Last week on The Flash, The CW series returned for Season 8 with the first part of the five-part “Armageddon” event and while initially, things looked great for Team Flash, Central City’s heroes were soon rocked with some shocking news. A mysterious alien named Despero (Tony Curran) arrived to kill Barry Allen/The Flash (Grant Gustin), insisting that in a decade’s time he is the cause of the end of the world. Determined to prove Despero wrong, Barry sets out to show Despero who he really is and prove that he couldn’t possibly be the villain.
However, while Despero is willing to give Barry a small bit of time to do so, he is pretty set in his belief and he has one reason why. What could possibly cause The Flash to go dark? Previews for this week’s “Armageddon, Part 2” revealed that Despero says Barry will lose his mind after a series of bad events. Still, Barry is certain that isn’t the case.
Need to find out what happened as Barry attempts to prove he’s not going to go mad and end up the villain? We’ve got you covered in our recap of “Armageddon, Part 2” but be warned: there are spoilers beyond this point.
In the Pipeline, Despero attacks Barry even though they have a truce and Despero tells Barry that he still plans to change the future and that he knows the force he will need to use to kill Barry when the time comes. Despero also tells Barry that the reason he turns on the world is that he goes mad. A tragedy is coming that will make him lose his mind and that tragedy begins the following day.
Team Flash connects with Alex Danvers and she gives them access to the Tower’s alien database, but they have no information on Despero. She’s going to keep looking as he could be a major threat. Allegra wants to protect Barry but Frost isn’t so sure that Barry might not be a threat as he may have leveled up too fast – and there is precedent for those concerns. Barry gives the team a pep talk and says all they have to do is prove Despero wrong by making it through the next 24 hours with his sanity intact.
A very bad day
Frost and Chester sit down to work on a plan, but Frost asks him to build a weapon to harm Despero rather than come up with a way to restrain or contain him. Chester doesn’t seem comfortable with this. The next morning, Barry and Iris are uneasy about things, but Iris reassures him things will be okay. Barry heads to work as there has been a bank robbery. The guard spontaneously went insane which allowed for the robbery to happen. However, before Barry can get to work, Kramer shows up to stop him. He’s under investigation for federal crimes and has been suspended. He’s suspected of being a mole for Joseph Carver and while Kramer seems to believe in Barry’s innocence, he has to turn over his badge anyway despite his plea to keep working. Barry goes to see Cecile and she’s pretty heated about the situation but their conversation is cut short when Despero projects himself into the room as he’s keeping an eye on Barry’s mental state. Cecile suggests Despero is what drives him insane, but Barry thinks the security guard situation is more connected to things and he goes to talk to the guard. The still-insane guard only mutters the name Xotar before Barry gets an emergency call from Caitlin.
Meltdown at STAR Labs
STAR Labs is being shut down by the city due to a radiation leak. Turns out that the systems in place that should have caught the issue are damaged and there is a significant radiation issue. STAR Labs will have to be encased in a sarcophagus, Chernobyl style, and then destroyed and remediated if that’s what the city decides. The team is given five minutes to get their people and get out. Team Flash quickly gets to work gathering what they can and sealing off sensitive areas. Barry ends up having to wipe Gideon and the Flash records in order to protect his identity, something he does reluctantly. The team grabs what they can and leaves.
Team Flash reconvenes at Barry’s loft, but Barry remains optimistic that they can still prove Despero wrong. He thinks Xotar is the explanation for things and tasks Iris and her reporters to find out who or what Xotar is. It turns out, Xotar is a meta who has psychic powers and can make people go insane. The Flash goes to confront her, but she attacks him. Next things Barry knows, he’s in his own home which has been trashed and Team Flash is in defensive mode against him. Seems he attacked them, but has no memory of it. Caitlin is able to confirm he’s himself now so they stand down and Barry is more convinced than ever that Xotar is the problem. They now need to take down Xotar.
While searching for Xotar, Despero and The Flash have a confrontation and The Flash asks Despero what he’s hiding. Despero reveals that his own homeworld was overrun by evil and he saw his people suffer and die. When he and some others attempted a coup, he showed mercy to the despot which was a mistake. Things ultimately got worse, there was more suffering. Despero was banished to Earth and saw horrible things happen on Earth due to The Flash and he won’t lose another homeworld. Meanwhile, at Chester’s, Allegra confronts him about the weapon Frost made him build and after hearing why Chester is a pacifist, convinces him that he has to be true to himself.
They get a lead on Xotar and The Flash goes to stop her at the robbery of an armored car transporting art for the museum. She uses telekinesis on The Flash and is hurting him pretty badly, but The Flash taps into a previously unknown power to self-generate lightning. He is able to take her down and as soon as she’s apprehended with meta cuffs, the people she made insane recover fully. Victorious, the team decides to get lunch and Barry suggests they have Joe make them a meal and that’s when the tragedy is revealed.
The truth and an escape
The team tells Barry that Joe has been dead for six months and are stunned he doesn’t seem to know this. Distraught and disbelieving, Barry races to the West house where Iris and Cecile also insist Joe is dead and there is even a memorial plaque that shows Joe West died back in May. Barry apparently even gave the eulogy but has no memory. The news also airs a report revealing that, after stopping Xotar, The Flash apparently attacked City Hall and innocent people as well. Barry also has no memory of that. That’s when Despero shows up, convinced Barry is losing his mind. He attacks, but is stopped by Chester, who developed something that would stun him. It gives Barry a chance to flee.
Alex gives Team Flash an update about Despero, explaining that his Flame of Py’tar was previously believed to be a legend and that they are the first people to encounter Kalanorian. Kara and J’onn are off world, but Alex is on the case. Meanwhile, Barry goes to the Hall of Justice where he meets with Black Lightning. Black Lightning asks him what is going on and Barry simply tells him “Injustice”. Black Lightning’s face registers shock and perhaps even horror.