With only twenty-four hours to go until Iris's death at the hands of Savitar, Barry is more desperate than ever. He has an idea on where to get a power source for Tracy Brand's Speed Force Bazooka but it will require the expertise of a master thief to acquire, leading Barry to seek out the help of Captain Cold. Meanwhile, Vibe gears up for his own fateful battle with Killer Frost.
The Flash: Terminal Velocity
The last episode ended with Barry seeming to have some idea about where to find a power source for the Speed Force Bazooka and a teaser shot of King Shark with some alien technology. This episode starts with Barry completely clueless about what they will do until Cisco detects the alien technology in ARGUS using STAR Labs satellite.
Barry thinks to have where Iris is being hidden kept secret from him so Savitar won't know it but doesn't think about how Savitar will know all about his plan to build the Speed Force Bazooka four years early?
Where the heck is Julian Albert while all this is going on?
Grant Gustin is genuinely terrifying as Savitar.
Wentworth Miller steals the show as Leonard Snart, as per usual.
The cold-open, set to Aurora's 'Murder Song', is a brilliant scene on every level. Direction. Cinematography. The non-verbal acting. Everything fits together perfectly.
However briefly, it's always a treat to hear Jesse L. Martin sing.
The episode title - and the name of the street where Barry saw Iris die when he traveled to the future - is a nod to artist Carmine Infantino, who co-created Barry Allen and drew a number of classic Flash comics, including The Flash Of Two Worlds story where Jay Garrick and Barry Allen first teamed up. He also co-created the character of Doctor Alchemy.
Barry makes a reference to the movie Taken, when he describes Snart as having "a particular set of skills."
One of the cells Snart and Barry pass in the ARGUS high-security wing is labeled with the name Cheetah. This is presumably a reference to a DC Comics super-villain best known for her rivalry with Wonder Woman. Given the close proximity of Gorilla Grodd and other bestial villains, it seems likely that this is the Barbara Ann Minerva incarnation of The Cheetah.
The third Cheetah - and the incarnation best known to modern audiences - is Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva, who first appeared in Wonder Woman #7 (August 1987). An ambitious and selfish woman, Dr, Minerva was an archaeologist who became magically cursed. Details differ as to what god did the cursing depending on whether one goes by the pre-Crisis, New 52 or Rebirth origins but the end result is the same regardless. Dr. Minerva was trapped in the form of a were-cheetah. This version of the Cheetah had super-speed and super-strength of a level high enough to go toe-to-toe in a fight with Wonder Woman.
During the Dominator Invasion, ARGUS acquired a piece of technology from the ship that crashed in Central City.
ARGUS headquarters is covered with meta-human power dampeners. These will prevent Barry from just running in and out of ARGUS to steal the Dominator technology.
Additionally, ARGUS HQ is equipped with surveillance cameras, eye-scanners palm-print scanners, heat-sensors and laser-sensors. Cisco notes this is just what he was able to find out about the first floor of the building.
ARGUS HQ uses key cards, retinal scanners and a verbal password to let people past the front desk. Not even the director is exempt from this requirement. Cisco makes a fake key card and contact lenses to get bast the scanner.
Barry uses HR's personal transmogrifier to make himself look like Lyla Michaels.
The alien technology is kept in an ARGUS cell behind a 25-ton door that can withstand a 30-megaton nuclear blast. Additionally, the door is protected The Montgomery 3000 - an advanced lock that is not only bomb-proof but also requires the voice-prints of three different people reciting three different passcodes. According to Cisco the whole system cost 10 million dollars to build.
Most sharks are cold-blooded. Some, like the Great White Shark (which is what King Shark is, in part) are partially warm-blooded or endotherms. This means that sufficiently cold temperatures (i.e. anything below 53.6 degrees Fahrenheit) can make a shark fall asleep.
The Philosopher's Stone is made of calcified Speed Force energy.
(Lyla Michaels has agreed to meet with Barry and Cisco but requires they explain what they need.)
Cisco: Soooo... we're building a cannon.
Cisco: Bazooka... thing. It's a sort of trap.
Barry: In order to turn it on, we need something to power it. Something extremely powerful and regenerative.
Cisco: Yeah, so, I tasked our satellite to look for anything that might have our specific power requirements. And - wouldn't you know it? We found something that has exactly what we need. (laughs exaggeratedly) And it's right there in that building! Crazy, huh?!
Lyla: I really don't think you should be spying on me, Cisco.
Cisco: (smile fading) Is it spying if we're friends?
Barry: I wanna recruit you for a mission.
Snart: I'm already helping a bunch of idiot do-gooders. Sorry. I'm up to my fuzzy hood in teamwork.
Barry: (cheerfully) Would it help if I said please?
Snart: No. And you already have a bunch of superhero types in your life. Why ask me?
Barry: Well, you have a... particular set of skills.
Snart: (nodding) Great movie. Last time we tried to be buddy-buddy it didn't work out so well. For you. Why trust me now?
(There is a long pause as Barry bites his lip.)
Snart: Spit it out, or I'm going to step onto that ship and pretend like this conversation never happened.
Barry: (hesitating a moment longer) Iris.
Snart: Oy! The girlfriend.
Snart: Mazel Tov. What about her?
Barry: If you don't help me, she's going to die.
Snart: True love. That's your pitch?
Barry: (shrugs) It's all I've got.
Snart: And I assume saving your girlfriend requires us doing something... less than lawful?
Barry: We need to break into ARGUS and steal an alien power source.
Snart: The Flash? A thief?
(Snart looks to one side and waves his hand as if "weighing" the option.)
Snart: That's my kind of mission. One condition: My rules.
Barry: Your rules.
(Killer Frost watches Savitar repairing his armor.)
Killer Frost: Pretty badass. Very god-like.
Savitar: (scoffs) Well... "dress for the job you want."
(Killer Frost questions if Savitar is ready to kill Iris at the appointed time.)
Savitar: Well, it's either her or me. If she doesn't die, I'm never born.
Killer Frost: Right. But... behind that pretty little face of yours, you still remember everything that Barry does. So you remember growing up with Iris? Falling in love with her? Kising her? You sure you're ready to end her life?
(Savitar stands, slowly and deliberately, looking Killer Frost right in the eyes.)
Savitar: What I remember... is being created as a disposable life. Something to be thrown away when Barry Allen was done with me. He didn't care about me. Why should I care about his love?
Snart: There are only four rules you need to remember. Make the plan. Execute the plan. Expect the plan to go off the rails. Throw away the plan.
(Barry has just knocked out two ARGUS guards.)
Snart: My, my, my. Getting rather violent in your young age?
Barry: Yeah, what were you doing?!
(Snart shrugs his wrists and holds up the handcuffs that were binding him a second ago.)
(Barry and Snart have reached a cell in the high-security wing of ARGUS. They can see the technology through a window in the door. Barry gets on the radio as Snart moves to look at the lock.)
Barry: Hey - uh, so... we found it.
(Cut to STAR Labs. Cisco and HR are listening on the comms.)
HR: Jack! Pot!
Barry: (over the radio) But there seems to be some kind of signal interference at the end of the hall and the lock is The Montgomery 3000.
Cisco: (sighing) The Montgomery 3000!
HR: Is that bad?
Cisco: Well, we're looking at a 25-ton door that can withstand a 30-megaton nuclear blast. And aside from being completely bomb-proof, The Montgomery 3000 can only be unlocked by a voice-recognition system, necessitating three different passcodes from three different people. And as if that weren't already enough, the thing costs ten million dollars to build!
(Cut back to ARGUS HQ where Barry looks crestfallen... until he hears a click behind him. He turns and we see Snart standing by the now open lock panel, smirking.)
Snart: 37 seconds. I must be out of practice.
Barry: (To Cisco) Well... ARGUS should ask for their money back.
(As Barry and Snart enter the fog-shrouded room holding the alien technology, Barry jumps as he hears King Shark growl before remembering that the beast-man is asleep.)
Snart: Reminds me of 'Jaws'. They didn't show the shark because they couldn't afford to make it look good.
Barry: Tell me, Snart. Did you think I had it in me? To leave you behind?
Snart: I wasn't sure. Always known you had the potential to be as ruthless as they come. Your history made sure of that, same as mine. Who knows? Maybe that's why we get along? You see the good in me. I see the bad in you.
Snart: Piece of advice. Stop trying to beat Savitar at his own game. Your goodness is your strength. And call me sentimental, but The Flash should remain a hero.
Barry: (offer a hand) Take care of yourself, Snart.
Snart: (taking the hand and shaking it) No strings on me.
(Barry runs off as Snart turns and walks to The Waverider, shaking his head.)
Snart: (confused) No strings on me?
Infantino Street was identified as the site of Iris's murder in 309.
Cisco is seen reviewing a text from Felicity Smoak, reporting that she can't think of a power source for the Speed Force Bazooka that will work either.
Iris makes a video for Barry while he's out getting her caviar.
Lyla Michaels from Arrow makes an appearance, telling Barry and Cisco they can't borrow the power source Cisco detected.
Lyla refers to the Dominator ship crashing in Central City in 308.
ARGUS HQ is said to be more secure than The Pentagon.
Captain Cold refers to the events of 123, saying that the last time he and The Flash teamed up it didn't end well for Barry.
Wally takes himself, Joe and Iris to Harry Wells' lab at STAR Labs on Earth Two.
Barry is competent enough as a fighter to take on two ARGUS agents at once and knock them unconscious without using his powers.
Captain Cold is capable enough as an escape artist to slip out of a pair of handcuffs.
Iris and Barry switched rooms when they were 16 so that Iris would have a window she could sneak out of past curfew.
Joe once stopped the family from eating out for a month so that he would have the money to go on a cruise with a bunch of famous blues singers without the kids.
Joe used to sing Junior Walker's 'What Does It Take' to Iris when she was younger.
Iris gives Joe her engagement ring for safe-keeping.
While going through the ultra-secure wing of ARGUS, Barry and Snart pass the cells of Grodd, Cheetah and Cupid. Barry guesses this is where Waller kept her Suicide Squad agents.
Barry refers to the events of 314 and how he captured Grodd.
Cupid - the murderous Green Arrow fan-girl - was last seen in A514 but was being held in Iron Heights Prison. It was mentioned in A416 that she was released from custody in exchange for her services rendered to the Suicide Squad during A317. Presumably she was sent to Iron Heights instead of ARGUS since Amanda Waller was no longer around to make use of her at that point.
King Shark was last seen in 215.
Captain Cold is a big fan of Shark Week and has a surprising amount of information on sharks committed to memory.
The Waverider was equipped with Cable TV.
HR asks Tracy Brand to join Team Flash on a permanent basis.
Snart refers to the events of L109 where he lost a hand while fighting Chronos, after seeing King Shark's hand removed by a door slamming down on its arm.
King Shark has the power of near-instantaneous regeneration.
Snart's last words in the episode - "No strings on me" - are a reference to his final words before his death in L115.
Savitar breaks Wally West's knee.
Savitar is able to resist the effects of The Speed Force Bazooka since - after escaping from the trap in the first place - he made sure he'd never be able to be trapped by the same energy again. He does this by using The Philosopher's stone, which he originally acquired after Barry threw it into The Speed Force.
As the episode ends, it appears that Savitar was successful in killing Iris and that Killer Frost has injured Cisco, if not outright killed him.
A forest in Siberia -1892.
Earth Two - STAR Labs.
Star City - ARGUS HQ.
At some point during their first year together, The Legends had a mission in Siberia in 1892. This is where Barry retrieves Captain Cold. We don't know precisely when this took place in the timeline of that series, but - based on Snart's reference to having lost a hand like King Shark - it took place sometime after the events of L109.
The Fridge Factor
It's worth mentioning again that Iris had no role in the second half of this season apart from being The Girl Hostage.
The Bottom Line
I'll say this for Infantino Street - I genuinely have no idea what will happen next week. I can give it credit for surprising me if nothing else. Unfortunately, the emotional center of the episode - Iris' death - still fails to feel as heavy as it should. The best bits of the episode, unsurprisingly, involve Wentworth Miller playing it cool against an agitated Grant Gustin. It really drives home how this show might be better if it had focused more on utilizing The Rogues in a capacity like in the comics rather than focusing on big over-riding arcs focused upon a single criminal mastermind. But that's neither here nor there. I admire the craft and the art that went into the episode even if I fail to feel much in the way of emotional catharsis regarding it.