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Recap / The Flash 2014 S 4 E 16 Run Iris Run

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For one night only.

When a villain who can mix up DNA swaps Barry's speed into Iris, Iris must become the Flash to handle a new threat.


  • Bait-and-Switch: Joe tells Barry that he thinks one of the bus metas is going to show up soon. We next see a pyrokinetic meta trying to hold up a bank. Is he the bus meta Joe was talking about? Nope, the guy who stops him is.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: Cisco briefly emulates Frye's British accent while under interrogation.
  • Call-Back:
    • Barry coaching Iris through stopping a cyclone, ending with him telling her to "Run, Iris, Run" mirrors his confrontation with Clyde Mardon in the Pilot. Similarly, her running along the water as a huge tidal wave forms behind her mirrors his confrontation with Mark Mardon in "Out of Time" (the only difference being that she's the one creating the tidal wave, not the villain).
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    • Iris recalls how her fear stems from Savitar nearly killing her last season prevented her from going back in the front lines as a reporter.
  • Casting Gag: Another McKinley High alumnus, one Max Adler as Jaco Birch.
  • Celebrity Paradox: Cisco is seen wearing a Jason Voorhees T-shirt. The 2009 remake has Caitlin's actress Danielle Panabaker as the Decoy Protagonist, and Sylbert Rundine/Dwarfstar's actor Derek Mears played Jason himself.
  • Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: Iris' lightning is pinkish-purple. The only other known speedster with this colored-lightning is Earth-19's the Accelerated Man.
  • Contrived Coincidence: One of Harry's suggestions for preventing DeVoe from grabbing the rest of the bus metas is rearranging the metas' DNA. The next bus meta they encounter has DNA-swapping abilities.
  • The Dreaded: DeVoe has become this for Ralph, which is unsurprising, given what he presumabaly plans to do to Ralph and the fact that Team Flash has been powerless to stop him thus far. Ralph even refuses to leave S.T.A.R. Labs due to DeVoe being out there.
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  • Drunk on the Dark Side: Jaco Birch is even more psychotic and gleeful than Eric Frye with the fire powers.
  • Expy: Eric Frye, in his appearance and powers, resembles the X-Men villain Pyro. He even has an accent, although the actor who plays him (Oliver Rice) is British, while Pyro is Australian.
  • Finagle's Law: When Kim removes Eric Frye's powers, he happens to accidentally give them to another man who's just as bloodthirsty and willing to use them. Oops.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Jaco Birch, who goes from one of the victims of Eric Frye's bank heist to getting the latter's superpowers and becoming even more psychotic than the man himself.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Harry was trying to build his own Thinking Cap. While it might not be his best idea, it's the only one they have so Team Flash sans Cisco gives their seal of approval.
  • Going Commando: Harry with his thinking cap figures out Ralph has no underwear.
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Cisco fears that Harry might lose himself and exactly end up like DeVoe if he goes through with the Thinking Cap. After all, DeVoe was also a nice and peaceful man before the Particle Accelerator explosion. The reflection of him in the computer with DeVoe's mugshot and the Traitor Shot the mystery girl had seems to foreshadow that.
  • Insistent Terminology:
    • Harry and Cisco bickering over what to call the former's invention: Intelligence Booster, or a "thinking cap", respectively.
    • Also, Cisco nicknamed Matthew Melting Point, not Mister Melting Point.
  • Internal Reveal: Team Flash finds out about exactly how DeVoe got his powers thanks to Harry reviewing security footage from the night the Particle Accelerator exploded (footage that Thawne deliberately overlooked).
  • Ironic Nickname: Eric Frye has fire powers, which he used to melt the metal door of a bank vault; Matthew Kim can transfer powers from one person to another. Guess which one Cisco named "Melting Point"?
  • Irony: At one point Barry had to teach Iris to put out a fire in a building like how Thawne coached him back in "The Trap". By that point Barry now had trouble trusting Thawne, yet with Thawne's advice he succeeded in putting out the fire. On the other hand, Iris nearly lost her own life from Barry's inexperience in teaching.
  • It's All About Me: Ralph refuses to leave STAR Labs until DeVoe is captured. He seems to have a Jerkass Realization about this by the end of the episode, being willing to go out again, despite his fear.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: At least this was intended when Ralph told Iris she didn't put her life on the line most of the time, but she has done it at least three times this season.
  • Jumped at the Call: Matthew Kim enthusiastically accepts Team Flash's offer to join them in the fight against the Thinker.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Cisco thinks that Harry is at risk doing this if he builds his own Thinking Cap to counter DeVoe.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Cisco's Friday the 13th Fun T-Shirt coincides with the episode's air date, March 13 (although not obviously a Friday).
    • During a quiet scene between the two of them, Iris lampshades her role as a reporter has gave way to her role as Team Flash’s leader. The end of the episode sees her working on the blog she started in Season 1.
  • My God, What Have I Done?:
    • Matthew Kim thought he was just removing powers from dangerous metas, not shifting them to random people just as likely to abuse them and harm others.
    • Ralph feels remorseful of not being there to fight, since Iris almost dies.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Iris' costume bears a striking resemblance to 30th century speedster XS, a member of the Legion of Super-Heroes and her comic counterpart's granddaughter.
  • Prophetic Names: Eric Frye has fire powers.
  • Powers as Programs: The bus meta of the week Matthew Kim is capable of draining all the traits that makes one a metahuman and transfer them to another, transferring powers. The traits are near explicitly described as Liquid Assets by the techno babble discussion of how his powers work.
  • Psychotic Smirk: After figuring out the last two bus metas Harry does the same smile Thawne constantly did in Season 1.
  • Purple Is Powerful: Iris gains Super Speed with purple lightning similar to the Accelerated Man's and dons a purple costume.
  • Put Down Your Gun and Step Away: Matthew is afraid of Joe and Iris, so he holds Iris at scalpel-point and tells Joe to put the gun down. Joe does, but activates the S.T.A.R. Labs distress call.
  • Retcon: Frye's Playing with Fire powers burn at 6000 ºF, which is stated to be 10 times hotter than Mick Rory's heat gun. Seems the writers changed their minds about the heat gun firing at the Planck temperature (aka absolute hot). Perhaps they decided that Mick having access to infinite energy was a bit problematic.note 
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sour Supporter: Ralph is the only one not supportive of Iris filling in for Barry.
  • Superpowers for a Day: Iris temporarily gains Barry's Super Speed. Unlike most cases where a suddenly empowered person wants to keep being a hero, Iris willingly and gladly returns the powers to Barry at the end.
  • Swapped Roles: The super-powered version as Iris has to contend with having super-speed and becoming a hero while Barry gives support from the lab.
  • Title Drop: Barry says it to Iris when she goes up against Birch.
  • Tranquil Fury: Barry has no witty banter or jokes to give when Iris is being held at scalpel-point. Just a Death Glare and a low voice.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The meta of the week Matthew Kim believes he got his powers for a higher purpose, so he's willing to hold Iris hostage with a scalpel to jealously guard his powers.
  • Wham Line: Harry figures out the names of the last two bus metas.
  • Yellow Lightning, Blue Lightning: Speedster-Iris gives off purple lightning; the only other characters to do this are Accelerated Man and XS.
  • You Are Better Than You Think You Are:
    • Team Flash gives Matthew one of these speeches after he beats himself up over accidentally causing so much havoc, telling him that he might be essential in stopping DeVoe.
    • Iris gives one to Ralph, encouraging him not to let his fear of death take away every joy of life from him, similar to the situation she was in a year ago with Savitar.