The police commissioner receives the Flash's uniform, along with a cassette tape. On the tape is a recorded message from the Flash, declaring his retirement from crime fighting. The commissioner asks police forensics scientist, Barry Allen, to authenticate the recording. Allen removes any doubt as to the authenticity of the recording. Meanwhile, the Golden Glider comes to grips with her newborn adoration of the Ringmaster, the new champion of Central City. Unbeknownst to the Ringmaster, he is also a pawn in the Golden Glider's latest revenge scheme against the Flash. More to the point, the Ringmaster was actually created by the Golden Glider.
The Golden Glider realizes that the man she selected to be the Ringmaster, Beau Baer, bears haunting similarities to the long dead love of her life, Roscoe Dillon, the notorious Top. Even the Ringmaster's costume design is reminiscent of the Top's. As part of her scheme to sow misery into the Flash's life, the Golden Glider had mesmerized the Flash's wife, Picture News reporter, Iris West, into falling in love with the Ringmaster. Now West had become a rival for the Golden Glider's own affections for Baer. To rid herself of West, the Golden Glider hits upon a scheme to manipulate Allen into murdering West.
Allen awakens to find an atomizer of perfume on his night table, with a note to his wife attached. Though he has no recollection of making the purchase, Allen chalks it up to the absent-mindedness he has been experiencing, since West walked out on him. Allen delivers the atomizer to West, at the Picture News offices. West is at a loss for words, upon receipt of the gift, but nonetheless holds true to her new love for Baer. Suddenly the atomizer explodes, incinerating West. Allen falls down to his knees in despair over his wife's death. West's co-workers contact the authorities, who arrest Allen for the murder of his wife.
In truth, Allen, moving faster than the eye could see, spirited West away to a safe haven, while leaving evidence of her "death" behind, then returned before anyone could notice that he had moved. The Ringmaster takes down two would-be bank robbers. After departing the scene, the Golden Glider appears in the Ringmaster's arms, dropping her screen of invisibility. As the Golden Glider had mesmerized the Ringmaster into loving West, his affections have now been hypnotically redirected to the Golden Glider. Allen fakes his death, in the manner he faked West's, and escapes from his jail cell. Before leaving police headquarters, Allen, running faster than the eye can see, collects his Flash uniform, and resumes his costumed identity.
Upon hearing the news of Allen's "death", the Golden Glider readies herself for her inevitable showdown with the Flash. West finds herself tied up, in the Flash Museum, watched over by the museum's curator, Dexter Myles. The ring which held hypnotic sway over West has slipped off her finger, restoring her feelings for Allen. To draw the Flash out, the Golden Glider envelops the Flash Museum in a giant emerald of pure force. One the Flash cannot penetrate. With the Flash distracted by the Golden Glider, the Ringmaster is able to snag the Flash with one of his special rings. As soon as the Flash attempts to vibrate his way free, the ring locks onto his molecular structure, stretching, and flattening the Flash out, until he fills the ring.
Using his booster rings to enhance his strength, the Ringmaster hurls the Flash out of the city. The Flash exercises his complete control over his body's molecular structure to bend the ring into a boomerang, which swings back into the Golden Glider, and the Ringmaster. The Flash dodges the Ringmaster's attack, then spins his former rival around, at great velocity, until centrifugal force has completely disarmed the Ringmaster. The Flash turns to confront the Golden Glider, only to find her frozen, encased in a block of ice. West has used Captain Cold's Cold Gun, taken from the Flash Museum, to end the threat of the Golden Glider.
The Flash announces the end of his retirement. Baer, finally back in command of his mental faculties, announces his retirement as the Ringmaster. Allen and West enjoy a long overdue, and very happy, reunion.