(Author’s note: Sorry this one is late, I was out of town on a work trip. Just so you know, it’s going to happen again next week.)
A drone chases Barry as he tries to improve on his speed after his encounter with “The Man in Yellow.” Cisco is testing Barry with the exercise and is told to “bring it,” so he fires a missile that sends Barry flying, he launches another one and Barry is able to grab it and throw it directly at the drone, an impressive feat. After eating what appears to be his 40th hamburger, Barry talks about his need to get faster and Wells (who we now know is in fact the man in yellow) tells him the next time they meet he will be faster, which is when Cisco drops the “Reverse Flash” name, and it sticks.
In a seedy part of town, some fancy cars sit in a warehouse. As the door starts to turn to ice, a car slams through and we see Leonard Snart is back in town and he’s brought his buddy Mick Rory, aka Heat Wave, to the party. They aren’t there for the luxury cars though. The pair stand around waiting for The Flash to show up and when he doesn’t, they bolt. It doesn’t take Barry long to figure out this is what went down the next morning as he investigates the scene with Joe. Snart and Rory hold up in one of the many warehouses in Central City where Mick posits that The Flash is either dead or gone. That’s not good enough for Snart, who has a plan to steal a very valuable painting to lure him out. Barry heads to STAR Labs to tell them Snart is back in town with their tech, but after some prodding by Dr. Wells, Barry decides to sit this one out as The Flash and catch Snart the old-fashioned way.
At CCPD, Iris and Eddie chat about the big move which is coming up soon, but Barry interrupts them looking for Joe. The tension between the two is thick as ever following Barry’s truth bomb, but Detective Eddie is still none the wiser. Barry informs Joe he’s not going to chase Snart as The Flash since that’s what he wants, plus he’s too focused on the Reverse Flash. Joe reminds Barry about his promise to help people, to which Barry reveals Dr. Wells and STAR Labs will help. Later, Iris prepares for the move as she packs up a few more boxes and when Barry arrives, she says she found something of his, his old backpack from when he was a kid which coincidentally is the same color scheme as his Flash suit (also, a Space Ghost comic inside!). As she leaves, Joe can feel the tension and asks what happened so Barry reveals that he exposed his secret to Iris, no not that secret, the one that he loves her secret. Joe tells him he did the right thing and asks him to clean up her mess.
Back at CCPD, Cisco explains to the police how they’ve changed up their protective shields to withstand the blasts from Snart’s gun, which leads to a smarmy response from one of the officers. Cisco handles it with grace and reveals that though STAR has certainly screwed up in the past, they want to help now. He demonstrates the tech which works, but still draws criticism from Captain Singh. Over in the corner, Joe and Dr. Wells chat where Joe confronts him about manipulating Barry. See? Not everyone thinks you’re a little sheep Harrison.
Caitlin is busy Googling “Firestorm” at STAR when Barry pops in and startles her. She tells him it’s what Ronnie said to her the last time she saw him, and Barry reveals he’s come to her for love advice regarding Iris. This allows Caitlin to elaborate on she and Ronnie once again, saying he changed her for the better. Barry then, in his infinite wisdom, realizes that perhaps Firestorm is an acronym and upon another Google, a paper by Martin Stein (!!) is revealed with the title Fusion, Ignition, Research Experiment and Science of Transmission Originating RNA and Molecular Structures. How’s that for a mouthful Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division? Barry speed reads the 800-page report which is about changing elements into other elements via shifting their molecules around (Firestorm’s abilities in the comics).
Osgood and Rachel Rathaway (parents of Hartley Rathaway, The Pied Piper) land in Central City with their super expensive painting only to have Snart show up to take it. The cops appear in no time to stop Snart and their shields prevent his gun from doing much of anything. Then he calls in Mick, whose li’l flamethrower keeps them at bay. Joe gets off a lucky shot and disrupts Rory’s gun which prompts their cue to exit. Barry finds Joe at CCPD later where he tells him about Snart’s new buddy and how he should have done something. Meanwhile, Snart and Rory lick their wounds and go at each other’s throats because not only are their powers at odds, so are their criminal philosophies. Snart convinces Rory to go along with his plan to stop The Flash who has partners just like they do. He agrees and burns the $25 million painting.
Caitlin meets with Jason Rush, co-author of the FIRSTORM paper, at Jitters where he has…the jitters about talking about Firestorm. He lays out the whole scenario to her, revealing that Dr. Stein has been missing and that the military took all their research. How far down the rabbit hole does this go and how does it relate to Ronnie? She leaves and prepares to enter her car only for it to be frozen shut by Snart, and Rory to snatch her up.
Barry enters STAR Labs and stares at the treadmill only for creepy Dr. Wells to show up in the shadows and say a line that is only prophetic and weird to the audience (“I hope we’re not enemies”). As the two talk things out, Cisco calls them in to explain how Heat Wave and Captain Cold’s guns work, and if (like Ghostbusters) they can cross the streams both guns will cease to function. Joe calls Barry to inform him of Caitlin’s frozen car, and then they return to the police station. Snart and Rory are on the news throwing down the gauntlet to The Flash or else Caitlin dies (they ask him to meet at Porter and Main, a reference no doubt to artist Howard Porter). Heat Wave ties Caitlin to a chair and arms a bomb underneath her as they head to face The Flash.
Waiting on the all-clear, Barry paces around at STAR Labs. When Joe tells him it’s ready, and asks him if he’s ready for the world to know The Flash exists, Barry doesn’t even reply. It’s time. Barry, Snart, Rory, and a collection of cops all wait at the designated area and the battle begins. Sometimes Barry can dodge the blows, but he gets hit quite a few times. On the other side of town, Joe and Cisco show up to Snart and Rory’s warehouse to find Caitlin, with Cisco tripping the bomb wire and Joe having to save Caitlin. Just when things seem like they can’t get worse for Barry, Snart hits him good and as they prepare the killing blow, Eddie appears with one of the anti-ice shields. Barry gets him to safety and realizes to get them to cross their beams he has to go slow, not fast. As one side of Barry’s suit is frozen and the other melted, he successfully gets the pair to fire on each other and disable their guns. Barry thanks Eddie in his vibrating Flash voice before departing.
The cops at CCPD cheer as Rory and Snart are brought in for booking. Singh congratulates Eddie on the capture, but he attributes it all to The Flash. Eddie hands over the guns to Cisco who promises not to let them be used again. As he leaves, Captain Singh thanks him, and Barry feels good about himself having overheard some cops talk about how great The Flash is. Later, Eddie and Barry are moving the last box of Iris’ out. Joe gives Barry and Iris a minute to clear the air, which he manages to do with precision, so much so that Iris takes a photo of them together from Joe’s house to have at her new apartment. With just Barry and Joe in the house, Barry jokes about moving back in with him which is met with laughter, but Barry quickly runs home and grabs some of this things. Joe’s got a roommate!
Mick and Snart are being transported, and Mick isn’t happy. As he chews out Snart, something goes wrong and the truck shuffles around before stopping completely. “What’s going on?” he asks, “The Plan,” Snart replies. The door opens and though we don’t see her, Leonard greets his sister. Not only is this a great tease for a future episode, but it’s an even more meta reference to “Prison Break,” which Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell both stared in.