Racing back into action, Flash season two premiered featuring its original cast with the introduction of at least two more main players. The episode, titled “The Man Who Saved Central City”, skips ahead a whole six months from last season’s finale episode, leaving to question what major events have befallen Barry and the gang.
The episode begins with Barry having a moment to himself in the abandoned center of S.T.A.R Labs. Having distanced himself from Iris, Joe, Cisco, Caitlyn and Dr. Stein since the death of Eddie and the Reverse-Flash – Barry is set upon dealing with the aftermath of the devastation caused by the singularity on his own. At the scene of an unusual murder, Barry conducts his forensic examination for the Central City Police Department while Joe tries to convince him to attend the city’s celebration of the Flash (for having saved the city from certain destruction caused by the wormhole). For reasons unknown, Barry avoids the topic by telling Joe that he didn’t feel he deserved recognition or reward for saving the city.
Back at the police station, Cisco has been recruited into Joe’s newly formed special metahuman task force in an effort to help the police deal with potential threats to city, where Caitlyn is mentioned as having left S.T.A.R Labs to work for its competitor, Mercury Labs. When Iris stops by to visit Joe, the three former members of Team Flash voice their concerns about Barry’s isolation from them. Joe suggests that Iris should be the one that speaks to Barry, in an effort to convince him to attend the Flash Day celebration. Later, Iris finds Barry rebuilding the café she used to work at, where she tries to do what Joe suggested. Barry shuts her down before remembering the events that took place on the day of the singularity (wormhole).
In a flashback to that day, while the Flash was trying to deal with wormhole, it is revealed that Ronnie and Dr. Stein mutually decided to use the nuclear backlash of their separation of Firestorm to destroy the wormhole. It was last resort effort to help the Flash save the city, that could mean the death of either man which Caitlyn was against. Despite the possibility of death, Ronnie and Stein fuse together as Firestorm and flew into the center of the wormhole as the Flash stabilized it. Before Barry could stop them, Firestorm self destructed causing a massive explosion that destroyed the wormhole – but only Dr. Stein was recovered in the debris. Ronnie was nowhere to be found – and is therefore presumed dead again. For causing so much pain to both Iris (with the death of Eddie) and Caitlyn (with the second death of Ronnie), Barry refuses to accept reward or recognition for saving the city – and has pushed his circle of friends away.
After Iris’ confronted him, Barry decides to appear at the Flash Day celebration, where the Mayor presents him with the key to Central City. At the celebration, Joe and Cisco observe the activities when Cisco spots Caitlyn keeping to herself away from the crowd. Dr. Stein and Iris cheer as the Flash accepts the key from the Mayor – just seconds before he is attacked by the cameo villain of this episode, Atom Smasher.
Hidden in the crowd, was an unknown character that had been following Barry from the start of the episode. Barry and Joe try to fend off the behemoth villain right before he escapes, revealing himself as Albert Rothstein (an identical match the murder victim from earlier).
Cisco and Joe try to make sense of the possibility of Rothstein’s reappearance, while Iris confronts her dad with a sense of urgency to help Barry face this new threat. Knowing that Barry will refuse their help, the gang agrees to reassemble at S.T.A.R Labs and start planning their defense against Atom Smasher. Meanwhile a man, who was elected by Harrison Wells, delivers a will to Barry with instructions to watch the recording on a usb flash drive which Barry refuses. An alarm at S.T.A.R Labs causes Barry to race there, only to discover the gang working together to track Rothstein. Reluctant to use their help, Barry races off to a possible hideout and confronts Rothstein face to face. After a few exchanged words, Flash tries to bring Rothstein down, who’s ability to consume radiation enhances his metahuman powers, only to be trapped and beaten by Rothstein. When Rothstein is distracted by an alarm that is triggered by Cisco, the Flash escapes back to S.T.A.R Labs where he faints.
When he wakes up, Joe lectures Barry about pushing everyone away, and he reminds Barry that the weight of saving the city is not his burden alone. With the death of Ronnie weighing on his shoulders, Barry decides to visit Caitlyn to apologize for not being able to save her husband. The two have a heart-to-heart, when Barry reveals Wells’ recorded will to her. They watch the video together, and in it, Wells gives Barry a recorded confession to the murder of Nora Allen – evidence that will help free Barry’s father from prison. Joe gives the recording to an attorney who then uses it to prepare the release of Henry Allen from Iron Heights prison.
With a renewed sense needing his team, Barry and the gang concoct a plan to capture Atom Smasher. The plan involves luring Atom Smasher into a radioactive chamber, and overloading him with radiation. Using a very familiar style of signal (a humours reference to the Bat-Signal), Rothstein chases the Flash into the chamber, and is locked in with a full blast of radiation. Just before passing out, Barry interrogates Rothstein to find out why he tried to kill the Flash. Rothstein whispers that he was promised a way “home” by someone named Zoom if he killed the Flash.
At the end of the episode, Henry is greeted by the entire gang with champagne and cake. All seems happy for Barry now that his father has been cleared of his mother’s murder – until Henry reveals to him that he isn’t staying in Central City. Henry tells Barry that he doesn’t want to hold him back from being all that he can be as the Flash. Barry reluctantly gives his father the approval to leave, despite having fought so hard to help clear his name since he was a boy.
Back at S.T.A.R Labs, Cisco explains to the team that he has enhanced the security of the Lab to avoid random strangers from getting in, while Joe hands Barry the key to the city. Cisco also shows Barry that he’s upgraded the Flash suit, changing the emblem from red and gold to white and gold (the original colour scheme for the Flash suit), when suddenly the stranger from the crowd at the Flash Day celebration appears with a warning for the team, and revealing himself as Jay Garrick (the very first Flash in the history of the comics, formerly part of the Justice Society of America).