ORIGINAL AIRDATE: 04.19.16
It’s Zoom versus Team Flash and they are TRYING to lose.
Okay. They kind of lost me with this one. Mainly because they did the usual thing: they made the hero behave as incompetently as possible. With every single decision. They also gave the villain every possible advantage. Zoom ends up with all the available speed, with NO consequences mind you (remember Trajectory?) And Barry ends up powerless.
Giving us some background on Zoom’s traumatic childhood was interesting. Watching one’s father blow one’s mother away would definitely scar you for life. They established clearly that Earth 1 Hunter Zolomon is just some dude in a park. Earth 2 Hunter Zolomon grew up to become a serial killer. So far so good.
But then they reinforced Barry’s number one weakness as a hero: hubris. Barry is without a doubt good-hearted. Just like Clark Kent however, there’s a part of him that believes he is judge, jury, and executioner. Barry can’t just allow people to live their lives. His reasoning last episode made sense, that Zoom was coming…but this week they undid that very plot point. They demonstrated that Zoom needed them to reopen the breaches. I was thinking that Hunter had a way to do so himself. That would justify Barry’s insistence that they get ready for his arrival. But not so. Meaning that if Barry had followed E2 Wells’ advice, it’s possible that Zoom would’ve been stuck where he was. Barry wouldn’t let it go.
I both like and dislike the tachyon enhancement device. I like that it makes Barry faster, but it feels like cheating on some level. Maybe that’s just me. Normally the hero doesn’t take shortcuts, especially not the exact same shortcut that the villain (Reverse-Flash) took. In the books, both Barry and Wally pushed themselves to learn more about the Speed Force; that’s what I would’ve preferred to see here. Also, I believe that the brief dimensional jump he experiences as he’s running back home is what bounced him into Supergirl’s world. Love Easter eggs!
Peeving those Pets Again
Also, another one of my favorite pet peeves is employed. It’s what I now call “The Kryptonian Clause.” Every single super-villain always gets instant mastery of his powers. Powers that it takes the hero decades to master. Every Kryptonian villain that comes to Earth is fully powered after just a few minutes under the yellow sun. They get instant knowledge of, and mastery over, every one of Superman’s powers. And they’re always more resourceful with them than Clark ever is. And Clark grew up here, he’s been bathing in the sun’s rays all of his life.
I CAN’T STAND IT.
If you remember, Barry was in a coma after being struck by lightning during the particle accelerator explosion for NINE MONTHS. And when he woke up, his speed was disconcerting to him. He needed help to figure out exactly what was going on. Hunter, after coming within moments of being electrocuted, just kind of bathes in the particle accelerator explosion. Then he immediately gets up, senses he can vibrate at super-speed, and smiles. Ugh. I CAN’T STAND IT.
Wells has become the Deus ex machina-dude of the show. Still fun to watch, but between he and Cisco, I no longer believe it when the team says “we don’t have the tech to do that.” Because they can modify any piece of equipment to do the impossible. They’ve now proven that too many times. So Barry pushes Cisco to do what everyone keeps telling them that they shouldn’t do. Cisco, on his second try mind you, opens and expands the breach. Aaaaaaaand of course Zoom is right there.
The Opposite of Strategy
What does Barry do once Zoom arrives? He immediately gives up his best tactical advantage. He demonstrates to Zoom that he is now much faster. That was idiotic. That’s why I love Batman. Batman never gives up information that would help the villain. That’s the advantage of not having powers, he has to think ahead. Barry’s plan was to psyche Zoom out, temporarily incapacitate him…and then answer all of his questions. I wish you could see me facepalming right now. He shouldn’t have showed Zoom that he was faster. He should’ve played like he was still running at the old speed to make Zoom overconfident. He should have answered precisely zero questions. And he most definitely shouldn’t have been pacing in front of Zoom like some cocky teenager that just won a street fight.
He should’ve immediately gotten Hunter into a speed-dampening prison (y’know LIKE THE ONES ZOOM HAS ON EARTH TWO). Barry should’ve kept his mouth shut, and have Wells figure out a way to transfer Hunter’s speed out of him. Boom. Done. But oh well. So Wally gets kidnapped, still doesn’t somehow figure out that Barry is the Flash, and these idiots actually go through with the exchange. Even though they all had the drop on Zoom.
Unless we’re going to see something new next week, Barry and Team Flash weren’t even smart enough to figure out how to do a double cross. Like Superman did in Superman II, trick the villains into thinking he was becoming powerless while he did it to them. You can’t convince me that Wells couldn’t have done that. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. (Also, was it just me or did Hunter make the funniest face when he gained Barry’s speed? Like he was on an acid trip or something.) And then Hunter’s explanation about his time remnant double or whatever? Junter clearly states he wasn’t fast enough to be in two places at the same time, but Reverse-Flash pulled off the speed mirage thing. Does that mean that Thawne is faster than Zoom? Or did Junter mean, he couldn’t be on two earths at the same time? The whole “agreeing to let me murder him” thing didn’t make a whole lot of sense either, I’ll probably need to watch it again to get a handle on what that meant. The man we knew as Jay was Earth 2 Hunter/Zoom all along, so Jay Garrick is a name he got from somewhere else. I’m betting that the original and actual Jay Garrick is the man in the iron mask.
Obi-Wan…There’s Good in him
Caitlin pulls a Padme and basically appeals to the good in Junter. This is a Star Wars theme we saw echoed earlier in Cisco’s reluctance to embrace more of his Vibey goodness. I bought it from Cisco (“I don’t wanna go to the Dark Side”). Didn’t buy it at all from Caitlin (“If you ever loved me, please come back from the Dark Side!”). And Zoom would have, and should have, killed them all right after he took Barry’s speed.
So, whatever…next week we’ll see Barry paying dearly for his hubris again. I have a sneaking suspicion that either E2 Wells or Killer Frost is going to save the day in the end. They’re the only characters on the show ruthless enough to realize what should be done with Hunter. And I do indeed want to see Earth 2 Wells “wipe that smug grin right off of (Hunter’s) face.”
-Wally moves in to Joe’s house. Heartwarming, but Joe shouldn’t have told him that he needed Barry to figure out that that’s what Wally wanted.
-They reinforced Barry and Iris as quasi-siblings as kids. That still feels creepy to me to imagine them getting romantic as adults given that background.
-Whenever Wally gets his powers, and Jesse too, it’s gonna feel like too soon.
-They killed Caitlin by having her support Iris’ feeling that Barry and Iris are endgame. “Destiny,” as Iris put it. And they showed Caitlin’s ongoing grief over her continual losses in the love department. I really thought that is was going to be a Lana/Chloe situation, where Caitlin was going to realize that she loved Barry too.
-As always, Wells is the only one in the episode that makes any sense. Joe always tells the truth. I love the veteran actors on this show.
-There’s some type of alluding to Black Flash, or something Dark Sided being inside of Hunter. That’s going to come out to bite Barry in the butt at some point too.
The Song of Team Flash
I could while away the hours
Conferrin’ with the flowers
Consultin’ with the rain
And my head I’d be scratchin’
While my thoughts were busy hatchin’
If I only had a brain
Seriously. You need to read the Flashpoint comic. Don’t settle for what the show is giving you.