Recap 'The Flash' Season 1 Before Season 2 Picks Up The Pace In Central City
Bite into a Big Belly Burger, grab a coffee from Jitters, and throw on a graphic shirt that would make Cisco proud, because it's time to settle in and recap The Flash Season 1. It was such an action-packed season, I don't even know where to begin. Last season, The CW's freshman drama hit the ground running, and yes, that pun was intended. We were introduced to forensic scientist by day/speedster by night Barry Allen, as he navigated the ins and outs of being a metahuman. I know we're all wondering what Season 2 has in store for us, but before we can race forward, we have to look back. Here's everything that went down in the first season of The Flash.
Set in Central City, The Flash follows Barry and his friends as they try to stop metahumans — some good, but many bad — from causing havoc in the city. Operating out of a facility in S.T.A.R. Labs, Barry has Caitlin Snow (a brilliant bio-engineer) and Cisco Ramon (a brilliant and quippy mechanical engineer) on his side. There's also Harrison Wells, who is way more than meets the eye, but we'll get to him in due time.
At his day job, Barry has to conceal his identity from all of those close to him, which includes his foster family, Joe and Iris West. Joe's a detective, Iris is a reporter, and Barry care about them deeply. He's also truly in love with Iris. The problem is, Iris has a boyfriend — Joe's detective partner, Eddie Thawne.
Lastly, there's Barry's real dad, who is currently in prison for a crime he didn't commit: killing Barry's mom. Now that I've covered the bare basics, let's dive in, piece by piece, to everything you'll need to know about The Flash before Season 2 premieres on Tuesday night.
As a child, Barry witnessed his mother's murder. For him, it all happened in a flash, literally. Barry's mom, Nora, found herself stuck between two different colored speedsters, one yellow and one red. It all happened very fast, as one second, Barry was in his living room, and the next he was outside a few blocks away from the murder scene. Since his dad was the only one truly present for the crime, Henry Allen was charged with the murder, and has been locked away in prison ever since.
Barry goes to visit his dad (who is played by the original Flash, John Wesley Shipp) often, and those father-son scenes make everyone cry.
Following the murder of his mother and the arrest of his father, Barry went to go live with family friend Joe West, a Central City police officer, and his daughter, Iris (Mrs. West has never been seen, nor named, but she is set to appear in Season 2).
Barry and Iris became best friends, practically inseparable, all through their school days right up to college. Over time, Barry developed feelings for Iris, because how could you not, Iris is fabulous. Iris, on the other hand, remained oblivious to all of this, and went on to date her dad's partner, Eddie. Eddie and Barry have a very touch-and-go relationship, because Eddie is well aware of his feelings for Iris. Eddie sometimes feels threatened, but never enough to punch Barry in the face — oh wait, that actually happened.
What Made Barry Fast
Barry happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time when the S.T.A.R. Labs particle accelerator exploded. He was in his CSI office at the Central City police station, and as the lab exploded, Barry was struck by a bolt of red lightning. This completely knocked him out and sent him into a coma for about nine months.
When Barry woke up, he found that while in a coma, he had been transfered from the hospital over to S.T.A.R. Labs under the care of Harrison Wells and his team. Barry learns he's fast, and that Wells, Caitlin, and Cisco want to help him harness his powers to use them for good. Cisco develops a red suit for Barry that lets him run and also protects him, while Caitlin runs tests on him to make sure he's always OK.
Meet The Metahumans
Barry wasn't the only one affected by the S.T.A.R. Labs explosion. Turns out, there are "mutant humans" or metahumans, throughout Central City with all sorts of strange and unusual powers. Most of them are simply freaked out by the fact that they can now do things like control electricity and turn into steel. But as soon as they figure out their powers, many are out for destruction against the people who turned them this way in the first place, aka S.T.A.R. Labs, Wells, and also General Wade Eiling, who works for the army and really doesn't like metahumans.
To keep the metahumans off the street, the gang decides to re-purpose S.T.A.R. Labs into sort of a makeshift prison to contain them. It works... until they're all released and wreak havoc towards the end of the season.
Captain Cold & Heat Wave
These are two baddies from Central City, who team up as fire and ice. Mostly they're bad, but sometimes they do actually help Barry. You need to know that they started on The Flash, but now they're moving to Legends of Tomorrow. More than likely they'll pop up again — we at least know that Captain Cold's sister, Lisa Snart, shows up this season.
Caitlin & Ronnie
It is presumed that during the S.T.A.R. Labs explosion, Caitlin's fiancé, Ronnie Raymond, was killed. It turns out, he was actually turned into a metahuman and merged bodies with Doctor Martin Stein. Together, the two form Firestorm.
Caitlin doesn't realize this at first, and is somewhat shocked to find that her fiancé is still alive, and also that he can literally set himself on fire. Through lots of science, Ronnie and Stein are able to separate, but can re-merge together at any time to once again become Firestorm and help Barry battle the bad guys. Never wanting to lose Ronnie again, Caitlin decides to marry him ASAP, and the two have a cute little ceremony.
Cisco, aka The Best Part Of The Flash
Admit it, Cisco is the best part of The Flash. He wears fun graphic T-shirts, thinks everything about metahumans is awesome, and has sass and wisecracks for days. He also dies — but don't worry! He comes back to life.
Just follow this for a second: Wells kills Cisco (and we'll get to why in a second). Then Barry manages to accidentally travel back in time, and in doing so, stops Wells from killing Cisco. However, when this happens, Cisco learns that he too was affected by the particle accelerator explosion, and just might be a metahuman himself.
OK, he totally is. He can see through "vibrations," which allowed him to remember events from other timelines, including Wells' betrayal. He is totally becoming Vibe from DC Comics, and it is awesome.
A Brief Overview Of Harrison Wells
The only reason I say "brief" is because if this were an extensive overview of Wells, we'd be here for days. *deep breath*
Harrison Wells is really dead. He was killed by Eobard Thawne, who time traveled from the future. You see, in the future, Eobard and Barry hate one another, and to put a stop to that, Eobard decides to go back in time and kill Barry as a child so he never grows up to be The Flash in the first place. Makes total sense.
However, Eobard's plan fell apart, because Barry didn't die and then Eobard lost the ability to travel back to the future. At this point, he decided to kill and then impersonate the real Harrison Wells, who happened to be working on a particle accelerator, so Eobard could be in total control of that. He wanted to make Barry into The Flash ASAP to help him get back to the future. Once again, makes total sense.
Eobard, now as Wells, set up shop at S.T.A.R. labs and created a secret room housing an AI computer program called Gideon. Gideon can see the future, and keeps Eobard updated when current things change the future. This let him ensure that his plan to have Barry become The Flash was always on track. Yup, makes total sense.
This is why Eobard killed Cisco. Cisco realized that Wells wasn't who he said he was, and when confronted, Eobard knew the only thing to do was to kill Cisco. When Barry undoes all of that with time travel, Eobard realizes that something is off, and eventually figures out that he killed Cisco in another timeline. Confused yet?
What Happens In The End
This is going to be confusing, but we can get through this together. After Cisco once again realizes that Wells is not who he says he is — and Joe and Eddie dig up the body of the real Harrison Wells — Eobard freaks out and goes into hiding. But not before he kidnaps Eddie. See, Eddie and Eobard are distant, distant relatives. Eddie came first; Eobard is from further down the Thawne line, way in the future.
Eobard has been working on a new time machine to go back to the future, but Barry manages to shut it down before Eobard can successfully use it. Now, he's really stuck in the present day forever. Enraged, Eobard and Barry begin fighting, and nothing can stop these two speedesters.
Until Eddie shoots himself in the chest. This is where your knowledge of the rules of time travel as laid out by Back to the Future time travel can really come in handy, because slowly, Eobard starts fading away. If present day Eddie dies in this timeline, there is no future-Eobard, because there is no Thawne family to carry on.
While Eddie succeeds in erasing Eobard from existence, this act creates a paradox, since Eobard is no longer around in the future to go back in time in the first place. This paradox creates a "singularity" above Central City, which is kind of like a giant worm hole, and it's going to suck all of Central City into it, unless Barry can run fast enough in the opposite direction to stop it.
And that's where Season 1 ends. Enough to make your head spin? Well, get ready for The Flash Season 2, because it's racing towards us and I, for one, cannot wait.
Images: Cate Cameron (6), Jack Rowand (3), Dean Buscher/The CW; Giphy