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Recap / The Flash (2014) S2 E1 "The Man Who Saved Central City"

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It's gonna be awkward when they find out the background's white now.

Season 2, Episode 1:

The Man Who Saved Central City

Six months after Barry's Final Battle with the Reverse-Flash, he is now hailed as the hero of Central City. However, a new threat is emerging.


  • Actor Allusion: Thawme's lawyer is fro m Weathersby-Stone. Thawne is played by Tom Cavanagh, who played the main character's father, Thawne in his true form was played by Matt Lescher, who played the main character's brother, and Martin Stein is played by Victor Garber, who was the "Weathersby" in Weathersby-Stone, making this a triple Actor Allusion.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Atom Smasher, a hero in the comics, is a villain here. He eventually reveals that he was targeting only Barry, and that he may well have had a somewhat sympathetic motive.
  • Arc Words: "Run Barry, Run" returns as Barry is luring Atom Smasher into a trap.
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  • Apologetic Attacker: Barry apologizes to Atom Smasher for contributingh to his death.
  • Artistic License – Physics: When you flood an area with radiation, the area's not going to be safe to enter when the radiation source is turned off.
  • Badass Beard: This is the first episode in which Captain Singh would have an impressive beard. Cisco makes a comedic remark on it.
  • Bat Signal: Used, with Lampshade Hanging, to lire the Atom Smasher out.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Henry is finally proven innocent, but he soon leaves the city.
  • But Now I Must Go: Much to Barry's disappointment, Henry leaves Central City after being exonerated believing his presence would hold Barry back from being the Flash.
  • Celebrating the Heroes: Since the Flash helped stop the singularity, The Flash is celebrated in "The Flash Day". The Mayor gives him the keys of the city.
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  • Cosmic Retcon: Averted. Despite Eddie killing himself to stop Thawne, nothing in the timeline has apparently changed. At least not the things caused by Thawne since he arrived at this time period. However, Al Rothstein was said to have been a victim of the Particle Accelerator back in Season 1, while now he's said to have been in Hawaii when it went off. Whether we're meant to take this a Cosmic Retcon, an error of Thawne or if it's just a simple continuity error is up in the air.
  • Continuity Nod: Cisco gives Barry a new chest emblem - white background, yellow bolt based on the one his future self will have.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Ronnie's death has been this to several characters:
    • Caitlin has been working at Mercury Labs, avoiding all contact with Team Flash.
    • Barry has been also been working alone, not wanting anymore of his friends to be killed.
  • Energy Absorption: Cisco deduces how Atom Smasher's powers work after learning multiple X-ray machines became defunct around the time he used his powers.
  • Friendship Moment: After months of Cisco and Joe trying to convince Barry that he is a hero and to show up at the rally, only one visit with Iris the night before and her words of encouragement is enough to at least get Barry to show up the next day, solidifying their unbreakable bond as best friends, and her future as Barry's closest confidant.
  • Genre Blind: Atom Smasher is defeated when The Flash lures him into quite an obvious trap.
  • Going to Give It More Energy: Barry defeats Atom Smasher by luring him into a nuclear reactor and overloading his ability to absorb the energy.
  • Half-Arc Season: The episode mostly focuses on Putting the Band Back Together so Barry can defeat Atom Smasher, but there are two big arc hooks: 1) Atom Smasher was coming after Barry because he'd been forced to by "Zoom", and 2) a man named Jay Garrick walks into S.T.A.R. Labs at the end of the episode and says, "Your world is in danger".
  • Heroic Sacrifice: It's revealed that Firestorm unfused in the middle of the Singularity. Dr. Stein made it but Ronnie didn't.
  • How We Got Here: The first half shows why Barry pushed everyone away and started working alone.
  • I Let Gwen Stacy Die:
    • The death of Eddie and Ronnie really shook up Barry to the point where he insisted on working alone to prevent further casualties in Team Flash.
    • Caitlin also thinks this of herself with regards to Ronnie's death, as she believes that if she had left Central City with Ronnie when he asked after he had returned to her, he would still be alive.
  • I'm Not a Hero, I'm...: Barry believes Ronnie is the true hero who saved Central City, and resents being the one praised for it all.
  • Imagine Spot: The episode opens with one of Barry imagining the team still happy and whole.
  • I Work Alone: Barry develops this attitude after losing Ronnie and Eddie. He changes his mind by the end.
  • Large Ham: Leonard Snart, in Barry's opening Imagine Spot, is much more bombastic than usual, as an easy way of showing that this didn't actually happen.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The Mythology Gag regarding Batman (see below). Both Batman and The Flash are published by DC Comics.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: Atom Smasher's costume.
  • Mood Whiplash: The episode's beginning has Barry in a fight scene between Heatwave and Captain Cold and is congratulated by his team for his success, including Eobard and Eddie Thawne. The scene then fades to Barry alone in the unlit lab.
  • Mundane Utility: Flash spent the last few months fixing the damage to the city with his powers.
  • My Greatest Failure:
    • Barry blames himself for the death of Eddie, who sacrificed himself to stop the Reverse Flash, and Ronnie, who died helping stop the singularity. To really rub it in, the Flash has become known as the titular "man who saved Central City".
    • Caitlin blames herself for Ronnie's death for not taking up his offer to leave Central City and start over somewhere.
  • Mythology Gag: Atom Smasher is lured into a showdown with a spotlight bearing the Flash's insignia. Cisco admits he got the idea from a comic book. It doubles as a reference to how the 1990 Flash series was heavily inspired by Tim Burton's Batman film.
  • Never Found the Body: Ronnie, again.
  • Not His Sled: Season 1 concluded by emulating Barry's iconic Heroic Sacrifice from Crisis on Infinite Earths. But here it turns out it's actually Ronnie who gave up his life to save Central City.
  • On One Condition: Barry inherits S.T.A.R. Labs - provided he watches Thawne's Video Will.
  • Out-of-Character Alert: The episode opens with Captian Cold, not his calm smug self, but screaming angrily at Flash wanting him dead. It's a strong clue to the fact that none of this is real.
  • Pet the Dog: Thawne left a video will confessing to killing Nora. However he makes it a Kick the Dog moment by claiming that even though he's giving Barry what he wants he knows his enemy well enough that he'll still never be happy, aside from the fact that said will still counts as slandering the real Wells.
  • The Place: Central City is on the title.
  • Phlebotinum Overdose: How Team Flash beats Atom Smasher.
  • Protagonist Title: The title refers to Barry, though he insist that it's Ronnie.
  • Putting the Band Back Together: Barry pushed everyone away after Ronnie's and Eddie's deaths, but everyone else refused to accept that. Basically, the band moved into the lead singer's living room and refused to leave.
  • Secondary Character Title: Well, Ronnie did do his last and greatest act to save the city.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Greg Turk, the lawyer who delivers Thawne's Video Will, is from Weathersby-Stone, the law firm formed by Eli Stone and Jordan Weathersby in Eli Stone, a previous Greg Berlanti show.
    • Before Cisco activates the alarms at the power plant, he says "Come on, Feel the Noise", after the song of the same name by Slade (more known for the cover by Quiet Riot).
  • Spot the Thread: While there are many tells that the opening scene was an Imagine Spot Barry was having, the most telling was that Eddie and Eobard Thawne were still alive. ...well, so was Ronnie, but it wasn't revealed yet that he was dead.
  • Swiss Cheese Security: The use of this trope in Season 1 was lampshaded, with the characters swearing to improve security - which doesn't stop Jay Garrick from entering in the slightest.
  • Tempting Fate: Cisco brags about beefing up STAR Labs' security system. And then everyone panics when someone did walk in undetected: Jay Garrick.
  • Time Skip: Starts out six months after the previous season finale.
  • To Absent Friends: Martin Stein does one at Henry's welcome-home party.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Barry is seen to have gained greater control of his powers as during his fight with Atom Smasher he whips up cyclones that the villain has to struggle against and Barry seems to escape him by vibrating through his hand.
  • Unexpected Inheritance: Thawne made Barry his heir in the event of his disappearance, which mean Barry is now the owner of STAR Labs.
  • Video Will: Eobard Thawne left one behind for Barry and, in it, he confesses to the murder of Nora Allen.
  • Wham Line: A mysterious visitor shows up to S.T.A.R. Labs at the end of the episode and we get this line:
    My name is Jay Garrick and your world is in danger.

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