With just four episodes left until Season 2 finally comes to a close, “The Flash” pulled out all the stops to ramp up the suspense. After surrendering his powers, the hero’s greatest villain made good on his promise to conquer Earth-1 on the latest episode of the CW series. 

The episode opens with what appears to be The Flash (Grant Gustin) stopping a car full of criminals from escaping a robbery. The scene cuts back to S.T.A.R. Labs where it’s revealed that Cisco (Carlos Valdes) has cooked up a new contraption that projects a hologram of The Flash designed to make Central City think that crime is still being put in check. The plan seems to be working, until Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) comes in and does what he does best, rain on everyone’s parade. 

He reminds them that Zoom (Teddy Sears) is still out there with their friend Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker). They can fool the city for a time, but the real thing that the people need is a fully-functioning speedster. Sadly, Barry gave away his powers in exchange for Wally West’s (Keiynan Lonsdale) life and still hasn’t gotten them back. However, Harry believes he has a way. For those who don’t know, The Flash and a lot of other meta-humans in the world, got their powers when S.T.A.R. Labs' particle accelerator exploded. Harry believes he can recreate those conditions without the civilian casualties.

Barry seeks the advice of his father, Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp), who previously left Central City after his son risked everything to get him out of jail. Realizing that this plan could result in his son’s death, Henry objects wholeheartedly to the idea and even goes back to the city with Barry to convince the rest of the group. Sadly, he’s unsuccessful as everyone seems to be deeply divided on the issue. At one point, Cisco gets so upset that he has a vibe, showing him his older brother Dante (Nicholas Gonzalez). Although it’s a tough choice, the clock is ticking.

Zoom makes good on his promise to conquer Earth-1 by bringing Caitlin to the police station and letting law enforcement know that he’s in control now. They retreat and set up an outpost near Cafe Jitters, prompting the debate over the particle accelerator explosion to kick into high gear. This leads to a sweet moment in which all three of Barry’s father-figures, Harry, Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Henry, discuss what’s best for him. 

Meanwhile, Cisco meets up with his brother at a bar to figure out what the vibe was all about. His brother, who he is estranged from, is a jerk and they leave the bar together. As they’re walking out, they’re attacked by another meta-human sent by Zoom from Earth-2. His name is Rupture, and he reveals himself to be the doppelganger of Dante. The duo narrowly escape, and Rupture is forced to bring the news of his failure back to Zoom. As penance, the villain instructs Rupture to take care of the police outpost, despite his promise to Caitlin to spare them. Fortunately, she overhears the plan and manages to get a message out to her team in order to warn them. 

The Flash “The Flash” character Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) insists that he can recreate the particle accelerator explosion that gave the hero his powers in Season 2, episode 20 of the CW series. Photo: The CW

Harry seizes the opportunity to remind Barry that this is the perfect time for him to submit to the particle accelerator plan. Barry steps away for a moment to think and Iris (Candice Patton) confronts him and finally reveals that she’s got feelings for him. She wants him to know that, no matter what he decides, she still wants to be with him. This should come as welcomed news to the hero, who has been pining for her since episode 1 of the series. However, he’s got a lot going on these days, so they agree to table it.  

Eventually, Barry tells Harry that he won’t submit to the experiment. At the end of the day, he simply doesn’t trust that the scientist has found a way to contain the explosion. Instead, he and Cisco go into battle against Rupture using The Flash hologram. Surprisingly, with the help of the CCPD, they manage to assist in his capture. This enrages Zoom, who figures out what Caitlin did. She tries to appeal to his humanity, but he dons his mask and creepy voice and demands to be called Zoom.

He arrives at Jitters and confronts the police. Knowing they’re powerless to stop him, Joe orders them to fight anyway, leading Zoom to instantly murder every officer besides Joe and the Captain, Caitlin’s friends. Barry comes out of hiding to implore the villain to stop, but he decides to send the city a message by killing Rupture on live TV. Zoom grabs the camera and reveals that The Flash the people have been seeing is a ruse and that there’s no one left to stop him. The villain leaves the shocked hero surrounded by dead police officers. 

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Harry gives the entire team a wake-up-call by showing them a very lengthy list of known meta-humans on Earth-2. Presumably there’s that many on Earth-1, but they’ve been hiding from The Flash. With the hero gone, there’s no telling what kind of havoc Zoom and his cronies can wreak on the city. At this point, Barry has heard enough. He agrees to submit to the experiment. Joe and Harry lock their children, Wally and Jesse (Violette Beane) away in a safe room inside S.T.A.R. Labs and get to work. Unfortunately, this is when things go bad very quickly. 

The procedure causes Barry immense pain, but he continues to go with it. When he’s finally hit with the lightening that was supposed to give him his speed powers back, it instead did what lightning does, and disintegrates Barry Allen completely. Meanwhile, Jesse and Wally, not realizing the gravity of the situation, snuck out of the safe room and were hit by some of the excess energy that was given off by the explosion. Just like that, the episode ends with the entire team reacting to the loss of their friend, Barry Allen.