Written By Jacob Chimilar (@sweetlows)
This is it! The return of by far the best comic book show on TV, The Flash! When we last left the gang, a singularity had opened up over Central City and Barry went flying after it in an attempt to close it and save the city from being sucked inside.
The opening for the episode finds Barry apprehending both Captain Cold and Heat Wave together in a one two punch for which he gets endless praise from everyone, including Eddie and Dr.Wells who of course we know to be dead. As Wells congratulates him he stands up out of his chair and Barry snaps out of a daydream and it is shown that he is in fact working completely alone at STAR Labs. No Cisco, no Catlin, just Barry.
Like any good hero that has gone in too deep and the stakes too high, Barry has decided it is simply too dangerous for anyone else to help save the city from the meta humans. Later we see the result of that separation. Cisco is now working for the police department, helping them develop tools for stopping meta humans. Caitlin now works at Mercury Labs conducting research and Barry is continuing to be a detective along side Joe working on cases.
This episode focuses on the aftermath of the singularity and how everyone, despite Barry's wishes, just wants to get back to saving the day instead of being forced to move on. Barry has been doing night time secret clean ups of the various stores that had been destroyed as an attempt to fix what he feels is his fault. During one clean up, Iris finds and confronts Barry, reminding him of “Flash Day” in which he is to be presented with the key to the city by the mayor. Everyone including Iris is telling him to go, saying it'll be good for him and for the community to see their hero up close for the first time. Barry is extremely reluctant to go as he feels as though he didn't save the city. It is later shown why, through a flashback to the event where we see Firestorm rocket up to help Barry take care of the singularity. They deduce that by separating inside the singularity it will essentially blow it up. The plan succeeded but caused Ronnie's death and Dr.Stein being saved by Barry on the way down. It's because of this Barry feels less like a hero everyone says he is and more of a failure who doesn't deserve praise.
Cut to “Flash Day” and the mayor of the city addresses a large crowd about their hero The Flash, and announces his joy of presenting the key to the city. We see among the gathered crowd is Cisco, Joe and Catilin, all looking on in support to see if Barry arrives. There is a long moment of silence and Barry comes rushing in to accept the award. It is here we are introduced to the newest rogue, Atom Smasher, a large man in a black mask who can seemingly double in size at will and feeds off of radiation. He absolutely dominates Barry in a fight and prompts everyone but Barry back together to stop this new foe.
From there lots of fun things happen. nicknames are created, science (as much as comic book science can work) is studied to stop bad guys, we learn new things about various characters and some hints at bigger things to come in the season. It's a solid opener that maintains the spirit of the show despite being a more downbeat episode. But it looks like things will pick up as it shows some promise of a mysterious new big bad and some more alternate timeline/dimension goodness. Im looking forward to seeing how the new team dynamic plays out and how they further Barry's story after the excellent first season's story arc.