The Flash: Versus Zoom review S2, Ep. 18

Yep, that’s exactly the way to come roaring back from a mini-break. It hadn’t been months, but in the weeks since last episode I’d almost forgotten what a great superhero TV show was supposed to look like. Fortunately, The Flash came zipping along to quickly remind me. And what a riveting, event-filled episode. We got origins, a new roommate, new powers and a pretty shocking ending.

Barry’s always been a step behind Zoom all season and with his powers actually gone now I’m legitimately at a loss for how Flash will be able to stop him.

Even in the best shows, you see an out for the hero to dig deep, uncover the villain’s weakness or appeal to some long forgotten shred of humanity for the good guy to win in the end. Barry and Team Flash did all that in this episode and still failed. This was a suspenseful, hope-crushing hour and the more formidable Zoom is portrayed the more satisfying Flash’s ultimate victory will be.

For most of the episode, Barry was trying to figure out how to boost his speed and then get to Earth-2 to beat Zoom. There was a segment early on that appeared to be the point where Flash crossed over into Supergirl’s universe though it was odd Barry didn’t bother mentioning it.

Barry’s convinced Cisco can tap into his powers and tap the breach to allow entry to Earth-2. I appreciated the writers’ restraint in not going with the obvious Star Wars reference when Cisco was in full raising the X-Wing mode via Empire Strikes Back and instead went with a more sophisticated Anakin Skywalker nod. Cisco’s worried he’d become like his evil doppelganger and become power mad when he starts tapping into different worlds. Barry reminds him he’s got the one thing Reverb never had — a family.

The Flash Versus Zoom recap - Cisco and Barry-minWhere Flash blows away most shows on TV is the relationships and bonds are significant making these pep talks meaningful and more than a little emotional. Joe and Wally’s mutual excitement about him moving in after months gently forming this connection made for a great payoff scene as did Wally actually calling Joe ‘Dad.’ That made the later developments even more important.

At this point in the second season, Iris slowly coming around on her feelings for Barry actually works. She’d been grieving Eddie practically all season and when she reached the point she felt ready to date again, naturally the ever reliable, steady and loving Barry makes a lot more sense than her editor. Last year I would’ve hated this development, but now Barry and Iris coming together feels right.

After an offhand remark from Caitlin, Wells shares Zoom’s origin. He was Earth-2’s Hunter Zolomon, who in a cruel twist from Barry’s fate, witnessed his father kill his mother and get sent to a life sentence in prison. Raised as an orphan, Zolomon went down a much darker path than Barry and became a serial killer.

Using that knowledge, Team Flash sprang a pretty solid trap to snare Zoom using pop-ups of his parents to distract him long enough for Flash to shackle him. The fight scene was spectacular.

You could forgive Barry for his overconfidence as his hatred of Zoom clearly was clouding his better judgment, which allowed Zoom enough of an opening to break his bonds and kidnap Wally. Zoom had a simple request: Wally for Flash’s speed.

The Flash Versus Zoom recap - Zoom with Wally -minI was hoping Team Flash would have some workaround other than simply giving the serial killing speedster a cure and all of Barry’s speed, but everyone stayed on the up and up. Seeing as how Zoom appeared to account for every contingency, the team probably figured it would be better to tackle him with a better plan rather than risking someone’s death. But negotiating with terrorists or super speedsters is probably not the best way to go.

Caitlin had to appeal to Zoom not to kill Barry and he whisked her away. But the bigger problem is with The Flash’s speed now gone, how can anyone stop Zoom?

Rating: 9.9 out of 10

The Flash roared back with a thrilling episode with great character moments, tremendous action and a hook to definitely leave fans anxiously awaiting next week’s show.

Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW 

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