Things are heating up as the team continues their search for the latest meta killer on The Flash. In “Phantoms,” Iris (Candice Patton) chases a story to distract herself and Team Flash continue their search for the cold fusion killer. 

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Iris gets a visit from Deon aka the Still Force (Christian Magby) for a treatment for her conditions. If you recall, Iris contracted a time sickness that makes her existence is unstable. She started phasing in and out of her original timeline. Deon treats her by putting a temporal strain on Iris to keep her stable. But she’s been experiencing strange occurrences lately. Deon sees mutations in her existence but doesn’t know what it means. He leaves to consult with his force siblings. 

Team Flash is still investigating the Cold Fusion killer. Except Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) … She’s off on an adventure with her new boyfriend. But Frost (Panabaker) is there to help! They go over the evidence with Joe (Jesse L. Martin), showing him pictures of the burnt bodies. Chester (Brandon McKnight) joins them, saying he stayed up all night building a cold fusion alarm module for the satellites. It detects any drops in barometric anomalies. He gets a little freaked out by the photos of the burnt bodies too. 

Sue Dearbon (Natalie Dreyfuss) pays a visit to the Citizen offices. She’s a billionaire now and owns a lot of real estate … including the Citizen office building. She doesn’t stay long, having to leave for Coast City … that’s on the West Coast. Sue tells Iris and Allegra (Kayla Compton) about the Coast City Phantom. The phantom can walk through walls, so they assume this person is a meta. And they seriously thought only Central City had metas. Sue says she’s run into a lot of metas around the world. Iris decides to go with her to Coast City, even though Sue invited Allegra. 


Natalie Dreyfus returns as Sue Dearbon on The Flash

The Flash — “Phantoms” — Image Number: FLA809b_0192r.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Natalie Dreyfuss as Sue — Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW — (C) 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights ReservedPhoto Credit: Bettina Strauss

The cold fusion alarm goes off and the Flash races to the location. When he gets there, there is a weird, black flame over a burnt body. The flame goes out quickly. A little while later, Barry and Chester are investigating the crime scene. Chester is freaked out about the burnt body. They find a black flame still burning. Chester has a micro catalyzed containment unit, aka, a vacuum-sealed canister he designed with Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh). Barry runs to retrieve the canister and they capture the flame. Barry tells Chester to determine the molecular properties, then use that to recalibrate the satellites so they can find the killer. 

Sue asks Iris what she’s running away from. Before she can answer, Iris gets an alert. She has an app on her phone that detects dark matter. They follow the signal and find two women in a coffee shop. They also witness a woman put a book in her backpack without opening it. 

Iris approaches the woman to try and ask her some questions about the phantom. The woman gets nervous and really doesn’t want to talk to anyone. They ask for her name, which she doesn’t want to give them. But then the barista calls Tinya (Mika Abdalla) when her coffee is ready. 

Iris tries to convince Tinya to let them help her find ways to help others. Tinya’s only question is how they found her. Iris shows her the app on her phone. Tinya puts her finger through Iris’ phone, breaking it and she leaves. 


Chester used Cisco’s Meta Binder, but there is nothing in there about a meta with cold fusion power that can create a black flame. Barry says he’s going to inform Kramer in hopes of finding a lead. After Barry leaves, Chester gets scared of the black flame. He hears noises and tries to calm himself down. The flame escapes the containment unit and starts a black fire in Chester’s lab. It spreads fast and almost burns him. 

Chester hears Allegra calling his name and wakes up. The fire was all a dream. He plays it off like he’s been working too hard and he leaves to get coffee. Cecile can feel Chester struggling to keep it together, but he won’t talk to any of them. Allegra is sure he will talk to her. 

Sue attempts to download the dark matter app, but it will take seven hours. While they wait, Sue asks Iris again what she’s running from. Iris tells her about her time sickness and the strange occurrences. She’s afraid of what Deon will find. Sue understands. She was afraid to face her parents and the bad things they did. But she couldn’t move on until she stopped running. Iris has to do the same. Their conversation makes Iris realize that Tinya is running away from fear too. 


Team Flash helps Chester face his fears on The Flash

The Flash — “Phantoms” — Image Number: FLA809a_0531r.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Brandon McKnight as Chester P. Runk, Kayla Compton as Allegra Garcia, Danielle Panabaker as Frost and Danielle Nicolet as Cecile Horton — Photo: Michael Courtney/The CW — (C) 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights ReservedPhoto Credit: Bettina Strauss

Allegra approaches Chester about his fear and offers to listen. Chester starts to talk, and the fire actually escapes from the container this time. Chester thinks it is a dream, but Allegra knows it’s not. And because the fire is cold fusion, the STAR labs fire containment won’t work.  

They back away from the fire as far as they can, but the fire quickly spreads toward them. Chester gets really scared and begs that his life won’t end like this. Allegra initiates her emergency alert. Flash show s up and tries to put out the flame, but he can’t. Chester is terrified until the flame disappears. 

Team Flash has a lot of questions. Why did the flame show up after Chester’s dream? Why does it want to kill Chester? The satellite didn’t pick up the signal of the cold fusion because Chester set the parameters outside of STAR labs. The fire left no trace. Cecile says it’s like a ghost and that terrifies Chester even more. He leaves to get some air. 

Cecile is concerned that if this meta can get inside STAR labs undetected, then it could be anywhere. Barry wonders if the flame is being controlled remotely. The shape in the fire did not have a face, like it was a projection. That would explain why the Flash can’t catch them. The killer hasn’t actually been to any of the crime scene locations. Flash puts the lab on lockdown. He leaves to search the city for anyone controlling the flame remotely.


Tinya walks into an apartment, where Iris and Sue are waiting for her. Sue has a molecular destabilizing matrix that keeps Tinya from using her powers. Sue tells her to relax and listen to what Iris has to say. 

Tinya wonders why Iris even cares. Iris knows Tinya is looking for her mother. Iris found Tinya on the missing person’s database. She ran away from foster care. Tinya’s mother used to work at the Jitters in Coast City and her last known address is the apartment they are in. 

Tinya says her real mom abandoned her. Her life was hard until she got her new powers. Now she wants to show her real mom who she’s become. She thinks her mom will see that she’s special and take her back. Iris offers to help Tinya find her mom.


The latest mystery brings out the fear in Chester P. Runk on The Flash

The Flash — “Phantoms” — Image Number: FLA809a_0228r.jpg — Pictured: Brandon McKnight as Chester P. Runk — Photo: Michael Courtney/The CW — (C) 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights ReservedPhoto Credit: Bettina Strauss

Chester tells Allegra that he thinks the black flame is his dad. His dad died in a fire. Chester wasn’t with him, and he thinks this is some way of making him pay for that. Allegra says the flame is not Chester’s father. His father wouldn’t hurt Chester. Even though he admits that he hated his father his whole life and thinks his ghost is back because of that. 

The alarm goes off again. Chester and Allegra go to the control room. Allegra promises to protect Chester. When they get to the control room, Frost says they have cold fires on multiple levels and it’s spreading. Barry says the fires are headed to STAR labs. When the fire gets to the lab, it starts burning up the structure of the lab. If it keeps burning, eventually every volatile resource in the lab will melt down and contaminate Central City. 

Barry asks Chester to calm down and look for anything that could create cold catalyzed reactions. Chester quickly finds heat signatures in the speed lab. There may be some sort of epicenter there. Flash and Frost leave to contain the fire.


Cecile can feel Chester’s despair but then gets a rush of fear over her. She says it’s not just Chester’s fear that she’s feeling but the fear of thousands of people. Barry calls to the control room and tells the others to evacuate. Allegra doesn’t want to leave them behind, but the control panel explodes. Flash has to hold Frost and start phasing as the flames close in on them. 

The black flame appears and takes the form of Chester’s dad. It’s trying to convince Chester to go with it. Cecile realizes that the flame is feeding off of Chester’s grief. She and Allegra tell him it’s not real, but Chester believes it is. Allegra says he is part of her life and he needs to think about the love his father had for him. 

The flame reaches his hand out to Chester. Before Chester takes his hand, he realizes that his father would be proud of him. He thinks about how his father would react to seeing the life Chester is living. He realizes his father would be proud of the man he became. The flame tries to make Chester go with him, but Chester says he’s staying with his friends because they are his family now.  He tells the flame to go to hell and the flame disappears. 


Joe comes to the lab and compliments Team Flash on this win. He also informs them that the other victims all suffered a loss. The meta feeds on grief. Chester says the flame created the visions to intensify his fear. Cecile felt other emotions from the flame, like determination, passion and desire. The flame has a mind of its own. The black flame isn’t being used to kill, but it is the killer. 

Later, Allegra and Cecile check on Chester. They say the whole team has experienced a great loss. Chester realizes how they help each other deal with their grief is what makes them human and a family. Allegra touches Chester’s shoulder and they look at each other warmly. Cecile picks up on their attraction and decides to do some filing in her office.  Chester says he needs to cancel on their D&D plans. Allegra suggests they reschedule. She also tells him that she will always be there for him. He knows that and says she’s a big part of his life too.

Iris calls Barry to check in and tell him about Tinya. Tinya is staying in Iris’s room at Sue’s five-star hotel. Iris says Tinya has nowhere to go and she wants to help her. She thinks Tinya’s power to walk through walls could make her a hero too. Barry tells Iris to stay in Coast City until they find the black flame. Central City is not safe and he doesn’t want anything happening to Iris. She agrees and they say goodnight. Deon shows up, looking very worried. He found out what’s wrong with Iris. And it’s not good news. 

RELATED: Catch up on all of The Flash recaps here




Noetta Harjo
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