When he was a child, Barry witnessed his mother being killed by a super-fast meta-human dressed in a yellow outfit. Due to his age, his testimony was ignored and his father was jailed for murder. He was taken in by Joe, the detective who handled the case, and since then, he’s tried to find evidence to get his father proven innocent and released.
As with Arrow, after last week’s well-received crossover, it’s now time for the mid-season finale where some of the threads of the past several weeks start to be drawn together.
This episode marked several firsts – Barry told Iris how he really feels, Eddie discovered that meta-humans exist, Cisco and Caitlin met Firestorm, Amanda Pays returned as Tina McGee (though not quite the friendly face from the 90s), and Team Flash encountered the Reverse Flash.
Grant Gustin’s performance is one of the absolute highlights of the show, with his ability to play both ends of the scales – from the most optimistic moments when he inspires those around him (Joe comments that he brings light to situations), to the times when he seems to have the weight of the world on his shoulders. The pain he feels from getting so close to catching Reverse Flash but failing because he just wasn’t fast enough is all there on-screen, and heart-wrenching in its intensity.
Whilst his father’s advice leads Barry to share his feelings with Iris, it’s perhaps a little late as Iris is moving in with Eddie. For the time being at least, it seems the traditional Barry-Iris pairing isn’t happening. Of course, just as Superman and Lois aren’t a couple in the comics these days, Barry isn’t with Iris there either, so traditions are not always a guide.
With Barry kept out of the plan to lure and capture the Reverse Flash due to his over-emotional state, it’s left to the rest of Team Flash and Eddie’s task force to use Tina McGee’s device as bait in the trap. Although making a promising start, things go bad pretty quickly and it’s only the Flash’s timely arrival that saves the lives of Eddie and Joe. However, as Barry realised earlier, he’s not fast enough to beat the Reverse Flash. Of course, the day is saved, and there is a punch-the-air moment, that will undoubtedly lead to further such appearances next year.
Given the title of the episode, do we end up knowing who the man in the yellow suit is? Just as Arrow briefly played with our ideas of who killed Sara, this episode takes a moment to cross off the various frontrunners hinted at over the season so far – Eddie is freaked out by the revelation of meta-humans, Harrison takes a beating from the Reverse Flash and Barry has a super speed race and fight against him; and we see Reverse Flash in the same room at the same time as all of them.
The use of the end-of-episode scene to seed elements for the future continues here with what is perhaps the most clear-cut so far, and a fantastic moment to end on for the mid-season break.