After a somewhat middling start to the final season, which saw Barry and Iris caught in a time loop, the second episode of CW’s The Flash addresses an age-old problem of the series. In the last episode, we saw a new Captain Boomerang, Owen Mercer, terrorizing the city. He eventually gets defeated by the Flash but manages to steal a Roemer accelerator. Joe is concerned about Cecile as her metahuman powers grow stronger, and she wishes to move away from Central City to retire from the risky crimefighting lifestyle. The final moments of the previous episode also introduced a new speedster, Red Death, who was operating covertly in Central City. Assisted by Owen, the character wants to put an end to Flash’s legacy by taking down everyone close to him.
What Happens In Episode 2 Of ‘The Flash’ Season 9?
Caitlin Snow, the ever-caring, wise, and helpful doctor/bio-engineer who has been at team Flash’s aid and a strong presence in Barry’s life since the very beginning, had the ability to generate and manipulate cryokinetic powers thanks to her previously dormant metahuman genes, which were activated by her father’s experiments during her childhood. The incident gave birth to the comparatively edgy, cruel, and violent personality that goes by the name of Killer Frost. Through the years, Team Flash has constantly faced the challenge of striking a proper balance with the two opposing personas of Caitlin as, after her initial disdain, she grew to accept Frost as part of her own self. Frost’s persona gets separated in a twin body of Caitlin and tries to make amends for her villainous past. In the eighth season of The Flash, Killer Frost sacrificed herself in a battle with the supervillain Deathstorm. Grieving her death, Caitlin decided to undergo a consciousness resurrection procedure to bring Frost back from the remnants of her mind still lingering inside Caitlin’s subconscious.
The first episode of the current season reveals that the experimentation created an entirely new personality who is neither Caitlin nor Frost. The second episode begins with Barry arriving at Caitlin’s place as he responds to the alert sent by her. He is informed by Mark Blaine, Caitlin’s current partner, about the experiment that led to even Caitlin’s personality getting subdued as the new one, who calls herself Snow, emerges. Snow neither retains Caitlin’s medical or bioengineering knowledge nor showcases metahuman abilities like Frost. Barry also learns from the duo that the Caitlin persona is probably dead and that Mark has ideas of bringing her back using the same procedure with a stable energy source. Barry hesitantly agrees to Mark’s plans, and he is unaware of the fact that Mark’s true intention is to bring Frost back.
Joe and Cecile are deeply hurt after being informed about Caitlin’s condition. This comes as an added blow to Joe’s growing concerns about Cecile’s safety, and Cecile struggles to comfort her partner. In the midst of all these developments, another key player of the series, the reformed villain Hartley Rathaway, returns as we find him operating a nightclub in Central City with his boyfriend and former crew. Hartley is attacked by a soundwave manipulator supervillain named Fiddler, and his own metahuman powers of super-hearing amplify his pain even more. After barely surviving Fiddler’s attack, Hartley takes shelter in the STAR labs and prepares himself for a final confrontation with her.
Meanwhile, Team Flash discovers Mark’s ulterior motives when, naively, Snow exposes his plans. Hartley, injured and concerned for the safety of his partner, arrives and is comforted by the empathetic behavior of Snow. Barry has an honest conversation with Mark and warns him that secrecy will only result in no cooperation from the team. After going through Caitlin’s father’s research papers, Barry learns that by using the procedure of consciousness resurrection, they can save only one persona among Caitlin, Frost, and Snow. The team decides to choose whom by voting, and except Barry, everyone votes for Frost, surprising even Iris. Fiddler returns to her base of operation, where Red Death is also present, and the character threatens Fiddler with ending her life if she fails the next time.
Cecile meets up with Snow and notices she can’t read her mind. The two of them quickly become friends as Snow shares her fears with Cecile about not wanting to repeat the procedures and wanting to have a life of her own. Barry has attained clarity after going through Caitlin’s father’s report, which highlights that he wanted her daughter to choose who she wanted to be. Barry wants the team to do the same for Snow, as he considers Caitlin’s decision to go through the procedure for the first time to be one that should be respected without changing. Given a choice to decide her future, Snow chooses to live a regular life while being a part of the team Flash.
Fiddler attacks Hartley’s nightclub and presumably kills his old crew. Hartley manages to overpower her this time and almost kills her when Flash arrives and lets him know that his crew and partner are alive at a different frequency. Remembering Snow’s words about being true to himself, Hartley checks his actions and brings them back to normal. However, an ambush by Captain Boomerang leaves Hartley and Barry stunned for a while; Barry then takes Hartley’s sonic gauntlets and leaves with Fiddler. After returning to STAR Labs, Hartley destroys the consciousness resurrection machine as a gesture to return the favor to Snow, fueling Mark’s angst even more.
At their base, Captain Boomerang, aka Owen Mercer, runs the vibrational properties of the gauntlet over Red Death, which seems to stabilize the character somewhat from its ever-vibrating condition. Standing atop one of the skyscrapers of Central City, Red Death remarks that the city will pay the price for Flash disgracing them and that justice will be served.
Caitlin Snow, portrayed by the trustworthy Danielle Panabaker, has been an integral part of The CW’s “The Flash” since the very beginning and is the only non-family character on team Flash to have appeared to date since the pilot episode aired. The importance of her character can never be understated, which has increased since season three when the showrunners decided to make her a metahuman with a separate personality twist. Unfortunately, all things considered, the series did not utilize her character to her full potential, as the showrunners were finding it increasingly difficult to balance the character. This wasn’t solved even after separating the characters of Caitlin Snow and Frost into twin bodies, as just when Frost was well into her redemption arc in the eighth season, she was unceremoniously killed off. This episode shockingly kills off Caitlin’s character as well by introducing Snow, who seems to be the best of both personalities. In the final season, the rushed decision will provide little to no time for fans to grieve Caitlin, but it probably will finally do the character some justice by adding a new dynamic unencumbered by complexities.
Red Death is dealing with prominent Flash rogues; the only difference remains that these characters are not the same person they’ve encountered earlier, as the team’s past records suggest. The ending of the second episode gives us a first look at the character’s attire, which is very faithful to the character’s comic counterpart. In the comics, Bruce Wayne of Earth-52 took down all of Flash’s rogues and utilized their tech to bring his earth’s Flash down. After beating him, Bruce utilized Flash’s connection to the speed force to merge with him, which gave birth to the menacing Red Death. In a similar, although a bit subverted, fashion, we see this version of Red Death being aided by a newer version of Flash’s Rogue Gallery to concoct the plan to ensure Flash’s downfall. The character seems to have a personal connection with Barry, too, as most of the statements indicate. With this season already rumored to have the appearance of multiple members of the Flash family and former speedster villains, it will be very interesting to know how Red Death is connected with the Flash lore in Arrowverse’s interpretation.