“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

Several themes ran throughout tonight’s episode: Believing in others, believing in yourself, doing some pretty awesome things with your badass superpowers… (Welcome to The Flash, ladies and gentleman.) That being said, tonight’s episode fell in the same place that ‘Fast Lane’ did last year (literally and figuratively). They were both episode 12–the episode right before the highly anticipated two-episode Earth-2 arcs. Both episodes also put Iris’ (Candice Patton) life on the line because a speedster wasn’t fast enough and both episodes didn’t necessarily do anything spectacular plot-wise. What they did do, though, was get the characters where they needed to be for the epicness that surely awaits us on the other end of the hiatus. That, they did exceedingly well.

The episode opens with Barry (Grant Gustin) and Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale) on a street somewhere in Central City–the starting line of the “Central City Speedster 500” (as Cisco calls it). Cisco (Carlos Valdes) set up sensors to track Wally’s speed throughout the course. This is Barry’s way of training Wally to be fast enough to save Iris. While Wally understands the gravity of the situation, he’s sure that he’s going to beat Barry.

In the cortex, Cisco is taking bets on the two speedsters. Him, Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker), and Iris bet on Barry. H.R. (Tom Cavanagh) bets on Wally. Joe (Jesse L. Martin) abstains. Barry and Wally are neck-in-neck throughout the entire course…until Barry phases through a building that Wally has to run over. Barry wins and Wally calls him out for cheating. Barry tells him that he needs to be ready to face any obstacle if he’s going to save Iris.

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At Luigi’s Ristorante Italiano, Joe, Barry, and Julian (Tom Felton) are investing a crime scene involving the significantly decomposed body of one Stuart Holzman (Damien Revins), a chef at the restaurant. Joe informs the CSIs that he’s only been dead for eight hours. Barry and Julian want to run a autopsy but Julian tells him that he doesn’t have the proper equipment at the precinct. Barry tells him they have it at STAR Labs and, after some hesitation, Julian agrees to bring the body there.

Joe and Barry meet Iris outside who just finished interviewing the restaurant’s owner. Joe asks them if they would want to get together at Jitters with him, Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) and her daughter, Joanie (Riley Jade), who’s currently in town…if they don’t think it’s too soon. Barry and Iris tell him to go for it. When he leaves, Barry notices that Iris is acting strange. She tells him that there’s something she needs to show him at STAR Labs.

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