A couple sit in a turned over vehicle underneath a live power line. As fire crews work to help them, Barry rushes to the scene (don’t forge the suit’s initial intention was fire fighting!) and helps the young man. While he watches and Barry tries to rescue his companion, the car errupts in a ball of flame seemingly taking the two of them out, but the young man turns around to see The Flash did in fact rescue her. Back at STAR Labs, the crew congratulates Barry for going the fastest he’s ever attempted, but he thinks he can do better, and Dr. Wells doesn’t doubt him. Cisco tries to get everyone to go out for a drink, and in passing on her invitation Caitlin confronts Cisco about continuing to look for Ronnie. He tells her Hartley Rathaway (from last week’s cliffhanger) knows something that can help, but she tells him it’s time to move on.
Out in front of Iron Heights, Shawna Baez (created by Geoff Johns!) puts a CD in her car stereo and takes a peep through an old school telescope, and poof, she’s inside. She makes her way through the prison, taking out cameras, and evading guards, until she finds her boo Clay Parker, who she busts out without breaking a sweat or a door. Barry and Joe investigate the escape the next morning, where Barry finds some “organic particular residula” aka DNA. Joe arranges for Barry’s father to come by for a brief chat. He says no one inside would help them anyway but he has faith in Barry to solve it. Meanwhile in a loft in Central City, Shawna and Clay chat about her abilities which she isn’t sure where they came from but it took her a while to master them. She wants to leave the city, but Clay owes money to one Marcus Stockheimer and they can’t leave with that hanging over his head.
At STAR, the group studies the cells Barry found at the crime scene, which move really fast under a microscope, even faster than Barry’s. It doesn’t take long for them to realize that there are both two strands of DNA in the mix and one of them belongs to Shawna – thank you TV hacking! As the group gets ready to do work, Cisco trots down to the super villain basement jail to question Hartley, who has assumed the role of Hipster Hannibal Lecter. He once again brings up Martin Stein, and the mystery of Martin isn’t why he was at STAR Labs that night, but why he never left. He knows this is important to Cisco too since he and Ronnie were almost like family.
Barry meets up with Iris at Jitters where he tells her about seeing his father and she laments being pigeonholed as “The Flash correspondent.” He promises to find help find her a story. Cisco throws some cuffs on Hartley back at STAR for a field trip outside, and just as quickly as we shifted from Jitters to STAR we’re back at Iron Heights where Barry’s dad relays the information he’s found out about Clay and his boss Marcus. As Cisco leads Hartley outside, he points out a “bomb shadow” on the wall which he reveals belonged to Martin Stein, and then in classic Hannibal Lecter fashion does his best to escape but he wasn’t counting on Cisco throwing down. Even though Cisco gets a good swing in, Hartley manages to walk away, though he doesn’t get far given Cisco’s fancy new sound wave invention that renders him crumpled on the ground. He tells him he’ll help him find Ronnie but he has to take the cuffs off, as they’ll draw a little bit of attention at their next location.
Following his jaunt over to Iron Heights, Barry heads back to STAR where Caitlin tries to talk about the cells they’ve been investigating, but Barry can tell there’s something wrong. She admits to being upset about Cisco calling her out for not having a life, which she claims to have and quickly realizes she was mistaken. Lucky for her, Barry doesn’t have much of a life either. Before anything can happen though an alert comes through of an armed robbery and Barry is off to the races. As Shawna poofs the money into the back of their escape car, Barry arrives and begins a brief tussle with her. Though he does his best to handle her, she continues to resist his grasp by teleporting just out of reach and even throwing him off a ledge at one point. Just when it seems Barry might have the upper hand, Clay shows up and fires a bullet at Barry’s neck which he manages to catch without any extreme damage.
‘Tis but a flesh wound Barry says before also dropping a Superman Easter egg (“I’m faster than a speeding bullet?”). Caitlin gets a chance to name the latest meta-human, “Peek-a-boo,” and in typical Barry fashion he’s ready to leave before really considering what just happened to him. He heads off to help Iris with her article, but she’s about to have dinner with Eddie and his mother and gets a rain check, so he calls up Caitlin and they meet at a local watering hole. The two of them finally come to terms with what they’ve been doing, chasing people that don’t want them, and Caitlin resolves to get turnt.
Over at Barry’s lab at CCPD, where Cisco and Hartley have seemingly entered without any notice, they look at security camera footage of the night the particle accelerator exploded as Hartley explains that Martin Stein was an expert in transmogrification (which I thought was exclusive to “Calvin & Hobbes”) and upon further inspection note that Ronnie is seemingly present in the dark energy explosion and the two of them fused together. As Cisco sits in disbelief, Hartley pulls out his hearing aids and uses them to stun poor Cisco, right before smashing his sound wave remote.
Back at the karoke club, Barry tries to get a drink and is pulled up on stage by a hammered Caitlin where they sing “Summer Nights” from “Grease.” Afterward Caitlin goes to the bathroom leaving Barry all alone, but not for long, as key comic book character Linda Park (girlfriend/wife of the third Flash Wally West) approaches and gives him her number. Caitlin emerges ready to toss her cookies, but Barry gets her outside before she can blow them all over the floor. In a seedy part of town, Clay and Shawna meet up with Marcus to settle his debt, but she inadvertently reveals her abilities which Marcus wants to use to steal more money. On cue, the cops bust in, arrest Marcus, and shoot Clay; but Shawna teleports them out of the warehouse before they can get taken into custody. Barry, on the other hand, is baby sitting drunk Caitlin, takes her home, changes her into her pajamas (with no peeking), and literally tucks her into bed. He’s the boy scout of the DCU, clearly.
The next morning, Caitlin is hungover and to make matters worse, Cisco reveals that Hartley got away because he let him out. She tries to dress him down for continuing to look for Ronnie for her, but he was doing it for himself, and then he finally cops to sealing Ronnie in the particle accelerator the night of the explosion. Caitlin takes it better than you would imagine and says Ronnie would tell him he did the right thing. Meanwhile, Dr. Wells has discovered an interesting thing about Shawna’s cells in that they can’t teleport when there’s no light present, so she can only poof to a spot she can see, but even more important, Barry’s father has been stabbed.
Barry and Joe talk to Henry about his stabbing, which he says was done by one of Marcus’ goons. They try to tell him not to play police man anymore, but Henry resolves that he doesn’t get to be useful that often. As they wrap up, Barry finds the goon that stabbed his father and pulls him out of jail, asking him about the job that Marcus had set up that night (How would he know? He’s in prison.) only to leave him outside the gate and adding ten years to his sentence. Shawna and Clay drive behind the armored truck, supposedly carrying millions of dollars, and she poofs in to grab just a couple of handfuls before jumping back to the car and off to escape. The pair head for a tunnel, but Barry cuts them off and gets into another bout with Shawna, where she has the upper hand once again. As they try to escape Barry is reminded she can’t move if she can’t see and he begins to knock out all the lights in the tunnel. When he opens the car to apprehend Shawna, she’s distraught because Clay left her alone.
Shawna tries to escape from her cell in the super villain basement jail, but there’s only a mirror on the inside so she’s not going anywhere. Barry tries to ask her why she went back for Clay, and she reveals because she loves him, even though he ditched her. Caitlin appears smitten by this, get it? It’s the theme of the episode. She and Barry chat in the hallway that they’ve been hung up on other people for too long, and if Cisco is right than Ronnie as she knew him isn’t alive anymore. She does her best to drop a hint to Barry she’s interested in him but he doesn’t even notice. Outside, Iris is walking to work and Barry meets up with her in costume and gives her a file on the escapes at Iron Heights, and as he’s leaving she manages to snap a photo of him. When she arrives at work she sees Barry and thinks he’s there to see her, but he’s actually having a lunch date with Linda.
Later, Barry goes to Iron Height to tell his dad about his date, and his dad shows him that day’s paper featuring the first photo of The Flash. His dad tells him that Marcus’ goon Julius says The Flash broke him out of prison, and drops Barry a wink believing him to be The Flash. Barry tells him if he was The Flash he would be the first person to know. Pretending to believe him, his dad says if he was in fact The Flash, he’d tell him to be careful, that he’s a hero, and that he’s proud of him. So sweet. Meanwhile in a sewer in Central City, some utility works are inspecting a problem and find markings all along the wall reading “Grodd,” and right on cue GORILLA GRODD HIMSELF walks through an opening and pulls one of them into the darkness. The other worker tries to get away but Grodd goes Jurassic Park on him, pulling him up the wall as he hangs on for dear life. I sense the groundwork for our Season 2 big bad being set up.
You can check out the promo for Episode 13 of “The Flash” in the player below. Titled “The Nuclear Man,” the episode is officially described as follows:
“After Ronnie (guest star Robbie Amell) attacks a physicist (guest star Bill Dow), Barry and the team realize they need to go after Caitlin’s fiancé who is now a dangerous meta-human. They deduce the best way to track Ronnie is to find Dr. Martin Stein (guest star Victor Garber) who was working on a project called F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M. Barry struggles to balance his duties as The Flash and his relationship with Linda Park (guest star Malese Jow), and Joe enlists Cisco’s help to reinvestigate the murder of Nora Allen (guest star Michelle Harrison). General Eiling returns to Central City.”
Directed by Glen Winter and written by Andrew Kreisberg & Katherine Walczak, “The Nuclear Man” is set to air February 10. “The Flash” airs Tuesdays at 8 P.M. EST.