murphy tells Barry that they captured some of the riders, who claimed that a ghost attacked them. Tina watches from the van and drives after them.
Bellows and Murphy drop Barry off at his apartment and point out that Earl is upstairs in the window. Barry says Earl must have beat them back and limps off, and Murphy points out to Bellows that Barry is wearing red boots. As they leave, they realize that someone ate all of their doughnuts but blame it on each other. Tina goes upstairs and explains to Barry that she's been following him. He takes her up to her apartment so she can check on his leg and they find Iris waiting for them. She gets the wrong idea and Tina claims that she's a fingerprint expert consulting with Barry on the Pike gang. As Tina goes, Barry goes after her and apologizes. He says that he'll call her if his leg gets any worse and then goes back upstairs. Iris offers her condolences on Jay's death and then says that she's been missing him. She kisses him but Barry pulls back and says that he feels differently about marriage. He says that he won't push Iris on it anymore, and she admits that she came there to accept his proposal. They agree to get back together and see if they can have things the way they were.
After sex, the couple takes a break to watch boxing. When Barry starts again, Iris reminds him that they ordered Thai food. He manages to tear himself away and comes back with a few seconds later. Iris wonders what happens and he tries to convince her she fell asleep, and then distracts her with sex. Later, Barry gets a bandage and stitches for his leg wound only to discover that it's almost entirely healed.
When Barry goes to the station, he asks the investigating officer, Petrolli, to let him talk to Lila. Petrolli figures that a lab scientist can't get anything out of her but Barry says that Jay taught him a few things about interrogation. The detective reluctantly gives Barry five minutes and the scientist tells Lila that he believes her when she says she saw a ghost. Barry says that he was "fast, like a Flash" and describes his alter-ego as the Flash, warning Lila that if the police don't find Pike first, the Flash will. Lila refuses to talk and Barry tells the matron to send Lila's clothing to the crime lab.
As the police crack down, Pike shoots his TV monitors, grabs a handful of explosives, and orders his gang out onto the streets to rain hell down on Central City.
At the lab, Barry analyzes Lila's clothing and finds some vegetable matter. Julio comes in with botanical maps and Barry confirms that the soil samples from earlier and the type of weed are only found in one location. Devil's Gate Dam. Barry speeds off before Julio realizes that he's missing.
As the Flash, Barry goes to the dam and confronts the two remaining gang members, Tyrone and Scott. Moving so fast that he's invisible, Barry knocks the two of them out and then checks Pike's quarters. Lying on the table is Jay's medal.
Barry goes to the station and tells Cooper that he's located Pike's base at the dam. He warns the chief that they're heading for the city jail to break out the captured gang members and anyone else. Barry shows Cooper Jay's medal as proof that he was there and knows what he's talking about. Once the police leave, Barry goes out to his car to get his uniform. He suffers from another bout of weakness and just manages to call Tina for help before passing out.
The Dark Riders break into the jail, shooting down anyone who gets in their path. They then break out the prisoners and arm them. Pike finds Lila and the couple embrace before running out. Outside, Cooper and his men pull up and Murphy warns him that Pike has released the most dangerous prisoners. The chief calls on Pike to surrender and the gang opens fire.
Tina takes the van and drives to pick up Barry. She gives him oxygen and glucose and explains that he suffered another metabolic failure. When Barry wonders if it will happens, Tina admits that it may take time for his system to adjust. She refuses to leave him and Barry says that he knows she's following him because Tina doesn't want the same thing to happen that it did to David. Barry dons his costume and takes off, telling Tina that he doesn’t need her help. When she tries to drive after him, Tina discovers that the engine won't start.
As the police return fire, the SWAT leader advises Cooper to fall back because they can't get close enough to use their tear gas. Before the chief can decide, the Flash runs in, disarms the convicts on the roof, and knocks them out at superspeed. He then dumps the tear gas grenades into the ventilators.
Pike explains his plan to break through the police barricade and take the city. Tear gas starts drifting in and Pike finds a gas mask and runs off, abandoning Lila.
The police wonder how the tear gas got into the building. Bellows looks up at the roof and sees the Flash for a split second. He tries to convince Murphy that he saw it but his partner figures that he's hallucinating.
Pike drives his bike down into a service tunnel and the Flash gets ahead of him. The gang leader tries to run him down and his bike goes out of control. The Flash starts to tell Pike that he killed Jay, but he collapses again and Pike grabs a pipe and beats him. The gang leader hits the speedster and knocks him into a subpassage, and then goes back to get his bike. Realizing that it's totaled, Pike climbs up to the surface at the electrical plant.
The Flash regains his speed and runs after Pike, who fires a grenade launcher at him. The hero easily evades it and punches Pike repeatedly. He then generates a whirlwind, lifting Pike into the air and onto the electrified support structure. The shocked villain collapses and the Flash ties him up with cable and leaves him for the police.
As Tina gets a tow back to STAR Labs, Barry shows up and Tina complains about how he stole her distributor cap. Barry tells her that he got Pike and it's over. He apologizes for stopping her and admits that he was afraid that she'd get hurt, and Tina assures him that she can take care of herself. When it's clear that Barry plans to continue serve Central City as the Flash, Tina worries about the side effects. Barry assures her that he has faith in her and Tina figures that if she refuses then he'll do it anyway… and tells Barry that she has faith in him.
Later, Julio and Iris have dinner with Henry and Nora. They discuss the Flash briefly and whether he exists, and Eve notices Barry outside with Shawn. Barry is telling Shawn stories about his father and how he was a star in track. He gives his nephew his father's medal and Shawn admits that he misses his father. Barry promises Shawn that while he can't run like Jay, he'll always be there for him... like a flash.
Written by Gadfly on Dec 3, 2018