Iris doesn’t need speed to be fearless, but having it in this episode of The Flash when her DNA is swapped with Barry’s does remind her of when she was putting her life on the line — for stories, as a journalist. But is there a way to return the speed to Barry?
Elsewhere in this episode, titled “Run, Iris, Run,” Harry thinks he’s figured out a way to fight back against DeVoe, using the “intelligence booster” (or “thinking cap,” as Cisco calls it) he’s built, but Cisco doesn’t think replicating the circumstances that changed DeVoe and introducing dark matter into a rageaholic’s brain is such a good idea. Can the two find some way to compromise?
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Oh, and as for Barry returning to work at the CCPD, the mayor wants to sit down with the DeVoes herself. Ralph is too scared to leave S.T.A.R. Labs to impersonate Clifford, so that could be a problem.
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A meta uses his fire powers to melt through a vault at a bank, but one of his hostages stands up to him and tells him he shouldn’t use the powers he’s been given in that way. The meta punches him, and suddenly his powers are gone. But how does someone lose their powers?
Caitlin has a couple theories (though neither seem possible), but the guy’s not a bus meta, meaning there are still three others out there. Cisco suspects that the guy who got involved did something to him. After Ralph told her that she basically hides safely in S.T.A.R. Labs while the others put their lives on the line, Iris decides that she’ll go with her father to interview Matthew Kim.
When Matthew takes Iris hostage, Joe hits the panic button on his phone, and Barry speeds in, pushing Matthew back and grabbing Iris. After the meta runs, Barry tries to chase him, but he can’t. He doesn’t have his speed. Iris does.
And Iris loves it. Caitlin tests them both and confirms that she’s a speedster, while there’s no trace of anything that made Barry one in him. Can she reverse it? She can try. Matthew is one of the bus metas — his apartment is just a block away from that bus line — and they can’t let DeVoe get his powers. In fact, they’re thinking they can use Matthew to take the meta powers out of DeVoe since his ability allows him to transfer meta DNA between people.
After watching Iris train a bit, Barry admits that he’s feeling like DeVoe is slowly taking everything away from him. He’s lost his speed and his job. What if he never gets it back? Caitlin will find something, Iris assures him, and until then all he can do is sit back and watch her like she’s watched him for years.
That means that when there’s a fire, it’s up to Iris to run everyone inside to safety and then put out the flames. The first part’s easy, but she ends up pinned down under debris, and Cisco has to breach her back to S.T.A.R. Labs.
Then Caitlin reports that she can’t replicate Matthew’s powers to return Barry’s speed to him, so they have to find the meta or Iris will be a speedster permanently.
Barry suggests that Iris let Caitlin and Cisco handle the meta currently attacking Central City, but Iris doesn’t want to just stay behind like he always does. She needs to prove to herself that she’s not afraid. When she was a reporter, she was always in the field, putting herself in danger for a story. But after last year, “for some reason, that just stopped,” she explains to her husband. She quit her job and joined the team. Having his powers gives her the chance to prove that she’s still fearless.
She gets the chance to do just that when the meta with the fire powers attacks next, and Cisco even has a suit for her. Matthew tries to talk the man down but fails, and Iris runs him to safety. When the meta creates a thermal cyclone, they need a way for Iris to stop it. And after Harry dons his thinking cap, he thinks of the solution: she needs to create a tidal wave. Barry guides her through it using her powers to speed across the bay and do just that. And with that, Iris saves the city.
They bring Matthew back to S.T.A.R. Labs to reverse what he did to Barry (in his suit, so here’s one person who doesn’t know who he is, for now) and Iris. (Barry tells Iris it’s her call and is willing to let her keep the speed, but she’s good with returning to her normal role.) But that’s not all they need him for, as they recruit him to help stop DeVoe.
Perhaps the biggest shocker of the episode is the fact that The Flash not only remembers that Iris used to be a journalist but also has her getting back to it. After telling Barry why being the Flash is his destiny (because it’s his way of helping others as the light when the world grows dark), she shows him hers: her Saved By the Flash blog. She begins a new post: “The Fire Within Central City … and Us All.”
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Ralph pretty much spends the entire episode walking out of rooms and being a total downer. Harry comes up with a way that could stop DeVoe, but not everyone’s on board. Ralph walks out. The team maybe has a meta that can take DeVoe’s meta abilities away. He leaves them to it and goes to eat in his room. Ralph hears that Iris might be a speedster permanently. He says he’s going to work on his will.
After Matthew reverses what he did to Barry and Iris, she catches up to Ralph and says that the other meta will need a buddy too. This is when Ralph finally admits that he’s terrified, and Iris tells him that she knows exactly how he feels, explaining that she was scared out of her mind that Savitar was going to kill her last year. She realized that she couldn’t hide or Savitar would have already won. She had to keep living.
Ralph tells her he was wrong about her never putting her life on the line and that she makes one hell of a Flash, in or out of the costume. (And this is the first time all episode I can even stand Ralph.) He’s at least ready to go out into the world and pose as DeVoe to visit the mayor, so that’s one less thing for them to worry about, at least for now.
Harry creates a thinking cap like DeVoe’s in hopes of outthinking The Thinker, but Cisco is very much against him using it, especially since Harry’s plan is to blast his brain with dark matter. He thinks it’s too risky and reminds him what that did to DeVoe. That doesn’t stop Harry from working on it, though it does end up catching on fire at one point.
Caitlin points out to Cisco that it might work, and they’re running out of ideas and Harry will do it if he helps him or not. At least if Cisco helps, maybe he can find a way to keep Harry safe.
Cisco does agree to help, and while Harry leaves it on longer than his safety limits, he does come up with the names of the last two bus metas.
Did you like seeing Iris as a speedster? Are you happy that she’s getting back into journalism? Are you worried about Harry and his thinking cap? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
The Flash season 4 airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW. Want more news? Like our Flash Facebook page.
(Image courtesy of The CW)