Tonight Barry had to make an impossible decision on "The Flash": either let Zoom take over Central City or let Harry Wells recreate the particle accelerator explosion to potentially give Barry his powers again. Both of these choices were huge risks, especially the accelerator because absorbing that much dark matter could kill Barry. Barry also got to see his father again in the this episode, which was a fitting reunion, considering Henry Allen might actually hold a key to stopping Zoom. Iris West opened her heart up to Barry tonight as well, which may have been bad timing on Iris' part, but it needed to be said, especially since Barry did decide to go through with the accelerator experiment after all. Tonight's episode also brought Cisco and his brother together, as the Earth-2 metahuman came to Earth-1 to hunt Cisco down. The episode concluded with a reenactment from the beloved fan-favorite comic book "Flashpoint" which may or may not have left non-comic book fans reeling from seemingly terrifying outcome. Tonight's episode was also directed by "The Flash's" visual effects director Armen Kevorkian, which made all the visual effects look absolutely stunning.
Tonight's episode kicked off with Barry (Grant Gustin) weighing the pros and cons of allowing himself to be exposed to the energy that was released by the particle accelerator that gave him his powers almost two years ago. While Harry Wells (Tom Cavanagh) was certain that he could replicate the explosion, Barry wasn't so certain it was the safest thing to do. While he was processing the decision he decided to go find Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp) to hear what his father would say about the experiment. Barry told his dad about Zoom (Teddy Sears), about him pretending to be a hero named Jay Garrick, and about Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker). While his father cautioned him to be safe and to not risk his life in such an extreme way, he had something very interesting to say about Jay Garrick. According to Henry, his mother's maiden was Garrick. The flips a few theories about the man in the iron mask on it's head. If Henry Allen's mother's maiden name on Earth-1 was Garrick, then the real Jay Garrick could be Earth-2 Barry's uncle. The real Jay Garrick could also be Henry Allen's name on Earth-2, if his mother never married, which means the actor John Wesley Shipp could be under that mask on Earth-2. We won't find out until the finale, but if you reacted to that Garrick name drop, please share your theories is the comments below.
Because Barry was without powers he and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) had to fight bad guys by using a digital character that Barry and Cisco could both control. It was kind of like using a video game avatar, but in real life. They were able to stop a few criminals this way, including one of Zoom's henchmen, Rupture. While Cisco was vibing during the episode, he saw an image of his brother Dante (Nicholas Gonzalez). Fearing Dante was in danger, he met up with him at a bar. While he and his brother were arguing, an Earth-2 metahuman showed up wearing a mask and carrying an electrified scepter. As it turns out, this metahuman was Dante's doppleganger and Reverb's brother. Rupture believed that Cisco killed his own doppleganger Reverb, and he wanted revenge. While Cisco and Dante were hiding from Rupture back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco was able to tell his brother that he had powers, that he was Vibe, and that he was sorry they had been so distant. When Barry and Cisco stopped Rupture while using the digital Flash, Dante realized that Cisco was trying to save his life. This life or death situation caused the Ramon brothers to reconcile, which was beautiful to witness.
With Zoom sending Rupture through the breach, it was only a matter of time before he amassed a metahuman army. He threatened to take over Central City, and let all of the police live temporarily, on behalf of Caitlin Snow. Once he knew Caitlin betrayed him and he saw the CCPD take down Rupture, he killed half-a-dozen police officers and exposed The Flash as a digital fraud. It was in this moment that Barry knew he had to try and get his speed back. Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) locked Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) and Jesse (Violett Beane) in the time vault to keep them safe, and Wells finished putting together all the components for the particle accelerator containment device. Barry knew that it would be dangerous, but he decided that the risk was worth it if he could stop Zoom.
Right before he strapped himself into the device, Iris (Candice Patton) decided it was time to tell Barry how she really felt about him. This was a moment "WestAllen" fans have been waiting to see since "The Flash" was first announced. Iris told Barry that she had feelings for him, that she didn't want him to get hurt, and that she wanted to see if there was a future for them. Barry was shellshocked, and considering her timing, he told her he needed to process everything before they could move forward. He then strapped himself into the particle accelerator device, and Wells proceeded with the experiment.
This whole sequence of events might just be the craziest we have ever seen on "The Flash." Barry was first injected with the same chemicals that were in his blood stream the night he was stuck by lightning. Wells then had to charge up the particles inside the accelerator. Cisco then had to use his "Weather Wand" and create a bolt of lightning that could be zapped into Barry at the exact time the particles collided. As all of these events were taking place, Jesse and Wally broke out of the time vault, and began to run down the corridor of S.T.A.R. Labs. When Cisco's lightning was ready and Barry's body was pumped full of chemicals, Wells released the particles and BAM -- tons of dark matter were released all over and into Barry's body. Within seconds Barry was gone, his energy was released all over S.T.A.R. Labs, including into both Wally and Jesse. His Flash suit was melted onto the ground and his body was gone. Not realizing what had happened, the team reeled from the shock of possibly losing Barry. When Zoom realized what had happened, he held up Barry's empty suit to gloat, believing The Flash to be dead and that he had won.
What a crazy way to end an episode! Especially because it appears that the accelerator explosion actually killed Barry Allen! Can you imagine if he is really dead? The question now is, where did Barry go? Did he become a part of the Speedforce? Did he get scattered throughout time? Is he on Earth-2? Has he phased to become temporarily invisible. The trailer for next week's episode answers some of those questions. For fans of the comic book "Flashpoint," how cool was it to see Barry in the device, ready to get zapped with all that lighting and dark energy? It was a scene straight out of "Flashpoint," just without Batman injecting Barry with the lightning. If you haven't read "Flashpoint" and you're worried that the accelerator killed Barry, try not to worry; the season isn't over yet.
Next week's episode is titled "The Runaway Dinosaur," is written by "Thor" writer Zack Stentz and directed by the legendary Kevin Smith. With only three episodes left of this season of "The Flash," it's only going to get more intense!
THE FLASH -- "The Runaway Dinosaur" -- KEVIN SMITH DIRECTS -- With Barry (Grant Gustin) gone, the team must figure out a way to handle the return of an old enemy -- Girder (guest star Greg Finley). Realizing Girder is retracing his steps from his last attack, Iris (Candice Patton) volunteers to act as bait to trap him in S.T.A.R. Labs. Meanwhile, Barry fights to return to his old life. Kevin Smith directed the episode written by Zack Stentz (#221). Original airdate 5/10/2016.
"The Runaway Dinosaur" airs Tuesday May 10 at 8 p.m. on The CW.