Mar 20, 2020
The Flash RECAP: The One with Rainbow Raider!! ...Oh, And Arrow Shows Up Too (S1:E8)
Previously on The Flash: Arrow acts as Flash’s mentor, Iris has a Flash blog, and that’s…kind of all that was in the previouslies.
Voiceover!Barry starts off by channeling Tumblr and suggesting that everyone has days of “the feels.” No, not existential angst over your latest doomed ship (sigh, aren’t they all?), but feeling like your heart is too small for your feelings. Barry is combating the feeling by doing good all over Central City: leaving flowers for an older couple on a table, quick-painting a building for hourly workers who now don’t have a job, creepily spying on Iris while she’s at work, the usual.
At Gold City Bank, a man with a bad haircut and worse glasses is loitering in the lobby, prompting the security guard to ask if he needs assistance. He removes the glasses to show his glowy red eyes and assures the guard he’s just fine. In response, the guard’s eyes glow right back. In fact, the eyes of everyone he looks at start glowing, and with the glowing seems to come uncontrollable rage. While the bank patrons begin to fight each other, the metahuman stuffs money into a bag.
Cisco gets notice of a robbery in progress and radios Barry, who heads that way. Inside the bank, a woman fires a gun into the air—not clear if it’s her gun or if she stole it from the security guard—and then takes aim at another patron. Luckily, the Flash pushes some weird display in the way, and the bullet imbeds harmlessly in it instead of the dude she aimed at. Slowly all the battling bankers and bankees seem to come back to themselves, confused. So is Barry.
Eddie and Iris are making out in bed, though Eddie is whining about needing to go to the gym. He seems fully healed from last episode’s bullet wound—there’s no sign of injury to his arm at all, so realistically this should be like three months later, but in TV time it’s going to be, what, a week, tops? He gets out of further making out by mentioning how Joe hates tardiness, and turns out mentioning your girlfriend’s father in bed is a good way to not be in bed anymore. While Eddie gets dressed, Iris brings up the blog and is pleased that someone has submitted a new picture of the Flash, or at least a red blur. Eddie is still not a Flash believer, so he claims.
Joe is at the scene of the robbery when Barry arrives, and he immediately reports the weirdness of the bank patrons. Joe assumes it was a diversion for the $500K missing from the bank vault. Barry blandly suggests a neurotoxin could’ve caused the mass hysteria, but he really thinks the people were “whammied.” So basically every crime scene is a metacrime now? I mean, this one is, but Barry doesn’t know that yet so he’s jumping rather quickly to that conclusion.
In Captain Singh’s office, Eddie is commenting to him and Joe about how they need to do something about the weird stuff happening in the city. Singh is very busy dressing his burger because, as he exposits, his boyfriend is now making them eat healthy at home, which YAY (comic check: Singh is also gay in the comics, and I’m glad the detail was maintained for the show). Eddie implies that since the Flash was spotted at the bank, maybe they should consider trying to catch him. Singh thinks maybe they should try to figure out why everybody in the bank tried to murder each other first and also tells Eddie that he should ask Iris about the Flash if he’s so interested.
Barry is watching the ensuing argument from outside the office when Iris arrives, and Barry promptly tattles on Eddie. Iris is incredibly not okay with it, and the instant Eddie emerges from the Captain’s office, she is all over him. As a result, Eddie no longer feels like lunch with her—he’s actually not a dick about it, he just looks sort of like a kicked puppy. I spend a lot of Eddie’s scenes thinking about how much he looks like a puppy. Joe dispatches Barry to STARLS to get Team Flash’s take on the rage virus, and Barry says he’s on his way once he eats. Then he super-speedily steals Captain Singh’s lunch. That’s just mean.
Harrison wheels down into the lab, saying “Anger. Hate. Aggression.” And thankfully Cisco does a Yoda voice so I don’t have to. Don’t lie, you were thinking it. Based on the CT scans of all the angry bank patrons, which somehow Caitlin has access to, their “emotion centers” are still overwhelmed, even though the irrational anger had passed by then. That’s awfully convenient. Barry wonders aloud how the metahuman could’ve stimulated their brains that way but is then immediately distracted by a message from Iris on the blog. Caitlin just as immediately guesses exactly what Barry is off to do, and he lies about it for about one second before admitting that yes, he’s meeting with her. Caitlin advises him not to get involved, given Iris has a boyfriend, and also hitting on her as the Flash is SO disingenuous. (Also, she’s pretty much your sister.)
Iris has just locked up the coffee shop when Flash arrives. He asks why she wanted to see him. Iris says the words “my boyfriend, he’s—” and Barry immediately asks if they broke up. SMOOTH, BARRY. She says no, but is warning Flash that Eddie thinks he’s a public menace and is trying to convince Captain Singh of that. Before Barry can say something else dumb, Cicso and Caitlin radio him that the police have tracked the stolen money and have a SWAT team en route. He and Iris manage to flirt for two seconds before he goes.
The bank robber is either counting money or looking for the tracking device as SWAT closes in, and he finds it too late to make an escape. Of course, that’s not a huge concern for the guy, as he promptly “whammies” the approaching cop, who turns around to shoot at Joe and the rest of his team. Flash arrives in time for another slow-motion-bullet-montage, and no one is hit. But before whammied!SWAT guy can fire again, he takes an arrow in each shoulder. HI, OLLIE! Arrow parkours away, and Barry grins adorably. Joe just looks confused.
It’s a dark and stormy night, and John and Felicity are happily eating Big Belly Burger in Central City when she spots Oliver returning. But Barry gets there first, insisting that he gave Ollie a half-hour headstart and still beat him, which is like bragging about how you beat a newborn in a footrace. It’s the first time Diggle has seen Barry in action, and he’s a little impressed. Oliver, however, is not impressed with Barry’s “moves.” Unperturbed, Barry asks what they’re doing in Central City. Felicity exposits that the death-by-boomerang in the final scene of last week’s Arrow led them to Barry’s stomping grounds, but they picked up word of the SWAT team’s movements and decided to lend a hand. Or, arrow. Digg is still stuck back on Barry’s speed and tells us his cousin was hit by lightning and only got a stutter out of it. As the rest politely ignore him, Barry suggests Teams Flash and Arrow unite to find the boomerang man and the rage-inducing meta, and Felicity is all for it. Oliver quickly vetoes the idea because he doesn’t want anybody else to know his secret identity. Undeterred, Felicity offers to accompany Barry to STARLS and check out the iron oxide residue on the boomerang with their resources. Oliver and John continue to pound the pavement in Central City while Barry speeds back to his team, Felicity in tow.
When Barry and Felicity arrive at STARLS, he realizes that he may have gone a little fast in his effort to show off, because her shirt is on fire. She rips it off, uncaring, which is when Caitlin and Cisco wander in, of course. Cisco stares creepily while Caitlin, more helpfully, offers Felicity a sweater. (Real life check: cotton catches at 410 degrees Fahrenheit, and synthetic fibers even higher, so if there’s enough friction for a shirt to burst into flames, she should also have 3rd degree burns over most of her body. Either hand-wave friction away as part of Barry’s powers or don’t. It can’t only affect the shirts of people who only look good without one.) After a bit of awkward assuring everyone that they are not in fact dating, Felicity pulls out the reason for the visit, and she and Cisco geek out over the boomerang’s unique properties, which is cute. Caitlin has gone over witness statements from the bank robbery, and since at least the guard reported seeing a red flash before he Hulked out, she guesses that the meta is working through people’s eyes. (Just because you see a car coming at you, doesn’t mean it’s going to enter through your eyeball, but whatever.)
Barry goes to see Harrison, who is chilling with Joe in a weirdly dark office. Turns out neither of them are happy that the Arrow is in town. Barry protests that they don’t know Arrow and thus can’t make judgments, but they pull out statistics that are wholly correlative (such as two terrorist attacks in Starling since he began operating). Barry is incredulous that Team Barry Allen’s Hot Dads is being so uncool about this, but Harrison is adamant that Oliver’s brand of vigilante justice is not welcome in Central City. Before Barry can storm off and slam his room’s door shut, the trio hears crashes from the lab and enter to find the boomerang chasing Caitlin around of its own accord. Fortunately it imbeds itself in a wall before anyone is hurt. Joe immediately attributes this to the Arrow, for reasons unbeknownst to anyone, and tells Barry he wants him out of Central City.
John is holding down the fort in the getaway car while Oliver investigates a dark warehouse that must’ve gotten confused on its way to Starling City. He’s still enthralled-slash-disturbed by Barry’s powers, but Oliver assures him that Barry is still the same Barry, super-speedy or not, which is why they’re actually looking for the rage meta and not Captain Boomerang.
The next morning, Barry comes into the coffee shop to meet Oliver and Felicity, and Oliver reveals that the rage man is Roy G. Bivolo (comic check: In the comics, this guy was known as Rainbow Raider—hence ROY G. BIV-olo—and one of his powers was indeed affecting the emotions of his opponents; he used goggles rather than his own eyes, but the point is there).
Barry is surprised that Oliver helped him since he seemed disinclined to do so earlier, but Oliver insists it was just a tiny thing and he’s not really helping. Mmhm. Iris comes over with their coffee, totally starstruck by Oliver, which makes sense, because he and Eddie could practically be twins in that scruffy-pretty-white-boy way. She drags Barry away, incredulous that he didn’t tell her he knew Oliver Queen, because he’s on her list of the three guys he’s allowed to cheat on Eddie with.
Back at the table, Felicity is apparently going to stare at Ollie over the rim of her coffee mug until he agrees to continue helping Barry. Oliver suggests that Barry doesn’t really want his brand of help, and Felicity admits that Team Barry Allen’s Hot Dads isn’t thrilled about it but Barry has to have his rebellious phase eventually. Oliver correctly realizes that Felicity’s not going to let it go until Oliver agrees to team up, and he gives in.
Oliver and Barry meet at (say it with me) an abandoned warehouse, or at least outside of one, because Barry needs some Arrow training. Oliver claims that he read Iris’ blog and visited all the crime scenes Flash has been involved with (when?), and he’s concerned about Barry’s fight against Leonard Snart. He’s also concerned with Team Flash’s need to codename everything, which, as Barry points out, is rich, because Deathstroke.
Back to the point, Oliver is concerned that Barry engaged Snart on a commuter train, causing significant damage. He suggests that Barry could do a better job of casing his environment before a fight, and to prove that point, he’s going to shoot Barry with an arrow. Barry is pretty dismissive that Oliver can actually hit him, but to humor him, he runs away, then back, and Oliver fires. Barry catches the arrow, but not the two fired from primed crossbows on the ground behind him. Gee, guess you should have looked around, huh, Barry?
At Central City PD, Eddie is once again making a case to Captain Singh for creating a Flash task force, based on the Arrow’s presence in Central City. Not entirely clear what that has to do with the Flash, but Joe is basically blaming Barry for Oliver shooting somebody in the leg for information. Barry suggests that since they have Bivolo’s name, they should be thanking Arrow, and Joe says that never in his life will he a) play professional baseball or b) thank Arrow for anything. This amuses me because if you are an X-Files junkie like I am, you know that Jesse L. Martin actually did play professional baseball as Negro League star/alien Josh Exley in the 1999 episode “The Unnatural.” It’s my all-time favorite X-Files episode.
At STARLS, Cisco is still running tests on the boomerang while Caitlin and Felicity talk about color psychology and the hypothesis that Bivolo is using color somehow to mess with his victims. Well, duh, you don’t name your kid Roy G. Bivolo if you don’t want him to grow up into a light-using supervillain. Harrison interrupts to call Felicity into a private meeting where he spends a lot of words telling her that he doesn’t trust Arrow and he doesn’t want him around Barry, unless, of course, Felicity might tell Harrison who the Arrow really is. She declines.
Barry arrives back at the lab, displeased that Felicity didn’t warn him about the whole arrows-to-the-back thing, but they can’t discuss it long before some kind of facial recognition tracking software locates Bivolo, who Cisco has codenamed Prism (comic check: this is a cooler name than Rainbow Raider, but it’s also a Marvel villain). Despite Felicity’s protests that they should tell Arrow, Barry takes off to confront him solo.
At the address where Bivolo is supposedly holed up, Barry vibrates the lock from the door and heads on in, utterly failing to run around really fast and case the apartment. Prism says he knew Flash was coming for him, and Barry slams him into the wall, conveniently knocking off his sunglasses. Prism promptly goes all red-eyed at Barry, whose eyes glow red in return.
Back at the lab, Caitlin confirms that Barry has no damage to his eyes, and he says he’s totally fine, no rage whatsoever, so clearly Bivolo’s powers didn’t work on him. Regardless, Caitlin says it was stupid that he went to face him alone, and Barry claims that Caitlin’s ability to observe that literally every time Barry goes after a metahuman the first time he gets his ass kicked because he isn’t prepared is tied to Ronnie’s death. She is not amused, and neither is Felicity. I am not amused because this is clearly just a way to shoehorn Ronnie into this episode in case you forgot about him.
Oliver and Barry meet up for another training session, and Oliver is just as pissed about Barry’s solo act against Bivolo as Caitlin and Felicity were. He tells Barry that they all make mistakes, but he’s been at this a lot longer than Barry has—he actually says 8 years, so he’s counting Island Time—because he keeps training and learning all the time. Barry interprets this as Oliver being jealous of Barry’s super-speed, and he’s a real jerk when telling Oliver so. Oliver is unimpressed, and Barry takes off.
At the police department, Captain Singh asks Barry how the Bivolo case is going, and Barry gives a noncommittal answer, which is not recommended when talking to your supervisor. Singh confronts him, and Barry just yells at him to back off, which is even less recommended when talking to your supervisor. Joe interrupts them, telling Singh that Barry’s having an allergic reaction to some medication, and then tries to calm Barry down. It doesn’t work. Instead Barry rails that Joe is just like Harrison, and Oliver (oops!), and Singh, and that maybe he should get Henry Allen out of prison instead of talking. Joe tries to get Barry to come back to STARLS with him, but Barry sees Iris and Eddie walking together right then and flies into a new and even more disturbing state of rage. This time his eyes glow red.
At STARLS, Felicity is fielding a call from Oliver reporting Barry’s strange behavior, and Joe arrives to corroborate the Arrow’s report. They lament that none of them can stop Barry, but Harrison suggests that Oliver can. Not the Arrow, Oliver, just in case anyone wasn’t clear on how smart and creepy he can be. Raised eyebrows all around from Team Flash.
Iris and Eddie are in a car, and Eddie is flipping through radio stations, clearly sulking. Iris tells him she isn’t mad that he’s pushing this Flash task force thing, she just thinks that Eddie should understand that they’re alike in a lot of ways; they’re both committed to protecting Central City. Eddie wants to know why she’s such an expert, and she admits that she and Flash have chatted on occasion but she didn’t tell Eddie because, well, he wants to arrest him. Flash chooses that moment to drag Eddie out of the moving vehicle. This is going to end well!
Eddie rolls along the pavement like Falcon in Captain America 2, and like Falcon in Captain America 2, he should now be covered in road burn. But he’s fine as Flash approaches him. Eddie pulls his gun, which may be appropriate when a crazed metahuman has thrown you into the street from a moving car and is yelling at you, and fires three shots, which Flash dodges.
At STARLS, Cisco is telling Digg how he totally knew Arrow was Oliver Queen, or at least, he was on the 150-person short list. John is not impressed and looks a little uncomfortable with Team Flash, but the first problem is locating Barry, which Felicity does instantly, of course, and has a traffic camera feed of his confrontation with Eddie.
Eddie tosses his gun away and goes for grappling this time, but that doesn’t work either. Barry is yelling nonsensical things about Eddie getting whatever he wants, which confuses Eddie and makes me really angry, because GODDAMMIT IRIS IS NOT AN OBJECT TO BE WON, YOU FUCKTARD. Iris, meanwhile, is trying to talk Flash down, saying that even if she doesn’t know him, she knows he’s risked his life to help people. He looks to be listening for a second, but then his eyes glow again and he takes a very menacing step toward Eddie—only to be pulled up short by a bolo arrow wrapping around his middle. Arrow growls at Iris and Eddie to run, and they do. Then he tells Barry to calm down, which he doesn’t. Instead, he takes off running, dragging Arrow behind him by the bow.
In the lab, Caitlin hopes that Oliver can subdue Barry before he hurts him, and John counters that he’d be more worried about what Oliver may have to do to Barry. Team Flash gets defensive, suggesting that superpowers trump a bow and arrow, but I’m with John here. Barry has neither the training nor the killer instinct to take on Arrow. Felicity is annoyed at the conversation.
From the pavement, Oliver fires an explosive arrow into the wall behind Barry (who wastes his time smirking that Ollie missed), which brings him to the ground. When he raises his head, Oliver has moved, and promptly shoots Barry with a horse tranquilizer. A lot of horse tranquilizer. But not enough! Barry vibrates it out of his system and whirls on Oliver, creating a vortex around him. Ollie shoots up a grappling hook to a nearby building, but Barry beats him to the top and breaks the line; Oliver barely catches himself with a second.
Back at street-level, they fight hand-to-hand until Oliver finally lands a blow; it just makes Barry angrier, and he uses his speed to knock Oliver down. Arrow triggers the crossbows-from-the-ground again, but Barry catches the bolts this time, smug, until Ollie throws a star through his forearm. They both struggle to their feet, and because he has some experience with self-doubting newbie heroes (I assume Arsenal is watching over Starling while the rest of Team Arrow is on vacation), Oliver says that he still believe in Barry. The glowy eyes indicate Barry is not impressed, and he throws a punch, which Oliver catches and leverages into a chokehold.
Just then, Joe and Harrison to skid into the alley in a STAR Labs van primed with light therapy. The red fades from Barry’s eyes, finally, and to the relief of everyone.
Flash and Arrow take out Bivolo off-screen, presumably, as we just see him raging while Cisco locks him up in a metacell. To my delight, Caitlin suggests Rainbow Raider as an alternative to Prism for a codename, and Oliver muses that his metaprison is on an inhospitable island in the North China Sea (heh). Back in the lab proper, Oliver is giving Team Flash a speech on hidden identities that is sort of a threat, but Felicity interrupts to play nice. And Joe thanks Oliver (remember, he did play professional baseball!). Felicity takes the opportunity to ask Caitlin for help analyzing the blood sample from Sara Lance’s murder, which she is more equipped to do, and they hug. Harrison tells Oliver that he met Robert Queen, Oliver’s father, at a charity event. He tells Oliver that he thinks Roger would be proud of his work, so they seem to make nice, but as Team Arrow leaves, Oliver murmurs to Felicity that there’s something off about Harrison.
At the coffee shop, Eddie comes by to tell Iris that Captain Singh approved the Flash task force based on his literally trying to kill Eddie in the street. He says that he’s going to take Flash in because he’s dangerous, and he asks Iris how she feels about that. He’s incredibly relieved when she says that she only knows how she feels about him, and they hug. I like this scene because he ACTUALLY RESPECTS IRIS AS A PERSON BARRY YOU DICK.
Barry is watching this, of course, and Felicity and Oliver come in to get coffee for the road back to Starling City, even though they made no progress on the boomerang case. Barry offers another apology to Oliver, admitting that his feelings couldn’t have all been manufactured by the Rainbow Rage (Team Caitlin’s Codenames!), and Oliver tells him that he’s always available to talk if Barry needs to. Aww, Ollie’s such a grownup now! As long as other people’s emotions are involved, and not his own. Anyway, he tells Barry that the best thing he can do for Iris is let her go, but he doesn’t have her, so really he needs to let IT go. “Guys like us don’t get the girl,” says the hot, rich, articulate playboy to the hot, stable, endearing nerd. Sigh.
As Oliver and Felicity get up to leave (does John just wait in the car?), a woman walks in who obviously knows him. They exchange emotionally charged small talk, and Oliver tells Felicity it was just someone he used to know. As they leave the shop, the woman is talking to her kid on the phone. Oooh. (Comic check: Oliver has two sons, and since the woman in the coffee shop is credited as Sandra, this one may be Connor Hawke, which would piss me the fuck off, because Connor is of mixed race; his mother is Korean and African-American while this woman is not).
Iris meets Flash on the rooftop of probably the coffee shop. He tells her he was affected when he attacked Eddie and is okay now, but she is skeptical. She tells him not to contact her again, and she’s sorry, but that’s how things will be. With emo music on the soundtrack, Barry speeds through the city.
Two thugs approach a man outside STARLS; he’s crouched and shaking, and they clearly are going to rob him, taunting. But he stands, confronts them, and both hands and his head flame. HI RONNIE!