Time is not always friendly on The Flash. In “The Curious Case of Bartholomew Allen,” Barry’s (Grant Gustin) latest encounter with a madman leaves him feeling really old. Joe (Jesse L. Martin) gets a visit from an old friend who helps him adjust to retirement.

This episode is directed by Legend Caity Lotz!

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Iris (Candice Patton) is still missing, but Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) says her mom still exists in the future, so the team isn’t as worried. They can’t really do anything to find her yet but I’m sure the motivation will hit them soon. 

It’s family game night and the team is playing Dungeons and Dragons. Everyone seems to be having fun except Joe. It has a lot to do with missing Iris and trying to adjust to the quiet life of retirement. 

Barry gets a call from former Captain, now Chief David Singh (Patrick Sabongui). I do not remember when Chief Singh learned about Barry’s secret identity but he knows now. Singh … I guess we can call him David now … brings a case for Barry to look into. A gamma absorption ray was taken from Mercury Labs. 

The Flash takes off to find the culprit and finds him in a van near the docks. The thief blasts the Flash with a ball of light and knocks him out. The thief tells him to enjoy what time he has left. 

The team is concerned about Barry's lack of control on The Flash

The Flash — “The Curious Case of Bartholomew Allen” — Image Number: FLA816a_0206r.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Kayla Compton as Allegra Garcia, Brandon McKnight as Chester P. Runk and Danielle Nicolet as Cecile Horton — Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW — © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The team is able to get Barry back to the med lab. When he wakes up, Chester (Brandon McKnight) tells him that he’s aged 30 years. He still looks young on the outside, but inside, Barry is old. They don’t know if his rapid aging can be reversed. Chester would need the machine that whammied Barry. Barry starts to leave to find the van, but Cecile (Danielle Nicolet) raises some concerns about Barry’s meta abilities. He has Gideon run some tests and fails them all. 

While David is in town, he pays a visit to Joe. Joe is trying to learn the latest technological advancement in house cleaning and he’s very frustrated. David offers to help him figure it out. 

Barry runs in the speed lab when Cecile checks up on him. Chester said the only way to cure him is to get the gamma array back. The fastest way to do that is with Barry’s speed. He’s up to Mach 10, but after that he loses control. He’s determined to control his speed so no one else risks their lives finding the creepy thief. 

Another break in occurs and Barry races off to stop the creepy thief. The thief is ready for him though. He has a thermal detonator in his hands. The Flash’s powers are almost non-existent. The thief throws the thermal detonator at the Flash. Flash tries to deflect it and he’s too slow. Flash is hit right in the lightning bolt on his super suit. 

Barry has to be examined again in the med lab. He aged another 10 years, this time on the outside too. The gamma radiation that is causing him to age is triggered by his speed. He is not backing down though.

Barry found out who the creepy thief is. Dr. Pytor Orloff, a former R&D tech, fired for using company resources on unsanctioned research. Barry quickly forgets the doc’s name and this concerns Cecile. She insists that he allow her to travel with him for fear he may forget more. 

Joe gets his roomba working but it quickly shorts out on him. He’s very frustrated. David tells him that he’s too impatient. He takes Joe out for coffee to get him out of the house. 

Barry and Cecile try to find more information on Orloff at his former lab. They find Orloff’s laptop but it has a high tech security device on it. The laptop starts erasing files so Barry wants to take the laptop to Chester. He gets confused and Ceciel tries to stop him from using his speed. Barry doesn’t want to lose this opportunity to find out what Orloff is up to so Cecile agrees to let him run. They end up at the Great Wall in China. 

Barry's rapid aging concerns the team on The Flash

The Flash — “The Curious Case of Bartholomew Allen” — Image Number: FLA816a_0008r.jpg — Pictured (L-R): Kayla Compton as Allegra Garcia, Danielle Nicolet as Cecile Horton, Grant Gustin as Barry Allen and Brandon McKnight as Chester P. Runk — Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW — © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Back at STAR Labs, Gideon informs everyone that Barry’s memory is getting worse. If he uses his speed again, he could die. Chester manages to stop the laptop from self-destructing, but it will take some time to get into Orloff’s files. They need to get Orloff’s gamma ray, so they have to watch for gamma spikes on the satellites. Barry will go to the starchives to find something to hold the gamma to bring back to the lab.

Joe tells David that he feels like time is slipping away from him. It’s hard for him to look forward because he’s always looking back. David says Joe is stuck in his ways. He rarely embraces anything new. His life was always changing so David knows Joe is capable of moving forward. 

Cecile finds a lost Barry in the hallway at the lab. She follows him to the lounge to check on him. Barry says he forgot where he was. He’s also forgetting the people he loves. Barry doesn’t want to forget Iris before she comes back. Cecile tells him to not be afraid of time. He can’t let his fear cloud his ability to see the right way to catch the bad guy.

Chester hacks the computer and finds that Orloff is building the fountain of youth, the science version. He gathered instruments that would amplify the gamma rays. This would take youth from other people and he absorbs that energy. Chester says he will eventually become immortal if he completes his device. The rest of the city ages instantly. 

Orloff is at the docks and turns his machine on. Team Flash gets an alert of a gamma spike. They have to be very careful about how they stop Orloff. Barry says they have to speed up the machine and overload it. The only thing that has that much energy is Barry’s speed. Cecile speaks out against this plan, saying he will die if he uses his speed. Barry says she’s right, he can’t outrun time but he can embrace it. And he chooses to use that time to save the city. Run Barry, Run! (This was so cringe)

The Flash confronts Orloff and is out of breath for most of the encounter. When a bubble forms over the machine, Flash starts running. Chester keeps an eye on Barry’s vitals while he runs and says Barry is over 100 years old. He starts to have a heart attack, but keeps running. The energy overloads the machine and it explodes.

The Flash is better than ever

The Flash — “The Curious Case of Bartholomew Allen” — Image Number: FLA816b_0346r.jpg — Pictured: Grant Gustin as The Flash — Photo: Colin Bentley/The CW — © 2022 The CW Network, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Barry is okay, in fact, he’s better than ever. Orloff ages and screams, wondering what he is going to do now. Flash tells him to embrace the time he has left in prison. 

The blast reversed Barry’s aging, almost making him younger than he actually is. Chester says he’s not in his 30s anymore and they plan to throw him another 30th birthday party. The team continues their Dungeons and Dragons game. David joins them and asks Allegra (Kayla Compton) a lot of questions about her meta abilities. He even asks for her hero name. There’s no Cisco around to give her a cool name so she doesn’t have one … yet. This time Joe comes out dressed as a wizard and really gets into the game. 

Barry gets a phone call from Dr. Carla Tannhauser (Susan Walters), looking for Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) . He thought Caitlin was staying with her mother. He races to Caitlin’s apartment but she doesn’t answer. Barry phases through the door to make sure she’s okay and finds her new lab. Caitlin tells him about her plan to resurrect Frost. She sounds crazy and even suggests that she could resurrect his parents. 

Barry understands how hard it is to move forward after losing a loved one. She says she has to accept that Frost is gone. Caitlin doesn’t want to, but it’s the only way to start living again. Caitlin is confident that she can bring Frost back and says she has to do it. Barry apologizes and releases his lightning bolts around the room, destroying Caitlin’s lab. He takes the genome splicer and leaves. 

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