“You have one day. If The Flash doesn’t face me, your city dies,” says an armored samurai who has just faced off against Kid Flash (Keiynan Lonsdale), Vibe (Carlos Valdes), Joe (Jesse L. Martin), and a small army of cops, leaving them sprawled on the ground after causing a mini-quake in the season four premiere of The CW’s fantasy/action series, The Flash.
Season four episode one begins with a voiceover by Iris (Candice Patton) saying how she was supposed to marry the fastest man alive but that he sacrificed himself to save the city he loved from destruction. She’s fulfilling her promise to “keep running.” Iris has taken charge of Team Flash since Wally and Cisco are out on the street trying to take down the bad guys while Joe and Iris man the controls back at S.T.A.R. Labs.
Iris directs Vibe and Kid Flash while they chase Peek-a-Boo, a metahuman who has escaped and is on the run. Iris is able to figure out the teleporter’s pattern for using her powers and helps the team finally catch her – but just barely.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco and Wally are congratulating each other but Iris is not happy with how they handled themselves out in the field. She berates them for not taking the threats they face seriously enough and reminds them of their bad track record over the past six months. They’ve only captured two out of three metas they’ve come up against. She orders Wally to four hours of training and goes off to have dinner with Joe and Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) who’s moving in with Joe.
After dinner, Joe tries to talk to Iris about Barry and about how, since Julian went back to London, the CCPD is looking for a new CSI. Iris tells him to go ahead and let them hire one since Barry is gone. Joe tries to discuss the fact she’s not really handling Barry’s absence but instead is just throwing herself into running Team Flash. Iris refuses to listen, telling her father she’s doing what Barry asked her – keep running and living.
Back at her apartment, Iris has refused to sleep in the bed she shares with Barry since his departure. She’s looking out the window when she feels what seems like an earthquake or explosion rock the city. Iris calls the team to tell them they’re on. Vibe and Kid Flash quickly show up to find an armored samurai standing in the street. He tells the young duo he wants to go one-on-one with The Flash. When Kid Flash steps up to the challenge, the samurai insults him by telling him he’s not interested in him but wants to fight the original and best Flash. He gives them 24 hours to produce him.
“Why do I sense an ‘or else’ coming,” says Vibe and that’s when the samurai threatens to destroy the city after hitting the ground with his sword. The impact causes an explosion and the ground to shake, throwing Vibe, Kid Flash, Joe, police officers, cars, and civilians up in the air.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Team Flash tries to figure out how they’re going to stop the samurai when Cisco suggests they free Barry from the Speed Force. “In one day?” asks an incredulous Wally, and Cisco reveals he’s been working on how to get Barry out. An angry Iris asks how long and Cisco says since the night Barry went into the Speed Force. Iris wonders why he didn’t mention it before and Cisco admits he didn’t want to say anything until he was sure he could do it. He explains he’s been talking with Harry (Tom Cavanagh), Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and a few others, and only needs one other thing to make it work. A furious Iris says Barry is gone; that is certain and Team Flash will have to come up with a plan on how to stop the samurai on their own. Cisco reluctantly agrees but says he’ll need some coffee and leaves.
Cisco goes to a dive bar looking for his old colleague and best friend, Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker). She’s now a bartender and looks her old self once again. (There’s no sign of her alter ego, Killer Frost.) He asks how she solved the problem and Caitlin avoids answering by asking what he wants. Cisco asks if she saw the news about the samurai and she acknowledges she did, asking if Barry is still trapped in the Speed Force. Cisco is surprised she knows about that and she just gives him a knowing look.
Cisco reveals he’s found a way to get Barry out of the Speed Force but is going to need her help to do it. Just as he’s about to ask her again, a mean-looking guy with milky eyes named Norvok (Mark Sweatman) asks Caitlin if everything is okay. She assures him it is and Cisco tells the guy he’s talking to the lady and to get lost, prompting a concerned look from Caitlin. Norvok walks away and Cisco asks again if she’ll help him. Caitlin gives Cisco a warm smile and tells him her shift is over in an hour. Smiling, Cisco sits at the bar, saying, “I’ve got time,” and waits.
The next day, Joe and Wally meet Cisco at the test track where Barry did his first speed test in season one. Cisco tells the two men he plans on bringing back Barry today and that this test track has always been lucky for them. Joe starts to remind Cisco that Iris is against this, but Cisco reminds him Barry told him everyone would look to him. Cisco needs Joe and Wally to trust him now.
Cisco shows them the Speed Force Bazooka, confessing “we” were up all night making modifications on it. Joe and Wally both ask who “we” refers to and they hear Caitlin’s voice behind them saying in a friendly but uneasy tone, “Hi Joe.” Cisco tells them it’s all right, that she’s Caitlin again. Caitlin walks up to Joe and sincerely apologizes for everything she, as Killer Frost, put him and Cecile through. She hopes one day he’ll be able to forgive her. Joe looks at Caitlin for a second and then tells her to give him a hug, which she happily does. “Let’s bring everybody home today,” says Joe. “You got it,” says Caitlin.
Cisco fires up the modified bazooka with Caitlin asking Wally to place the ball she created and encoded with Barry’s DNA on the last cone. When they get Barry out from the Speed Force prison, the ball can take his place and will keep the Speed Force stable. Cisco waits until Caitlin tells him to fire the bazooka according to the monitors of energy and, boom!, it fails. Iris arrives to find the group gathered and the rescue attempt a failure.
Across town, a surge of energy hits and the Speed Force opens releasing a speeding bolt of energy from it. The bolt races out of town and finally stops 300 miles away after coming head-to-head with a pickup truck. A naked, bearded Barry stands for a minute and collapses.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Iris is upset with Cisco for trying to get Barry out of the Speed Force, believing he could have killed them all. Caitlin says she thinks they were close to getting Barry back. “I’m sorry. We? Where have you been the last six months again?” snaps back an angry Iris. Joe defends Caitlin, telling Iris she was only trying to help. Iris tries to take charge telling them they need to come up with a plan to stop the samurai and stop focusing on Barry. Cisco finally snaps. “DUDE, what is your deal?! It’s like you don’t even want him back!” Iris is taken aback by the accusation and Joe breaks it up as he answers his phone. It’s Cecile telling Joe Barry was found by state troopers and brought to the CCPD because they recognized him.
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