Now that everyone is in on the revelation that the man we all thought was Jay Garrick is actually Zoom, the Flash is determined to stop him. Can Barry get back to Earth-Two, or what we think is Earth-Two? Will he be fast enough to stop Zoom? All this plus we learn the dark secret origin of Zoom, get ready for what could be the big Flash fight of the year. Meet me after the super speed jump for my thoughts on “Versus Zoom.”
Just wondering, does it bug anyone else that almost every episode of “The Flash” opens with Barry’s narrative saying he’s “the fastest man alive” and he always seems to be facing off against someone faster than he is? Just asking. So we have Barry testing the tachyon device to run from Keystone City to Central to see how fast he can go, and it’s a surprising trip.
Halfway through, the Flash blips out of existence and then pops back in. When he gets back to S.T.A.R. Labs scant moments after he left Keystone, he’s startled, and wants to know how long he’s been gone. In between learning that he was as fast as Zoom and that Wells won’t help the team get back to Earth-Two, we the viewers know that Barry visited Supergirl, but for some reason, no one wants to mention it. Hmmm…
Nature vs. Nurture
We open on more Barry narrative, tracing his own childhood tragedy and thanking the upbringing he had in the West household as saving him from any damaging trauma from that event. Then we switch scenes to Earth-Two and we watch Hunter Zolomon as a child witness his father, just back from a war, abuse and murder his mother. Clinging to his father’s helmet (almost a replica of Jay’s sans the wings) Hunter goes to Central City Orphanage.
As we find out later from Harry, the Hunter Zolomon of Earth-Two is that world’s most dangerous serial killer, turned by the particle accelerator explosion into the unstoppable monster known as Zoom. With twenty-three counts of murder under his belt already before super speed, can the Flash stop him?
Harry Wells has absolutely refused to help the rest of Team Flash get back to Earth-Two, or at least what we think is Earth-Two, so Barry has to find another way. He thinks that way might be Cisco. His doppelgänger Reverb had many powers that Cisco has yet to experience, but Barry thinks one of them might be manipulating multiversal energy. If Reverb could open breaches with his powers, maybe Cisco can too.
Barry and Cisco find the place with the most residual trans-dimensional energy, and it’s an abandoned children’s hospital. Ironically in the comics, Barry first crossed over to Earth-Two, in the classic “Flash of Two Worlds,” from a children’s charity event. At Joe’s request, Wells does help, amping Vibe’s powers with new shades. A portal starts to open, but then he closes it.
As it turns out, Cisco was scared, not of Zoom, but of what it means to have powers. He parallels to Anakin Skywalker quite eloquently but eventually relents and opens the breach. I think it’s much deeper though. Once Cisco becomes Vibe, he may lose the charm he has as Cisco, and I don’t think any of us want that.
Flash Facts with Soap
As the Flash world turns, the subplots proliferate. Joe and Harry get together to discuss how to protect their kids. Wally moves in with the Wests, which will make keeping Barry’s secret identity secret – but then again, isn’t Wally the only one who doesn’t know, yet?
And then there’s Iris. She’s hanging out at S.T.A.R. Labs like a groupie and breaking dates with her cute editor Scott. She confides in Caitlin, who is also looking for stuff to do in the background, that she keeps thinking how she’s with Barry on Earth-Two and she’s with Barry in the future -why fight destiny? It is a love that transcends time and space, life and death, but it’s going to suck if Iris just settles…
I loved the bit with the children’s hospital. Another Flash fact might be that apparently they have better pizza in Keystone City, and I’m just guessing because of its blue collar population and iron industry, but I bet they have good beer too.
Back to the action, once the breach is opened, Barry lures Zoom through and the race begins, eventually ending at S.T.A.R. Labs where Team Flash seeks to use Hunter Zolomon’s past against him. Cardboard stand-ups of his parents disorient and make the villain hesitate. Surely he must realize what they’re up to, right? Not soon enough.
Once Zoom is shackled and unable to run, and both hero and villain are unmasked, Barry does an odd thing. He does the James Bond villain thing, telling Zoom how they stopped him. Just when it appears they are going to talk each other to death, Zoom escapes… right after threatening Barry’s family and friends. When will Barry stop making these mistakes?? This is just like when he wouldn’t listen to anyone when he went back in time last episode.
Your Speed for Wally
Yeah, you guessed it, Zoom hits the West home, and the only one home, the only one out of the Team Flash loop, is Wally. When the good guys arrive, they find the house trashed, Wally gone, and the message, “Your speed for Wally,” on the wall. Zoom returned to his Earth and imprisoned Wally across from the tapping man, the man in the iron mask. Could they be doppelgängers?
The Flash makes the deal, but the transfer of speed needs Wells to calibrate the tech. While that’s done, believe it or not, Zoom does the Bond villain thing. Maddening. Less talk, more action – show, don’t tell! Maybe if there had been less talk, they could have wrapped this up by the end of the episode… but they didn’t.
To Be Continued
Wally is free, and quite possibly putting two and two together about his family and the Flash. And also, if my guess is correct about who the tapping man is, was that Wally, or the tapping man? So now that Barry is speedless, and Zoom is on the loose with Caitlin in tow, what happens next? Did Jay care for Caitlin? Or perhaps he cared for Killer Frost? I guess we’ll have to wait and see…
Next: Back to Normal, and the Griffin!