Our favourite vintage vigilante is back and he needs The Flash’s help to take down a Nightshade copycat.
The Libertorian People’s Army have kidnapped heiress Felicia Kane (played by Jeri Ryan). They call Lt. Garfield at the police station with their demands. Garfield has Julio and Barry trace the call. Before they finish the call a masked man dressed very similar to Nightshade (see episode 9 Ghost in the Machine) appears on a gang way above the L.P.A and shoots everyone apart from Felicia. Julio gets the location of the call and Barry runs off to see what happened. He finds multiple dead bodies and a hysterical Felicia, he unties her but she screams and tries to push him away. He tells her the police will be with her soon and he speeds off.
A few days later at the station Barry meets Felicia’s psychiatrist Dr Rebecca Frost (played by Denise Crosby, what a small Star Trek world we live in). Dr Frost wont let the police interview Felicia until she thinks she is ready, the only words Felicia has been saying since the incident are “The Flash”. Dr Frost thinks that as The Flash is a masked vigilante he may be unstable and indeed guilty of killing the L.P.A Barry and Garfield both defend The Flash but Dr Frost is adamant that The Flash is the prime suspect.
Dr Frost and the lawyer for what’s left of The L.P.A Chesley Keefe are guests on sleazy reporter Joe Kline’s talk show. Keefe believes that The Flash was paid by Felicia’s father to kill the L.P.A members. Dr Frost asks if Central City really needs a self-appointed guardian angel. Both Barry and Tina are watching the show at Barry’s apartment. Barry feels like they are trying to turn the city on The Flash, Tina suggests that Barry gets advice from the city’s previous hero Nightshade.
Dr Desmond Powell has a meeting with Dr Frost and asks what she was trying to accomplish on Kline’s show. They are interrupted by Curtis Bohannan who has brought over a check to help pay for a new wing at the hospital. Curtis’ dad was a mobster back in the 50s so he is trying to make up for the sins of his father. Curtis believes that The Flash is innocent and obviously Desmond agrees with him. Just as Dr Frost is about to argue her case she remembers that she has an appointment to keep. The Flash calls Desmond and they agree to meet at Nightshade’s old hideout.
In another hideout a masked man tries to ring Kline but Kline’s secretary thinks he is crazy and refuses to put him through. The masked man decides to take a more direct approach. Desmond is waiting for The Flash to arrive and is not surprised when Barry turns up without his costume. Desmond always suspected that Barry was The Flash. Desmond assures Barry that Dr Frost is wrong about The Flash. Barry decides to ask some of his street contacts if they know anything about the L.P.A killings.
At a bar run by a former criminal Johnny Dortmunder Barry’s old informant Fosnight is enjoying a drink with Johnny. Johnny used to work for Big Boss Bohannan but has served his time and is now a law abiding citizen. The masked man shows up and kills Johnny. Barry arrives just as the masked man drives off, Barry can hear Fosnight scream that Johnny is dead. Barry easily catches up to the car but gets a viscous electric shock when he touches it and the car gets away.
Barry visits Desmond at his office and they see Kline play a videotape from the masked man. The man admits to the killings and warns everyone in the city that if they commit a crime he will kill them too. He ends the video with the chilling words “Fear the wrath of the Deadly Nightshade”. Now Desmond is surprised.
The next night Desmond dons the mask once again to defend the honour of the real and much friendlier Nightshade. The Flash warns Desmond that it might be a bad idea as the police are looking for Nightshade and will arrest him if they see him. Desmond is undeterred and convinces The Flash to help him find The Deadly Nightshade. At his hideout Deadly Nightshade is revealed to be Curtis Bohannan and he is working on something to help him if he runs into The Flash again. The reason he is doing this is to atone for all his father’s crimes. The original Nightshade put his father in jail so he feels that he is carrying on Nightshade’s work but in an extreme fashion. His next victim will be Keefe as he defends criminals such as the L.P.A.
The Flash and the friendly Nightshade visit Johnny’s bar. The Flash goes in first and demands answers but the patrons (who are all small time crooks) are not scared of him as they are a lot more afraid of The Deadly Nightshade. The friendly Nightshade walks in and they know he isn’t the killer. This is where we have an interesting easter egg as Nightshade remembers bringing down Fosnight for working for GORILLA GRODD back in the day. Fosnight believes whoever the killer is he must have a few screws loose. The Flash knows a way to get a profile on just the kind of man they are looking for.
At an outdoor restaurant Keefe is having a drink; he notices Dr Frost arrive with Barry as they sit at another table. She is helping Barry work out what type of person would become The Deadly Nightshade. As she goes through her notes Barry uses his speed to grab some breadsticks as he was very hungry. Unfortunately for him Keefe notices this and confronts both Barry and Dr Frost and just as he is about to reveal The Flash’s identity he is shot and killed by guess who? The Deadly Nightshade. Barry chases after him but is stopped by tiny spikes left in the road by the killer, talk about being prepared.
Kline calls The Deadly Nightshade a fascist terrorist and he is no better than the criminals he has killed. Curtis takes offense to this and proclaims that Kline will pay for his words. Barry finds out that the spikes came from a German weapons manufacturer but they won’t help him as their clients pay for privacy. Desmond remembered that Curtis had just come back from Germany and has the resources to pay for spikes and the privacy. Nightshade and The Flash break in to Curtis’ home. Before Nightshade makes it through the front door The Flash has already searched the place twice and found The Deadly Nightshade’s hideout. The Flash sees an exoskeleton on display and wonders what it is for (you’ll find out soon enough Flash). They find a cassette which informs them that the next victim will be Kline.
Once again Dr Frost is a guest on Kline’s talk show and they wonder what drives a man to become The Deadly Nightshade. He arrives and tells Kline that he is driven by his determination to cleanse the earth of criminal filth. The Flash runs in and puts Kline and Dr Frost out of harm’s way but he is shot in the leg and Deadly Nightshade gets away. Kline tries to unmask Flash but gets shot with a tranquilizer by the friendly Nightshade.
Garfield is going through old case notes from the 50s. He discovers that the former police captain knew the identity of Nightshade but would not turn him in as he was a major help to the city. Garfield finds a photo of Desmond in the file. Desmond patches up Barry’s leg in his office at the hospital. As Barry is about to leave Garfield arrives and arrests Desmond for murder. In his cell Desmond explains to Barry that he can’t tell Garfield the truth about Deadly Nightshade’s identity as that will inform the police that The Flash broke in to Curtis’ home to gain that information and he too would be in trouble with the law.
The Flash returns to Curtis’ home and learns that Curtis has also worked out that Desmond is the original Nightshade. Barry returns to the station to find that Curtis has broke Desmond out of his cell. Curtis tries to get Desmond to join his crusade but Desmond refuses and in turn is tied up. Desmond tries to reason with him but Curtis has totally lost the plot. He shows Desmond the exoskeleton that will help him defeat The Flash. As The Flash appears Curtis bats him away with ease, the exoskeleton has given him quick reactions and super strength. Curtis has an answer to anything The Flash throws at him. While Curtis is distracted Desmond cuts himself free and shots Curtis in the neck with a tranquilizer dart. Curtis passes out but the exoskeleton keeps moving and he crashes into a telephone booth.
The next day Barry visits Desmond who is now the most famous person in the city, he admitted to being the original Nightshade, he has had book and movie offers. Barry leaves his friend and meets his date for the night Dr Rebecca Frost.
Anytime we have Desmond Powell on The Flash we are guaranteed a great episode. Even though it was 45 minutes it felt like I was watching an epic movie. The only downside (and I have mentioned this before) was the lack of both Tina and Julio who were barely in this episode.
I must say I’m looking forward to the next instalment of The Flash as we will be meeting a very cool rogue indeed.