Barry races through Central City, chasing the man in the yellow suit who killed his mother.
One day earlier, Joe and Barry are at home decorating the Christmas tree when Iris comes in with eggnog. Joe steps into the next room to take a call from the DA, and Iris convinces Barry to exchange Christmas presents early. He gives her a replica of her mother's wedding ring, the one that she lost in the fifth grade. Iris apologies for only getting Barry a new microscope, and he assures her that it's fine. Eddie comes in to see Iris and notices the ring that she's wearing on a chain around her neck.
Later, Barry goes to S.T.A.R. Labs and gives his three friends their presents. Harrison leaves abruptly and Cisco reminds Barry that the dark-matter explosion happened a year ago, ruining Harrison's holiday.
Eddie and Iris stop at Jitters to get coffee, and Eddie wonders if Barry is in love with Iris. Iris doesn't believe it but Eddie points out that most friends don't get wedding bands for their other friends. He then gives Iris her own early present: a key to his apartment. Iris accepts and they hold hands.
As Caitlin goes to her car in the nearby parking garage, she notices a figure watching her from the shadows. She goes after the man and corners him in a hallway, and is shocked to see that it's Ronnie. Ronnie bursts into flame without hurting himself, and Caitlin runs away, shocked.
At Mercury Labs, a scientist emerges from the superluminal lab and tells the security guards that he's working on the future. The alarms go off and the guards order the scientist back into the lab. Once he goes in and seals the door, the yellow Blur speeds in and kills the guards. He goes to the lab door and stares in at the scientist, and then searches the rest of the building at superspeed.
Once the scientist calls the police, Joe, Eddie, and Barry arrive at the crime scene. Barry tells the detectives that something moving at high speed killed the guards. Eddie talks with the scientist, who describes the killer as a man in a yellow suit moving at superspeed. Barry figures that he's the same man who killed his mother, and Joe admits that he has already encountered the Blur when the killer stole his files and threatened to kill Iris if he continued his investigation.
The next day, Joe and Barry tell Harrison and the others about the killer. Harrison explains that Mercury Labs and S.T.A.R. Labs were competitors until the explosion, and since then Mercury Lab has taken the lead. The head of research is Dr. Tina McGee, and is developing prototypes for the future. When he hears about the superluminal project, Harrison realizes that Tina is working with tachyon particles, which move faster than light. Barry suggests that since the Blur wants the superluminal generator, they use it as a trap, and Harrison agrees.
Caitlin goes to Jitters to see Iris and asks her about her blog story about the "Burning Man." Iris promises to send her what she has and wonders if Barry is keeping any secrets. Caitlin says that he isn't as far as she knows of but suggests that Iris ask Barry.
Barry and Harrison call Tina to the police station and ask to use the prototype as bait. Suspicious, Tina wonders why Harrison is involved and he says that he's working as a scientific consultant. Believing that he's trying to get an edge on her, Tina refuses to assist them and leaves.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco and Caitlin are creating a force field to trap the Blur. Caitlin finally tells Cisco that Ronnie is alive. He doesn't believe it but Caitlin insists and asks for Cisco's help finding her fiancé.
At his lab at the station, Barry reviews his files on his mother's death.
Nora tucks Barry into bed and he worries about being in the dark. She tells her son that his fear will go away when he realizes that he's never alone. Henry comes in and kisses Barry goodnight, and the boy asks them to turn off the light. A few minutes later, the house shakes and the water rises out of the fish tank. Barry goes downstairs and sees bursts of red and yellow energy around his mother as she's stabbed to death by the Blur.
Iris comes in and tells Barry about Eddie's offer, and tells Barry that Eddie thought he might feel weird about it because he has romantic feelings for Iris. Barry assures her that he doesn’t and claims that he's just surprised at how fast Iris and Eddie's relationship has moved along because he was in a coma.
Once Iris leaves, Barry glances out the window and sees the Blur standing on a building across the street. He speeds after the Blur, who runs through the city and finally stops. Barry demands to know why the Blur killed his mother, and he says that Barry will have to catch him if he wants answers. The chase continues and the Blur runs into a football stadium. Moving much faster than Barry, the Blur easily defeats him and boasts that he'll always be one step ahead of Barry. Barry demands to know who he is, and the Blur--calling him Flash--says that Barry always knows, and it's always Barry's destiny to lose to him. With that, the Blur speeds off.
The next day, Barry tells his friends what happened. Harrison assures Barry that the force field will hold the Blur, and Joe and Barry go to the station to call Tina in and have her hand over the superluminal prototype. She realizes that their court order is a bluff and refuses, but Barry claims that he'll go public with the scientific secrets that he saw there during the police investigation earlier if she doesn't cooperate. Angry, Tina tells Barry that he's much like Harrison but has no choice but to give in. Once she leaves, Joe congratulates Barry, who walks off. Eddie comes over to Joe and tells him that he knows Flash is involved with the Blur, and insists on having his task force there when they set the trap. Joe reluctantly agrees and leaves.
Cisco creates a device to track the ionized particles that Ronnie gives off. He and Caitlin go back to the parking garage and Caitlin warns Cisco that Ronnie has changed. They finally locate Ronnie, but he insists that he's now Firestorm and tells Caitlin to go away. He then bursts into flames again and runs off before they can stop him.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, the team sets up the prototype inside of the force field generator. Harrison and Joe both tell Barry that they want him out of the building because he's emotionally too close to the situation. Barry doesn't like it but they insist and he leaves. Meanwhile, Caitlin goes into the pipeline and Cisco finds her there. She worries that he's turned into another metahuman freak and even if they do find him again, they'll have to imprison him like the Mist. She admits that she wishes Ronnie had died instead of becoming a metahuman, and Cisco hugs his friend as she breaks into tears.
Barry goes to see Henry and explains that Nora's killer escaped him. He blames himself for failing, but Henry says that he knows what Barry is going through. He's realized that Barry is in love with Iris, but he hasn't done anything because he's been too busy trying to find the killer to have his own life. Henry tells Barry not to let the Blur take his life from him along with his mother.
When Barry returns home, he hugs Iris and makes it clear that he loves her romantically. He tells her that he didn't say anything because he was afraid of losing her like he lost his parents. However, he's finally had enough of lying and decided that she deserved the true. Iris cries a bit and Barry apologizes for upsetting her and leaves.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Harrison, Joe, and the task force watch the chamber with the prototype as Cisco activates it. The Blur speed in to get it and Cisco activates the force field, trapping him. They enter the chamber and Joe demands to know why the Blur murdered Nora 14 years ago. The trapped villain ignores him and tells Harrison that he knows him, and that he wants is beyond the scientist's comprehension. Confident that he has contained the villain, Harrison says that he created the trap based on his knowledge of Flash. The Blur says that he's the opposite of Flash, a Reverse Flash.
In the control room, Cisco notices a fluctuation in the capacitators and warns Harrison. The force field drops for a second, long enough for Reverse Flash to grab Harrison and drag him back inside. He then starts beating the scientist, and Joe has no choice but to smash the generator to bring down the field. Caitlin calls Barry as Reverse Flash kills the SWAT team in less than a second. He then moves to Eddie, but hesitates, staring at the officer. When Joe tries to shoot the villain, Reverse Flash speeds toward him but Flash speeds in and smashes the villain through the skylight and into the street outside. The two speedsters fight and Reverse Flash easily defeats his opponent, ripping off as his mask. As he starts to administer the death blow, Firestorm steps out and blasts Reverse Flash away. Surprised, the villain says that he'll see Flash again and speeds off. Caitlin runs out and Firestorm tells her not to look for him again and then flies off on a blast of fire.
Later, Eddie wonders why Reverse Flash didn't kill him, and Joe admits that he doesn't know. Eddie wonders what Joe is keeping from him, and Joe tells him that metahumans exist and that they can't tell anyone for fear of spreading a panic. Eddie agrees to keep the knowledge a secret, and asks Joe if he knows who Flash is. Joe notices Barry enter the station and tells Eddie that Flash is the hero who saved both their lives.
Caitlin is banding Harrison's injuries and Cisco insists that the capacitators shouldn't have failed. They've told Harrison about Ronnie, and Caitlin apologizes for keeping it a secret. She says that she wanted to find a way to restore her fiancé, and Harrison promises that they'll find a way to cure him.
Joe approaches Barry in the police lab, and Barry admits that his fear of his mother's killer kept him in Central City for 14 years. Joe tells his foster son that when he first took Barry into his home, he didn't know if he could handle a young boy traumatized by loss. However, Joe assures Barry that he brought a life into his life and that he doesn't want to lose that light, or see Barry lose it because of fear. They go home and find everyone but Harrison there, and Joe admits that he called them there to cheer Barry up. After his beating, Harrison wasn't in a celebratory mood.
Barry congratulates Eddie on iris moving in with him, while Cisco talks privately to Joe. He says that during the fight he saw red and yellow lighting merging together, and remembers that Barry described the same thing when he saw Nora's murder 14 years ago. They figure that there were two speedsters in the house on the night that Nora died. Iris calls everyone to the tree and Joe puts the Christmas angel on the tree. As he does, Barry smiles and Iris, watching him, smiles back.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Harrison enters his hidden chamber, unlocking it with a ring with the Flash insignia on it. Inside is the Blur's yellow suit, and Harrison attaches the stolen prototype to its chest. Smiling, he speaks in Reverse Flash's distorted voice, saying "Merry Christmas."
Written by Gadfly on Jun 23, 2019