Spoilers for The Flash and Arrow. Trigger warning: This episode deals with violent and dark themes.
In the previous episode, Barry regained his speed force abilities, and Zoom formed an army of meta-humans from Earth-2. Now Barry and the STAR Labs crew must find a way to stop the meta-humans from destroying Central City.
This is The Flash!
Iris: "Some people are calling it the metapocalypse, the days when Central City was overrun by an army with powers beyond imagination. But in these dark times, we must never forget our own strength, our own power to fight back. That it is only in the blackest of nights that we can truly see the light... and know for sure we are not alone. We are never ever alone."
Central City is on fire. Meta-humans run rampant through the city, attacking police, civilians, and buildings with their abilities. The police are overwhelmed and can't hold out much longer, surrounded by angry metas, when the Flash arrives to save them. (Huzzah!) But this is only one section of the city.
Barry and Iris return to STAR Labs, discussing the plans to stop the metas when they learn Caitlin has returned. She's physically okay, but she's still a little shaken up. She tells them Zoom just let her go. Barry and Harry comfort her. (It's actually so cute.) Caitlin says Zoom will win--he'll overrun the city with the metas. Barry refuses to believe that. He says the Speed Force is on his side. (If I hadn't seen last week's episode, I would probably think he was a bit crazy.)
(I'm so glad she's back.--source)
Cisco and Iris are worried that Barry's confidence is a little over-the-top. They don't understand what happened during his time in the Speed Force, but they can't quite believe what he's been saying. They think he might be setting himself up for failure.
At Mercury Labs, Dr. McGee goes over groundbreaking work when a meta with a crazy cry ability attacks. The building shakes, and windows shatter. Barry and Cisco watch over Caitlin as she sleeps. Cisco tries to talk to Barry about the whole Speed Force thing. Then, Cisco vibes and sees a dead bird on the sidewalk. They get an alert about the attack on Mercury Labs, so Barry suits up. He races over and rescues Dr. McGee and the other scientists from the building just before it collapses. The meta--who looks like Laurel Lance--walks away from the debris with a smirk.
Black Siren: "Boom."
Dr. McGee returns to STAR Labs with Barry. Apparently, she's figured out Barry is the Flash. She introduces her to Barry's father, Henry. (Do I smell romance in the air?) Then, Team Flash catches her up on a few things, including the new Harrison Wells from Earth-2. (I'm not sure why they decided to trust her all of the sudden. There didn't seem to be any reason for her to be in this episode.)
A few criminals steal a lady's purse and run away. Wally tries to stop them, but they're metas. They're about to attack Wally when Joe arrives and knocks them out with a fancy meta-gun. The other police take the metas away while Joe talks to Wally. He's worried Wally is going to get hurt roaming the streets during the "metapocalypse." Wally says he has to do something to prove he was worthy to be saved by the Flash. (Wow, this is a really deep conversation. I love seeing how much Wally has changed since he first arrived on the show.)
Caitlin is giving Jesse a check-up when Harry walks in. Jesse thinks the dark matter might have affected her, but Harry tells her she's not a meta-human. Instead, she is a young lady with genius-level I.Q. that can help them stop the meta-humans taking over the city. Caitlin hallucinates seeing Zoom, which shakes her up.
Barry brings back the camera from Mercury Labs to find out who destroyed the building. (Though, they never get back to this plot point in the episode?) Henry pulls Barry aside to talk to him about the Speed Force. Barry says he's not afraid anymore, but Henry tells him to still be careful. Barry takes it the wrong way and lashes out. Another alert goes off--this time it's the CCPD, where Zoom is. Barry races off to find Zoom before anybody can stop him.
Barry: "What I was shown in the Speed Force, it didn't just change my mind, it changed me. I don't know--what you're seeing as optimism is, for the first time, I'm just not being afraid anymore."
Zoom is in Barry's forensic lab, looking over the investigation board about Nora Allen's death. Barry comes in, which reveals to Zoom that he has his speed force abilities back. Zoom says he knows Barry, knows what's holding him back. He says they're the same. They have the same tragic childhood, the same anger. Just as Barry lunges for Jay, a building next door starts to crumble. Zoom says he can beat Barry because Barry always has to be a hero. He has to save the day.
(I'm flinging myself into the nearest time vortex. Bye.--source)
Barry returns to STAR Labs and says they need to stop Zoom but in order to do that they need to take out all of the metas at one time. They have to work together. On Earth-2, the metas worked on a different frequency than this earth. Barry speculates about creating a frequency to mess them up. While Team Flash gets to work, Joe talks to Barry about Wally. He asks Barry to talk to Wally again--as the Flash. Cisco vibes again, and he sees more birds flying into a building and dropping to the ground, dead.
Cisco: "Birds! Why? It's like a Hitchcock movie in my head."
Caitlin sees Zoom again and freaks out. Cisco calms her down, but she wonders if she'll ever stop being afraid. Jay took everything from her. (Poor Caitlin.) Cisco just gives her a big hug. (I love Cisco.) Wally is listening to a police radio in his car when the Flash shows up. The Flash tells him that he admires Wally's ambition but this isn't his fight, it's the Flash's fight. But Wally says that Central City is his city--it's their city--so it's their fight too. Cisco calls Barry about another meta sighting. Barry races over and faces her--it's Laurel Lance, from Earth-2: Black Siren. (Nice.)
She screams at him, which knocks Barry over. They fight, but Barry can't focus because of the ringing in his ears. Black Siren says Zoom might actually be afraid of the Flash, yet she finds it easy to destroy him. Then Wally rams his car into her. He offers the Flash a ride, and Barry gets in. They drive away.
Barry returns to STAR Labs, and Caitlin looks him over. Barry tells Joe about Wally. He says he tried to talk him out of it, but it didn't work because Wally is determined to help. Iris talks to Barry and tells it to him straight: he's not invincible. She says he's being overconfident and that a little fear is okay. (So for whatever reason, this season Iris has been exceptionally wonderful at giving Barry pep talks. I love it.)
(I love her.--source)
Black Siren returns to the CCPD to talk to Zoom. (I love this. Katie Cassidy is fantastic.) Zoom admits she's good, but he says she's not good enough. He tells her to go back out into the city and knock down more buildings. She questions why she should. Zoom tells her it's a distraction for the Flash and his team--so they won't know what he's doing.
Cisco practices his new device on Harry, which appears to work. With Hartley's help, they figure out a way to send a pulse into Central City to amplify the higher frequency and knock out the meta-humans and Zoom. They make special headphones for Harry and Jesse to wear. They get an alert about another attack on a building. They want Barry to start the amplifier, but Barry wants to save the building. He can'd do both, so Cisco comes up with another idea.
Black Siren walks through a building alone. She's quite proud of her ability to take down so many buildings at one time. Caitlin calls out to her, luring Black Siren to them. She and Cisco are dressed as Reverb and Killer Frost. (This is brilliant.) They try to convince her to turn against Zoom and make her own rules with their help. Black Siren asks about their plan. They want to ambush Zoom because together he wouldn't be able to stop them. (Yeah, okay.) It almost works until Black Siren tosses something toward Cisco and asks him to catch it. He does, but he catches it with his right-hand. All doppelgangers are mirror images--the real Reverb is left-handed. They run, but Black Siren chases after them. (I'm really curious why Black Siren would know Reverb is left-handed.)
At STAR Labs, Harry rambles on about Cisco's device and what it will do while everybody else stands by and listens, baffled. Barry leaves to create the barrier around the city, which will amplify the pulse. Harry releases the pulse. Meta-humans around Central City start to scream and collapse, including Black Siren and Zoom... and Jesse. Her headphones don't work, so Harry takes his off and puts them on Jesse, exposing himself to the higher frequency. Zoom creates a portal and races through before he can collapse. Harry falls to the ground. They turn off the pulse.
The Flash collects the unconscious meta-humans and locks them up. (Apparently, they aren't dead. So the whole headphones thing with Harry was very anti-climatic.) Barry and Cisco talk to Caitlin again. She says helping them made her start to feel normal again. They hug. (I love these three. Original Team Flash for the win!) The Flash tells Joe and the police captain that Zoom escaped to Earth-2. Barry talks to Joe about Wally. He says he won't talk to him again about stopping because Wally has started off on a path that is exactly what Joe is doing--being a hero.
(This is so cute. Joe is so cute.--source)
They return home to find the whole gang, including Henry and Dr. McGee (Ooh-la-la), preparing a celebratory dinner. (Oh, nice. Something bad is going to happen, isn't it?) While they get ready, Barry asks Iris if they can give a relationship a shot. She accepts. Joe tells Wally he did good helping the Flash. They give a toast to family. Just as they get ready to sit down to eat, Cisco vibes. This time he sees the dead birds and then people screaming as they run past him. He looks up to see the Earth-2 skyline splitting in half. He snaps out of the vibe and tells them he saw the end of the world. Then, Zoom appears. (I knew something bad would happen!)
He grabs Henry and tells Barry their story isn't over yet. He zooms away. Barry races after him, revealing himself to Wally, and chases Zoom across the city to his childhood house. Zoom holds Henry in a death grip. Barry offers his life for Henry's, but Zoom says if Barry can't see that they are the same, Zoom will make him see it. (Oh, look, Zoom looks conflicted again. Hmmm...) Henry tells Barry that he has made him the happiest father. (No. NO. NO.) Zoom says Barry will become just like him when he watches his parent die right in front of him, just like Zoom. Then, Zoom thrusts his hand through Henry's chest. (Hey there, Kylo Ren, I see you've returned.) Barry screams.
(Why don't you just rip out my heart already?! Oh, wait...--source)
Concluding ThoughtsI can't say I didn't see something like this coming. Henry's sudden reappearance on the show had me somewhat suspicious something would happen after he was gone so long. (I would blame the actor, but I really don't know if it's him or the writers.) It makes sense that Henry would die here. I couldn't honestly see the writers finding reason to keep him around. Plus, it makes great fodder for an interesting season finale. (Oh, and sorry, but Zoom striking him through the chest is so much like Kylo Ren-Han Solo scene, I can't even deal right now. Even down to the conflicted, "being torn apart" feelings.)
This episode was very exciting between the appearance of Earth-2 Laurel Lance (!!!), Wally's extracurricular activities, Caitlin's trauma, and Cisco's vibes. I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. The meta-apocalypse thing felt a little underdeveloped. I mean, it made sense, but once they dealt with all the metas and locked them up, the city just went back to normal. No trauma to deal with, no rebuilding, everything is just perfectly fine. It felt a little anti-climatic.
(Cisco is the best.--source)
It was great to see Katie Cassidy pull off another role. Black Siren was especially fun. (I just want to know why all the meta-humans on Earth-2 are evil. Is it because they're mirrors? Earth-2 Barry wasn't evil.) I like the direction Wally's character development is going. While I was hoping he and/or Jesse would become speedsters (and maybe fall in love), it looks like they haven't done that quite yet. (Maybe the season finale will lead to it?) However, Wally has still started off on his journey to becoming a hero.
I felt so bad for Caitlin this episode. She is showing a lot of strength after everything she's been through. I'm so glad she has people like Barry, Cisco, and even Harry to encourage and comfort her. It was really nice to see the original Team Flash gang come together to help her out. Cisco's vibes were interesting! Of course, it's the end of the world. How could it not be for the season finale?
(This makes my heart happy.--source)
I'm definitely excited to see how the season ends and all these loose threads tie together. How will they stop Zoom? How will they save Earth-2? Who is the man in the Iron Mask? What will Barry do in reaction to Henry's death? What will happen with Wally and Jesse?
There's so much potential revved up for tonight's season finale!
What did you think of "Invincible?" What do you hope happens in the season finale?