The Flash reaches the point of no return in battling Zoom
While it wasn’t perfect, what The Flash’s second season finale lacked it more than made up with an epic blockbuster style conclusion crammed with all sorts of comic book goodness.
Red skies! Flash disintegrating to save the multiverse! The Race of his Life gave old school comic book fans a definite Crisis on Infinite Earths vibe.
With the reveal of his real identity, Zoom transformed from an unbeatable boogeyman style villain to a far more effective psycho. Pummeling Flash was one thing, but befriending and ultimately betraying Team Flash in his guise as Jay Garrick made him interesting.
Zoom’s special shot of crazy made him a different kind of villain from the cruel, vengeful Reverse Flash. Despite similar powers, the writers did a commendable job making Zoom and Reverse Flash feel like completely different style villains.
Picking up right after last week’s stunner concluded, Barry was wracked with grief before violently charging after Zoom. Gustin significantly raised his performance game up throughout the season and he reflected Barry teetering on crossing over to the Dark Side multiple times during the episode. While considering whether to kill Zoom, another Zoom arrived to kill his time remnant. Basically the time remnants are echoes the future version of Zoom goes back to the present to take its place.
At Henry Allen’s funeral. Barry was too emotional to deliver the eulogy. That or he was wondering where his friend Oliver Queen was. It’s not like Barry wasn’t there when one of Oliver’s close friend’s died earlier this year. Zoom taunts Barry again saying he’s not quite ready to face him and challenges him to a race to determine the fastest man alive.
Thankfully, Team Flash knows Zoom has more up his sleeve. Zoom has the Magnitar, a device that intensifies power. In Zoom’s hands, the device could trigger a pulse wave that could wipe out the multiverse. Recognizing that Barry’s emotions will get him killed, Team Flash puts him in an extended timeout sticking him in particle accelerator prison cell while they conceive a plan to take down Zoom. Instead of challenging Zoom’s powers, they hope to trap him using his affection for Caitlin and send him in a one-way portal to Earth-2 while they destroy the Magnitar.
It wasn’t a terrible plan, but not surprisingly it doesn’t quite work as planned as Joe gets sucked into the portal with Zoom. Here was my gripe though. Team Flash reluctantly agreed to honor Joe’s plan to not tamper with anything once Zoom was back on Earth-2 instead of actually letting Flash fix it. As well meaning as Joe was as he was willing to sacrifice himself to keep Barry safe this was an idiotic move. It was ridiculous to suggest that Iris while mildly disappointed, would ever sign off on not rescuing Joe. I was glad Wally came in basically like ‘y’all are crazy’ and promptly freed Barry.
Barry was still fired up until Caitlin reminded him she knew exactly what it felt like to watch a loved on die in front of her. That helped Barry focus long enough to come up with an actual plan. Zoom, meanwhile, was taunting Joe and revealed the identity of the man in the iron mask. Jay Garrick. Zoom’s world hopping brought him into contact with another speedster and he planned on adding another Flash to his collection when he beats Barry.
For the final showdown, Team Flash accompanies Barry, who immediately suggests they get out of dodge. Not happening Bar. In a great bit, Iris asks Barry to wait before he starts the race. Not to tell him ‘I love you’ as the cliche goes, but to tell him to kick Zoom’s a$$. The Magnitar setup looked pretty cool and had a big budget look for a glorified race track. An amazing looking one, but a race track nonetheless.
This sequence felt like such a comic book move. A race to decide the fate of the multiverse. As the red skies opened as Zoom gained the advantage, another Flash appeared. Barry learned the art of the time remnant! While Zoom battled Barry, the other Barry kept racing triggering a counter pulse. The effect disintegrated Barry — Crisis style — but the multiverse is safe.
Using his aggression to boost his fighting style, Barry has Zoom beaten. Barry doesn’t have to deliver the killing blow though since the Time Wraiths came for Zoom. They’d been gunning for Zoom for awhile, most recently shown during Barry’s own time travel stint that slightly affected reality. The wraiths immediately tore into Zoom so he resembled The Black Racer more in line with his comic book appearance.
Like most fans guessed, the genuine Jay Garrick was a doppelganger of Henry Allen, complete with classic Earth-2 Flash suit. Jay was actually an inhabitant of Earth-3 proving a nice twist on the Earth-3 is comprised of super villains while Earth-2 was the Golden Age heroes. If that is the case maybe that’s where the heroic doppelganger of Green Arrow’s dead ally resides? In a bit of a surprise, Wells decides to return to Earth-2 with Jesse. Oh Wells, we’ll miss your snarky attitude …maybe?
With the dust settled, Barry confesses to Iris that he’s broken and he can’t be with her right now. Delaying the Iris/Barry pairing for as long as possible is a necessary move and one that will keep that dynamic far better than Flash’s arrowed counterpart once he started dating his end game love interest.
Once Iris leaves, Barry runs off creating a portal to go back in time to stop Reverse Flash from killing his mother. I’m already reading complaints from viewers griping about Barry being selfish. The guy watched both his parents get killed by speedsters! Even if it’s not realistic, he’s going to do everything he can to stop it.
The Flash is actually going to do The Flashpoint Paradox! For non-comic book fans, that was the major DC event that basically threw everything out of wack because Barry wanted to save his mother from being killed. In the comic version, that led to an alternate reality where Bruce Wayne never became Batman, Aquaman and Wonder Woman were at war and Superman was a shell of his regular self. While fixing his mistake, Barry could only do so much resulting in the New 52, which restarted everything in DC.
The show’s take on Flashpoint could be fascinating as it could reset everything in the DC TV universe. It could put Supergirl in the same realm as Arrow, Flash, Atom, etc., Resurrect a ton of dead characters killed over the last three seasons in Arrow. Dramatically impact established relationships and maybe even manage to make Felicity cool again. The possibilities are really endless here and I’m very curious to see if the DC CW team fully takes advantage of this opportunity.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
A few questionable character decisions aside, this was a fantastic ending to Flash’s sophomore season. Now it’s time for Season 3 to hurry up and arrive.