The Flash

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While fighting the latest meta-human to appear in Central City, Barry (Grant Gustin) is unaware that Earth-2’s Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) has created a device to slowly siphon off his speed. Moving slightly slower than normal, the Flash is unable to prevent Iris (Candice Patton) to get injured during one of Tar Pit‘s (Marco Grazzini) attacks. However, that injury brings Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) closer to his sister and causes Wells to come clean about what he’s done in order to save his daughter from Zoom.

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The return of the Reverse-Flash (Matt Letscher) is only one of many storylines in an episode that also features Patty‘s (Shantel VanSanten) farewell, Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) helping Cisco (Carlos Valdes) unlock his powers, the return of Amanda Pays as Tina McGee, a little bonding between Iris (Candice Patton) and her brother and the deteriorating health of their mother, and the show touching on the idea of Earth-1 and Earth-2 doppelgangers (which it will no doubt continue to explore over the rest of the season).

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The Flash returns from its mid-season hiatus with a new meta-human with the ability to slow down time. While racing to fight the Turtle (Aaron Douglas), who it turns out can slow down even the Fastest Man Alive, Barry (Grant Gustin) also contemplates telling Patty (Shantel VanSanten) his secret. Distracted by the new super-villain in town, the choice is eventually taken out of Barry’s hands when Patty decides to leave Central City, and Barry, to pursue her career.

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Following the two-part cross-over with Arrow, The Flash ends the first-half of its Second Season with a trio of returning villains. The Weather Wizard (Liam McIntyre) returns to Central City to break both Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and the original Trickster (Mark Hamill) out of jail in hopes of a team-up to take down the Scarlet Speedster once and for all. While Cold bows out, but not before warning Barry (Grant Gustin) of what’s coming, the other two villains use the Christmas holiday to their advantage and are nearly able to defeat the Flash.

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The conclusion to the two-part The Flash/Arrow crossover, “Legends of Yesterday” picks up where “Legends of Today” left off with our heroes returned to Central City in hopes of preventing Vandal Savage (Casper Crump) from killing the latest reincarnations of Hawkgirl (Ciara Renée) and Hawkman (Falk Hentschel). As both Hawkman and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) attempt to help Kendra remember the hero she once was Oliver (Stephen Amell) becomes distracted by the sighting of an old girlfriend (Anna Hopkins) and a young boy he correctly suspects may be his son.

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After weeks of laying building blocks leading up to the mid-season premiere of the new spin-off Legends of Tomorrow, The Flash kicks things into high-gear with the first part of a Flash/Arrow crossover that brings he heroes of both cities together to fight the unstoppable force of the immortal Vandal Savage (Casper Crump). Although Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) is nowhere to be found, all other hands are on deck for a storyline that begins in Central City with Savage’s arrival searching for the reincarnated Kendra Saunders (Ciara Renée) and her Hawkman (Falk Hentschel). The plot will lead back to Starling with Barry (Grant Gustin) calling on the help of Oliver (Stephen Amell) and company to keep Saunders safe while trying to figure out exactly what the group is dealing with.

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The aptly titled “Enter Zoom” brings Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) face-to-face with the season’s big bad Zoom for the first time. In an episode that showcases Barry’s impatience with waiting for the villain to strike out again, Barry enlists the help of Linda Park (Malese Jow) to play the role of her evil doppelganger in an attempt to lure Zoom into a trap. Lets just say things don’t go exactly as planned.

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While delivering an episode that pits the Flash (Grant Gustin) against another meta-human from Earth-2, and allows one of the show’s recurring characters to do double-duty in the episode by playing two distinctly different versions of herself, “The Darkness and the Light” also introduces the S.T.A.R. Labs crew to the Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) of Earth-2. Despite being only super-powered thief on her own world, Dr. Light (Malese Jow) proves to have murderous intentions towards both her Earth-1 counterpart and the Flash when she shows up in town to do Zoom‘s bidding.

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Despite introducing both a new hero and villain while searching for a suitable candidate to merge with Dr. Stein (Victor Garber) and calm the unstable Firestorm Matrix, and spending most of the rest of the episode dealing with Iris (Candice Patton) and her family drama given the unexpected return of her mother (Vanessa Williams), “The Fury of Firestorm” hides its best moments on the periphery of the storyline of the week. Don’t get me wrong, I think Franz Drameh did a fine job as Jefferson “Jax” Jackson, and I like the look of the new Firestorm slightly better than the original (although it could still us a little more comic book styling), and I wouldn’t mind seeing Demore Barnes return as Tomahawk, but “Fury of Firestorm” saves its best for last.

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The arrival of Lewis Snart (Michael Ironside) in Central City isn’t a celebration for anyone, including the criminal’s children who he blackmails to service his own ends. After placing a bomb inside the head of Golden Glider (Peyton List), Lewis forces Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) to join his old man’s crew and help with his next big heist. Although I’m still not completely sold on the idea of Cold as a good guy, “Family of Rogues” does take an important first-step in moving the villain onto a new path which will likely culminate with his involvement in Legends of Tomorrow.

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