The Flash has returned! Six months after Barry was sent to the Speed Force prison, we join team Flash on what they’ve been up to without him.
Iris, Cisco, Wally, and Joe are what remains of team Flash. Julian has returned to London, Iris is the gal behind the computer with Cisco, while Wally and Joe are the guys on the ground. Together they keep Central City safe by taking down any new Metahumans who come to town.
Emotionally, their lives are not that simple. Barry’s departure has affected everyone. Iris has shut down, genuinely believing he will never return. She’s cold and snappy to the point that not even Joe wants to engage with her. Joe believes there is hope for Barry’s return, and while he mourns the loss of his son, he tries to keep the positive attitude up for everyone.
Cisco and Wally have been handling the Metahumans just fine up until now– that is until a Samurai robot, Samuroid, shows up demanding The Flash’s presence or he will destroy Central City. His power is too much for them, and he seems extremely capable of destroying the city so getting Barry back from the Speed Force prison is of utmost importance.
It’s a perfect opportunity for Cisco to reveal what he’s been working on. To Iris’ dismay, he believes Barry can return to them and has a secret project up his sleeves to prove it. He has gotten outside help from Harry and Gypsy, all he needs his Caitlin’s input, and he’ll be good to go.
Caitlin, up until now, has been working at a bar for some scary people. She’s her old self, and there isn’t any indication that Killer Frost is a part of her life aside from her wardrobe. Cisco quickly tracks her down, which means he has probably known her location for a while but has left her alone. It doesn’t take much convincing for Caitlin to join him on his mission. He’s her friend too, and she must be tired of living the bartender life when her life was full of adventure a few months earlier.
Together, Team Flash reunites to bring Barry back. Iris is the only one left out; she’s against their attempt to disrupt the speed force to rescue him. It’s clear she’s hurting, and she doesn’t want to get her hopes up that Barry can return. It’s best to have low expectations, rather than getting your hopes up and be disappointed.
At first, Cisco’s plan to bring Barry back doesn’t seem to work. He has an item that’ll take Barry’s place, and while the item was transported, no Barry appears! That’s because a portal opens up on another side of town. He’s seemingly slingshotted out of the Speed Force and running as fast as he can, the team doesn’t find him until Cecil’s call hours later at CCPD. Poor Barry’s mind is gone; he speaks in nonsense and is easily upset. While the team is happy to have him back, they’re all worried about lasting damage he sustained.
It doesn’t help Barry’s powers are out of control as well. He has to be confined to a cell and sedated most of the time while they figure out what to do. He speaks in riddles, writes nonsense, and nothing Cisco and Caitlin can come up with helps Barry open up to them. All the while, Samuroid’s threat to Central City still hangs in the air as time is running out to present him with The Flash.
There is no way Barry can work through his issues in time to be in fighting shape– or so we think. It’s Iris who makes one last-ditch attempt to bring her Barry back. She lets Samuroid take her prisoner to draw Barry out. I didn’t think it’d work; surely there would be more time spent on Barry healing. But, it does. Barry hears Iris is in danger and he quickly regains his old sense of self. He defeats Samuroid easily and gets Iris back to safety. Iris’ plan worked: Barry is his former self and remembers nothing of his time in the Speed Force.
It’s a happy ending all around, and while I’m curious as to what happened to Barry in the Speed Force, I’m sure we’ll go into more details as the season goes on. The important outcome is Team Flash is back together! The future is hopeful, even with a brief appearance of Killer Frost at the end. It seems she has her Metahuman alter ego under control just enough not to get out of control. At least for now.