Here we go with The Flash S2:E12 Fast Lane Recap. Giddy up for spoilers!
We open at Hudson's Roofing Tar Industries, two years ago. Something tells me this is the night of the particle accelerator explosion. Looks like we're about to witness the birth of a meta-human. Two men are dangling another over a vat of hot tar, trying to get him to tell them details of a bank account where he he is hiding stolen funds. He gives it up but Thug 1 tips him over the edge anyway, splat and sizzle. Thug 2 is shocked, he says "I thought you said we weren't gonna kill him!" "I say a lot of things" replies Thug 1, who I have to add is wearing a particularly dashing camouflage tracksuit ensemble. They get into a waiting car, with Thug 3 at the wheel. "Where's Joe?" asks Thug 3. "Wishing he was somewhere else" says Camo Thug. In the distance the particle accelerator explodes, and the energy cloud is headed right for them. They hightail it out of there, and we get one last look at the vat, where a foot is just disappearing.
Present day, and Central City is still recovering from the explosion. Hudson's Tar has finally been cleaned up and it ready to reopen. A backhoe clears away the remaining rubble and inadvertently digs a hole through the asphalt. Hot tar bubbles underneath, and suddenly a hand shoots it way up and grips the side.
At the Wests, Wally has joined Iris and Joe for pizza and wangs. They are all getting along well until Iris brings up Wally's drag racing. He gets all defensive and tells them it's time he left. Joe tells him it's fine, he should stay, but he makes his excuses and leaves. Joe has a go at Iris after, and she tells him that he is not acting like the father she knows, and that she has never seen him act like this. He needs to be his father, not his friend and stop him drag racing.
At STAR labs Dr Wells is experimenting with the brain tissue he took quite rudely from the Turtle. By comparing and combining the Turtle's DNA and the Reverse Flash's DNA, he has managed to invent a way of harnessing Barry's speed force. Zoom is holding the safety of his daughter Jesse over his head, in exchange for Barry's speed. Wells has made a device that if fitted to Barry's Flash suit, will sap his speed as he runs, and transfer it to Wells for him to capture.
Barry arrives, and Wells hides the device under some papers. Barry is at a loose end and has decided to come and work on how to close the breaches. Wells insists he doesn't need help, and desperately tries to get rid of Barry. Barry is having none of Dr Cranky Pants nonsense, and speeds reads all the sciencey-type books he can find to get himself up to speed, so to speak. After finishing the books, he heads over to Well's papers and he has to cover the device with his hand. I don't know about you but if I were making a super stealthy device to be hidden somewhere, I wouldn't put flashing blue lights all over it.
Wally is at a drag race waiting his turn, when guys around him start whistling and cat calling. It's Iris, in her tarty finest, trying to blend in at the drag. Her butt cheeks must be chilly is all I can say. Wally realises who it its and tells her she will have to pay for his therapy, uh gross dude. They fight again over his racing, Iris saying that he doesn't have to do it it now he has no more of his mom's medical bills to pay. Way harsh Tai, she only just died okay? Wally heads off to race, and Iris snaps a sneaky photo of the nefarious looking fellow running the show.
At a car garage we see Thug 2, with terrible slicked back long hair, closing up shop for the night. He hears a noise I can only describe as the one my stomach makes when thinking about unwashed hair, and goes out to see what's up. There's an oily looking pool on the floor, and we go all T2 for a minute as a man emerges from the puddle. It's Joe, who has been turned into a meta-human by the explosion, unfortunately just after he hit the tar pit. Joe tells Thug 2 how he spent two years underground, waiting until he was able to surface. He can remember the searing pain of his ears, nose and particularly his eyeballs melting. Thug 2 recognises him as Joe and tries to worm his way out, but Joe approaches him and tells him he's going to show him exactly how it feels. Crispy, I would say.
Barry arrives at the crime scene and Joe tells him Thug 2 has a name, and it is Daniel Burge. He's a petty criminal trying to go on the straight and narrow with the garage. Barry inspects the body and tells Joe that is looks as though it has been burnt by lava, and takes some samples for Cisco to test, already suspecting they're dealing with a meta-human.
Barry meets Cisco at STAR labs and Cisco proceeds to tell Barry about an app he has developed that gathers information on all meta-human activity from social media sites. This enables him to triangulate and track other meta-humans. Did I just invent Tinder for meta-humans, Cisco ponders? Meanwhile, Wells is sneaking around the Flash suit, and hides his device under the lightning bolt logo on the front.
Joe goes to see Iris at the Central City Picture News, and she tells him she is working on an expose of the drag racing and the people who operate them. She gets into him again about being a stricter parent and cracking down on Wally's racing. She shows him numerous articles about kids being injured or killed when driving at high speed. Joe tells her that he's scared that he'll scare Wally off if he tries to tell him what to do, and he needs to get Wally to trust him first.
Barry and Wells are working on the breaches, when Barry has a memory lapse and has to read through a book again to work it out. It takes 3.2 seconds, well that's annoying says Wells. Barry tells him how great it is to be working with him, how he considered the previous Dr Wells (Eobard Thawne, long story) a mentor and like a father. Wells cracks and tells him he already has a kid already, and he needs to work on the problem alone. Barry puts his saddest eyebrows on, says alright and leaves.
In the lab, Caitlin and Cisco tell Barry that the substance used to kill Burge was tar, and was definitely from a meta-human. "TAR PIT" says Cisco, always wanting to be the one with naming rights, too slow Barry, sorry. Cisco's app alerts him to a crazy Tar creature running amok downtown, and Barry suits up and speeds off.
Tar Pit has tracked down Camo Thug, aha his name is Clay, and has him cornered on a busy street. Barry rescues Clay from a tar attack, and taunts Tar Pit to shoot for him. Barry dodges at the last second and he hits a fire hydrant that sprays all over him which causes his tar to cool and begin to solidify. Barry takes Clay away for questioning, as Tar Pit melts himself down into the road and escapes. This whole time, Wells device has been working, gradually slowing Barry down. Wells is in his lab watching the lightning gather in his beaker, "you're coming home Jesse" he says.
Back at STAR labs, the crew identify Tar Pit as Joseph Monteleone, reported missing two years ago. Barry goes to see if Joe can run some background checks on Clay and Tar Pit, see if they can find a connection. Caitlin decides to run some tests and find Tar Pits weakness, uh, another one that is. Cisco runs to catch Barry and asks if he's feeling alright, that he seemed slower today. Barry tells him that he's fine, just a bit tired. Fast is fast right?
In a dingy office, Drag Race Boss is counted his money and watching a car race on TV. Iris enters and proceeds to threaten him to shut down the races, or she will publish her article. He bites back and tells her he will find out every little thing about her, where she lives, what she eats, who she loves, and he will ruin her life. She shows him she's been recording everything and if anything happens to her, CCPN will be sent the recording. Later, Wally tracks her down at work and tells her she needs to stay away from the races for her own safety now. She tries once more to get him to stop, but he just tells her he can't protect her and leaves the office.
Barry is back at STAR labs working on a formula to seal the breaches. Wells comes in and compares Barry's work ethic to that of his daughter. "Did you scold her as well?" asks Barry. "Yes" replies Wells. Barry tells him he understands how hard it has been for Wells here on Earth One, but you're not in it alone. Wells insists he is, that if it came down to a choice, he would never choose Barry and STAR labs, he would always choose Jesse. And one day, Zoom is going to force him to make that choice. "I will betray you" he says. "That's binary thinking" replies Barry "it doesn't have to be one or the other." "Life is either/or" says Wells, and Barry replies that he has more faith in him than he does in himself. Oh! And he may have found a way to close the breaches. By the by. He show Wells some research, that he seems impressed with. "Who wrote this?" he asks. "Rude" thinks Barry. It was the other Harrison Wells actually, apparently he may have been evil but he wasn't stupid. Wells takes the research and leaves to look it over.
On the way to do his homework however, he's run afoul of the school bully come to take his lunch money. Yep, Zoom pops out of a breach and Wells hands over the speed he has taken from Barry. Zoom shoots himself up but he wants more, MOAR! Zoom gives Wells the Vulcan nerve pinch with a bit of electricity thrown in and tells Wells that he needs it all, and he will continue hurting Jesse every day until Wells gets it for him. Off he zooms, jingling that money in his pockets as he goes, well I'm not exactly sure there's room for pockets in that leather suit, but you catch my metaphor.
The STAR labs crew and Joe have worked out that the Burge, Clay and Tar Pit were all in juvie together. And there's one other that makes up their gang, Iris's scary drag race boss, who was the driver when they killed him. She tells Joe where they can pick him up, and they set off for the drags.
Barry and Wells are at a breach, testing out the device they have built that will hopefully close it. Barry throws it in, and snap, crackle, pop! No more wormhole! Barry grabs Wells in a totally unwelcome hug, and says "come on! You just rewrote the laws of physics, don't smile or anything"! "Guess that was pretty cool" Cranky Pants concedes. One down, fifty one to go.
Wally is ready to race when Joe and Iris arrive, The race begins and Wally's competitor is Tar Pit. He covers the road in bumpy asphalt causing Wally to lose control. "Call Barry" Joe tells Iris. A great wave of tar appears before Wally and his car reaches the top and flips into thin air. Barry arrives as Flash and rescues Wally from the car. The car flips end over end towards Iris and Barry races to stop the car and any shrapnel from hitting her. He finds himself going slower and slower, and is unable to reach her before a piece of glass hits her in the chest. Barry reaches her before she hits the ground, and Joe tells him to get her to the hospital.
Iris is in hospital, and wakes to find Joe in her room. He tells her she was right, and he should have done more to stop the races. Wally comes in very sheepish and apologetic. Iris tells him it's okay but he can't handle the guilt and leaves. Joe chases after him and tells him that he should have acted more as a father and less of a friend. He also tells him he has people who care about him, and worry about him, that's what being a part of a family is all about. "I'm your father" Joe says "and I ain't letting you go." "Okay" says Wally. Joe gets a call from Barry, and Wally tells him to go. He'll go and stay with Iris, she's my sister right? "That's my boy" says Joe. I'm not crying, you are!
Cisco and Wells have developed some nitrous grenades that should be enough to freeze Tar Pit up long enough to capture him. One of these puppies hits at the right moment, you got a tar pit popsicle for dessert, brags Cisco. But Barry is worried about his lack of speed. Is it the suit, he asks Cisco, am I sick? Caitlin tells him he is 2% slower than normal, his speed force has dropped from 100% for the first time in over 60 days. Wells tries to tell him there is nothing wrong, nothing to see here. Barry starts talking about how Iris could have died tonight, but she's okay THIS time. What about next time? She's hurt because of me. Wells is listening and finally can't take anymore and tells them the truth about stealing his speed. Joe punches him out and they lock him in a cell, and Barry just can't believe that he's been betrayed by Harrison Wells again.
Joe gets Clay out of holding and places him out in Central City as bait. Tar Pit doesn't take long to appear rises out of the sidewalk like an over cooked Marshmallow Man. Barry hits him with the grenades and the tar freezes up and shatters, leaving him in his human shape. Joe punches him out too, two for two!
Down in the cells, Wells tells Barry to send him back, close all of the breaches and let him and everyone else on Earth Two deal with Zoom. Leave him to rescue Jesse of his own accord so no one else here can be hurt. Barry leaves him to think it over. Up in the lab, they all discuss what they should do with Wells. Barry tells them that they would do the same for any member of their families, in fact they had already in the past. They can't sentence a world to death just because Wells betrayed them. They go and see Wells again and open his cell. Barry tells him he is part of a team whether he likes it or not and they're going to help save Jesse. We're going to Earth Two next week, baby!