The answers we’ve been waiting for as to the truth behind Zoom’s identity, Jay Garrick and Hunter Zolomon, finally arrive this week as The Flash takes the fight directly to him. It uhh, kind of ended up being a mistake on their part.
Opening with a flashback of Earth-2’s Hunter Zolomon, a boy the same age Barry was when his mother was killed, watching his father come home and assault his own mother before killing her. Rather than having the kindly Joe West to take him in and care for him, Hunter finding himself in a cold, dreary orphanage pretty much cemented his fate as being a future serial killer. That’s just what happens in TV shows. Even though Barry Allen had a doppelganger on Earth-2, Zoom is actually The Flash’s doppelganger. Having Barry be the foil to Hunter was a sentiment carried over to Cisco’s internal conflict about embracing his role as Vibe. He viewed embracing his powers as a gateway to the Dark Side of the Speed Force. While this conflict is a neat dillemma for Cisco to face, it’s extremely reminiscent of his hesitation to use his powers from the start, as they were given to him by Eobard Thawne. Perhaps one of these years Cisco will be able to actually do some badass hero stuff.
Wally moving off campus and needing a place to stay, eventually settling with Joe served the purpose of giving Wally something to do this week, but also setting up his kidnapping later on. What I’m confused by, is how Zoom was able to return to Earth-2 with Wally. Did the breach just stay open for good after Cisco did his Vibe-thing on it? Because earlier Zoom wasn’t able to get through once he stopped. This was a small inconsistency, that seemed to exist only to remind us of the Masked Man (that and Barry asking the same question.)
Things were actually looking up for Team Flash, with Barry faster than ever before, even accidentally warping space when running with the Tachyon prototype. Him going “I’m back, how long was I gone?” was clearly when he visited Supergirl’s Earth. Then they threw it all away by taking the fight to Zoom. Honestly, they had things under control. Barry had proved his speed, and he was able to best Zoom one-on-one, so after he got Wally to safety, why were they just standing around going through with extorting Barry’s speed? Did none of them think of some sort of backup plan? Slap the Speed Force draining device onto Zoom and then chase after him, make him defeat himself? It just feels like, for the second time in this season alone, the STAR Labs crew went toe-to-toe with Zoom despite having no plan whatsoever other than OUT-FAST HIM.
Now it’s just about how Batty will get his speed back, because come on now. With Zoom faster than ever and the breach evidently open for good, it seems likely things will be coming to a head; and the identity of the Masked Man will be key. My bet is on Earth-2’s Eobard Thawne, and the two will need to work together to sabotage Zoom.
For my review of the previous episode of The Flash, “Flash Back,” click here.