It’s Christmas time in Central City! All the lights are going up, and now the lights are going down as Barry runs past them and we see this isn’t Barry doing any regular running, he’s in pursuit, tailing the man in the yellow suit that has become his personal white whale. We flashback to one day earlier where Joe and Barry are putting up the Christmas tree. After Joe leaves Iris and Barry exchange gifts, Barry got Iris a replica of her mother’s wedding band which she lost many years ago, and typically Iris got Barry a microscope. Eddie joins the two of them, but clearly Barry was enjoying the time he and Iris were spending together.
At STAR Labs, Barry gives Christmas presents to his new friends and despite bringing some egg nog Dr. Wells excuses himself, apparently Christmas used to be his favorite time of year. Over at Jitters, Eddie tells Iris he thinks Barry has feelings for her, which she laughs off. In order to one-up Barry’s gift, Eddie presents Iris with his own. It certainly seemed like an engagement ring given the box, but inside is a key to Eddie’s apartment, and he wants Iris to move in full time. Joe is gonna love that.
Caitlin leaves a local mall after getting a gift for Dr. Wells when she’s confronted by hobo Ronnie Raymond who promptly bursts into flame, which isn’t the weirdest thing Caitlin has seen in the past few months but it’s certainly the most traumatizing. Meanwhile, at another local science shop “Mercury Labs” a scientist is working on “Superluminal Development” (faster than light) when alarms start going off. A blur moves in and kills the security guards, but before he can claim his prize he’s stopped and we see it’s the man in the yellow suit. As he bolts we transition to Barry examining the crime scene, which he determines could only have been caused by something traveling at very fast speeds. The surviving scientist fills them in on the blur and “man in a yellow suit” that he saw which leaves Barry speechless, and forces Joe to finally reveal about his threat to Iris.
As Joe explains to STAR Labs everything regarding the man in the yellow suit, Dr. Wells reveals who Mercury Labs is and that when STAR went under they flourished by creating technology for the future. They theorize they could use the technology the man was after to lure him into a trap, though they’ll have to convince Dr. McGee to let them have it. Caitlin pays a visit to Jitters afterwards to ask Iris if she has heard anything else about “the burning man,” and she promises to send her everything she has. Before Caitlin leaves, though, Iris asks if there’s anything she should know about Barry, which Caitlin tells her she should ask him herself.
Barry and Dr. Wells try and convince Dr. mcGee to let them borrow the Tachyon prototype, to which she says thanks but no thanks. Meanwhile, Cisco theorizes he can stop “Opposite Flash” (so close Cisco!), but clearly Caitlin is bothered by something else. She confesses to Cisco that Ronnie is alive and she needs his help in finding him.
Back at CCPD, Barry stares at his board of evidence and flashes back to the night of his mother’s murder, where one of the last things she told him was she will always be with him. Iris pulls Barry out of his zone out to tell him she’s moving in with Eddie, who strangely thinks Barry has a crush on her. Barry plays it off like a crazy notion and Iris leaves. As lightning flashes, Barry looks out the window and sees him, the man in the yellow suit standing on a building across the way staring back at him. He runs off into the night and Barry follows and we’re back to the start of the episode. Barry confronts him in an alley but no one can tell who he is because he’s vibrating just like Barry does. Taunting Barry, the pair run into a nearby stadium where the man in yellow starts to beat the snot out of Barry and tell him things such as “You know who I am Barry,” “We’ve been doing this a long time,” and “It’s your destiny to lose to me.”
We return to STAR Labs where Barry explains to Wells and Joe about their fight and the things he said, how it’s all a game to him. They want to help, but Barry isn’t confident they can do anything. Wells explains the forcefield plan to Barry and Joe heads out to get their bait, the Tachyon prototype, with Barry following close behind. The pair try and convince Dr. McGee to lend them the prototype and Barry essentially blackmails her into letting them have it. She tells him she can see why Dr. Wells likes him since they’re so alike (oooo!!!). As Barry leaves, Eddie approaches Joe and says he knows he’s planning something. Since Eddie runs The Flash task force and wants in on whatever the plan is, Joe reluctantly agrees.
Caitlin and Cisco track Ronnie down to a rando boiler room where she tries to convince him of who he was and the accident he had, but Ronnie says no, he’s Firestorm, before exploding into even more fire. Back at STAR, the trap is set and they just need to advertise it to the man. Dr. Wells and Joe tell Barry he should sit this one out, though he succumbs to their demands and leaves in a huff. Down next to the particle accelerator prison, Caitlin cries over Ronnie. As Cisco tries to comfort her, she details the things she’s thought she would give up to have Ronnie back, but now that she had her minute with him she wishes he had died instead.
Barry goes to see his Dad in Iron Heights where he confesses he found the man that killed his mother and he got away. Having heard about this stuff for years, Barry’s dad finally goes Queen Elsa and tells him to let it go. He’s already taken so much from him, he can’t let this person take anymore. Also, even though he’s in prison even he can tell that Barry loves Iris. Having heard all this, Barry goes back home and professes his love to Iris, who isn’t sure how to take it. She sits in tears as Barry exits.
At STAR, they send out a pulse to attract the man in yellow to the bait and just as Eddie questions the trap, the man appears and gets trapped in the forcefield. Joe, Eddie, Dr. Wells and a SWAT team enter the room to find him standing there waiting for them. As Joe tries to get answers about Nora Allen’s murder, the man in yellow is glad to finally meet Dr. Wells who goes on to talk about how he knew the forcefield would hold him since he’s just like The Flash (“Some would say the reverse” he replies, causing ripples of squeals across the world). Tired of hearing him talk, the man pulls Wells into the forcefield and beats the crap out of him, as the forcefield starts to give out giving him the perfect window to grab the device and get out, but he doesn’t leave. As a last resort, Caitlin texts Barry who runs over to the lab. The man in yellow beats on the police, leaving Eddie untouched, and reminds Joe he told him to call off the search. Before he can do anything else though, Barry busts in and takes the fight outside.
Barry and the Reverse Flash tussle outside STAR in one of the coolest scenes the series has produced and just as it seemed Barry might be done for, a blast of fire comes from nowhere and we see Ronnie Raymond standing nearby. Reverse Flash tells Barry their race is far from over and he’ll see him soon. Caitlin tries to speak to Ronnie who tells her not to come looking for him anymore, and then takes off into the air like the majestic Firestorm phoenix he was meant to be!
At CCPD, Eddie ponders why the man didn’t harm him and quickly figures out Joe knows more than he’s letting on. Joe tells him these super powered people are called Meta-humans and he and Eddie are the only cops that know about them. Eddie asks if he knows who The Flash, just as Barry walks past, and Joe says ‘Yes, the man that saved them that night.’ As Cisco and Caitlin tend to Dr. Wells wounds, Cisco can’t figure out what went wrong that night but Dr. Wells is more concerned that they didn’t tell him about Ronnie. Caitlin wanted to figure it out on her own and needed time to work it out in her head, which Wells understands. He makes a promise to Caitlin that they’ll bring Ronnie home.
Barry mopes in his lab and Joe comes to talk to him. They discuss how Barry changed his life for the better, despite his worrying to the contrary, and Barry confesses he had misplaced his anger this whole time. Joe tells Barry the world needs The Flash. The two of them head home and find Cisco and Caitlin waiting along with Iris and Eddie. Though Iris is about to make things awkward based solely on her body language, Barry plays it cool and congratulates the two of them. Joe and Cisco talk about the man in yellow and Barry’s statement on the night of Nora’s murder about red and yellow lightning, which Cisco saw that night when Barry was fighting the Reverse Flash. They deduce there was a second speedster there the night of Nora’s murder.
In our final moments of the episode, Wells enters his hidey hole where he puts on a Flash ring! Pressing it against a spot in the wall, it reveals a mannequin not unlike what Oliver and Barry use for their costumes. Pressing the ring against a belt, we see the clothes atop the mannequin appear, The Reverse Flash suit! Wells takes the tachyon device and presses it to the suit before wishing Barry (and us!) a Merry Christmas in his sinister Reverse Flash voice.
Okay, wacky theory time. Wells is the Reverse Flash, but what if he’s the Reverse Flash from the future, trapped in the past, and without his powers? This would explain why they’re both able to appear on screen at the same time and even speak to each other. Plus it seems like Wells is charging up the suit with the Tachyon prototype, perhaps so he can use it himself? Maybe I’m thinking crazy here but it doesn’t seem like things are as cut and dry as “Wells is Reverse Flash.” As for “The Second Speedster,” that’s very clearly Barry albeit from the future, since we know that he’s “missing” in ten years (thanks again to Wells). Anyway, what are your thoughts on the bombshells we got last night? Let us know in the comments!