Feb 20, 2020
The Flash RECAP: A Game of Peekaboo (S1:E12)
Previously on The Flash: Ronnie Raymond was turned into a flying flamethrower by the accelerator explosion, and Hartley Rathaway might know where he is.
We open on a car accident. Two people are trapped upside-down in a car with sparks raining down on them from a torn power line (I guess). Firemen try to do something about the live wire, but Flash has already arrived: he vibrates open the door and pulls the man to safety. But as he goes back for the woman, the wire ignites gasoline spilled on the street and quickly engulfs the entire car in flames. Naturally, Flash has already pulled her out.
At STARLS, Cisco is thrilled enough with Barry’s performance that he’s not even bitching at him for getting soot all over the suit (he is, however, cleaning it with a tiny cloth).
Caitlin and Harrison are pleased that Barry beat his personal speed record, and he’s even dismissed from further training for the night. Cisco wants to get a drink, but apparently it’s movie night with Joe (wait, did Barry know he’d get to go home early or is movie night usually at 3 a.m.?). Caitlin passes too, and Cisco checks in to see if she’s okay. She’s a little angry at him because she noticed his tablet seems to contain the 800-page FIRESTORM manifesto, which is a problem because she asked him to stop looking for Ronnie. Cisco admits that he kept up the search because of what Hartley said last episode, but Caitlin wants to move on. Cisco points out that if Caitlin wants to move on, she has to maybe try, like, meeting other people.
A woman–I bet it’s Villain of the Week!–pulls up outside Iron Heights prison and puts on some rockin’ villain music. She peers in the window with a small scope and then teleports inside (early comic check guesses: Scorch? The Persian? Peek-a-Boo? Who the fuck names themselves Peek-a-Boo?). She avoids a guard or three, then teleports from camera to camera, smashing them. A bit more teleportation evasion later, she reaches the cell of a prisoner who calls her “Shawna.” (Comic check: Lashawn Baez, a.k.a. Peek-a-Boo, had her powers of teleportation activated when she tried to donate her kidney to her father–now that’s an origin story. She can only teleport to places in her line of sight, and she also automatically teleports whenever anyone touches her.) The prisoner has clearly not seen these powers, but is pretty okay with them when she takes his hand and teleports them both back to her car. Then they make out.
Barry is examining the cell the next morning, and he actually finds some evidence–an “organic particulate residual” all over the place. Then his dad (and current Iron Height prisoner) Henry comes by to visit, because that’s a thing that prisons totally allow at active crime scenes. Henry asks for case details, and Joe tells him Clay Parker, the prisoner, vanished without anyone seeing or hearing anything. Henry points out that the inmates wouldn’t exactly be forth coming about what they saw to the police, duh. And I’m sure they’re not setting up Henry to do some sleuthing inside Iron Heights or anything.
In Shawna and Clay’s love nest (no really, the lamp is leopard print and it has a fringe), he thanks her for springing him but wants to know some details on this weird new ability.
Shawna exposits that after he went to prison, she was passing out and waking up in weird places. Kind of like college, amirite? But she’s learned to control it, which doesn’t really explain how she got the powers in the first place. She teleports herself onto his lap, telling him they can leave Central City and Be Together, but he says he can’t leave because he owes “Marcus” a lot of money and has to pay him first. He suggests that Shawna is probably now capable of acquiring funds.
At STARLS, Caitlin is analyzing the material Barry found at Iron Heights, and the cells seem to be particularly…active. Joe figures that means Clay’s a metahuman, but Harrison points out that they found a woman’s DNA mixed in with Clay’s. Shawna is in the police’s DNA database from several disorderly conduct arrests, among other things, so she takes all of two seconds to identify (in typical TV fashion).
Barry and Joe head off to track down Shawna while the rest of Team Flash works on the weird particulates. Cisco, though, goes down to talk to Hartley, who has also told them that Professor Martin Stein, author of the FIRESTORM manifesto, was, for some reason, at STAR Labs when the accelerator exploded (comic check: this probably means that Martin and Ronnie are fused, because FIRESTORM is a combination of two people). Of course, Hartley isn’t going to answer all Cisco’s questions without getting out of the cell, and Cisco’s not letting him out of the cell.
Iris and Barry are getting coffee, and Barry’s all smiley over seeing Henry. Iris asks if he’s working the Iron Heights breakout and sighs that she’s not covering that story, because her editor only wants her writing about Flash (weird, mine too). Iris is sure that if she can’t come up with a Flash story soon, she’s going to get fired, but she also doesn’t want to be known as only the Flash writer. Barry assures her they’ll come up with something.
Joe and Barry are at Iron Heights to meet with Henry, who has, in fact, been asking around inside. He’s found out that Clay was a runner for Marcus and owed him money. Barry tells Henry to stop playing cop, and Henry sort of agrees.
Cisco takes Hartley just outside the building, annoyed because Ronnie died inside, so Hartley can’t possibly be showing him how Ronnie died. Cisco doesn’t see anything important about this staircase at first, but then he notices the shadowed outline of a person against the cement wall. Hartley says something in Japanese, and Cisco wants to know how Hartley manages to sound like a dick in every language.
It was in Japanese because Hartley is calling the silhouette a bomb shadow, like those left in Hiroshima, and he claims this particular bomb shadow was Martin. Cisco does not understand the significance; Hartley is acting like he should, but there’s literally no way Cisco could make this logical jump without the information Hartley has, so he’s just being a know-it-all jackass.
Cisco is fed up with it and is taking Hartley back inside when Hartley finally makes a break for it, elbowing Cisco in the nose. They fight, and Hartley gets the upper hand. But before he can flee, Cisco plays his trump card—a device that vibrates Hartley’s cochlear implants, rendering him useless. He dials down the device as Hartley pleads, warning him that if he tries another escape attempt, he won’t ever make it stop. Hartley grants him that round, but says Cisco has to take off the cuffs if he wants the truth about Martin and Ronnie, because they’ll kind of stand out at their next stop.
Barry comes back to STARLS after Iron Heights, and Caitlin has figured out that Clay’s cells adopt the weird, fast-moving properties of Shawna’s cells when the two are in contact. Barry asks if something’s bothering Caitlin, because she looks bothered, and she claims to be fine but then immediately whines about Cisco claiming she doesn’t have a life. She so totally has a life! She counts cooking, eating, reading, and being on Team Flash as things that are a life. Barry can commiserate, though, because his social life is Flash and Netflix, apparently. They seem okay with their mutual non-lives. They’re interrupted, though, by a report of a robbery in progress, and Flash takes off.
Clay is holding the drivers of a Blackhawk Security truck at gunpoint while Shawna unloads the cash when Flash arrives. She likes a challenge, but he does keep up with her pretty well, until she starts teleporting with him, leaving him dangling on a railing. He rushes back down and catches up with her again, but he does see Clay behind him with a gun. Flash just barely catches the bullet destined for the back of his neck. Shawna and Clay teleport away with the bags of money.
Caitlin is not happy that Barry has a tiny bullet wound on his neck, but Barry quips about being faster than a speeding bullet. He then gives Caitlin and Harrison the lowdown on Shawna’s powers. Harrison immediately attributes them to quantum entanglement (which, to be fair, is also the comic explanation), and Caitlin names her Peek-a-Boo. Barry isn’t sure how he’s supposed to catch her, but Harrison claims they just need to figure out her limits to devise a strategy.
Barry wants to find Iris to help her write a story, so he heads to CCPD. But Iris and Eddie are about to have dinner with Eddie’s mom, so his social life is at a standstill again. He calls Caitlin instead, asking about the bars that Shawna and Clay frequented, because he’s going to scope them out. Caitlin’s coming too.
Naturally one is a karaoke bar, and Barry’s keeping an eye out for Shawna and Clay when Caitlin arrives in a shimmery, skimpy black dress. Very nice, though it doesn’t really match Barry’s “long-sleeved t-shirt and jeans” combo.
Barry whines that he keeps rushing to Iris’ aid, but then she doesn’t need him and he’s destined to be just a friend. Well, YES. Caitlin one-ups him, because the object of her affection bursts into flames and runs away every time she gets near him. Caitlin’s remedy is to down Barry’s vodka and start a tab.
Cisco and Hartley are in…is that Barry’s lab? JFC it really is the worst lab ever.
Hartley claims that he saw Martin the night of the explosion and they’re at CCPD because the police confiscated all the video footage of that night. They find Martin on camera doing something glowy and experiment-y. The camera basically caught Ronnie merging with Martin via explosion, and this is nothing that anybody at the police department noticed and thought was weird?
While Cisco is gaping at the footage, Hartley is removing his hearing aids (again, some more) because you didn’t think that little shit was going to head back to prison, did you? He uses its frequency to render Cisco useless and peaces out.
At the bar, Barry is trying to get some water, probably for Caitlin, when he hears his name being joyfully (drunkenly) called from stage. Yes, it’s karaoke time! They sing Summer Lovin’, because of course they do, and Barry is a surprisingly good singer, which annoys Caitlin, because he’s already a superhero. Barry is ignored by the bartender some more when he tries to close out their tab, until a cute girl calls the bartender by name. The girl is Linda (comic check: omg is this Linda Park? She totally married a Flash! It was Wally West, not Barry Allen, but whatevs), and she calls Barry by name. He is confused by this; she has to remind him that the entire bar was chanting his name like two minutes ago. Linda asks if Caitlin is his girlfriend, and Barry does not pick up on that signal, so she has to give him her number by pretending to be showing off a cool app that transfers contact info when you touch your phones together. She is SO much smoother than him, oh my god. She leaves (with a grin), and Caitlin returns from the bathroom. Barry speeds her outside just in time to throw up.
Clay and Shawna are visiting Marcus to pay off Clay’s debt. Clay asks if they’re square, and he says “almost” and pulls a gun on Shawna. Slightly panicked, she teleports behind him, and he is delighted. In fact, Marcus thinks they should keep working together, but before plans can be made, the police storm in and bullets fly. Clay goes down, and Shawna teleports away with him.
Barry speeds Caitlin home. She asks Barry if he’s going to call Linda and gives him a pep talk about it while she unceremoniously strips; Barry turns away because he’s a gentleman, but she kind of gets stuck in her dress so he has to help her out, because he’s a gentleman. He super-speedily undresses and redresses Caitlin, and she asks if he peeked at her bewbs (she totally pronounces it bewbs). He allows that he wouldn’t be much a hero if he did that. He tucks her in, and it’s adorable.
At STARLS the next morning, Caitlin is hella hungover, wearing a scarf and sunglasses. Barry is totally teasing her, but Cisco and Harrison are looking mighty stoic when they head into the lab; Cisco is fessing up that he totally lost Hartley.
Caitlin thought she was clear about not wanting him to keep pursuing the Ronnie thing for her, but Cisco admits he didn’t do it for her. He was the one who sealed Ronnie into the accelerator, he finally tells Caitlin, expecting her to be, I dunno, mad, I guess. But she isn’t, of course; she tells Cisco that Ronnie would tell him he did the right thing and that it wasn’t his fault. She also says that what happened wasn’t anybody’s fault, even though it was pretty clearly Harrison’s fault.
They segue into catching Peek-a-Boo, and Harrison has found that Shawna’s cells stop moving all crazy when light is gone (real life check: OH MY GOD SINGLE CELLS DON’T KNOW IF IT’S DARK); therefore her entanglement only works with stuff she can see. As Caitlin wonders how they’re going to get her into a dark space or whatever, Barry gets a phone call: Henry has been stabbed.
Barry and Joe are with Henry at Iron Heights. He’s okay, albeit a little beaten up, apparently because the inmates know he’s the one who tipped the cops off about Marcus’ hideout, leading to the raid. Snitches get stitches, literally, Henry. Barry is annoyed that Joe didn’t tell him Henry kept calling in with intel. Henry says he doesn’t get to be useful much in prison, so he’s going to take the opportunity to help Barry and Joe as they come, even if it’s dangerous. At Barry’s urging, Henry tells him that a guy named Julius is the one who beat him up. Unsurprisingly, Julius gets a visit from the Flash. Flash speeds him outside, and Julius is not happy because if he’s caught escaping, he’ll get ten more years. For the low price of info about Marcus’ next heist, Flash will take him back inside. But it turns out the heist is going down right that second, so Flash speeds off, leaving Julius to get re-arrested.
A truck apparently carrying millions is driving down a dark, poorly lit road when Shawna teleports into the back and grins at the guards. She has a stack of bills when she returns to the car with Clay, and they peel off. But Barry tracks down their car, forcing Clay to stop in a tunnel. How convenient. Shawna jumps out to take him on, doing pretty well with a knife and quick teleports. They fight for a bit before Clay gets fed up and guns the engine, forcing Shawna to teleport back inside with him. Barry quickly breaks all the lights in the tunnel, ending with the car’s headlights (why didn’t he do that at the beginning?). Clay stops and bails, leaving Shawna behind for Barry to capture.
The glass in Shawna’s metaprison cell is one-way, so she can’t see outside for teleportation purposes. Barry, Cisco, and Caitlin seem a little sad as they watch her. Cisco says no one dangerous is going to get out again, which is nice, but Shawna isn’t really dangerous. Just following the wrong dickbag, really–because once again girl villains can’t be real villains, of course, just misunderstood and manipulated, LAME.
Caitlin apologizes for her drunken antics, but Barry says he actually did have fun and that both of them have been pretty lame lately, too caught up in their unattainable people.
Iris is walking and texting when Flash runs by, luring her into an alley, where he gives her a file on Clay’s breakout, telling her that Clay’s still out there and needs to be caught. Iris wants to know why he’s giving her the file, and Flash claims she’s the only reporter he knows. Also, she totally got a picture of him running.
Barry stops by Central City Picture News, but not to see Iris—Linda Park happens to be a sports reporter. Awww.
Later, Barry is with Henry again at Iron Heights infirmary, and Henry is impressed that he went on a real date. Henry shows Barry the newspaper: Iris’ Flash pic is front page, above the fold. Henry says he saw Flash save Joe’s life once. Barry nods along that Joe told him about that, and Henry also thinks it’s awfully strange that the Flash seems to have been involved in Julius’ “breakout.” Barry uncomfortably laughs that if he was the Flash, wouldn’t Henry be the first to know? Henry is not fooled and imparts some hypothetical fatherly advice to the Flash: be careful, he’s a hero, and he’s proud of him. This show and its father-son relationships, CHRIST.
Down in a sewer, some utilities workers are checking out strange sensor readings. This is gonna end well, I bet. They shine their flashlights on a cement wall covered in chalk writings: GRODD. They hear a strange noise and go to investigate, but don’t see anything. As they turn away, though, something snatches one of them down the dark tunnel. The second doesn’t get very far before he’s snatched away too. HAI GRODD!