Reinforcing the obvious, The Flash is a far superior show when its focused on Barry Allen’s exploits instead of being used as a DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
Tonight’s episode was packed with so much heart, humor, action and major story developments it was hard to believe so much happened in an hour.
With Dr. Light caught, Barry was debriefing her in the STAR Labs prison for some leads on facing Zoom. Joe, Cisco and Caitlin don’t think trusting her is the best idea while Harry has a weapon that can neutralize Zoom’s speed if they can ambush him.
This current Team Flash dynamic is fascinating as we have Barry’s heroic slanted perspective as well as the Joe/Cisco/Caitlin faction frequently at odds with Harry. At various points in the episode, I found my allegiance shifting. Barry has the right idea, but he’s trying to rush off to Cloud City to face Zoom before completing his training.
But first, there’s the matter of Dr. Light, who tricks Cisco with the old using her light powers to make herself invisible and getting naked long enough to escape the cell and make a break for it. Cisco disappointed me a bit falling for such an obvious trap considering he’s more of the outside the box thinker than Caitlin.
With one Dr. Light vanished, Barry and Iris have an eager Linda do a little role play and pretend to kill Flash. Linda’s training sequence was one of the genuinely funniest moments of the series. While I’ve complained a lot about secondary heroes hogging the spotlight, this supervillain 101 crash course sequence perfectly encapsulated what sets “The Flash” apart from its fellow TV comic book based shows.
Determined to learn what Harry is withholding, Cisco repeatedly attempts to vibe him. On the third try, Cisco sees Zoom threatening Harry’s daughter, Jesse (Violett Beane). Comic fans know she’ll eventually become Jesse Quick, but sadly that means the show won’t have a Johnny Quick and Liberty Belle. At least Earth 2 will have one more hero.
Side note: it was pretty cool hearing the Earth 2 Arrow was Robert Queen and not his son, Oliver. Those are the kinds of fun changes that make me hopeful for an entire Earth 2 episode at some point this season.
I get why Barry unmasked to Linda, he was asking a lot of her and the show runners clearly have no great love for the whole secret identity concept, but I’d still prefer he not tell everyone he’s The Flash. It’s now kinda silly that Patty is the only semi-regular character that doesn’t know Barry is The Flash and they’re dating.
As always, the Barry/Joe segment was a highlight with Joe questioning if Barry has some misplaced sense of responsibility for taking down Zoom since Eddie had to take down Reverse Flash. Team Flash doesn’t just provide support and a ton of laughs, but necessary accountability for Barry.
Zoom doesn’t bite on the “fight,” which was so bad Cisco says he needs to write better dialogue for next time. With the trap not sprung, Team Flash splits off. Barry finally stops messing around and emphatically declares his interest with Patty followed by a long makeout session. Good for Barry and better for the writers in not sticking with the script and trying to force a romance at this point with Barry and Iris.
I wasn’t paying close attention to the clock when Zoom grabbed Linda so I figured that marked an ideal cliffhanger point for next week’s show. Not so fast as we didn’t have to wait any longer for the first Flash/Zoom conflict. And this wasn’t even a contest.
In a excessively cool move, Barry went for the Thunderbolt move Jay taught him, but Zoom snagged it in mid-air and tossed it back at Barry. That was just the beginning. Zoom proceeded to pummel Barry. After beating him down, Zoom paraded Barry’s limp body around to Iris and Linda’s newspaper office, the police station and Star Labs.
Cisco manages to stick Zoom with one of the speed dampeners, but Zoom escapes. As they lick their wounds, Barry is laid up in the STAR Labs hospital only to realize he can’t feel his legs. You didn’t see that one coming?
Barry needed Firestorm and Arrow to beat Reverse Flash, but based on this initial match-up, Barry’s gonna need Green Arrow, Firestorm, Black Canary, Speedy, Diggle, Vibe, Jay Garrick, Jessie Quick, Hawkgirl, Hawkman, Constantine, Atom and Supergirl to stand a chance.
Rating: 9.8 out of 10
The trailers somewhat spoiled the Barry/Dr. Light twist, but it didn’t matter as this was one of the strongest episodes of the series perfectly balancing the lighthearted tone with the serious threat of Season 2’s main villain.
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