Things are getting more complex than ever for the team on the CW’s “The Flash.” With a parallel dimension emerging just after a time-travel adventure, the group finds themselves also dealing with a traitor in their midst in episode 12 as the hunt for Zoom continues.
The episode opens with another flashback to the night of the particle accelerator explosion that gifted Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and so many other meta-humans with their powers. An unfortunate man is being held over a tar pit by two nefarious-looking gangsters. He gives up some information that the criminals need and they then drop him head-first into the steaming hot liquid minutes before the explosion. Apparently, the man in the tar became a meta-human, but laid dormant in the pit for almost two years before construction crews dug the land up enough for him to walk free.
Meanwhile, a newly single Barry finds himself at S.T.A.R. Labs on a Friday night with nothing to do and decides to help Earth-2 Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) figure out how to stop Zoom from opening breaches between this worlds. This comes as an unwelcome surprise to Wells, who secretly agreed to help Zoom steal Barry’s speed in exchange for the safe return of his daughter. After secretly stealing DNA from the villain Turtle (Aaron Douglas) during last week’s episode, Wells has planted the meta-human’s slowing powers in a device on The Flash’s suit to systematically drain his powers. The next time he has to don the iconic costume, Wells can now harness his lightening energy to deliver right into Zoom’s hands.
While all of this is going on, the West family is trying its best to expand now that Joe (Jesse L. Martin) has learned of the existence of his son Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale). Despite the boy’s reluctance to accept his absentee father, his emotional moment with Iris (Candice Patton) last week made him warm up to them. They’re sharing a nice dinner when Iris starts to complain about Wally’s lifestyle as a drag racer. It was previously revealed that he is engaged with the criminal underworld and the dangerous sport in order to pay for his mother’s medical bills. However, his new sister doesn’t approve, and she takes her disapproval to somewhat annoying heights.
She decides to chase a story for the paper about the underground world of street racing in Central City. Her findings upset Wally, but he doesn’t agree to stop. In a more desperate attempt, Iris visits the man that organizes the races, Clark Bronwen (Teach Grant), and shows him the preview of her article. She tells the very scary thug that if he doesn’t pack up and leave town, she’ll run the article and expose his entire operation to the police.
Before she can report her findings to Barry and Joe, the team becomes locked in a battle with the meta-human that Cisco (Carlos Valdes) has dubbed Tar Pit (Marco Grazzini). He’s rampaging through Central City to get vengeance on the people that killed him two years ago. The villain successfully murders one, and the Flash has to stop him from taking out the other. In doing so, he unknowingly subjects himself to Wells’ device and loses roughly 2 percent of his speed powers in the process.
Now that the gang is officially on the hunt for Tar Pit, they figure out who he is going after and trace the connection between the killer and his victims to a juvenile detention facility that they all did time in as kids. Coincidentally, the fourth cellmate in this collection of bad guys is none other than Bronwen, Iris’ newest nemesis. She explains everything to Joe and the two go to Wally’s street race to watch for an attack. Sure enough, the villain launches shows up and creates a ramp in front of Wally’s car, sending it flying backwards into the crowd. The Flash shows up just in time to rescue Wally and Bronwen. However, he notices his speed decrease when he’s unable to stop a piece of debris from hitting Iris very close to her heart. He gets her to the hospital in time to avoid serious damage, but when the gang regroups back at S.T.A.R. Labs, they are perplexed by the issue.
Wells, sits there fuming. He’s had to hear Barry tell him that he’s becoming like a mentor to him and then describe all the ways that losing his speed might affect the people close to him. The guilt finally became too much and Wells stands up and declares that he’s responsible for stealing Barry’s speed and giving it to Zoom in exchange for the safe release of his daughter. The team is upset and their instincts kick in forcing them to throw Wells in a cage.
Everyone, especially Joe, wants to kill him for betraying them, even though he made it clear he would do anything to save his daughter. WIth the Wells problem contained for the time being, they focus on Tar Pit, who ends up being kind of an easy take down for the speedstir. Thanks to some nitrogen grenades developed by Cisco, Joe uses the hitman Barry previously saved as bait and quickly dispatches the villain in under a minute. With the bad guy of the week down for the count, everyone had to come to terms with the fact that he wasn’t the biggest threat.
When Barry finally has time to confront Wells, he instructs Barry to let him return to Earth-2 and close the breaches behind him. That would leave Zoom unable to return to Earth-1, which would likely lead to the death of Wells’ daughter and a lot of other innocent Earth-2 people. After the group spent the entirety of Season 1 dealing with Wells' doppleganger, they’re quick to dismiss him as a villain, but Barry manages to get a level head.
He reminds the group that they’ve all done bad things for the people they love and that it’s not in any of their nature to condemn an entire world full of people to whatever fate Zoom has in store for them. The episode ends with the group reluctantly agreeing to work with Wells on a daring adventure to Earth-2, where next week they’ll try to confront Zoom on his home court.