Synopsis for 1×15: Max Martin returns to seek vengeance for his brother’s death at the hands of Joe. Cisco and Caitlin investigate Dr. Wells and Barry deals with his feelings for Iris.
The Flash returns this week and its return is far from disappointing. For a brief moment, things begin looking exceedingly grim for our beloved characters, but The Flash once again proves that it is one of the freshest shows on television.
A new meta-human surfaces this week, but he is intimately connected with a familiar face from The Flash’s past. It seems as though Clyde Mardon was not the only Mardon affected by the particle accelerator’s explosion. His brother, Max Mardon, developed the ability to harness the weather and he returns to Starling with a vengeance to pick.
At Starling City’s Bowling Lanes, Barry and his girlfriend Linda awkwardly bump into Eddie and Iris, who also just so happen to be enjoying a bowling date night. Of course, Iris has to make things exceptionally awkward by asking Barry and Linda to join them for a game. Iris and Barry begin enjoying themselves a little too much as things become a little heated, while Eddie and Linda are forced to painfully watch from the sidelines.
After recovering from the plane crash with his brother, Max Mardon learns of his brother’s death at Joe’s hand and is none too pleased. Max waltzes into the Starling City morgue, demanding to know where he can find his brother’s killer. Harnessing his meta-human weather powers, Max hurls a ball of hail the size of a tennis ball at the coroner, killing him. It seems as though, while both brother developed weather abilities from the accelerator’s dark matter, Mark has far more finite control over his.
Back at Star Labs, Cisco and Dr. Wells are alerted that the morgue’s silent alarm has been tripped and immediately call Barry. Who knew morgues actually had silent alarms? They immediately contact Barry and the police.
Barry later arrives on scene to find the coroner’s dead body and a mystery in need of solving. Using voice-recorder records, Joe and Barry are able to determine Mark’s identity and his true motive. Before heading off to track down Mardon, Barry confides in Wells that, while running to the morgue, Barry believes he saw a reflection of himself running besides him. Disturbed, Barry is unsure what to think of it and Wells decisively tries to get Barry to focus on the case at hand.
Eddie confronts Iris and claims that he was uncomfortable watching Iris and Barry bowl the night before. Quick to cover her true feelings, Iris insists that Barry is nothing but a friend and that, while he will always be a part of her life, she does not harbor romantic feelings for him. Eddie though is smarter than he looks, believing things have changed between the two of them recently.
Iris’ boss, Mason, approaches Iris, asking that she look into Harrison Wells and his involvement in Simon Stagg’s death. Mason claims he has evidence to prove Wells murdered him and presents Iris with a photo of Wells leaving Stagg’s office the night he was murdered. Her interest piqued, Iris later approaches Barry, inquiring about Wells’ loyalty. Barry relentlessly defends Wells, but it is painfully clear Barry is beginning to harbor a sliver of doubt about Wells after Iris’s suspicions.
Max attacks Barry and Joe using lightning to electrocute and blow up Joe’s car. Barry is able to save himself and Joe before the two become fried. After the attack, Joe’s captain, David, restricts Joe to the precinct. Joe, as stubborn as always, refuses to stay put, insisting he needs to be the one to put down Max once and for all.
Back at the precinct, Max waltzes straight into the precinct to confront Joe, whipping up an icy blast and raining chaos down in the station. Just as Max is about to fry Joe with a bolt of lightening, his captain, David, pushes him out of the way and takes the blast himself. Cisco, luckily in the right place at the right time, manages to place a call to Barry, who arrives just in the nick of time. Barry manages to use the machine Cisco created to remove the weather particles from the air, forcing Max to flee. Barry is able to whisk David quickly to the hospital, but the damage from Max’s powers has already been done, as David’s prognosis is ultimately grim.
Cisco, innately curious over Wells’ involvement in past situations, begins doing research of his own. Cisco discovers troubling evidence that Wells may in fact have lied to the team on multiple occasions, notably on the night Star Labs attempted to capture the Reverse Flash. Cisco asks Caitlin to distract Wells with coffee while Cisco tinkers with Wells’ technology. In a startling discovery, Cisco is able to determine that Wells created the illusion of the Reverse Flash that night and that he in fact knows the Reverse Flash. Caitlin isn’t very successful in occupying Wells, as Harrison quickly determines her true motives and leaves the safety of his wheelchair, returning to the lab. Harrison Wells, standing in the flesh, introduces himself to Cisco as Eobard Thawne, a distant relative of Eddie’s, and the real Reverse Flash. Wells reveals that he is able to create an after image or a speed mirage, allowing him to be in two places at once, as he did the night the police attempted to capture the Reverse Flash.
Wells reveals that it was not his intention to kill Nora Allen that fateful night long ago, but was rather to kill Barry instead. He claims that his true goal has always been to return to his own world in his own time and that Barry’s speed holds the solution. In a desperate attempt to save his own life, Cisco claims he can help Wells, but Wells politely refuses and literally grabs Cisco’s heart from his chest, killing him instantly to prevent him from ruining his plans.
Joe relentlessly pursues Martin, driven by his guilt over David’s hospitalization. With Eddie’s help, they find Martin’s hideout, but Martin grabs Joe using his abilities. Martin is less than smooth with his powers, breaking Joe’s leg and roughing him up in the process.
Eddie returns to the precinct and rallies the remaining officers to scour the city to save Joe. Martin calls Iris with a ransom demand, and Martin explicitly tells her not to contact the police. Iris, along with Barry, race to the docks to save Joe. Martin decisively claims Joe will watch Iris pay for her father’s sins.
As Martin creates a huge tsunami that threatens the entire city, Barry insists Iris run to safety, while he handles Max. In a throw of emotions, Iris reveals her true feelings for Barry and the two share a passionate kiss. With Caitlin’s help, Barry deduces that he must run fast enough to create a wall of wind to counteract the wave of water. Barry ultimately reveals his true identity as the Flash to Iris and he begins running. As things begin to look promising, Barry reaches previously unobtainable speeds and literally punches through the time barrier, shattering time and time traveling back to the night before. It looks as though the reflection Barry saw the night before was actually his future self. With the clock turned back, Barry is now playing a whole new game, and now has the ability to save not only Joe and Iris, but Cisco as well, who is still alive at the current time.