With a lazily thought up title like Enter Zoom, I wasn’t expecting much out of this episode. I was expecting Zoom to finally reveal himself to Barry and we’d see five minutes of yellow and blue lines flying all over the screen. Well, that is pretty much what happened… but it was way cooler than I had ever dared imagine. This weeks episode of The Flash was probably one of the coolest damn episodes there has been so far. Zoom always seemed like a repeat villain to me until now. I thought he was just the same as Reverse Flash (and in a way he is Reverse Flash again) but the glowing red eyes of Eobard Thawne weren’t even a fraction as frightening as what Zoom brings to the table. This week… was electrifying!
Warning: SPOILERS will follow!
1. I have to start off with the weakest part of the episode as usual. I don’t want to “fan boy out” just yet. The Linda Park/Dr. Light portion of this episode seemed like filler in hindsight. The first part of this episode was a direct continuation of last episodes Dr. Light storyline, which was a bit odd as it’s been a while since we’ve had two episodes that melded into each other so smoothly. Usually there is a new “bad guy of the week” that shows up, mixing the story up in a fresh way, but this week that bad guy didn’t show up until the last ten minutes. The Linda Park story was funny at times sure, especially during the training montage, but they spent a lot of time on it. I didn’t get why they had to pull off the whole sing and dance in front of a portal to Earth-2. Zoom obviously can’t see through the portals if he told Dr. Light to throw proof back through. Why do that if he can just see the proof? I also didn’t like that Barry had to reveal his secret identity to Linda just to make her brave enough to do it. The only person in the show who doesn’t know Barry is The Flash is Patty. Also, no one caring that there was a naked Earth-2 Linda Park running around Central City was far fetched. I know they said one line dismissing her as non-important, but I felt it was a bit crazy to just let her run loose after Cisco let her escape.
2. Patty had a really good arc this episode. Last week we got the sweet girl on a date Patty Spivot and this week we got the detective back for a bit. While it was fun watching her try and figure out why Joe is keeping things from her, I liked that we actually got scenes of her just being an independent character i.e. showing her friends the cat video on her phone. Her life doesn’t revolve around The Flash or Barry just yet and it’s nice to see. I thought Joe was doing a pretty bad job at keeping his secrets from Patty in a way that doesn’t seem suspicious. We know Patty is keen and can spot when people are lying, so I don’t think Joe fooled her one bit. We did get one small #PattyBarry scene after the cat video stuff. You all can guess how I felt during that. Keep it coming writers. Finally, Patty got to see Zoom up close when he went to gloat in the police station. She got to see up close the power a true meta-villain has. I am excited to see how she reacts to that scene.
3. One of the better storylines during this episode was when they showed Cisco trying to “vibe” Harry Wells to see what he’s hiding. Not only did we get some hilarious scenes involving Cisco and his awkward attempts to touch Harry, but we got some reveals from Harry’s reactions. I feel like the way Harry has been acting around Cisco has to mean that there is a Vibe in Earth-2 as well. I would assume that Earth-2 Cisco is much more adept at his powers, because Harry knew exactly what Cisco was trying to do and though he had seen something just from a quick touch. Well, when Cisco did manage to see something, that was the only time Harry didn’t seem to think Cisco had seen anything. It turned out that Cisco saw Jesse alive and relayed his vision to Harry, and we found out that Harry hadn’t know if Jesse was still alive or not. I really hope this changes Harry’s mood just slightly now that he knows his daughter is still alive. I like the new version of Wells better than the last one, but he needs to be slightly less cold and hostile for me to really start to love his character. Also, I loved the Harry flashback where we hear that Robert Queen is the Star City vigilante.
4. Barry has been acting a bit differently this season and we finally get to hear why during this episode. Finally, after all of this hype about Barry being able to beat Zoom, did Joe straight out say something like “After all [Reverse Flash] did to you, you weren’t the one that stopped him… Eddie got him in the end.” That’s what I’ve been saying this whole season! Barry would have lost the fight against Reverse Flash if it hadn’t been for Eddie, and it sounds like Zoom is even faster than Thawne was, so why does everything think it’s smart to lure Zoom to Earth-Prime? I like that they brought this back up now though, because it gives us Barry’s excuse for being slightly moodier this season than last. He never actually felt like he got revenge for his mother’s death. Eobard Thawne won in the end. Barry couldn’t save his mom and he feels like Zoom is his second chance at beating a Reverse Flash. Although, I feel like Barry took evil Wells’ word that he was unhappy in the future a bit too seriously. All villains are going to try and mess with the heroes mentally and Wells did that very well.
5. ZOOM! I get why they’ve let us see a few glimpses of Zoom now throughout the first five episodes of this season… because he’s way more than he seems. We all thought he was just another Reverse Flash. That he was just as fast as Barry. And oh no how will he beat him this time? No. Zoom is a hell of a lot more powerful than any speedster we’ve seen before. If you watch the last bits of this episode carefully, Zoom isn’t even breaking a sweat. He let Barry throw the first punch… or thunderbolt and damn it all he caught it and threw it right back! When this happened I literally yelled “Oh Shit!” while making a laughing sound that my dad usually makes while watching one of the Bourne movies. I don’t think there has been an episode of The Flash that has made me do that. I’ve yelled “Grodd!” a couple times, but just an involuntary expletive do to what was happening on screen… not this show. What follows that thunderbolt throw was a few sad attempts to stick Zoom with a dart that would slow him down to what I assume is Barry’s level of speed. While Barry had a great idea of running way up in the air and trying to stick Zoom on the way down, he didn’t even manage to try while falling back to the ground. In the end Zoom literally breaks Barry’s back and sticks him full of the darts meant for him, making it easy for Zoom to parade Barry around Central City by the neck showing the news office and the police station what he did to The Flash. This gave us insight into how Zoom has been getting away with his terror in Earth-2. When he does this kind of stuff to scare the living hell out of anyone willing to oppose him, I can totally see why Jay isn’t able to stop him. In the end, Zoom rips off The Flash’s mask revealing Barry, chiding Harry for his plan to try and stop him. While he’s grandstanding and trying to give his evil monologue before killing Barry, Cisco manages to nail Zoom with a dart, causing Zoom to speed off. Reverse Flash was nothing compared to Zoom. I can’t wait for round 2.
We end the episode with Barry being paralyzed from the waist down. This wasn’t at all a surprise due to the loud, disgusting crunch you hear when Zoom punches Barry in the back. This reminded a lot of people of Batman getting his back broken by Bane, but I got a huge flashback to the episodes of Spider-Man the Animated series when Venom first appears. He also tries to show off how bad he beat Spidey to the media, and he dispatched the hero with ease there as well. This episode was terrifying and awesome all at the same time. While the Linda Park stuff was a bit slow, they set up a lot of things for the future. Linda now knows Barry’s secret, and Dr. Light is still out there somewhere. Will she come back? Is she even a threat without her gear? I mean she can make herself invisible so who knows. I could see her being a reoccurring rogue down the line. How will Barry hide his paralysis from Patty? Faking blind is one thing, but faking being able to walk? Not even Cisco can help him pull that off! Finally, how will Zoom react to Harry being in Earth-Prime? Did he know? I feel like he’s going to take his anger out on Jesse if he didn’t know. Either way, I hope for Barry’s sake that the serum they shot Zoom with permanently slows him down, because after this episode I have no clue how Barry will stop this monster.
In the competition between The Flash and Arrow this week, again I couldn’t choose one over the other. While Zoom was terrifying and incredible to witness, he was in less than ten minutes of the episode. Being a huge Olicity nerd and with Arrow‘s incredibly refreshing levity this week, I have to give both shows half a point. For my review on this weeks Arrow, check out my Arrow Re-Nocked column here!