We’re right where last week left us. Barry is missing and the crew is clueless about what happened. To top it off, Wally and Jesse are unconscious in the hall. Though Wally quickly wakes up, Jesse is unresponsive. As the group deals with that problem, Cisco vibes on Barry’s suit and catches a glimpse of Barry in a giant storm. Barry meanwhile wakes up in his childhood home and bedroom, filled with his toys, posters, and books (like “The Runaway Dinosaur,” the namesake for the episode). He goes downstairs to find Joe, but it’s not Joe exactly, it’s the Speed Force speaking to him through a person it thought he would find comforting. Barry demands they send him back, but he can’t go, not until he’s caught the mystery blur swooshing about.
Cisco tells the group what he saw and Wells figures it out: Barry is caught in the Speed Force. It all seems familiar too, just like when Barry was in a coma and brought to STAR Labs. Cisco and Iris go to the STAR Labs brand Morgue to get the files on Barry’s care, and wouldn’t you know it, there’s a zombie. The previously alive metahuman Tony Woodward, aka Girder (basically little Collosus, and who died in episode 7), is back and he’s even grumpier than before. Girder stumbles out of STAR Labs and into the streets of Central City.
Back in the Speed Force, Barry stops chasing the blur and is confronted by Iris, though it’s not actually her as he knows. Barry reminds them the world is in danger and they ask like a prude why he rejected his gift. He didn’t of course, he sacrificed his powers to save Wally. The cryptic communication continues, like The Architect in The Matrix, and the Speed Force tells Barry he got his powers because he’s The Flash. In the real world the team splinters off to handle tasks best suited for them: Henry takes care of Jesse (don’t forget, he’s a doctor), Wells and Cisco work on getting Barry back, and Joe and Iris go after Girder, who is punching Jason Mewes’ car to death. It happened, I promise.
Cisco vibes on Barry’s suit while attached to some sciencey-tech and tries to pull Barry out, who hears him within the Speed Force. He’s ready to leave too until the Speed Force tells him if he goes now he won’t have his powers. He turns around to see the blur and goes after it again. Cisco comes out of his vibe and tells the team he saw Barry, but he lost him. Joe and Iris realize Girder is on a rampage, and after a prison fable from Henry realize he’s trying to find Iris, his crush in life and in death. They decide to run home and lure him back to STAR Labs.
Once more into the Speed Force, it appears to Barry as his father. Barry lashes out at it for judging him, especially after all the people he’s saved. The Speed Force points out where they are, and asks Barry why he’s never come here. Where is it? Nora Allen’s grave. The Wests wait at home for Girder to arrive, and given Jesse’s condition Joe is curious about Wally. He asks if he’s been feeling all right, but doesn’t believe him when he says yes. Convinced his son is also a speedster, Joe drops a mug of coffee and it shatters on the ground. Luckily before he can rationalize his insane behavior, the zombie man arrives. Iris runs outside and has Girder chase her down the street.
Barry stands at the grave and the Speed Force asks him if he’s accepted his mother’s loss. It’s a weird question since it happened 16 years ago, but remember Barry could have saved her… and he chose not to. They saw what he chose in that moment, and they know he’s clearly not at peace with that decision. They counter him by asking, what about all the people he’s saved after he made that decision? The cryptic questions continue! The Speed Force blur appears again and Barry goes back to it. Back at STAR Labs, Iris and Joe have lured Girder back and Cisco has set up some giant magnets to disrupt the energy in his brain. You see when the mini-particle accelerator became live it reactivated something in his head. As harebrained plans go… this one doesn’t work. The whole STAR team retreats into the Breach Room and decide to try and get Barry back as Girder pounds on the door. There is one problem though, what if he doesn’t want to come back?
Barry follows the Blur, and it leads him back to his childhood home. He enters and finds none other than his mother sitting there. He confides in the Speed Force they were right, he hasn’t accepted it and he may never. They tell him he’s going to have to find a way to do that. Speaking as both Nora and the source of Barry’s power, she tells him that what he is a miracle, but that won’t make bad things stop happening. He must accept that he can’t outrun tragedy. Barry looks at Nora and tells her he misses her, she tells him that she’s proud of him. The two of them sit on the couch and look at the previously seen children’s book. It’s about a little dinosaur that lived with his mother, wishing he was special like the other dinosaurs. It concludes with the mother dino telling him he’s special because he’s him, not because he’s someone else. On the other side Iris holds onto Cisco as he vibes in order to convince Barry to come back, and luckily he’s ready now.
The Flash returns to the land of the living, but Girder breaks down the door and they have to get him back in the magnet room. Barry uses Iris as bait to lure him aroun the building and back into the room, but the magnets still aren’t functioning. Embracing his powers, Barry runs in circles arround the villain, charging up the magnets with his Speed Force and that was all it needed folks. Girder dies… again. Later Barry goes to see Jesse, remembering what it was like to be in a coma that long. He grabs her hand and a literal spark lights between them, and Jesse wakes up. Henry puts on his doctor hat and checks up on his son, and tells him he’s going to stick around in Central City. Welcome to the series regular club, John Wesley Shipp!
Barry and Iris go to Nora’s grave where he brings some flowers to rest on it along with the dinosaur book. Iris admits to never liking it when they were younger since it was about a mother that was always around, something neither of them ever had. Didn’t they though? Barry tells Iris he doesn’t know what the future holds for them, but they’ve always had each other and he doesn’t want that to change. Luckily they do not suck face on his mother’s grave. Meanwhile at CCPD, Zoom tells Caitlin she needs to decide if she’s with him or against him. He’s going to give her the opportunity to go back to her friends, but if she’s not there when he returns from talking to the people in the other room, he won’t show her any mercy. Zoom walks out into CCPD and addresses the unseen crowd, telling them he’s brought them to a new world that they can take together. Who is he addressing? Just every other evil metahuman from Earth-2. No big deal.
You can watch a preview for next week’s episode, titled “Invincible,” using the player below.