The episode begins ten months ago, to that night that we’re all very familiar with by now. We meet a young man, Farooq, who is climbing an electrical poll to get a good view of the particle accelerator, which is about to explode as we know. Farooq warns his friends to get in their car as he traverses down the tower, but it’s too late, the storm hits the line sending sparks flying and Farooq falling to the ground.
Meanwhile in the present, Dr. Wells speaks with his super computer “Gideon” where he makes a new log entry about Barry and his progress. As wells talks about Barry and his abilities we see Barry using them to his own advantage, getting dressed while late, getting coffee for everyone in line, and even stopping a mugger foolish enough to try and rob him at 8 AM. Wells checks the newspaper from the future and sees the headline about The Flash is still present meaning the future is intact. As Barry arrives at STAR Labs, Wells talks to him about helping them with their research more as he previously promised to do. Barry is all for it but unsure what he can do to help. Wells tells him to just kick it up a notch.
Barry gets called to a crime scene where a body has been found and it’s burned to a crisp, totally beyond recognition. Since he’s a smart science boy, Barry figures out that the person was killed by an arc of lightning but with no power lines in the area it’s awfully suspect. Joe is also clearly off his game at the scene due to his visit from the old “Man in Yellow.” Using a photo Barry took at the crime scene, he returns to STAR Labs where Cisco runs it through a facial recognition software where they learn his name and that he worked at a power substation, which is currently being drained of all power. Upon arriving, Barry sees a newly-transformed Farooq who is absorbing the electricity. The two have a little skirmish resulting in Farooq absorbing energy from Barry and taking his speed away.
Back at STAR Labs, Barry runs on Cisco’s treadmill and… even I could go faster than that. Caitlin theorizes he can’t just lose his powers since the accident altered his very DNA. Barry heads off to warn Joe that he’s lost his ability as Wells promises to restore him. At Barry’s lab in the CCPD, Joe pushes Barry’s favorite mug to the ground expecting Barry to catch it, but instead it shatters. The pair talk about Barry losing his powers and the meta-human that took them just as Iris enters, assuring the two of them that The Flash will take care of any pesky thieves running around. He posits to Iris, ‘What if The Flash is gone?’ An interesting question in the context of the scene and in reference to Wells’ hidden newspaper headline. Joe sends Barry along who runs into our old friend William Tockman (Clock King from “Arrow”!) on the elevator, who compliments him on his watch.
Wells goes back into his secret closet and asks his computer to show him the future newspaper again, but this time all traces of The Flash are missing from its contents. Elsewhere Barry confesses to Caitlin that he feels like part of him is missing and that he likes being The Flash, and he isn’t sure he can live without it. Just as it looks like Caitlin might try and kiss Barry, Cisco walks in with the identity of the electrically powered meta-human, Farooq, and speak of the devil, he’s outside STAR Labs. Farooq starts shouting for Doctor Wells to come outside and when he’s met with crickets he starts to syphon power from outside the lab. This causes a reaction across the city. As the power cuts out in the police station, Tockman takes an officer’s gun and shoots him, taking the station hostage as Farooq earns his soon-to-be nickname, Blackout.
A SWAT team assembles outside the CCPD and Barry calls Captain Singh since he can’t get an answer from Iris or Joe, which is when he learns of the hostage situation. Barry needs to get his powers back, for a number of reasons, and Doctor Wells theorizes that his cells just need a jumpstart, which may or may not work. As the STAR Labs crew debate if this will in fact work, Barry says he’s going to talk to Farooq to try and calm him down, which Wells thinks is a bad idea. Back at CCPD, the police ask Tockman for his demands while Eddie watches from behind desk with his sidearm drawn.
Barry finds Farooq and tries to connect with him since they were both effected by the Particle Accelerator accident. Farooq talks about waking up that night to find both of his friends dead, his body zapped them after they tried to give him CPR, and naturally he blames Dr. Wells for their deaths. He zaps Barry back into the main lab where Cisco closes them off from Farooq, but not for long. Back at CCPD, someone tries to talk down Tockman and Eddie makes his move, but Tockman has a bullet proof vest and his own gun and shoots Eddie.
At STAR Labs, Barry isn’t healing fast enough and Farooq is already through the blast door. Without telling anyone else, Wells heads down to the makeshift prison and makes a deal with our old friend Tony Woodward aka Girder – his freedom if he’ll kill Farooq. Farooq is hunting Barry and his friends as he can sense them by their electrical outputs. Cisco turns on some emergency lights which distracts Farooq long enough for Barry and Caitlin to get to the room with Cisco’s treadmill. As Barry and Caitlin argue about giving him a jolt, Girder shows up and coldcocks Farooq, starting their very nasty tussle. While Farooq’s blasts don’t seem to hurt Girder, Barry convinces Caitlin to give him a shock which doesn’t exactly work.
Joe warns Tockman that Eddie is bleeding out, so he removes his tie and creates a tourniquet for him. Iris warns him that The Flash is coming and he’ll stop him, which amuses Tockman. As Barry and Caitlin navigate STAR they run into a badly beaten Tony who stumbles to the ground and (seemingly) dies. They all reconvene and Wells confesses to letting Tony out to stop Farooq, he made a choice, something that Barry seems incapable of doing. As they try and figure out how to fix Barry, and plan an escape route, Cisco theorizes that it’s all in Barry’s head, his powers aren’t gone he just has “the yips.”
Tockman’s helicopter arrives early at CCPD and he take Iris with him as a mobile hostage. Joe pleads with him to let her say goodbye to Eddie who whispers something to Iris as she’s about to leave. As Tockman takes Iris up to the roof she pulls Eddie’s spare gun out and takes aim, a shot rings out as Joe screams her name.
The STAR Labs crew make it to the garage and Barry hops in the van but not before Farooq find them and starts draining power from the lights, the van, and Dr. Wells’ chair. Doctor Wells confronts him and despite Farooq’s insistence that he doesn’t take responsibility for what happened that night, Wells does. He even goes on to list the names of people that were effected by that night (with a number of DCU shoutouts like Elongated Man, Atom-Smasher, Damage, and Fire!). That’s not good enough for Farooq though who charges up to let Wells have it, and in that moment Barry overcomes his yips and runs into action. He pulls Wells out of the way just in time and runs to put his suit on. The two of them tussle and Farooq starts to absorb Barry’s power but it becomes too much for him and he keels over. As it ends, Barry runs to the police station where the situation is over and Joe comforts a crying Iris.
Caitlin zips up a body bag with Farooq inside and they seal him off in his own cell in the prison. The group comes to the consensus that Barry stopped thinking about having his powers and just accepted them, and that his abilities were too much for Farooq, who seemingly “choked” on them while trying to absorb them. Barry and Dr. Wells apologize to each other and Wells continues his shady double entendre by saying he believes in a better future, one that Barry is a part of. Barry goes to see Eddie in the hospital were he finds Joe and Iris, he demonstrates to Joe that his powers are back as Iris heads off to get coffee. As Iris waits for the coffee to pour, Barry appears down the hall in costume and apologizes for not being there for her. He promises not to be late because she’s worth being on time for.
In his secret hidey hole, Wells talks to his computer and makes another entry on Barry and his progress. He also sees that the future is back intact. Barry shows up early to STAR to get started on Dr. Wells work, having made peace with the fact that it’s not all about him anymore. As the episode ends, Farooq’s cell in the prison opens up and Wells takes some of his blood out, hoping to learn how he took away The Flash’s powers.