By Mina Haq
On this week’s episode of “The Flash,” Barry struggles to balance dating with his professional responsibilities while the S.T.A.R. Labs team tries to get Ronnie Raymond back and Joe recruits Cisco to figure out who killed Barry’s mom.
When the team learns that Martin Stein, or Firestorm, has wounded his formed classmate Quentin Quail while still inhabiting Ronnie’s body, they try to track him down by visiting his wife, Clarissa. As far as Clarissa knows, Martin has been missing since the day of the explosion. However, when the team shows her a picture of Ronnie, she tells them that he showed up at her house a month after Martin’s disappearance. So, Caitlin and Wells stake out the house while Barry goes on a date with Linda and Cisco takes care of some police business.
Barry’s nerves are at an all-time high during his second date with Linda, since she’s very interested in moving fast and Caitlin and Cisco warned him that he won’t be able to last very long if things start getting heated. They’re right in the middle of things when he gets a text from Caitlin saying that Firestorm is at Clarissa’s house. After apologizing profusely, he leaves a half-naked Linda at his house and leaves to confront Firestorm. He’s about to wound Barry pretty badly until Caitlin shows up, causing him to flee. It’s clear that Ronnie is still somewhere in his body, but Martin’s mind has taken over.
While all of this is happening, Joe and Cisco investigate Barry’s old house where the murder took place. They find that nothing has changed, except for an old mirror that was there when Barry lived there. According to Cisco, the silver nitrate in the mirror might contain images of what happened that night. When Cisco shows Joe three-dimensional holograms of the pictures, they find spattered blood behind the wallpaper and deduce that it belongs to one of the two speedsters that was there the night Nora died. Joe not-so-subtly accuses Wells of killing Barry’s mom when he asks Cisco to run the blood samples against Wells’ information, causing Cisco to storm out of the former crime scene.
Barry goes to Linda’s workplace to apologize again for ditching her the night before, but his apology is rendered completely insincere when he’s forced to run in the middle to go deal with a work emergency. His mixed signals cause Linda to ask Iris what his deal is, and maybe it was an accident, but she sort of screws everything up for him by telling Linda that Barry’s getting over his unrequited feelings for someone. Since Linda’s not a complete idiot, she figures out that Barry had feelings for Iris and ultimately decides to end things. When Barry finds out, he tells Iris that she went out of her way to make him seem unavailable and that he doesn’t have feelings for her anymore, making her seem almost disappointed.
Caitlin, Barry and Clarissa find Firestorm and seeing Clarissa convinces Martin to accept help from the S.T.A.R. Labs team. They give him a bunch of medication meant for those with dissociative identity disorder in order to clear his mind. While Caitlin is running tests on Martin, he tells her that he has some of Ronnie’s memories and the strongest ones involve her because Ronnie loves her very much.
Unfortunately, the tender moment doesn’t last very long because the team discovers that the fission inside of Ronnie’s body is unstable and if his temperature rises, he could go nuclear. They have a couple of hours until he detonates, and any attempt to separate Ronnie and Martin could be catastrophic. Wells mentions that the only way to separate them would be if the host body isn’t functional, but Caitlin tells him that’s not an option and they have to come up with something better.
Barry’s romantic endeavors aren’t going any better, but he’s willing to go to extreme lengths to prove himself to Linda. His grand gesture is eating the spiciest pepper in the world if she refuses to give him another chance, since she knows Barry is a big baby who can’t handle any spicy food. She calls his bluff and he stuffs the whole thing into his mouth, essentially bursting into tears when he eats it but maintaining some composure. They have a little reunion before he has to run and stop a human being from turning into a nuclear bomb.
Barry returns to the lab and learns that Stein has fled far outside of Central City and is planning to sacrifice himself. With about 12 minutes to save Ronnie and Stein, Wells and Cisco create a quantum splicer. It’s their best bet, so Barry and an insistent Caitlin run to Stein and Caitlin convinces him to do it. The Ronnie part of him kisses her right before she puts the splicer on him, but that ends up being goodbye for them because it doesn’t work and Firestorm detonates.
Obviously, a nuclear explosion isn’t easy to keep secret and the army notices. The cryptic last words of the episode are, “Bring me Firestorm,” so obviously it’ll play a huge part in the rest of the season despite the explosion. Cisco also made a huge discovery this episode. Joe’s words ended up getting to him and he ran the blood samples, but he didn’t find any trace of Wells’ blood. Instead, what he found could only be linked to adult Barry. It looks like The Flash is going to become capable of time travel pretty soon.