Hello true believers! THE FLASH is back and so are the Casual Geekery’s weekly recaps. Every week, we’ll talk about what we loved, hated and side-eyed about the adventures of the Scarlet Speedster!

When we last left our heroes, they had stopped the Flash doppelganger Savitar, saving Iris but losing H.R. in the process. Caitlin took back control from her Killer Frost persona. And Barry entered the Speed Force prison to stop the destruction of Central City. As we pick up, it’s six months later, and the team (Team Kid Flash? Team Vibe?) are keeping up the good fight. The metas are in the field with Joe, while Iris runs command central. After a decent opening sequence against the teleporting Peek-a-Boo, a new challenger appears! A samurai shows up, instantly wipes the floor with Kid Flash and Vibe, then demands to face The Flash tomorrow, otherwise he’ll destroy Central City.

For the most part, the adversary just offers Cisco an excuse to try and get Barry back. He even admits so later in the episode. And that’s fine. But it would have been nice to get through a couple of episodes missing our main star, to see the team take on a major challenge without him.

Cisco quickly recruits Caitlin, working in a seedy bar, and she rejoins the team to lend a hand. After some techno mumbo-jumbo, their plan works! Barry’s alive and back in Central City. He’s also obsessively scribbling symbols on walls and spouting gibberish. So, the show went with crazy Barry, huh? I was guessing either that or amnesia Barry. Everyone tries to find a way to help Barry, but nothing seems to work. This calls for a patented hallway scene!

Joe tells Iris that strength means nothing without some faith behind it. Iris, who spent the episode locking down her emotions, takes those words to heart. Though probably not in the way Joe wanted! She gets herself kidnapped by the samurai, which finally, though predictably, breaks Barry out of his funk. And you know what? Predictable isn’t always bad. Especially when it leads to a thrilling chase scene among falling wind turbines. Barry’s faster than ever (yes, again) and manages to dodge collapsing pieces of metal, save Iris and disable the samurai – or should I say Samuroid? – all at the same time. The enemy of the episode is an advance robot. Sent by who? None other than The Thinker! Barry may be back to his old self and happy for a change, but one of his greatest villains is just getting started.

Show Notes:

  • Chasing down Peek-a-Boo, Iris warns Wally and Cisco to duck. Wally thinks she means the animal. For that brain fart, Wally earns his punch in the head.
  • Of course, a new enemy lets Cisco delightfully go through his naming process. Before Samuroid, he tries Kurosawa or Samural Jack…Ass (Nope, that’s a rough draft).
  • The crazy writing Barry’s been doing spells out “This house is bitchin’.” If this ends up being important, I….will actually find it hilarious.
  • At the end of the episode, Caitlin tells a mobster that she’s done working for Amunet. When he blocks her path, the Killer Frost personality takes over again for a bit. Clearly, there’s more than meets with eye with her return to the team.

The Super Cinco

This season, we’re introducing weekly Power Rankings to the Arrowverse recaps. Each recap will include an individual ranking, with an overall ranking posted every weekend that shows air. Let’s take a look at who had the best week in THE FLASH‘s season premiere:

  1. Cisco Ramon / Vibe – Not only does Vibe take on some heavy lifting in the superhero business during The Flash’s sabbatical, but he manages to return both Barry and Caitlin to the team! Plus, he gave Barry a sweet new suit.
  2. Iris West – Iris did more this episode than she did over the entirety of last season. Rather than being stuck in a passive role, she took charge of Team Flash and got Barry back to normal. It may have been a bit reckless to get herself captured, but it was done in good faith.
  3. Barry Allen / The Flash – Sure, he spends most of the episode sounding like someone who just got back from his first trip to Burning Man. But by the end, he’s faster and healthier than ever, he wrecks the Samuroid and he’s no longer weighed down by the drama of his past. All bodes well for the future!
  4. Caitlin Snow – It was great seeing Caitlin back with the team, but she didn’t have much to do once she got there. She spouted medical info, stopped an out-of-control Barry with the freeze gun and rejoined the team. But the mobster angle and split personality are intriguing developments for the future.
  5. Wally West / Kid Flash – Kid Flash did the best he could to keep the city safe in Barry’s absence. But against the Samuroid, he got tossed around like a rag doll and stabbed in the leg. And his efforts to get Team Kid Flash to stick went down in flames.

That’s all for this week! Be sure to check out Steve’s recap of SUPERGIRL and come back for my review of the season premiere of LEGENDS OF TOMORROW; and then Steve will be back later this week with ARROW and the inaugural ARROWVERSE POWER RANKINGS!