When a new metahuman with the power of teleportation breaks her boyfriend out of Iron Heights and goes on a crime spree, The Flash and his team at STAR Labs are quickly on the case. And Henry Allen takes it upon himself to become a jailhouse spy to help his son.
Meanwhile, Caitlin decides to take advantage of a stakeout of the local bars to drag Barry out for a night on the town, having further decided to move on from her fiance. But Cisco isn't quite so ready to give up the chase for Ronnie Raymond... even if it means letting the Pied Piper loose on a short leash.
The Flash comics of Geoff Johns.
How does Clay Parker get out of the car and away in the dark faster than Barry can return to the car once he's disabled it?
When playing drunk, there is a temptation for actors to go over the top to a ludicrous degree. Danielle Panabaker manages to stay on the right side of the line as we get to see Caitlin Snow cut loose. The chemistry between her and Grant Gustin is quite good and you get the feeling that only her total inebriation and Barry's being a total gentleman is the only thing that stops the characters from going further after Barry changes her clothes at super-speed.
Once again, John Wesley Shipp delivers a masterful performance as Henry Allen. We dare you to keep your eyes dry during his final speech!
The prison break scene is very well directed and filmed. Nice choice of music for the action.
The special effects for Peek-A-Boo are quite impressive and the fights between her and The Flash are cinema-level quality.
Peek-A-Boo's secret identity on the show is Shawna Baez. In the comics, it is Lashawn Baez. Curiously, the IMDB page for the episode names the character as Lashawn Baez.
Peek-A-Boo is based on a character from Geoff Johns' run on The Flash. Both characters are teleporters and African-American women, but there are differences between them apart from their names.
One difference is their weaknesses. In the comics, Peek-A-Boo's powers are reflexively triggered whenever anyone makes physical contact with her. This can cause dangerous implosions if she is startled and teleports reflexively.
On the show, Peek-A-Boo's weakness is that her teleportation is based on a line-of-sight. She can't use her powers in darkness or if her vision is otherwise obscured.
In the comics, Lashawn Baez was a medical student who dropped out of school to take care of her sick father. When he needed a kidney transplant, Lashawn offered up her own but the stress of the surgery triggered her latent metahuman teleportation powers. Unfortunately, the powers triggered whenever Lashawn was touched, so she could no longer donate her kidney. She resolved to use her powers to steal a suitable donor kidney to save her father - an action that brought her into conflict with The Flash.
On the show, Shawna Baez is a career criminal who gained teleportation powers after the accident at STAR Labs.
Clay Parker is the name of a character from The Brave And The Bold #46 - Strange Sports Stories.
Cisco uses a hand-held device to shut-off Hartley Rathaway's hearing-aids, noting that Rathaway isn't the only one who understands vibrations. This is a reference to Vibe - the vibration-controlling superhero whose secret identity in the comics is Cisco Ramon.
Barry notes that he is "a lot faster than a speeding bullet." This is a reference to a line from the introduction to the 1950's The Adventures of Superman show, which eventually entered the comics as the most frequent description of how fast Superman was. Since The Flash has usually been agreed to be faster than Superman, clearly The Flash would be "a lot faster than a speeding bullet."
Linda Park - the reporter who picks up Barry at the karaoke bar - is based on a character from the comics. In the comics, Linda Park was an investigative television reporter who came to know the third Flash, Wally West, and eventually befriend him. The two eventually began dating, married, and had twins together.
The DCTVU version of Linda Park is a sports reporter for the Central City Picture News - the same newspaper that employs Iris West.
At the end of the episode, two sewer works find the name "GRODD" scrawled on the walls of a sewer before being attacked by an unseen creature. This is likely our first appearance of Gorilla Grodd - a super-intelligent, psychically empowered ape who is one of The Flash's deadliest enemies in the comics.
Barry collects organic particulate residual from Clay Parker's cell at Iron Heights.
The particulates contain the DNA of both Clay Parker and Shawna Baez.
Shawna's cell samples move faster than Barry's unless they are in total darkness.
A bomb shadow or "nuclear shadow" is created by the carbon imprint of an object being burned onto a surface during a nuclear explosion. The "shadows" of people burned onto walls during the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are prime examples of this phenomena.
Clay Parker's cells adopt the properties of Shawna's cells when they come into contact with one another.
Wells describes Peek-A-Boo's power as quantum entanglement - the ability to manipulate interconnected particles over an infinite distance. Or as Albert Einstein called it "spooky action at a distance."
Professor Martin Stein specialized in transmutation, molecular transmography and quantum splicing - the act of making two things into one.
Hartley theorizes that the dark matter unleashed by the particle accelerator explosion merged Martin Stein and Ronnie Raymond into one being - one with Raymond's body and Stein's mind.
Peek-A-Boo's cells become dormant without light.
Hartley: The mystery isn't why Stein went to STAR Labs that night. It's why he didn't leave.
Cisco: (To Hartley) How can you speak six languages and sound like a dick in every one of them?
Cisco: (after activating his device to disable Pied Piper's hearing aids) You're not the only one who understands vibrations, Hartley!
Barry: My social life consists of running at superhuman speed and Netflix.
Peek-A-Boo: Not too many men can keep up with me.
Barry: Every time I got close, she disappeared. It was like we were playing a game of -
Caitlin: Peek-A-Boo! (beat) Come on! Can't I name one?
Barry: I keep making this mistake. Every time Iris falls, I race to pick her up thinking that one of these times things are gonna change. But I... things never change. I am just destined to be just the friend.
Caitlin: At least you're not pining for someone who bursts into flames and wants nothing to do with you.
Caitlin: You're fast AND you can sing? What can't you do?
Barry: Stop you from drinking, apparently.
Caitlin: Let's just say I envy your inability to get drunk. I don't remember much from last night.
Barry: Yeah. That's probably for the best. (singing) Summer Lovin' ...
Caitlin: Oh God. THAT I do remember...
Caitlin: I told you to let it go! I didn't want you looking into that for me!
Cisco: I wasn't doing it for you! I... I sealed Ronnie into the accelerator before it blew. He told me to wait two minutes and I waited. But he didn't come back. And I can't stop thinking... 10.. 20 seconds and... Ronnie wouldn't be like he is right now. I wanted to tell you so many times.... I'm so sorry.
Caitlin: So you carried that around this whole time? Do you know what Ronnie would say if he was here? He'd say you did the right thing.
Henry: (To Barry) Look, I.. I.. .I don't get to feel useful very much in here. So if I can help you for a change, I'm gonna wanna be there for you. Just like you were there for me, all these years.
Peek-A-Boo: Why the hell do you care what we do? Are you a cop or something?
The Flash: Something.
Henry: (holding up a newspaper) Hey. Did you see this?
Barry: No. I haven't.
Henry: The Flash. I saw him once. In here? Watched him save Joe's life.
Barry: Joe told me about that. I guess he was lucky.
Henry: Hmm.. Lucky Joe. (beat) Strangest thing. I get roughed by Julius. End up in here. Next thing I know Julius is caught trying to escape. Claims The Flash broke him out. Won't be seeing Julius for a LONG time now. Guess I'm lucky too, huh?
Barry: Dad... If I was... The Flash, don't you think that you'd be the first to know about it?
Henry: Well, if The Flash were my son I'd tell him a few things. First off, I'd tell him it's a dangerous world, so be careful. Then I'd tell him he's a hero and he's saving a lot of lives. But the most important thing for him to know, I feel, is that his father's proud of him.
Caitlin says that Barry's speed when he saves a couple from a car that is about to explode is his fastest clocked speed ever, though we do not get an exact number.
Martin Stein was at STAR Labs the night of the particle accelerator explosion.
Hartley Rathaway can speak six languages, including Japanese.
Caitlin bites her lower lip when she's upset about something.
Barry is faster than a speeding bullet at close range. At least, he's fast enough to catch a bullet behind his back before it can do more than break the skin.
Barry and Caitlin sing Summer Nights from the musical Grease.
Caitlin is not a drinker.
Hartley Rathaway escapes.
Cisco reveals that he sealed Ronnie Raymond inside the particle accelerator, on his instructions - an act we saw for ourselves in the flashback of 103.
The penalty for attempted escape in the state Central City is located in is ten years added onto the convict's sentence.
As The Flash, Barry gives Iris information on his most recent battle for her article. As he is doing this, Iris is able to take the first clear picture of The Flash with her camera phone.
By the episode's end, Barry has gone on one lunch date with Linda Park.
Henry makes reference to the events of 103 and how he saw The Flash save Joe West from The Mist.
We see another reference to Grodd from The Pilot.
The Fridge Factor
Some of the changes to Peek-A-Boo's character from the comics for the show are a little disturbing. They took an African American medical student who turned to crime only to save her father's life and turned her into a career criminal who was trying to help her boyfriend pay off a mob boss.
The Bottom Line
The weakest parts of the episode involve our villain-of-the-week, which is surprising given how good the effects work is for all of the action scenes. The best parts of this episode involve the dialogues between various pairs - chiefly Hartley and Cisco, Caitlin and Barry and Barry and his father. The drama is well-played though and the development of these characters more than make up for the lack of action. Shame that for all the focus on Barry's love life, the only real chemistry we see is between Danielle Panabaker and Grant Gustin.