Previously on THE FLASH...

A good chunk of this season so far has been finding new ways to keep Team Flash away from the threat of Cicada. The few times they have gone up against him, he’s managed to use the power dampening dagger to neutralize all of Team Flash and somehow kept them at bay. But even without their powers, you’d think a team of heroes should be able to find a way to beat one guy.

Their inability to take Cicada down has clearly affected their confidence, but it gets a bit of a boost this week. As they search for a device that can purportedly take away Cicada’s dark matter ability, Barry and Ralph are forced to act as criminals to get access to an underground weapons flea market. The flea market is run by a guy named Goldface and everyone who enters has their powers dampened, so they have to be very careful not to piss anyone off.

Where are all these power dampeners coming from, anyway? Why are they going through some many complicated hoops to find some McGuffin to take Cicada’s powers away long enough to drain the dark matter from his body? They have a dampening device at STAR Labs. Random criminals have dampeners they put on your wrists.

Why not just tell Goldface that there’s a guy killing metahumans running around Central City and they need help to take him down? It worked a couple of episodes ago! No, instead, Ralph and Barry are forced to join Goldface’s crew and try and steal a 3-D printer that prints up human organs to get their hands on the McGuffin.

Of course, the mission goes sideways when Ralph locks Barry away (so he won’t get his hands dirty) and then grows a conscience himself. So our two heroes – without their powers – have to shoot their way out of a bind, taking out the whole rest of the gang before getting confronted by Goldface himself, like the final boss of the level they were trying to beat. The villain’s whole body is covered in gold, so Barry gets him to toss a chain into a fuse box, shocking him and causing him to bleed gold out of his eyes. But it’s OK, Barry assures us he’s still breathing.

I really would have liked it if Barry stopped and said, “Flash fact,” before he explained the science of how he got out of the predicament to Ralph.

While Barry is risking his life trying to stop Cicada, Iris is confronting him directly, trying to do something crazy to get more eyes on her new newspaper. She finds out where he lives and tries to interview him while he growls at her and stares menacingly. Cicada only seems to be effective against metas, though, because Iris manages to escape him and his dagger by stabbing him with a pen. If she had a knife or a gun, this whole thing would have been over.

And the most interesting plot in the show again belongs to Sherloque Wells and Nora, as the fastest daughter on the planet tries to get Wells laid in order to distract him from his investigation of Nora. The young speedster is directed toward a potential girlfriend for Sherloque by the future Eobard Thawne, and it turns out it’s the same woman Wells has married on multiple Earths. He definitely has a type.

I assume Thawne is playing Nora by telling her he can stop Cicada, because this is really a dumb move for her, trusting one of her dad’s arch-rivals. I also assume they won’t be able to drag that secret out much longer. I’m really curious about how they reason this out for Nora