This week The Flash delivered a refreshingly solid episode simply by letting the characters feel like themselves for the first time in a long time. The friendships on the show hit their natural rhythms and it was a big relief to see Barry rallying to save someone’s life. Barry’s speech at the end was a great moment of empathy and showed the kind of heroism and morality he’s been lacking for most of the season.
This was a big episode of Wally West and Iris West. Wally is still doing speed racing, even with Francine’s medical bills paid off. Joe isn’t ready to take on the strict father role, so Iris takes on the responsibility of trying to put a stop to the racing. For Iris West, this means not just talking to Wally, but using her investigative journalism to try to get the entire speed racing circuit shut down. The plot did a nice job of showing how stubborn they can both be and it was satisfying seeing them finally having an honest conversation at the end of the episode.
Cisco continued to show off his tech brilliance– even if Caitlin and Barry had to rudely remind him that they think Felicity is a better hacker. The app could be an interesting plot point in the future. Mostly, I’m just hoping that Cisco is getting money somehow off at least some of the amazing work he’s doing.
The villain-of-the-week in this episode was Tar Pit. He’s not too interesting in and of himself but it gave the episode a nice structure and tied to the subplot with Wally very well, bringing everyone together for the episode’s climax when he uses his power to turn the track Wally is racing on into tar.
During this final showdown, shattered glass hits Iris and Barry is too slow to prevent it. Back at STAR Labs, Harry confesses that he was the one responsible. He’s been stealing Barry’s speed under orders from Zoom, who has his daughter. The reasons for Harry’s actions are understandable and his character shines in this plotline.