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Recap / The Flash (2014) S1 E7 "Power Outage"

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"New Entry. It has now been 311 days since lightning struck. Subject has been relying on his speed in everyday life, using his extraordinary powers to solve ordinary problem, and accomplish ordinary tasks. Unfortunately his penchant for heroics persists. The fact is, he can be a bit of a...showoff. And while his desire to help others is commendable, it is impeding him from realizing the full scope of his abilities. But there's still time, as the future remains intact."'
Dr. Wells' electronic log entry
After an electrokinetic metahuman by the name of Farooq (a.k.a. Blackout) leaves Barry powerless, Barry has to figure out how to get his powers back. Things get more complicated after Blackout shows up at S.T.A.R. Labs and William Tockman a.k.a. Clock King takes the police station hostage.
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Tropes:

  • Accidental Murder: Farooq had accidentally killed his friends after regaining consciousness.
  • Adult Fear: When Iris gets dragged away by Tockman, and Joe hears the gunshot and doesn't know what happened.
  • Alas, Poor Villain:
    • Barry gets tears in his eyes after Tony dies at the hands of Blackout.
    • Clock King was never granted the opportunity to say goodbye to his sister, and expresses a ton of rage about it, expectedly; however, he suddenly undergoes Motive Decay when he says that he will never spend any more time in a prison cell.
    • Blackout woke up to find that he had accidentally killed his two best friends, and is now trapped in a life where he must continually find power sources to drain so that he can “feed.”
  • Ambiguous Situation: It is revealed that Dr. Wells is actively working to make the future where Barry stops the Red Skies come to pass, but his comments about Barry being motivated by helping others make it unclear whether this is out of malice or in order to prevent severe damage to the timestream.
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  • Artistic License – Physics: Barry jumps out of a car when Farooq shoots lightning at it. Cars are Faraday cages and the safest place for him was inside the car. Interestingly enough, Farooq seems to demonstrate this knowledge since in the beginning of the episode, at the sight of a lightning storm brewing, he tells his friends to get in the car. So it's possible the creators knew about this phenomenon (it is fairly common knowledge) but ignored it in favor of a cool action scene. Either that or Barry just panicked and forgot.
  • Bait-and-Switch Gunshot: Iris pulls a gun on Tockman, and the camera cuts to Joe as a gunshot is heard. When Barry finally gets to the station, Tockman is in handcuffs and with a limp.
  • Blessed with Suck: Farooq. Cannot survive without absorbing electricity and a moment of Power Incontinence caused him to accidentally kill his friends.
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  • Bloody Hilarious: After applying a tourniquet to Eddie's arm, Tockman writes the time on his forehead in blood so that paramedics would know when the tourniquet was applied.
  • Brick Joke:
    • Joe smashes Barry's mug to test if he really lost his powers. He mourns how he "loves that mug". Later, Iris sees the smashed mug and says "Barry loved that mug".
    • Possibly also counts as Bookends; Barry meets Tockman when he's escorted into CCPD and compliments Barry's watch; after the blackout incident is over Barry goes back to the police station and one of the first things he sees is Tockman being dragged out.
  • Brought Down to Normal: Barry loses his speed when Blackout drains it from him on accident.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Barry recovers his powers and would be able to stop Tockman, but the latter has already been hurt by Iris and everything was solved.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In the prologue where Farooq got his powers, when the wave of energy burst outwards you can see a plane being blown out of the sky, likely the same one Clyde and Mark Mardon were on.
    • Cisco notes how much better their computer is after Felicity Smoak got to it.
    • Barry does a second indirect mention of Oliver while mentioning that the latter told him that his powers chose him.
    • In Wells' casualty list, he makes sure to include the name the audience had heard already: Ronnie Raymond.
    • When Wells goes down into the Pipeline to get a sample from Farooq's body, we're shown a shot of the Mist in his cell (the Pipeline's only inmate, now that Woodward is dead).
  • Creepy Blue Eyes: Farooq.
  • Cultured Badass: Tockman and surprisingly Joe who knows the origins of all of Tockman's quotes
  • The Dead Have Names:
    • After Blackout accuses Wells of not caring about the particle accelerator's casualties, Wells lists off the names of Farooq's two friends he accidentally killed along with several other people who died.
    • He later says that Farooq has a name, too, to chastise Cisco for lamenting that he died before he could christen him Blackout.
  • Death by Secret Identity: This hits both Farooq and Tony this episode.
  • Deus Exit Machina: A rare double version is in play, as Joe and Barry each can't help one another because they've got their own unrelated crisis to deal with.
  • Foreshadowing: Barry's scolding to Wells about how uncaring he is about people will have an important role later.
  • Good Feels Good: Barry loves helping people and thinks the Flash is the better part of him.
  • Happy Ending Override: Tockman's appearance on Arrow ended with at least the possibility that his sister could be saved. Here it turns out she wasn't, and he wasn't even allowed a last visit with her, which has caused him to descend into full-blown supervillainy.
  • He Had a Name: Cisco sadly talks about what he would have nicknamed Farooq Gibran ("Blackout"). Wells counters with this trope, word-for-word.
  • Heroic Resolve: Barry watching Farooq trying to hurt Wells is what makes him recover his powers so he can rescue Wells.
  • Horror Hunger: Blackout must continually feed on electricity to survive. This includes draining humans of the electricity they produce.
  • In Spite of a Nail: The future newspaper still has the red skies incident, even if Barry has been depowered.
  • Killed Offscreen: The last time Farooq's friends appeared, they were seen trying to apply CPR on him. Farooq is who says that he accidentally killed them.
  • Mugging the Monster: The "hero" variety; after getting some coffee, Barry is held up at gunpoint by a common mugger. Barry is very cheerfully amused at the mugger's poor luck (to the mugger's bemusement) and the confrontation ends with the mugger disarmed, stripped to his underwear and in front of a suddenly appearing police officer.
  • Mundane Utility: Barry, using his speed to change clothes, brush his teeth and get coffee. Dr. Wells mentions it while talking to Gideon.
  • Mythology Gag: Among the names listed off by Wells as victims of the accelerator are Ralph Dibny (the Elongated Man), Al Rothstein (Atom Smasher), Grant Emerson (Damage), Will Everett (Amazing Man), Bea DaCosta (Fire), and Ronnie Raymond (Firestorm). All characters are superheroes from the DC Universe.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Farooq's friends try to give him CPR after he is struck by lightning. Farooq ends up siphoning them of electricity and killing them.
  • Power Loss Makes You Strong: It causes Barry to rethink his priorities — and results in his willingness to up his game and see how fast his Super Speed can really take him.
  • Ripple Effect Indicator: After Barry loses his powers, Wells' digital records of the future change to show no mention of Barry and/or the Flash. When Barry gets his powers back, they go back to what they were before.
  • Shameful Strip: Downplayed with the mugger at the beginning. Barry leaves him in an undershirt and shorts.
  • Shock and Awe: Farooq.
  • Smug Super: Barry has gotten a bit cocky at the start of this episode, something Wells is quick to point out in his log.
  • The Stinger: Wells takes a DNA sample from Blackout, to try figuring out how he was able to drain Barry's powers.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Clock King comments that Iris is very similar to her father Joe.
  • Summon Bigger Fish: To fight Blackout, Harrison breaks Tony Woodward out of the metahuman prison.
  • Villainous Rescue: Clock King patches up Eddie to prevent his bleeding out from a bullet to the arm.
  • Villain's Dying Grace: Woodward's last act before dying from the wounds given him by Blackout is to warn Barry to run.
  • We Need a Distraction: How Wells justifies using Woodward against Farooq.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Well's planning to find out how Blackout was able to drain Barry's powers is set up as a potential Chekhov's Gun, but ultimately nothing ever comes from it, in this season or the seasons afterwards, and the whole thing is simply forgotten.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Barry chews out Wells for using Woodward as a distraction (at the cost of his life), though he forgives him later after his attempted Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Clock King, a Batman and Green Arrow villain who could never hope to be a match for the Flash, lucks out in coming to Central City when he's depowered.

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