Somehow managing to balance complicated time travel, alternate realities and super villain origins, this week’s episode was eventful and a lot of fun thanks to the return of the most dangerous Rogue of them all.
It was interesting seeing Team Flash react to this menace who dramatically impacted their lives, but it was equally fascinating watching them set in motion the future(?)/past (?) problems as a result of their interaction with Eobard Thawne.
Although this was still a relatively inexperienced Reverse Flash, it was satisfying watching Flash finally get the better of him in a race/fight. Even better, it was all accomplished without diminishing the very real threat of the Reverse Flash we saw plague our heroes last season. [The Flash: Season 1 [Blu-ray]
I was somewhat concerned that in a season with Zoom already running around that Reverse Flash’s re-emergence on the scene would be villain overkill. While Zoom doesn’t seem nearly as preoccupied with killing Flash as he’d been earlier in the season, his threat is always looming even when Flash faces his most personal Rogue.
This episode seemed to mark a turning point in the trusting Harry subplot. While initially it appeared he was manipulating the events somehow, Wells seemed legitimately frazzled and concerned for Cisco, who’d vibed too long in tracking Reverse Flash. Given the right amount of focus and some new tech from Wells, Cisco can even see into the future — I’m somewhat disappointed Cisco didn’t make the obvious Empire Strikes Back reference here — but his seizure attack helped explain why that won’t be a go to strategy the rest of the season.
Equally intriguing for comic fans was the debut of Hunter Zolomon, who Jay shared with Caitlin is the Earth-1 version of Jay Garrick under a name given by his foster parents. In the comics, Zolomon is an ally to Wally West only to become increasingly erratic after being paralyzed by Gorilla Grodd en route to becoming … Zoom. This adds one more potential suspect to the Zoom identity candidate list. Not this Zolomon, but the Earth-2 version. Yes, it’s confusing when you think about it, but it’s fun coming up with all these theories.
Where the show continually outpaces its comic book peers is the secondary character subplots. Watching Iris and Wally bond over their dying mother is actually interesting and not fast-forward fodder.
Candice Patton has been taking diligent notes from co-star Jesse L. Martin as her performances during these emotional scenes hit the same nerves we typically expect in the Joe scenes. The writers have patiently developed adding Wally to the Joe/Iris dynamic and have shown great restraint in not rushing to make Barry and Wally best buds and eventual superhero partners.
It was somewhat frustrating to see Barry brush off the relationship lifeline Patty extended provided he tell her what she’d already deducted — that he’s the Flash.
Thanks to the future newspaper “spoiling” everything, we know Iris and Barry will be together, but it still felt way too soon to end the Patty/Barry pairing.
Not that a love interest is essential for the show considering Barry’s extended family, but Patty was arguably more beneficial to the show as she was a relationship outside of his Team Flash circle. Yet losing Patty should prove helpful in the long run for Barry as he now comprehends losing someone he loves for the sake of being The Flash.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Reverse Flash’s appearance served to remind why he’s the preeminent villain in the series and the levels Zoom will need to reach to become a truly memorable Flash season long threat.