The Flash Episode 2.01 Recap and Promo for Next Week

It’s like we never left! Barry fights off Captain Cold and Heat Wave with a little help from Firestorm before heading back to STAR Labs to see all of his friends, including Iris, Joe, Cisco, Caitlin, the previously-dead Eddie and the also-dead Dr. Wells. It was all a day dream of sorts as in reality, Barry stands in STAR Labs alone. He gets an alert and runs through town, letting us know that its been six months and he’s decided that he would rather work alone these days, oh yeah, and a little thing called Flash Day has arrived! Barry investigates a death at a nuclear power plant where one Al Rothstein has been strangled. Things are tenuous between he and Joe, especially when the subject of Flash Day is brought up, because Barry doesn’t think he deserves any of the glory. As Barry leaves, a stranger takes his photograph from a distance.

Back at Central City Police Department, Cisco arrives as the scientific adviser to the Anti-Metahuman task force having developed something called “The Boot” that will help them catch metahumans. As Joe and Cisco chat, he reveals that he hasn’t seen much of Caitlin since “the band” broke up and that she’s gone to work at Mercury Labs. Iris arrives and Joe tells her to talk to Barry about Flash Day. As she exits, she notices a photo of Eddie on the wall. That night, Barry is repairing Jitters all by himself and to make things poetic, Iris arrives. She wants to write about him repairing all the businesses in secret at night, but he asks her not to. Iris goes on to ask him about Flash Day, but he reiterates that he’s not the man that saved Central City, he doesn’t deserve recognition. We flashback to the day of Singularity and see what Barry means. Though Barry did everything he could to stop the Singularity, it was Ronnie and Dr. Stein that “saved the day,” by separating in the eye of the storm. Dr. Stein made it out alive, but Ronnie was lost.

The next day, it’s Flash Day! Everyone is here, including Caitlin! Central City’s Mayor takes to the podium and recaps the past year in a succinct speech before presenting the tiniest key to the city I’ve ever seen to The Flash, who, as expected, arrives just in time. Things are only joyous for a moment though, as a truck falls from the sky and lands on the stage. Barry sees a big fella in a Bane-like outfit and engages him, though he quickly knocks Barry out of the way. The police fire, but it does nothing, and just as things look their worst, he begins to grow in size. Barry grabs a pair of propane tanks and throws them at the big boy while Joe shoots them. A piece of shrapnel flies away and hits Barry in the leg, and is soon forgotten, but we see the villain unmasked, the previously-deceased Al Rothstein.

The good news is the Al Rothstein they thought was dead is still dead, but the bad news is that he wasn’t even in Central City when the particle accelerator exploded, so how he got powers is a mystery. Iris lets the team know that all of the X-Ray machines around the fight failed, perhaps a clue toward Rothstein’s powers. While Cisco goes to double check his homework, Iris and Joe decide that it’s in Barry’s best interest to get the team back together. Cisco goes to see Caitlin and asks her to check Rothstein’s radiation badge, hoping for a clue of some sort. Despite her disinterest, Caitlin agrees.

Barry sits in his forensic lab staring at the paper, talking about his faltering in the fight, when a lawyer from Weathersby & Stone (a nod to the Greg Berlanti and Marc Guggenheim-created series “Eli Stone”) arrives and reveals that Dr. Wells left the STAR Labs property to Barry in his will. It won’t fully be his though until he watches a video that Wells prepared. As Barry throws the thumb drive down and ignores it, he gets an alert to an intruder at STAR. After arriving, he finds it’s Stein, Cisco, Joe, and Iris, all looking for the newly-dubbed “Atom Smasher.” Despite Barry’s pleas for them to leave, they figure out how to track him and get a location. Barry heads that way, leaving his communication device there, and finds the dude huffing a radiation barrel like it was Elmer’s glue. Cisco hacks the security camera footage so they can watch the bout, which seems to be going Barry’s way until ole’ Smasher gets big again and starts pummeling him. He taunts Barry by saying, “He said you were a big hero, but you’re not worthy of him or this city,” and then Cisco hacks the alarm system, sending Barry running and Smasher to who knows where.

Barry returns to STAR labs and collapses. We see a brief flashback to after he went to live with Joe and Iris and Joe tells him it’s okay to be sad, prompting a heart-warming hug. Joe sits by Barry’s side as he wakes up and talks some sense into him once again, reiterating that everyone else was making their own choices that day and shutting them out isn’t the answer. Maybe now it’s time to rebuild his friendships like he has been rebuilding businesses. His first stop is to see Caitlin where they talk about Ronnie briefly, and he tells her about the Dr. Wells video the lawyer brought him. They watch it together and Wells confesses that the two of them were never truly enemies and he’ll give him the thing he wants most, and proceeds to confess to Nora Allen’s murder. Later, Joe speaks with the District Attorney about the video, and it seems like it will be enough to get Henry Allen out of jail.

Following one piece of good news, Barry agrees to work with everyone as a team to defeat Atom Smasher. Rothstein sits in an apartment and sees a Flash signal in the sky, something that Cisco claims to have “read in a comic book,” and confronts Barry. He chases after The Flash, who leads him to a nuclear reactor and traps him inside. Remotely, Cisco floods the reactor with energy, which reduces Atom Smasher back to his original size, and puts him on the brink of death. Barry enters and asks why he wanted so bad to kill him, and Rothstein says that someone told him if he killed Barry, he could go home. When Barry asks who, he gets a one-word answer: Zoom.

Barry stands outside Iron Heights and greets his father as he’s released. I hope Henry got a nice settlement from the city for his wrongful imprisonment. The pair go back to Joe and Iris’ home where they have a party for Henry’s return filled with people that Henry has never met before. Cisco gets a badge, Martin gives a toast, and everyone has a piece of cake. Barry pulls his dad aside and starts showering him with more good news. They can move in together, he can probably get his medical license back, but clearly he doesn’t want any of that. In fact, Henry is thinking about leaving, because he doesn’t want to hold Barry back, which is weak sauce. Barry drops his dad off at the train station and returns to STAR Labs, the whole team is present. Cisco has upgraded Barry’s suit to include the white emblem. They’ve also beefed up security so no uninvited guests will be getting in. Just as they say this, a figure emerges, claiming to know Barry. He steps out of the shadows and introduces himself as Jay Garrick, proclaiming that their world is in danger.

You can check out a preview for next week’s episode of The Flash as well as a season preview in the players below!