Felicity Smoak and her new billionaire boyfriend Ray Palmer also known as The Atom return to help Barry and the team confront Brie Larvan, the Bug-Eyed Bandit, and her robotic bees who are terrorizing her former employers at Mercury Labs.
The show starts off with lots of excitement. Criminals are on the loose robbing multiple banks at the same time. The Flash is on the case helping Eddie and Joe bring them to justice. Barry even picks up a man for indecent exposure in between subduing the bank robbers.
However, arresting minor criminals does not make an episode. Dr. Lindsay Kang is attacked by a swarm of bees as they sneak inside her car through the ventilation, it is a scene straight out of Fear Factor. Her death is made even more terrifying when Caitlin runs the diagnostics and unveils the bee venom has been amplified to take down a fully grown elephant!
Luckily, Barry will have assistance in confronting this villain. Felicity Smoak makes her return to the show and brings her billionaire boyfriend Ray Palmer, The Atom, as well. The introduction scene is super cheesy. The Atom comes clumsily flying overhead of the team while Caitlin and Cisco ask, “Is that a bird? It’s a plane?”
The cheesy dialogue does not stop with Superman references. Felicity and Ray provide some extremely awkward sexual innuendos referencing Ray not being able to keep it up. Felicity makes sure you know it’s the suit, not his other “equipment”.
One subplot of the episode is Iris and Eddie’s relationship. Iris suspects Eddie of hiding information from her, which he obviously is. He refuses to let her know that he is working with The Flash let alone reveal The Flash’s identity.
The second subplot of the episode and the major overall story-arc for the entire season surfaces throughout the episode, but really rears its head when Cisco begins having visions from the alternate timeline that Barry had supposedly erased. He sees Harrison Wells as the Reverse Flash shoving his hand inside his chest, killing him.
Cisco’s visions are interrupted when another bee attack is reported. Barry responds in a flash, but like many of his previous first encounters with villains he is unprepared to combat his foe. He falls victim to the bees who somehow move as fast as he does, blocking his exit to the building and swarming in for the attack killing Barry.
However, the title character of the show is not killed off so easily. The team at S.T.A.R. Labs has built in a defibrillator to his suit. It takes two shocks, but Barry is revived. Upon revival, he questions what happened and why he was not able to exit the building effectively. Cisco takes the blame explaining the schematics of the building were not up to date. This plants a seed of doubt in Barry’s mind as he suspects both Caitlin and Cisco of potentially working with Wells to conspire against him.
The knowledge of the identity of the Reverse Flash begins to weigh on Barry. It becomes noticeable not only to his friends Cisco and Caitlin, but to Felicity and potentially Wells. Cisco has a sit down with Joe to figure out what is bothering Barry while he continues to experience visions from the alternate timeline. Not only does Cisco take action with Joe, but Felicity goes directly to the source and confronts Barry during an elegant dinner scene. Barry is finally able to let go and trust in someone outside of Joe and Eddie. He details his concerns about Wells and is able to get the figurative bear off his back.
Unfortunately, the dinner does not go so well for Eddie and Iris. The two continue to bicker with each other as the elephant in the room goes unconfronted. Propitiously, the scene is cut and Barry’s team discovers the bees are not bees at all but robots. They also discover the two victims have Mercury Labs, known for their tachyon particle prototype, in common. Dr. Tina McGee informs them one of her former employees, Brie Larvan, is most likely the culprit of the attack. The team once again offers their protection to Dr. Tina McGee, but she refuses.
Instead of pursuing the villain, the storyline refocuses on the rocky relationships. Felicity implores Barry to have faith and trust in his friends. She lets him know Caitlin and Cisco are good people with good hearts. Barry performs the same task for Iris. He lets her know Eddie is risking his life as a police officer and he wants to shield her from the dark and sometimes ugly work he does.
Finally, Brie Larvan makes her move. She sends her swarm of bees after Dr. McGee and unveils her motivation for doing so, namely she was fired. While Brie elaborates on her motivation, Cisco and Ray have a nice back and forth to come up with her nickname, the Bug-Eyed Bandit. However, there is little time to spare and Ray, equipped with his Atom suit, is tasked with protecting Dr. McGee while Barry sets off to go after the queen bee.
The team has to outsmart the Bug-Eyed Bandit and for a split-second they seem outmatched when Brie unveils she has two swarms at her disposal and sends the second after Barry. This prompts Felicity into action as she puts her computer hacking skills to the test. Meanwhile, The Atom with the help of Caitlin and Cisco flies the bees over top of the river to fry them, but this also fries The Atom’s suit forcing him to crash land in the back of the van.
Felicity eventually out duels the Bug-Eyed Bandit deactivating her bee swarm allowing Barry to subdue her. Unfortunately, one of her bees survives the frying process and deactivation. It begins to go after Ray. Cisco sacrifices himself to protect Ray succumbing to the bee’s venom. Barry unveils a new power using his hands as a defibrillator to revive Cisco.
The episode wraps up with Dr. McGee apologizing to Barry for not accepting their assistance, but also unveils Dr. Wells becoming a completely different person after losing his wife. Iris leaves Eddie with an ultimatum, either tell her the truth or else and Barry takes Felicity’s advice unveiling all of his research on the Reverse Flash and Harrison Wells to Cisco and Caitlin.
The episode started off with excitement, focused on characterization and relationships towards the middle, and then ramped up with an exciting all star team-up to take down the Bug-Eyed Bandit. It sets up the next episode for the team to discover the truth about Harrison Wells.
There are still a number of questions I have regarding the Barry Allen who fought with the Reverse Flash. What happened to him? Is he stuck in the timeline somewhere lacking Speed Force much like Wells? If so when will he make an appearance?
What did you think of Tuesday’s episode? Does Barry stand a chance against the Reverse Flash? Let us know in the comments!
You can also check out the preview for the upcoming episode “Who is Harrison Wells?” below.