In ‘The Flash’ recap, Barry faces off with a technological terror while he also deals with trouble at home as he ends up in couples therapy with Iris…
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
It didn’t take long for Barry Allen to escape the Speed Force as ‘The Flash’ season 4 got underway and his return was marked by a lighthearted spirit that he likely never felt before.
See while being trapped in the Speed Force made his time remnant go mad resulting in the sociopathic killing machine known as Savitar, Barry’s trip allowed him to drop off a lot of emotional baggage including the constant turmoil surrounding the death of his mother and more recently the death of his father.
Both of those events will stick with Barry for the rest of his life, but he was able to reconcile with his feelings while he was stuck in the Speed Force and his return is marked by a smile and an infectious vigor for life. While that’s all good news, Barry’s return didn’t take into account the people he left behind for the past six months — most notably his bride-to-be Iris West, who was told to move on with her life because he was never coming back.
In his absence, Iris took up the mantle as the de facto leader of Team Flash but with Barry’s return, she not only has the love of her life back but she’s got to figure out a way to deal with her own feelings of abandonment after he left as well as his sudden return.
That all unfolds in the middle of a crisis as a meta-human with a brain that can hack into and control any piece of technology begins wreaking havoc on some very rich people in Central City.
With that said, let’s recap the latest episode of ‘The Flash’ titled ‘Mixed Signals’….
What Goes Up
The episode begins with a pompous billionaire purchasing a condo not so much for the view or the square footage but because it’s the most expensive listing available. Sadly for this guy, he doesn’t even get to move in or pick out any string green stripe patterns because after entering the elevator, a malfunction causes it to quickly rise and fall while tossing him about on the inside. The elevator eventually crashes to the ground where the billionaire looks like a hot dog that just got overcooked in the microwave.
A second billionaire nearly suffers a similar fate when his smart car is taken over and rushes towards a horrific crash at 120 miles per hour if not for the Flash intervening. Unfortunately, in Barry’s rush to stop the runaway car, he fails to note some of the changes around town since he’s been gone and he nearly causes a crash rather than prevents it.
That forces Barry to literally dismantle the car from front to back to prevent the driver from turning into pudding after colliding into a wall.
Unfortunately the two billionaires targeted don’t seem to have any connection to each other but the names trigger a memory for Cisco to a tech magazine from his vast collection that might give them a clue on how these crimes are tied together.
Meanwhile, Barry’s plucky spirit is a welcome change but he’s clashing with Iris over wedding plans and even his attitude towards her leadership at work, which leads to a suggestion from Caitlin that perhaps they should think about couples therapy. Iris scoffs at the idea at first but Barry’s demeanor forces her to deal with their relationship problems at both work and home.
It’s not an alarm so much as preventative measures.
Of course, Barry and Iris can’t share everything with the therapist considering what they really do isn’t something they can talk about with just anyone. As the communication lines seem to break down a bit, Iris finally lashes out with anger about Barry leaving to go into the Speed Force without ever considering her feelings in the matter. She felt abandoned and now that Barry’s back, he hasn’t even addressed that with her, instead opting to just slip back into their old life without even thinking about the past six months apart.
Iris had to deal with the questions about Barry’s disappearance and why their wedding was off. When he returned — as elated as she may have been — Barry just pretended like nothing happened and failed to consider how she felt during those many months he was gone.
Barry later admits that sometimes he feels like he has the weight of the world on his shoulders and that requires him to bear the burden all by himself. Iris then reminds him that the day she put on that engagement ring, he stopped handling everything by himself and they now tackle every problem together as a team. That includes wedding plans and even saving the world from time to time.
The couples therapy brings them closer together but they still have a madman loose in the city to deal with first.
Cisco’s investigation into the two separate crimes proves valuable as he finds a computer code hidden in the technology of both the elevator and the car. Caitlin then recognizes a pattern in the code that appears to look like a genetic virus, which then leads to the conclusion that the person committing these crimes is a meta-human capable of controlling any piece of technology. The person is a human hack all on his own.
The next lead comes from Cisco digging through his tech magazines and finally stumbling on an article from a decade ago when a team built a malware called ‘Kilgore’ and sold it off for billions. There were four developers — and two of them have already been targeted.
That’s when Joe figures out the culprit after another attempt on the second developer is made at the police station courtesy of a bomb detecting vehicle strolls into his office with a live grenade. Thankfully, Barry races to the scene and saves Joe from being splattered by the bomb, but that’s when Joe recognizes a guy he passed in the police hallways earlier. It’s one of the developers of Kilgore — a man named Deacon — which means he’s the one behind these tech crimes and that only leaves one more potential victim on his list.
With Barry and Iris in therapy, Joe and Wally stake out the woman’s house — she’s invested her billions and now lives a lavish life in a state of the art home complete with every video game her heart desires. Unfortunately, being surrounded by every technological gadget is a bad thing when the guy who wants you dead can control all of it. That’s when Deacon shows up and reminds his old pal that she’s diabetic and her insulin is controlled by a remote attached to her body.
He floods her system with insulin, sending her into shock while kidnapping his third former partner who just happened to show up to warn her.
Joe and Wally race in to save her life but Deacon gets away and time is running out to stop him.
Too Many Gadgets
As Barry and Iris are now reunited and on the same page, they race back to STAR Labs where they get the lowdown on Deacon’s latest move. Barry and Wally run off to save the day but this time they’ve got help. See, Cisco designed a new suit for Barry that includes all sorts of tech upgrades including an on board computer that would make Iron Man jealous.
Sadly, Cisco probably should have thought of that before sending Barry off to battle a meta-human who can control all technology. Sure enough, Deacon has Barry in all sorts of trouble with his suit having a mind of its own until he finds a self-destruct button that was also included in the package.
Cisco reminds the team that they’ve faced an evil Barry before but the problem now is that he can’t override the system and the bomb will explode in a matter of seconds. That’s where Iris steps in with a plan of her own — she tells Barry to circulate with enough speed to create one of his lightning bolts but he needs to hit himself so it short circuits out the suit.
Barry trusts the woman he loves and the lightning bolt trick works like a charm. A moment later, Barry uses an “antibiotic” of sorts designed by Caitlin and Cisco to counteract the human hacking software living in Deacon’s DNA, which knocks him unconscious. The criminal has been thwarted and the day is saved.
Unfortunately this latest meta-human criminal threw a major monkey wrench into romantic plans for Cisco and his girlfriend Gypsy coming to visit from Earth-19. Thankfully by episode’s end, Cisco is able to repair the damage and celebrate a special holiday with her from Earth-18 called ‘1-1-1 Day’ — basically the equivalent of Valentine’s Day on this planet.
And finally, Joe and Barry go to visit Deacon in jail after discovering that he was living in Silicon Valley at the time of the particle accelerator explosion at STAR Labs in Central City that gave all the meta-humans their powers. Deacon can only laugh and tell them that he was gifted his powers, but wouldn’t expand any further as to who gave him all those wonderful toys.
It seems the warden at Iron Heights might have something to do with this as well but that’s when we cut back to the secret lair of Clifford DeVoe aka The Thinker, who is crafting his next attack against the Flash. It seems DeVoe had planned all along that Deacon would be captured and put into prison, which is exactly where he wanted him. Deacon now joins a small army that the Thinker is putting together to carry out his plans, which we have to assume are bad news for Barry, Team Flash and pretty much everybody living in Central City.
‘The Flash’ returns with a brand new episode next Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on the CW