Ten months ago Farooq Gibran is climbing an electrical tower on the
outskirts of Central City, while his friends Jake and Darya look on. He
gets to the top and looks for the particle accelerator that is going
online. It activates and then explodes, and Farooq yells to his friends
to take cover. As he starts to climb down, the blast hits the tower and
the electricity sparks around him, shocking him. He falls to the ground
and Jake and Darya run over to help him.
In his hidden chamber, Harrison has his computer AI, Gideon, bring up a new log. He notes that it's been 311 days since Barry gained his powers, and he's now confident enough to use them to solve ordinary problems.
When Barry wakes up late, he's forced to get ready at superspeed and meets Iris at Jitters. When they get stuck in line, Barry invisibly superspeeds to get everyone their coffee and then heads for the station. A mugger tries to rob him, and Barry can't help laughing at the mugger for choosing the wrong victim. Barry gives the mugger the chance to run, but when he doesn't, Barry strips the man down to his underwear and drops off a cop.
Finishing his log, Harrison concludes that there is still time to train Barry in the full use of the powers. He confirms that the future is intact and his records show that Flash will disappear during the red skies. Harrison then goes to the lab just as Barry superspeeds in and apologizes for running late. The scientist reminds Barry that he agreed to help them research his powers and develop them, and says that he needs more speed from Barry. Barry agrees but then gets a call on a homicide and says that he has to go to work.
At the crime scene, Barry investigates the charred corpse. He points out signs of an arc blast, but Joe notes that there are no live wires or utility poles in the vicinity. Barry takes a photo of the body for Cisco and notices that Joe appears nervous. His adoptive father says that it's nothing, reluctant to mention the yellow blur that invaded his home for fear of Iris' life.
That night, Cisco runs facial ID software on the corpse and confirms that it's Casey Donahue, a worker at the Petersburg Electrical Substation. Someone just used Donahue's ID to enter the substation, and Caitlin confirms that there is a power drain occurring. Flash speeds there and finds a mutated Farooq draining electricity from the generators. Farooq manages to hit Flash with an energy blast despite his superspeed, paralyzing him. Desperate, Farooq says that he needs to feed and draws the electricity out of Flash's body. However, it proves too much for him and he staggers back. When Flash tries to run off, he discovers that his speed is gone.
When Barry gets back to STAR Labs, the scientists test him on the treadmill and confirm that he's lost his powers. Caitlin insists that it's impossible because Barry's DNA was changed at a fundamental level, not just charged up. Harrison figures that Farooq is feeding on electrical energy and needs it to survive. As Barry leaves to tell Joe what they're dealing with, Harrison tells him that they'll find a way to restore his speed.
At the station, Barry tells Joe what happened just as Iris comes in. She insists that Flash will protect Central City, and Barry "hypothetically" asks her would might happen if the speedster is gone. Before Iris can answer, Joe tells Barry to leave. He brushes past two officers transferring criminal William Tockman, aka "The Clock King", from Starling City. Tockman is fascinated by Barry's watch and tells him that they took all of his watches.
Harrison goes to his chamber and discovers that all future references to Barry and Flash have disappeared.
Barry returns to STAR Labs and admits to Caitlin that his speed felt like a part of him, and he wants it back. Caitlin tells him that he hasn't changed, but Barry doesn't believe that he's now the best version of himself. Cisco identifies Farooq's face from the substation surveillance cameras... just as Farooq arrives at the front doors. They bring him up on the cameras and Farooq demands to see Harrison.
At the station, Singh tells Joe that he's going off-shift and leaves the detective in charge. The only transfer they have in-station is Tockman.
When the scientists don't respond, Farooq drains the electricity from STAR Labs and from the city-wide grid. Tockman grabs a gun from an officer and shoots him, and orders everyone down. When another officer goes for his gun, Tockman shoots him as well and then repeats his order to everyone... including Joe and iris, who is still there with her father.
Farooq uses he excess power he's drained to start blasting through the outside doors.
Singh returns to the station and coordinates the SWAT troops, hooking up emergency generators. Barry calls the captain, who tells him what's going on. Once he hangs up, Barry tells the scientists that he needs his powers back to save his friends. Harrison suggests that they need to jumpstart Barry's cells, and warns that they'll need 20,000 kilo amps. Cisco proposes that they use the treadmill to transfer the electricity into Barry. However, Barry wants to talk to Farooq, saying that he understands what the college student is going through. Harrison advises against it, pointing out that Farooq killed an innocent man. However, Barry insists that the same thing could have happened to him and insists on trying to talk Farooq down.
Singh calls into the station, and Tockman says that he wants a helicopter or he'll start sending out corpses if the captain doesn't meet his demands. Meanwhile, Eddie sneaks into position and prepares to shoot, but Joe silently warns him to wait until he has a clear shot. Meanwhile, Singh asks for time to meet Tockman's requests but the criminal says that time is running out.
Barry confronts Farooq as he enters the building and tries to get through to him, saying that he was changed just like Farooq was by the dark-matter explosion. Farooq insists that he needs to feed and can't control himself. When his friends tried to revive him using CPR, he accidentally killed them with his touch. Barry assures Farooq that it wasn't his fault, but Farooq demands to see Harrison to get revenge on the man he holds responsible. When Barry tries to stop him, Farooq blasts him and Caitlin pulls Barry to safety while Cisco closes the blast doors. As Farooq starts burning through the doors, Harrison tells Caitlin to get Barry to the treadmill room and Cisco to bring the generator online. Cisco refuses to abandon the crippled Harrison. However, Harrison yells at him to go, insisting that Barry must have a future.
Joe tries to negotiate with Tockman, offering to speak with the DA. Tockman angrily says that the DA refused to give him furlough so he could say a final goodbye to his dying sister. Eddie steps out and shoots Tockman, but the criminal is wearing a Kevlar vest and is unhurt. He returns fire and shoots Eddie in the chest, and then tells Singh what happened and that he'd better hurry or Eddie won't be the first one to die.
Caitlin takes Barry to the treadmill, who is worried that he won't regain his speed and be able to save his family. Farooq enters the monitor room outside the test chamber and looks around, as Barry and Caitlin duck down below the window.
Harrison goes to the pipeline and confronts Tony. He tells Girder that he can free him... if he kills Farooq.
Farooq enters the treadmill chamber and Barry and Caitlin duck into the ventilator shafts. However, the metahuman says that he can sense the electricity in their bodies and starts to move toward them. However, Cisco turns on the generator and the power comes up. Farooq goes to investigate the restored power source, and Tony punches him. When Farooq blasts him, Tony turns into steel and withstands the blast... barely.
Barry gets on the treadmill, but Caitlin refuses to activate it for fear of killing him and losing someone else that she cares for. Barry tells her that someone once told him that the lightning chose him for a reason. He's not sure if he believes it, but he asks Caitlin what she believes. She hesitates and then activates the power, and the electricity flows enters Barry's body. The shock blasts him back and when Barry tests his powers, he tells Caitlin that it didn't work.
At the station, Iris begs Tockman to let them get Eddie medical treatment. Tockman finally uses Eddie's tie as a tourniquet and uses his blood to mark the time he applied it on Eddie's forehead. Iris says that Flash is coming for him, but Tockman isn't impressed.
As Barry and Caitlin go to find the others, Farooq blasts Tony down the corridor in front of them. Barry goes to the dying Tony, who tells him to run. Farooq fires another lightning bolt, and Barry and Caitlin run.
The helicopter arrives on the station roof and Tockman decides to take Iris with him.
When they get to the generator room, Caitlin takes a blood sample from Barry for analysis. They tell Cisco that Tony escaped from his cell, and the young scientist insists that he couldn't have gotten out despite the power failure. Harrison arrives and admits that he released Tony as a distraction so they could restore Barry's powers. Barry, furious, insists that Tony didn't deserve to die. However, Harrison says that someone had to make the decision and it was up to him. Disgusted, Barry says that despite all his claims of working for humanity, he doesn't care for people. He then asks the scientist which of them he'll sacrifice next. They hear Farooq coming and Caitlin suggests that they get to the garage and escape in a van. Harrison agrees and Caitlin confirms that Barry's cells are regenerating. Barry tries and fails to speed again, and Harrison figures that he has a mental block. Cisco suggests that Barry has the yips, and Caitlin tells Barry that she does believe... and he should, too. They hear Farooq coming and head for the garage.
Joe begs Tockman to take him instead as a hostage, but the criminal refuses. Desperate, the detective asks him to let Iris say goodbye to her dying boyfriend. Tockman hesitates and Joe reminds him that he didn't have the chance to say goodbye to his sister. The criminal relents and gives Iris twenty seconds. She kneels next to her boyfriend and he whispers something to him, and Iris hugs him. Tockman then grabs her and drags her away.
When they reach the garage, Barry starts one of the vans. However, Farooq arrives and blasts the van, knocking Barry out.
As Tockman drags Iris up to the roof, Iris gets out the holdout pistol that Eddie told her that she had. Tockman tries to attack her, they struggle, and a gun goes off.
As Farooq prepares to kill Barry, Caitlin, and Cisco, Harrison calls to him from the doors and tells Farooq to face him. He says that he hurt a lot of people that night, and knows every one of their names. He tells Farooq to punish him and the metahuman says that Harrison died that night as well... but just didn't know it. Farooq blasts the wheelchair and knocks Harrison out of it. As he prepares to deliver the death strike, Barry suddenly superspeeds forward, gets Harrison out of the way, then dons his suit and confronts Farooq. Farooq manages to hit Flash with an electrical blast and starts draining his energy again. However, this time he draws away too much and overloads, collapsing dead to the floor.
Once he's sure that his friends are safe, Barry runs to the station and gets there as the EMTs take Eddie out. As the police secure a wounded Tockman, Barry confirms that Joe and Iris are okay.
Caitlin puts Farooq's corpse in a pipeline cell. When Barry returns, she tells him that his cells are generating more energy than before, and Farooq couldn't handle it. Harrison figures that Barry has given him the speed that he asked him for earlier, and Barry apologizes for what he said to Harrison earlier about not caring. The scientist admits that he's arrogant and rude and doesn't care for people. However, he does care about a better future and assures Barry that he cares about him.
Later, Barry goes to see Eddie at the hospital. Joe and Iris are there, and Eddie is high on painkillers. Barry tells Iris that he was at home, an Iris goes to get some coffee. Joe knocks a flower vase off of a table and Barry catches it at superspeed. Eddie sees him do it but Joe tells him that he's hallucinating because of the painkillers.
Flash then speeds outside and apologizes to Iris for not being there. She says that she has to be her own hero sometimes, and Flash promises that he'll always be there for her from now on. Iris comments that Barry has said the same thing but he's always late, and the hero tells her that she's worth being on time for. Stunned, Iris goes back to Eddie and Joe points out that she forgot her coffee for the first time.
Harrison makes a new log entry suggesting that Barry's attachment to people is the key to getting him up to his full speed. He then checks the computer and confirms that his future is the same as before Barry lost his powers.
The next day, Barry returns to S.T.A.R. Labs and tells Harrison that it's not just about him. He wants to find out how fast he can really go and they start testing.
Later, Harrison goes to the pipeline cell and takes a blood sample from Farooq's body... so he can determine how the metahuman took Flash's powers.
Written by Gadfly on Jun 23, 2019