Most of The Flash’s spring break return was a slower build-up despite the introduction of a new speedster, but the final scene significantly advanced the season’s main story arc.
One thing I’ve always appreciated about the series was the heroes not taking too long to learn secrets the audience already knows. Wells wasn’t running around as Reverse Flash for multiple seasons before Barry and crew learned his identity and Zoom’s secret didn’t stay that way for long either. And Team Flash’s devastated reaction to learning their close ally Jay was the evil force they’ve been working to stop all along was heart wrenching, especially for poor Caitlin who just can’t catch a romantic break.
With the team hitting a creative wall on how to stop Zoom, Cisco decided everyone needed a much deserved night out. And Jesse and Wally even get invited to partake in Team Flash getting their dancing fool on. That scene was worth it enough for Cisco’s wild man on the dance floor bit. That’s pretty much exactly how I envisioned Cisco partying.
The partying doesn’t last too long as a speedster rips through the club and pickpockets everyone in the blink of an eye. While Barry was stunned to see the speedster outrun him, Central City Picture News editor Scott (Tone Bell) was ready to crucify Flash for turning on the city. Scott’s willingness to expose Flash as a fraud was partially explained by his sense of obligation to tell the truths people want to ignore, but it tossed him in the overreacting authority figure category. I’m not sure if the audience is supposed to like Scott, but this episode did a lot of damage on that front if that’s the case.
From the moment he was introduced it seemed pretty obvious that Scott was being set up as a new love interest for Iris. Organically delaying the inevitable Barry/Iris pairing is smart since that’s presumably the romantic end game for both. The stickier problem is Iris and Scott violating all kinds of HR policies and it just not being a good look for Iris to start dating her boss.
Jesse’s departure continued this odd habit of the writers putting the carrots up after they’ve caught it. We’ve seen this happen already with Henry, who almost immediately after a season and change spent getting him cleared of his charges headed out of town. Professor Stein also fled the show after multiple episodes were devoted to his separation from Ronnie. The writers definitely seem to lose interest once a character subplot is resolved. For them, the thrill is definitely in the hunt not exploring how these characters fit into the carefully constructed Team Flash dynamic.
With Jesse it seemed like such a missed opportunity since she would have more of a wide-eyed approach to exploring life on Earth-1 as opposed to her father. We got a glimpse of that kind of fun culture shock as Jesse was in disbelief after learning the woman she knew as Senator Knowles back on Earth-2 was pop icon Beyonce on Earth-1. And with the tease of some romantic interest between her and Wally quickly shelved there seemed to be a number of viable directions to take her character. Jesse and Iris could have bonded over having overprotective fathers.
The new speedster, Trajectory (Allison Paige) was an old colleague of Caitlin who figured out the Velocity 9 formula. Barry was understandably frustrated that for all of his training, others were doping to gain an unfair advantage. In the end, Barry decided running the good race without speed supplements was the best approach.
That proved to be the best decision as his third confrontation with Trajectory led to her overexerting herself and speeding away to nothingness in a stream of blue lightning.
While they could have been in denial what happened, it made so much more sense for Barry to progress the thought forward. Velocity 9 was a speedster killer that turned the speedster’s lightning stream blue, Jay used Velocity 9 so … Cisco vibed Jay’s helmet and confirmed what they all already suspected — Jay is Zoom and he wants Flash’s speed because Velocity 9 is killing him.
Not dragging that out was the right approach. I’m even more curious of the identity of the man in the iron mask though.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Although it wasn’t a major game changer, this was an important and entertaining episode to further unravel the mystery of Zoom for Team Flash.
Photo Credit: Katie Yu/The CW