The Flash: Versus Zoom

"You can't lock up the darkness."

Harrison Wells, Earth-2, invents a tachyon accelerator which increases Barry's speed enough to make the Flash want a rematch with Zoom–a decision which divides the team.

One thing I don't like about some scifi or horror series. There's almost always a point when a villain moves from offstage to center stage where they often lose their mystique and terror and become kind of ridiculous. Initially, when they're a big fat question mark? Terror. Under the spotlight they just don't scare anymore. The Leviathans from Supernatural sort of come to mind, or Adam from Season 4 of Buffy, or the villains in several Stephen King movies.

I'm happy to say that isn't happening for me with Zoom. For whatever reason, even though we now know his identity, even if we have a glimpse into the history which produced Zoom, he still fills me with dread. He's a megalomaniacal Barry- and Caitlin- and Cisco-level genius. With or without the mask. The Gothic family drama underlying his childhood and upbringing just highlights the whole deal. He even notes it during this episode: he's like Barry's dark reflection from another world.

What I juggled with is Barry's thinking and morality this episode. While I get his emphasis on trying to stop Zoom, why now? Why fight him? Why not just wait till the disease, whatever it is, runs its course, and Zoom explodes into blue lightning? Instead Barry pushes and pushes Cisco to jump up to this whole new level of power. I mean, the dude is creating holes between universes with a pair of glasses! And Barry's totally driven him there, but he's also let a powerful enemy into Central City who seems rough, terrifying and unstoppable. I thought the plan to 'capture' Zoom was kind of arrogant. Did Barry really have to sit around having a conversation? And does anyone here wonder if one of the cells in STAR Labs could have held Zoom?


I guess it's like Joe himself says, you can't stop Barry. I absolutely loved that moment when he laughed at Wells, earlier in the episode. Barry's determined to prevent any more deaths or harm to his friends and family. But being new to these powers he's having to learn to use them. The learning curve means he's coming across heavy handed. Or at least that's my interpretation: but whatever the truth is, it's sometimes easier, as Wells learns, to work with Barry than through him, because of that heavy-handedness. In this episode Barry's mistakes led to him losing Wally, Caitlin, and his own speed force, to Zoom: and all this despite the power of a tachyon thingy which made Barry faster but didn't really help, or wasn't really used, or something. What's going to happen to the world now, with a depowered Flash?

Flashpoints

Iris finally looking into her feelings for Barry actually felt like a breath of fresh air this episode. But I can't help but feel this is problematic, too. Isn't she supposed to be loving Barry because she loves him and likes him and what he does, not because someone said they were going to be married in the future or the other world?

Wally West finally felt like a natural part of this episode. Joe's laughter at Wells' frustration was rivaled only by Wally's smile at being invited to move in. I've wondered what Wally has felt like, going to college while being essentially alone after his mother's death. Barry pushed Joe to open those arms, and I'm very glad he did.

I think it's obvious Barry had his Supergirl crossover this episode when he tried out the tachyon device, but am surprised he didn't seem to mention his experiences.

I miss the episodes where Barry runs around saving the people of the city. We need more of that. It grounds the whole show.

Flashcards

Barry: Cisco, I think the way back to Earth-2 is through you.

Cisco: It's like right now I'm Anakin Skywalker. I got the midi-chlorians. I've got the goods. The force is strong with me. That is something I can feel. But if I start opening breaches into other worlds, doing all this other crazy stuff Reverb was doing, then... what if this how I become Vader?
Barry: Dude, you're never going to become Vader.

Joe (waving fancy gun): How do you use this?
Wells: All right, so you aim it, and then you pull the trigger.
Joe: Smart ass.

Overall

The fighting and chasing were great, but I felt unhappy with this episode when it was done. Two out of four fashionable tachyon accelerators.

3 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Jay is a terrific villain. He's shuddery. The Darth Vader discussion made me laugh, but I really did get why Cisco was afraid because I could see him as evil, and I didn't like it.

Lydia said...

I screamed with excitement when Cisco mentioned Anakin Skywalker and his descent into darkness that led him to become my favorite metal trash can. Caitlyn's bullshit "I know a part of you cared about me" speech made me roll my eyes on multiple occasions. I hate how bland the character has become, its like they leeched her of all good qualities and left her this typical girl whose whole life revolves around the men she gets involved with. Bleh. Iris and Barry are ick ick ick to me. It's the one thing I CONSTANTLY loathe about the flash. The predictable setup and following drama that comes with Iris/Barry is soooo snoozeworthy, they're much better off as 'siblings' than as 'destined lovers'.

J.D. Balthazar said...

While I really liked the episode, and the background on Hunter/Jay/Zoom, I kept thinking there was something wrong with everything our heroes were doing. Namely, Barry went to National City during his first test of the tachyon device and never mentioned it to his team. He traveled between dimensions on his own, using just speed, and he failed to mention that to anyone, even Cisco.

While it is true is kind of blew out the device when he visited Supergirl and required a boost to get back, he wasn't trapped. He had the means at his disposal. Plus, apparently times moves differently on Supergirl's world because he spent days there and no time passed on Earth-1.

Moving on. I'm really looking forward to the reveal of the man behind the mask. My bet is that he is the real Jay Garrick, imprisoned by Zoom. The first one that Zoom stole the speed force from. Then he stole his identity and played the part of the hero. He's really evil, actually more evil than Eobard Thawne ever was.

Good episode, and great review!