By Mina Haq
All of Barry’s training was tested this week on “The Flash” when he encountered a meta-human with the power to teleport and a selfish agenda. Meanwhile, Cisco runs into trouble while investigating what happened to Ronnie and Caitlin deals with her lack of social life by doing karaoke.
Let’s start with the teleporting meta-human named Shawna. This girl can basically teleportanywhere she can visualize, which helps when she breaks her romantic/crime partner Clay Parker out of Iron Heights. She suggests they make a run for it and leave the country, which is a very cheap and viable option since she can get anywhere she wants in less than a second. However, Parker owes a man named Marcus some money and he plans on paying his debt before he goes anywhere.
Barry gets the chance to see his dad during the CCPD investigation of the breakout. Henry tells him exactly who Parker is and where he might find him. When Barry tries to stop Parker and Shawna from stealing a bunch of money, he realizes that she can literally escape from his grasp no matter how quickly he gets to her.
Despite the fact that Caitlin told him to let the whole thing go, Cisco is still investigating F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M. to find out what happened to Ronnie. He gets Hartley’s help, even letting him out of the pipeline but cuffing him with a device that has the same deafening, screeching effect on Hartley that his gloves did. Hartley slowly and cryptically gives Cisco the bare amount of information, eventually leading Cisco to the conclusion that Ronnie definitely isn’t himself anymore.
The night of the explosion, Professor Martin Stein and Hartley literally merged into one person and now Ronnie is actually professor Stein. After Cisco realizes this, Hartley uses the frequency device against Cisco and manages to escape. There’s no doubt that he’ll be back. We’ll just have to see exactly how he’ll return and what his big revenge plan will be.
Caitlin is having trouble dealing with the realization that she really doesn’t have a social life outside of work, a feeling Barry knows all too well. They decide to kill two birds with one stone and go to the bar where Shawna and Parker used to hang out and see if anything suspicious happens while also living it up in their twenties. Obviously, nothing suspicious happens, but Caitlin does get belligerently drunk and forces a very sober Barry to do karaoke with her.
As he’s reeling from the embarrassment of his choices, a pretty girl named Linda hits on him and gives him her number. It’s up to him to figure out whether he’s ready to move on from Iris and use it. He doesn’t have to focus on that just yet, though, because Caitlin vomits and he has to get her home, get her changed and basically tuck her into bed. It was really sweet seeing him take care of her and seeing her drunkenly telling him that he predictably won’t do anything about Linda.
When the rest of the team finds out Cisco let Hartley get away, they’re initially furious. Cisco explains that he can’t just let go of what happened to Ronnie because he feels responsible, thus admitting that he sealed Ronnie into the particle accelerator before it exploded. Caitlin immediately tells him it wasn’t his fault and they redirect their attention away from Hartley to finding Shawna.
Barry’s dad gave Joe enough information that the CCPD is able to break up Marcus’s next heist, but then has to deal with the repercussions when one of Marcus’s men stabs him. He heartbreakingly confesses that he just wanted to be useful to Barry for once, and Barry can’t even stay mad at him. Unfortunately, Shawna teleported herself and Parker out during the crossfire and Barry still has to catch her. The S.T.A.R. Labs team realizes that she can only teleport when she can see, so they have to cut off her vision to keep her from teleporting out of Barry’s reach. He chases their car in a tunnel and breaks all of the lights, paralyzing her in her spot but giving Parker enough time to ditch her and run. They lock Shawna up where Hartley was before, cutting off her teleportation for good.
In the end, Caitlin finally comes to terms with what happened to Ronnie and makes the conscious decision to move on with her life and keep her options open, even romantically. Barry makes a similar decision and calls up Linda, who coincidentally works at the same newspaper as Iris. Seeing Barry and Linda together rubs Iris the wrong way despite her excitement at having her front page photo of The Flash published. This might be wishful thinking, but I hope her discomfort doesn’t turn into the most boring love triangle of all time.
Henry not-so-subtly hints to Barry that he knows he’s The Flash at that he’s really proud of him for being a hero and that he should be careful. The final scene shows two workers inspecting the sewage and being brutally attacked by a giant gorilla. For DC Comics enthusiast, the idea of a live action adaptation of Gorilla Grodd should be both awesome and terrifying. Who knows how the show will deal with an intelligent (possibly) talking gorilla, but given how well “The Flash” has done so far with its villains, I have faith that they’ll do Gorilla Grodd justice.