Last week on The Flash, Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) was infected by Ramsey Rosso, aka Bloodwork (Sendhil Ramamurthy) and offered immortality! After an internal struggle between Barry, Rosso, and the Speed Force, Barry, believing Rosso could help him survive his prophesied death in the coming Crisis, succumbed to temptation and became a willing acolyte of Rosso’s! This week’s episode, The Flash S6E8, “The Last Temptation of Barry Allen, Part 2,” finds Team Flash racing to stop both Bloodwork and the infected Barry Allen from turning all of Central City into mindless zombies, all before the world ends in four hours.
The episode opens at S.T.A.R. Labs, with Iris (Candace Patton), Cisco (Carlos Valdes), and Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker) recovering from having been knocked out by Barry at the end of the last episode. They pretty quickly figure out what’s happened to Barry, and Cisco puts up a forcefield around the building to protect them from what he calls “Dark Flash.” Frost pulls out a police scanner, which they can use to monitor what’s happening outside. As they try to figure out what to do next, Cisco tells everyone that he’s been working on a photon emitter, which which he thinks can be used to destroy Bloodwork’s sentient blood, curing everyone who’s been infected and removing Rosso’s powers. Iris objects, saying the untested weapon could kill Barry in the process. As they argue, the team hears on the scanner that Bloodwork has begun spreading his infection to the citizens of Central City.
Elsewhere, Cecile Horton (Danielle Nicolet) wakes in her office with a start, sensing the fear in the citizens outside. Kamilla Hwang (Victoria Park) enters, saying the internet in the building is down, and just then the power goes out. Looking in the hall outside the office, Cecile and Kamilla see a pair of Bloodwork zombies. They close the door and try to figure a way out of the building. Meanwhile, on the streets, Captain Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) and the Central City Police Department are trying to deal with the zombies. Joe sees Bloodwork, who proclaims that he’s going to take over the whole city by dawn. As he monologues, The Flash arrives with another victim for Rosso. Joe pleads with The Flash, saying they can fix him. Killer Frost arrives in time to see Rosso stab the victim, and The Flash grins. Rosso says he’s cured death, and his victim stands, now zombified. He and The Flash escape, and a crowd of zombies surrounds Joe and Frost.
Beneath the streets of Central City, Nash Wells (Tom Cavanagh) stands before the metal door he uncovered at the end of last week’s episode. A voice, which Nash assumes is The Monitor (LaMonica Garrett), speaks to him, saying that if he wants to know the answers to his questions, Nash just has to bow down to him. Nash rails against him, reiterating his plans to destroy what he calls a false god, and as he does the tunnel shakes and the power goes out. Nash removes a glow stick from his bag, illuminating it to find a zombie directly behind him.
Back at Cecile’s office, Kamilla is unable to get a signal. Cecile is being overwhelmed by the amount of fear coming off of the citizens. Kamilla says Cecile is basically a zombie detector, and that she can use her abilities to get them out of there.
A Sort of Homecoming
Meanwhile, at S.T.A.R. Labs, Iris and Cisco are listening to the police scanner. Barry comes over the radio and tells Iris he needs to talk to her, and to meet him where their lives together began. Cisco tries to stop Iris, saying it’s clearly a trap and that she could be infected. He begs Iris not to go, but she refuses, and breaches to her and Barry’s apartment, where Dark Flash is waiting. Bloodwork communicates with her through Barry, while Cisco listens through the breach device Iris took. Bloodwork offers Iris a chance to join them, and Iris tries to appeal to Barry to come back. Rosso snaps at her, saying she was willing to accept Barry’s death in the coming crisis. He vibrates Barry’s hand, threatening to kill Iris, but stops, saying it’ll happen soon before speeding off.
Iris returns to S.T.A.R. Labs, clearly shaken by what she saw. Cisco tells her he was listening, and apologizes. Iris says she’ll try again, and Cisco tells her they need to use the photon emitter to take down Bloodwork and Dark Flash. Iris continues to object, but Cisco says this is the moment Barry’s been preparing them for for weeks: a world without The Flash. Iris says she won’t give up on Barry, and Cisco says he’s not giving up, but that The Flash is gone now regardless of whether the emitter works or not, and that once it’s ready he’s going to use it on both Bloodwork and on Dark Flash.
On the streets, Joe and Killer Frost are fighting off the zombie horde when Joe is stabbed. Frost uses her abilities to stun the zombies, and Allegra Garcia (Kayla Compton) arrives to stop another zombie from killing them. Frost opens a breach and the three of them escape through it. Meanwhile, Cecile and Kamilla are sneaking through the office building, Cecile using her abilities to sense when zombies are near and keep them out of sight. It’s taking a lot out of her, but they continue on, nearly making it to the exit when they see more zombies outside. They’re finally discovered and fight their way through a handful of zombies, throwing office supplies and chairs at them until they make it into a stairwell and bar the door. Kamilla says S.T.A.R. Labs is only ten blocks away, and they take off.
Bloodwork resurrects a few more of his victims, and as he does, Cisco arrives with the photon emitter, firing it immediately at him. The weapon weakens Rosso, but before it can take full effect Dark Flash arrives, taking Cisco down and destroying the emitter. Bloodwork threatens to kill Cisco, then stops, saying he has more in mind for him. He tells Cisco he plans to use the particle accelerator at S.T.A.R. Labs to turn the whole city into his minions. Rosso lets Cisco escape, to act as his messenger. He then shouts to Iris, who is listening through Cisco’s breach device, and tells her he and Dark Flash are on their way.
Pride (In The Name of Love)
With Cisco back at S.T.A.R. Labs, they realize that Barry hacked the particle accelerator before he took off at the end of last episode. Just then Frost, Joe, and Allegra arrive. Frost turns back into Caitlin, who goes to work helping fix Joe’s wound. Caitlin tells Frost she can seal the wound with her ice powers, and gives her a quick pep talk to get her over her fear. Frost returns and seals the wound. Meanwhile, back underground, Nash fights off the zombie, first with a shovel and then with a sonic device. When the batteries die in the device, though, more zombies appear in the tunnel.
Later, Iris and Cisco are reflecting on their mutual failures, saying that if they’d worked together they might’ve had a better chance. Iris tells Cisco not to feel bad, and that they’ll figure something out. Cisco then remembers something Bloodwork said to him earlier, and realizes that it’s something Barry’d said to him before. They both realize that Barry is still alive, and trying to communicate with them how to take down Bloodwork. Just then Dark Flash and Bloodwork arrive at the force field around the building. Bloodwork says the army is coming, and Flash says to “let the light in.” Cisco and Iris realize they need to lower the defenses, and they do, allowing Bloodwork and Dark Flash to enter.
Now inside the building, Rosso and Dark Flash lead a horde of zombies throughout the facility. Bloodwork commands them to find the humans. Elsewhere, on comms, Cisco tells Allegra that she and her ultraviolet powers are the key, and that she needs to get to the pipeline. Over the building’s PA, Bloodwork monologues some more about how he’s won and there’s no escape. He and Dark Flash head to the pipeline, where Bloodwork adds a drop of his blood to the machine. Flash retrieves Iris and Cisco so Rosso can monologue to them in person. He describes how his blood combined with the particle accelerator will ‘cure’ the city. Iris tries to appeal to Barry again, and when Rosso tells him to kill her, Barry resists.
Rosso takes full control of Barry’s body, forcing him to cross the room to him and bringing Barry to his knees. As Barry continues to resist, Iris shoots Bloodwork with a blaster, knocking him out and sending Dark Flash reeling to the floor. Just then Allegra and Killer Frost arrive, and Cisco opens the door to the accelerator. As he does, Allegra fires a blast of her ultraviolet abilities into the pipeline, destroying the dark matter-infused blood and creating a wave of UV that spreads throughout the building and across the city, curing all of the infected instantly, including those that are attacking Nash underground. Nash looks toward the metal door in disbelief.
Iris kneels down next to Barry, who’s unconscious on the floor. His eyes shoot open, the black of Rosso’s influence appearing briefly before disappearing. Barry says he’s back and stands, while Frost notices that Bloodwork has escaped. Barry speeds off after him, finding him out on the street again. The two fight, Rosso’s body mutating into a grotesque monster, The Flash throwing lightning and dozens of superspeed punches at him. Over comms, Barry asks Cisco and Iris what they can use to hold Rosso, and Iris suggests the MAC, which they’d previously used to contain Chester Runk’s black hole energy. The fight between The Flash and Bloodwork continues, and Rosso briefly gets the upper hand before his dead mother appears to him, asking him what he’s done. Barry reveals that she’s only there in his mind, representing the doubt he feels over what he’s doing. With Rosso distracted, Barry races him back to S.T.A.R. Labs, trapping him in the MAC.
Indian Summer Sky
That evening, Cisco tells the team that the now powerless Rosso has been taken into A.R.G.U.S. custody. Iris asks Barry what it was like to be Dark Flash, and he says it was all he could do to fight back against Rosso’s influence. Barry thanks Allegra for saving the city, and Allegra credits Frost with helping get her there. In another room, Frost and Caitlin have a chat about the progress Frost has made, Caitlin saying that she’s proud of her. Frost suggests Caitlin take over for the night so that she can face the crisis with her friends.
Later, Team Flash is sitting in silence in the lounge at S.T.A.R. Labs, waiting for the clock to strike midnight and the crisis to arrive. The team members take turns reflecting on what Barry has meant to them, and everyone gets sad. Iris says she’ll always be with Barry, right until the very end, and Barry tells everyone that whatever’s coming won’t change what they all mean to each other. Just then, the clock strikes midnight, and everyone looks outside as the skies turn red. Barry looks at Iris and takes her hand.
Two minutes earlier, underground, Nash addresses the metal door. He believes The Monitor saved his life from the zombies, and the voice tells Nash to hand himself over and begin his new life. Pressing the symbols on the door in a sequence he somehow knows, Nash steps back and the door opens, flooding the underground chamber with bright white light. Suddenly white energy rushes out of the door, grabbing a screaming Nash and pulling him in. The door slams down behind him.
To Be Continued in Crisis on Infinite Earths!
This episode was a satisfying conclusion to the story of Ramsey Rosso, and to the weeks-long preparation The Flash and his family have been going through to prepare for Crisis. The final scene between all of the members of Team Flash was particularly affecting, and provided a nice send-off for Barry Allen should he actually die in the coming event. What’re the odds The CW is going to kill off the star of one of their highest-rated shows, though? I guess we’ll find out next Sunday, when the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover event kicks off!