This season on The Flash, with Eva McCulloch/Mirror Monarch (Efrat Dor) behind them and Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin) having regained his speed with the resurrection of the Speed Force -- appearing in the form of Barry's late mother Nora (Michelle Harrison) -- one would think that things would be getting back to normal in Central City, but that's been anything but the case. New threats -- Psych and Fuerza -- have alerted Team Flash that they are dealing with some of the most powerful forces to date.
This week, Team Flash will have a slightly different challenge to take on when Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Chester (Brandon McKnight) find themselves stuck in 1998, the same day on a loop, and having to figure out how to get back home to the present. Meanwhile, back in the present, Iris (Candice Patton) will be developing a connection with the Speed Force while everyone tries to figure out what's next with these new, terrifying threats.
Need to get caught up on the major details and stories from "The One With the Nineties", this week's episode of The Flash? We're here to help. Here are the major plot points for "The One With the Nineties". Warning: full spoilers for the episode beyond this point. Read on only if you want to know.
Something's trying to hurt the Speed Force
After a brief "24 Hours Earlier" moment that hints at the time issues to come, at S.T.A.R. labs Barry remains in the cryo chamber to recover. Nora is nervous and worried. She believes that the other forces -- specifically Psych and Fuerza -- who attacked her may come back to harm her again. She's not clear on who they are and is still trying to figure out her new situation having been reborn. She had come to Barry for protection.
Chester then explains that he's come up with a device that will detect the isotopic signatures of the known forces Psych and Fuerza thus giving them some advance warning, but since they haven't encountered the other forces yet it won't help in that regard. Armed with what they have, Cisco and Chester go out to set up a series of amplifiers that will serve as early warning systems.prevnext
Back in time
While setting up the amplifier device, Cisco and Chester's device shorts out but they are soon after struck by an energy field. They are unharmed, their sensor for their device is fine, but their phones are missing as is the van and Chester runs right into a force field they can't get past. They walk to nearby Masonville and soon learn that it's 1998, realizing that they somehow have time travelled. They quickly realize they are dealing with the temporal force and need to find their "time god".
They decide to modify the sensor using junk parts to turn the sensor into a detection device. It leads them to the high school, which prompts them to get a mini makeover in 90s appropriate clothing to blend in.prevnext
Back in the present and in Central City, Nora continues to worry about Barry. She and Iris begin to talk and bond a bit, with Iris telling Nora some personal stories about Barry. She even takes Nora home with her to show her how Barry copes with things and in the process reveals that Barry rarely talks about his mother because it's just too painful. Nora races off. Iris later finds her at Jitters upset, feeling terrible that she is causing Barry pain by appearing in the form of his mother. Iris suggests instead that Nora is giving him a gift of peace and comfort, reminding her that while she is Barry's lightning rod, Nora is the lightning.prevnext
At the school, Chester and Cisco gather information by pretending to interview people for the yearbook. They eventually encounter the football team equipment manager, Parker, who they initially think could be their time god but turns out to be someone trapped in the loop as well. When a mention of The Matrix suddenly jolts Parker into breaking free from the loop, it starts all over again. Cisco briefly has no memory of things and thinks he's a child (which he would have been in 1998) but Chester was shielded by the sensor he was carrying. They have to figure out how to fix that sensor so they'll be protected if the loop starts over again. The part they need is at Chester's childhood home, but upon learning the specific date they're reliving, Chester blanches at the idea of going there and instead looks for another source for the part.prevnext
Facing the past
They try to get the piece, but a man buys the last one from the store -- that man being Chester's father. Chester tells Cisco that his father cared more about his work than him and that he dies the next day, December 5, 1998. After talking with Cisco, who suggests that maybe Chester is there the day before his father's death for a reason, Chester is still unwilling to face his dad. Cisco offers to go instead. Chester ultimately decides to go himself and discovers that what he understood about his father was wrong. The elder Mr. Runk worked all the time for his son and that young Chester was his whole world. He also reveals that he is throwing the part away so that young Chester can find it in two days time, while he's on the road, and he does this to teach him to see treasure where others see trash.
The pair end up working together to come up with something for the sensor with Chester never revealing his identity.prevnext
A problem for the future
As Cisco and Chester prepare to leave, their time god finds them. It's Deon, the football star, who created the loop on that specific day because he feels he has no future due to an injury that ends his footbal dreams. As he rages and prepares to reset the loop and trap Cisco and Chester, waves of temporal energy start messing with things in the present day. Frost, Caitlin, Joe, and Iris all end up with a retro style makeover while weird things from the past start popping up in Central City as we saw in the opening.
When Cisco is unable to stop Deon with the device, Chester appeals to his emotions, revealing that while he can't change the past, he can look at it with fresh eyes and the future remains unwritten if only Deon lets go of the past. It works... but Deon also decides that he can control the future for everyone. He vanishes, but the time loop ends.prevnext
Back in the present
Barry gets out of the cryo chamber. They can't find Deon and it seems that Deon has no idea the Speed Force is alive. Cisco names the forces: Still Force, Strength Force, Sage Force. Iris invites Nora to come stay in their guest room at their loft. Barry goes along with it, but seems to be visibly uncomfortable. In the lab, Chester gets out the parts and plans for what his father was working on and says he's going to finish what his dad started. Joe goes to talk with Frost and tells her about Kramer being out to arrest her and suggests that she should lay low and Frost flat-out refuses. Frost says bring it on.prev