The residents of Central City are celebrating the Day of the Dead Festival, and among the graffiti is someone saying "Help". Barry and Tina go to a Mexican diner and Barry figures that someone is trying to contact Flash. Tina notes that Barry has been eating a lot, just as the owner, Felix Tomarquin, brings out a cake to celebrate their being citizens for one year. His niece Paloma sarcastically says that says to serve Barry last.
Out at the taxi, Barry sends Tina to the show they were going to while he checks out the graffiti. He's received a note to come to All Saints Church when three bells ring. Barry goes there and some street toughs surround him. The leader, Javier O'Hara, draws a knife but Paloma arrives and says that Barry is okay. He asks them about the Flash graffiti, and Javier says that it's their neighborhood and they don't mark it up. The bells ring and Flash speeds in.
Flash speeds in and finds a man, Reuben Calderon, on the floor. As he confronts the man, another man shoots Flash with a tranq. Once he goes down, the shooter comes over and says that they'll make Flash do all of their work and he won't even know it.
The next morning, Barry wakes up to find himself in his own bed. The doorbell is ringing, and Barry answers. It's Tina, who complains that he never showed up for their theater date. Barry shows her the note that he found in the police mailroom and didn't tell Tina because he knew she would want to go. He doesn't remember anything after arriving at the church, but insists that he's fine as he pours himself a mixing bowl full of cereal and eats it at superspeed. Tina orders him to take it easy, and Julio calls to say that they need Barry.
Barry goes to the church where there's new graffiti saying, "We want him now". The police secure the crime scene, and Julio tells Barry that witnesses saw the missing statues walk out by themselves and went out into the street, stopping traffic. Garfield calls them in, and Barry notices a man glaring at them. Julio explains that he's the local Santero. Murphy and Bellows are there, and Garfield tells them to put the statues back. He then introduces Barry and Julio to Father Becerra, the church priest. Becerra says that the doors flew open and he was surrounded by the saints. A burst of wind lifted him off of his feat and deposited him next to the altar. Once Becerra leaves, Barry and Julio tell Garfield that they have nothing.
As the two scientists leave, they ask Felix and his family if they know anything. Felix dismisses it as pranking, but the Santero says that it's a reminder of the power of Chango and talks about "scarlet lightening". Paloma dismisses it as superstition, and Sofia tells Barry that her niece knows nothing. Barry asks Paloma to call him at the station if she learns nothing.
At Calderon's manor, the shooter--Marcos Trachmann--is watching a broadcast and Trachmann's head is wired with circuitry of his own design. On the broadcast, Kline says that Agent Peter Paul Aguilar has infiltrated the local drug cartel. Calderon warns his boss that if Aguilar testifies his work is destroyed, and Trachmann assures him that Aguilar won't testify. Calderon tells him to make Flash find Aguilar's daughter, and Trachmann figures that if they scare the locals then they'll hand Aguilar's daughter over.. He takes out a glove and helmet from a case and says that he has Flash's hands and eyes.
Garfield orders Barry and Julio to check out a Santeria shop that the Santero owns. Barry argues with Santero about the luchador wrestling match the Santero is watching, and the Santero finally tells Barry that he has no respect for his faith and knowledge. The man says that what happened is the black arts and it has no place in his shop. He tells the scientists that a black spirit has been called to Earth and they can only stop the god with a sacrifice. However, the Santero says that he doesn't know what the gods want as a sacrifice.
As Barry and Julio leave, Paloma approaches them and tells them that Santero is spouting mumbo jumbo. Sofia comes over and when Barry says that everything is okay, she says that he's in no position to judge.
Back at home, Barry makes a massive sandwich, and then has a memory flash of the Santero in his shop, down on his knees and calling to Chango. When Barry snaps out of it, it's eight hours later and there are beads on the floor. Tina calls and asks where he's been, and Barry tells her that he's lost eight hours.
The next day, Barry goes to Star Labs and Tina tests his brain. His fingers won't respond when he covers his right eye, and Tina explains that the two hemispheres of his brain aren't communicating. There's an apparent insect bite on the back of Barry's neck. The police call Barry to the Santero's shop, where someone has torn the place up. The Santero insists that it's Chango, a god of the wind. Barry finds beads like the ones at his apartment, and "We want him now" is written on the wall. The owner says that he can't press charges against a god and tells everyone to get out. Outside, Barry spots Paloma and asks him what's happening there. The Santero gives Paloma a bird's foot talisman and begs her to take it, but she throws it away and walks off. Angry, the Santero says that Barry brought the curse on all of them and then collapses. Barry superspeeds ahead of Paloma and surprises her, and says that he needs help
The newspaper capture Paloma on camera, and Trachmann and Calderon see her and realize that she's Aguilar's document. Trachmann insists that a brain is like a machine and they can be controlled.
Barry and Paloma go to a diner and Barry eats a lot more. She talks about Barry's girlfriend, and Barry assures her that Tina isn't his girlfriend. Paloma figures that Barry is available, and says that the talisman the Santero gave her is a black magic talisman for human sacrifice. She must come forward or someone she loves will die in her place. Paloma shows Barry a newspaper article about Aguilar and explains that he sent her there to hide with her aunt and uncle after Calderon killed her brothers. If Calderon finds her then he'll use her as leverage to stop Aguilar from testifying. Barry says that he's taking Paloma somewhere safe... unaware that Trachmann is outside listening.
Later at Star Labs, Tina runs a CAT scan on Barry. Paloma comes in, overhears them arguing, and says that she'll leave. Barry insists that he has work to do and leaves for the lab.
As Calderon watches, Trachmann puts on his helmet and glove so that he can take control of Flash.
At Star Labs, Paloma is sleeping in a chair. Tina checks the MRI of Barry's brain and finds a small implant. Flash comes in and knocks Tina out, and Calderon then has him grab Paloma, who wakes up and screams.
A few hours later, Barry comes in and says that he had another blackout. Tina's face is bruised, and she shows Barry the lab footage of Flash attacking her and abducting Paloma.
Barry goes to the Santero's shop and finds himself in his Flash costume. As the Santero looks on, Flash starts moving like a puppet, and he calls to Paloma who is watching and holds up the talisman. She throws it at Flash's chest, knocking him back in a burst of lightning, and Barry lies on the floor convulsing as Trachmann laughs.
Tina wakes Barry up from his hypnotic nightmare and has him describe what he saw. She shows him the implant diode and explains that it's emitting signals to "program" Barry, and Barry figures that they used him to get Paloma. Barry wants Tina to remove it, but she warns that it has a charge building up and will explode in 24 hours. Tina wants Barry to stay there so she can find a way to remove it, but Barry insists that he has to find Paloma and leaves.
At the lab, Barry finds an article online about Trachmann from his days at Harvard. Julio startles him and suggests that they hit the Day of the Death festival that night, but Barry figures that he owes Paloma to find her.
Trachmann calls Aguilar through a scrambled line and tells the agent to trade himself for Paloma
Barry approaches Aguilar as they bring him out of the courthouse. Kline is there doing a TV piece and interviewing Federal prosecutor Marguerite Giarelo. She says that Aguilar is going to withhold his testimony until he reviews it, and Kline asks if Calderon is holding Aguilar's daughter hostage to keep him silent.
That night at the Chango shop, the Santero repairs the place. Flash speeds in and asks why he betrayed Paloma. The Santero says that it was Flash's wish and asks why he sinned. Flash tells him that he did nothing wrong, and that the hero is a man with a gift and someone forced him to do his bidding with black science. The speeders apologizes and says that he must find Calderon, and the Santero tells him that Calderon's minions are the face of white death in the streets. Flash cleans up the shop at superspeed.
Flash races through the street, finds one of Calderon's drug dealers, and demands to know where he can find Calderon. Flash speeds to the manor and overhears Trachmann telling Calderon that Aguilar wants to make the switch at midnight during the festival. Continuing on, Flash finds Paloma and frees her. Trachmann and Calderon arrive and Calderon takes control of Flash.
Later, a truck driver is heading for Central City. Flash is standing on the road in front of him, and the driver brakes. The speedster runs off to avoid the collision and goes to Star Labs. Tina tells Barry that she found the signal frequency and blocked it. However, she warns that the diode is still there. An ultrasound pulse could destroy it but she'll have to jury-rig something to do it. Barry's metabolism has accelerated the energy build-up and the diode could explode at any minute. Despite the risk, Barry speeds off to stop Calderon and Trachmann at the exchange.
People are celebrating in the streets, and Javier brings Aguilar to the exchange. Calderon arrives with Paloma., and Trachmann takes control of Paloma through another diode that he implanted. He forces her to shoot her father, but Flash arrives and catches the bullet, then disarms Paloma and catches her as she collapses. Aguilar takes her to the sidewalk while Trachmann watches and takes control of Flash.
Trachmann has Flash bring Aguilar over to where he and Calderon are waiting. Tina blocks the signal and Aguilar subdues Calderon while Flash punches Trachmann. Trachmann fires bolts of lightning from his glove, and the two men struggle. Flash manages to knock Trachmann into a circuit boxing, shorting out the man's own implants.
Flash takes Paloma to Star Labs and tells Tina to test her equipment on him first before she uses it on Paloma.
The next day, everyone is at Felix's restaurant listening to Kline's report on Calderon confessing everything to the court. Aguilar offers a toast to Flash, wherever and whoever he is. Trachmann is in the hospital with brain damage, and the Santero gives Barry a small vial of powder as a gift to a fan of his favorite wrestler. Paloma reads the writing and explains that it's a love potion. and Barry smiles and pockets it.
Written by Gadfly on Dec 9, 2018