Welcome to this week’s Flashback, for Season 2, Episode 6, “Enter Zoom”! As promised by the title, we finally got a real, close look at this season’s Big Bad, and boy, was it ugly. (The fight between Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Zoom, I mean, although Zoom is pretty gnarly looking, too.)
Having captured Earth-2 villain Dr. Light (Malese Jow) in last week’s episode, “The Darkness and the Light”, Barry attempts to persuade her to help him lure Zoom to Earth-1. She grudgingly agrees, and even tells Barry how she is supposed to contact Zoom and tell him that her mission to kill The Flash was successful. Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Earth-2’s Dr. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) come up with an idea for a weapon that will slow down Zoom so that Barry can capture him, and the team begins preparing their trap. However, Dr. Light uses a heretofore-unknown aspect of her powers to turn invisible and escape her cell in the Pipeline after fooling Cisco into thinking it is already empty. Since apparently, this ability only affects her and not her clothes, she is forced to leave her costume behind. This gives Barry an idea, to use her Earth-1 counterpart, his ex-girlfriend Linda Park, as a fake Dr. Light, and still lure Zoom.
Linda’s targeting skills with the mock light-powered gloves Cisco put together, combined with her nerves and wooden acting skills, leave the team in considerable doubt that she can pull off the ruse. Barry has faith in her, however, and as a show of his esteem, decides to reveal his secret identity to her to boost her confidence. The team moves forward with their plan, with Barry and Linda staging a mock battle near one of the cross-dimensional portals, while Wells and Joe West (Jesse L. Williams) wait with their special tranquilizer guns to shoot Zoom while he is distracted. As Dr. Light specified, once she has “killed” The Flash, Linda tears the emblem from his chest and throws it into the portal. However, after an hour passes, it becomes clear that Zoom did not fall for the bait. The team gives up and returns to S.T.A.R. Labs, while Iris (Candice Patton) consoles Linda.
As Linda heads home, however, she is intercepted by Zoom, who kidnaps her and uses her to lure The Flash outside to do battle. Despite some clever tricks on Barry’s part, he gets soundly thrashed. Wells attempts to hit Zoom with the tranquilizer, but Zoom catches the dart and jabs it into Barry, instead. Zoom drags Barry’s nearly-lifeless body through Central City, parading his triumph before the newspaper, the police, and finally back into S.T.A.R. Labs. Within the lab, Cisco does manage to get the drop on him and hit him with a tranq dart, but it is only enough to get him to drop Barry’s limp form and escape.
Barry comes to in the lab’s medical bay after far too long (especially for the comfort of Dr. Caitlyn Snow (Danielle Panabaker)), and it initially appears that he will be OK, before he drops the bomb on them: he can’t feel his legs.
Some other small plot points:
- Cisco gets a “vibe” off of Wells, and sees Wells’ daughter, Jessie “Quick” Wells (Violet Beane), held prisoner by Zoom.
- Joe freezes his partner (and Barry’s new girlfriend) Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten) out of the Dr. Light case, causing some tension.
- During their big battle, Zoom actually catches one of Barry’s lightning bolts and throws it back at him.
So, what did I think of this episode? Overall, I thought it was more cohesive and better paced than several of this season’s earlier episodes. My other observations/questions:
- I may have mentioned this before, but if Zoom is a product of Earth-2, and Earth-2’s Flash (Jay Garrick, played by Teddy Sears) looks nothing like Earth-1’s version, why is Zoom’s costume a detail-for-detail copy of Barry’s? (Only with a reversed chest emblem, as with The Reverse Flash last season.) Is this a clue as to his true origin, or just a case of not-very-careful costume design?
- I expect we’ll be hearing from Dr. Light again this season.
- How long will it be before Barry regains the use of his legs, and will Jay somehow regain his super-speed along the way?
- Will we see Jessie Quick as a speedster at some point, or was this just an easter egg?
- The dynamic between Barry and Patty continues to improve. I suspect part of that is due to the writers’ gradual abandonment of making her a Felicity Smoak clone.
Until next week, fellow speedsters!
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