“I saw billions of possible futures, billions of deaths. I felt it all,” says Barry (Grant Gustin) to Jay Garrick (John Wesley Shipp) and his wife, Joan (Michelle Harrison), who are trying to help Barry get ready for the coming crisis in season six episode of The CW’s The Flash.
As the episode begins Barry’s sitting in the time vault talking to Iris (Candice Patton) about how the newspaper article saying The Flash disappears in a crisis has gone from being a guide showing he and Team Flash are heading in the right direction to being a sword hanging over his head. He confesses he always believed that even if he disappeared, he was still out there somewhere trying to get back home to Iris. Iris asks him not to listen to the Monitor, reminding him the article has changed before which means they can change the future.
Barry decides the only solution is to go see the crisis for himself.
Meanwhile, trying to help Frost (Danielle Panabaker) live life Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) take her to see Cisco’s girlfriends’ art show. Frost, not having a filter, makes fun of Kamilla’s work – mostly because she doesn’t understand it. Understandably, the insult doesn’t sit well with Kamilla.
Over at the D.A’s office, Cecille (Danielle Nicolet) gets handed a case against a young meta convict. The young woman’s been in trouble most of her young life for petty theft, but it seems she’s upgraded to murder. As she’s addressing the judge about the case, Cecille gets a feeling from her meta powers that the convict, Allegra Garcia, is innocent. She tells the judge she needs time to go over new evidence and asks that the girl be allowed bail. The judge grudgingly agrees.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry informs Iris he’s going to time travel to the day after he disappears to see the crisis for himself. He attempts the leap but while speedrunning in the Speed Force, he runs into a barrier he can’t get through. Barry decides to travel to Earth-3 and see if Jay Garrick can help him.
Barry brings Jay up to speed and Jay tells him he’s been picking up anti-matter showing up all over on different Earths. Jay informs Barry the barrier he hit was made of anti-matter and he can’t speed through it. However, he does have an idea. He and Joan have made a neural hype collider which can transport a speedster’s mind into the future.
Barry agrees to try it and then is shocked when he meets Joan. She’s the doppelganger of his mom, Nora.
Back on Earth-1, Cecille and Iris team up and discover some new evidence that calls into question if Allegra committed the murder. Ralph shows up with more evidence pointing to her innocence. He discovered the victim was burned and Allegra’s meta powers are controlling radio waves.
Iris and Ralph head over to talk to the witness who identified Allegra and find Allegra standing over his dead body. Allegra uses her powers to burn Ralph’s face and tries to get away. Fortunately, Joe (Jesse L. Martin) shows up and uses a metahuman dampener to catch her.
Over on Earth-3, Jay and Joan conduct the experiment and send Barry’s mind into the future. He reacts violently as his mind sees billions of possible futures and deaths. In perhaps one of the most disturbing scenes of the show, Barry witnesses everyone including those he loves – Caitlin, Ralph, Joe, Cisco, and Iris – trying to escape and being destroyed in a blood-red anti-matter wave. He also sees himself running and trying to stop the anti-matter wave. He’s able to save everyone except himself. He comes apart and disintegrates.
Jay and Joan bring Barry out of it and he’s both emotionally and physically drained. It seems the device fried his neural pathways, but Jay and Joan expect he’ll be fine in a day or two.
Somewhere in Central City, Dr. Ramsey Rosso (Sendhil Ramamurthy) tries to do a deal with a criminal. The criminal ups the price and almost kills Rosso, but Rosso saved when his arm turns into a dark, gooey, tentacle-like thing he uses to stab the thug in the shoulder.
Back on Earth-3, Barry describes what he saw to Jay and Joan. He’s more distressed than ever, believing he must die to save the multiverse.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Ralph’s recovering from his extremely bad sunburn which if he wasn’t a meta would have killed him. Frost shows no signs of empathy, telling him to just put aloe on it as she walks off. Both Cisco and Ralph are getting fed up with Frost, and Ralph even asks her to bring Caitlin back for a minute but she quickly says no.
At CCPD, Joe interrogates Allegra who claims she’s innocent. She doesn’t expect Joe to believe her. Cecille arrives and demands Allegra tell them who is actually committing the murders. Allegra refuses. Joe and Cecille step outside the room and Joe says the evidence points to her guilt. Cecile says her meta powers have never been wrong and she knows Allegra’s innocent.
Jay and Joan bring Barry back home to Iris, and a still weak Barry tells Iris what he saw. She’s sure they can find a way to stop it now, but Barry believes the Monitor was telling the truth. Iris won’t be dissuaded, believing they can stop this by getting everyone (including Kara and Oliver) to work on the problem. They can even create an anti-matter dampener to stop it.
Barry reveals he saw her, Caitlin…everyone…die and the only timeline where they survive is the one where he dies. Barry suggests that maybe he was given his powers so he can save everyone from this. Iris becomes upset and accuses him of giving up and that her Barry would find another way to fight.
Joe visits Barry a little later looking for Iris to help on the Allegra case and finds him resting on the couch. He asks Barry what’s wrong, reminding his son-in-law he’s always around for him to talk to. Barry replies, “Something’s coming, Joe. I have to make a sacrifice but at the same time I can’t help but feel like it means I’m giving up.”
Joe tells Barry a story of how one day when he was a rookie cop walking the beat a bullet went right by his head. He thought that his days of being a cop were over and that he couldn’t handle it. The next morning even though he was scared to go back out on the streets he did because of his badge. “Our badges, your emblem, they are symbols of the strength we are charged with to get back out there,” says Joe. He continues by telling Barry they don’t make the choice to die but when they hear the call of duty, they’re willing to make that sacrifice. “That’s not giving up Bar, that’s what you call resilience,” says Joe.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco finds Frost drawing rather badly. He teases her a little and she gets upset saying she stinks at it and he quickly tells her to stop. He realizes she’s been trying to express herself and if she wants to draw or dance to do it but to realize others are trying to do it too. Frost says she feels stabbing pains in her stomach and he tells her that’s guilt she’s feeling for her behavior at the art show.
Cecille convinces Allegra to open up and she reveals the night of the particle accelerator explosion she thought her cousin was killed. Now she believes she’s alive and possesses the same powers she has. She’s likely the one committing the murders. The CCPD goes dark and her cousin, Ultraviolet, shows up looking to kill her.
Iris and Ralph call Barry to tell him about Ultraviolet and the CCPD blackout, and Barry races over. He arrives to find Ultraviolet about to kill Allegra. Fortunately, he’s able to speed Allegra and Cecille to Joe in another room and tells them to stay safe. The Flash speeds out but gets hit by a blast of Ultraviolet power. He focuses on Joe’s earlier pep talk and uses his speed and his power with the Speed Force to attack a second time, speeding toward her and knocking her out with a power punch.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Ralph, Cisco, and Frost are talking about Allegra being cleared. Barry notices new art hung up in the med bay and Frost says she bought them using Caitlin’s credit cards. Cisco puts the drawing Frost did up with them saying it connects with them and makes the whole thing work. Frost smiles. Barry also smiles as he listens and watches his friends chat. The gentle smile disappears as he becomes solemn again, thinking about the crisis.
Back home, Iris tells Barry she’s sure no matter what the crisis brings he will never give up. He explains he isn’t choosing to die but if he has to sacrifice himself to save everyone he will. They have to prepare the team for the crisis and maybe even the world without The Flash.
The episode ends with Dr. Rosso in his lab performing a biopsy of the thug he killed. Suddenly, the thug rises up and attacks him.
Review of The Flash Season 6 Episode 2:
Emotional, funny, and shocking, season six episode two titled “A Flash of the Lightning” shows the horrible and disturbing fate facing the universe and the ultimate sacrifice Barry might have to make to save everyone he loves and the multiverse. The stand-out performance in this episode is delivered by Grant Gustin who displays wonderfully the horror, shock, and emotional trauma Barry goes through learning the truth of what’s coming. The scenes with John Wesley Shipp and Candice Patton where he tells them about what he saw are raw and painfully moving.
With Barry and Iris about to bring Team Flash up to speed on what they know about the crisis, it’ll be interesting to see how each member reacts to the terrible news and the possibility of losing Barry forever.
- Candice Patton Interview: The Flash Season 6, Nora, and Iris as Journalist
- Danielle Panabaker on The Flash Season 6 and Killer Frost’s Relationship with Team Flash
- Hartley Sawyer Interview on Ralph’s Detective Career and the Search for Sue
- Carlos Valdes on a Vibe-less Cisco
- The Flash Season 6 Episode 1 “Into the Void” Recap
- The Flash Season 6 Episode 3 “Dead Man Running” Recap
- The Flash Season 6 Episode 4 “There Will Be Blood” Recap
- The Flash Season 6 Episode 5 “Kiss Kiss Breach Breach” Recap
- The Flash Season 6 Episode 6 “License to Elongate” Recap
- The Flash Season 6 Episode 7 “The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Part 1” Recap
- The Flash Season 6 Episode 8 “The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Part 2” Recap
- The Flash “Crisis on Infinite Earths: Part 3” Recap