Last time out, the Flash time travelled to his own past and messed a whole bunch of stuff up. It would seem that the show is just trying to ignore the ramifications of Barry’s time meddling as no reference is made in this week’s episode to the fact that Hartley Rathaway is now a reformed villain or that the Time Wraith could still be lurking at any moment.
Temporal paradoxes mean nothing this week however, there are more important things to deal with. The title of the episode tells you that much, “The Flash versus Zoom”!
Here’s our recap and review!
We finally get an explanation as to where Zoom came from. The full explanation gets a little complicated so for now lets begin with the parallels between Barry Allen and Hunter Zolomon’s early life.
We get a flashback to Barry’s mother death and him being taken in by the West family following the tragedy. We’ve seen this all before, but what we haven’t seen is a young Hunter Zolomon.
We shift to Earth-2 and see that young Hunter was forced to watch his father kill his mother. After this his dad goes to prison and Hunter gets sent to an orphanage. A very similar origin to Barry but with a twist! Not a good childhood for Hunter. More of what happened next later!
Back on Earth-1 Team Flash have developed a Tachyon Device which Barry has attached to his chest and they begin testing just outside Keystone City (another DC Comics location). The device works perfectly, it allows Barry to run up to four times faster than ever, which makes him faster than Zoom!
Pushing himself to run faster we see Barry open a portal and travel through it only to appear a second later on the same road. He arrives at S.T.A.R. Labs and asks how long he’s been gone, clearly indicating that he must have time travelled or dimension slipped? Possibly to a certain National City?
Confident he can now take on Zoom, Barry wants the device to be smaller and wants to open a breach to go after Zoom. Wells refuses to help him because it would put Jesse and this Earth at risk and he is not willing to let that happen. He also explains that they currently have now way of re-opening the breaches so it doesn’t matter what Barry wants.
Caitlin and Cisco have had no luck working out a way to open a breach but Barry gets a Eureka moment and realises that Cisco’s ‘vibe’ powers must have some Multiverse manipulation properties, which explains how he is able to see across worlds. Barry thinks that Cisco can channel this power (like his dopple-ganger Reverb did) and open a breach. They try to open the old breach in S.T.A.R. Labs but with no success.
Seeing that Barry is ignoring his warnings, Wells goes to see Joe to try and get him to convince Barry to stop what he is doing. Wells thanks him for his help with trying to find Jesse but Joe knows that Barry will not stop until he has defeated Zoom. Joe says that if Barry is going to do this, Wells is the best person to help him.
Barry and Cisco go to another old breach location and try to open it. Cisco still can’t do what is needed but then Wells turns up to help. He has recalibrated Cisco’s ‘vibe’ goggles to assist with this Earth’s frequency manipulation and it works!
Cisco starts opening a breach but then stops himself and asks Barry not to ask him to do this! It’s a good thing too because Zoom was waiting on the other side of the breach!
Wells has modified the device he used to sap Barry’s speedforce into the new Tachyon device so that it is small enough to fit under his chest emblem.
Barry goes to see Cisco to ask why he freaked out. Cisco explains that he feels like Anakin Skywalker, he has the ability but doesn’t want to turn into Darth Vader and fall to the Dark Side.
Barry knows that won’t happen because Cisco will always have his friends there to support him no matter what. He won’t turn into someone like Reverb.
At this point, Caitlin finally tells the team about Jay Garrick Earth-1 dopple-ganger Hunter Zolomon. The name is one to be feared on Earth-2. Wells explains that Hunter Zolomon was a serial killer jailed for the murder of 23 people.
He was receiving electro shock therapy in an insane asylum at the time of the particle accelerator explosion and gained speed powers! He then became Zoom.
This gives Barry an idea, he is going to use Hunter Zolomon’s past against him! Team Flash wait in the Time Vault ready for things to go wrong while Cisco and Barry open up a breach. Zoom jumps through straight away and Barry leads him on a chase.
He barely escapes Zoom’s clutches but manages to lure him inside S.T.A.R. Labs where the team have set up cut outs of Hunter’s parents. These make Zoom hesitate so that Barry can beat on him and eventually uses Cisco’s boot weapon to stop him moving.
Barry de-masks Zoom and explains how he figured out who he was. Hunter Zolomon says that he and Barry are not so different, Barry could have turned out like him. Zolomon compliments Barry on his trap saying that family is a weakness, just as it is for Barry.
Seemingly having enough with their conversation, Zolomon eyes go black and he says “You can’t lock up the darkness”. With this he breaks out of the boot and escapes.
The West family return to their house to find it trashed and a message on the wall that says “Your speed for Wally”. I should explain at this point that Wally is now living with Joe and calling him dad. So the West family is all happy, or at least they were until Zoom took Wally!
Joe is distraught but Barry tells him they will do everything they can to get him back. Barry is going to give up his speed. Cisco uses his ‘Vibe’ to call to Zoom, letting him know Barry wants to do a deal. Zoom arrives with Wally and agrees to the terms.
While Wells works on the device to transfer Barry’s speedforce, the team ask why Zoom has been pretending to be a hero. He says that he did it to give people hope, and then to take it away.
This is where the Jay Garrick situation is explained and forgive me if I get it wrong but it took me a while to understand it. Zolomon says he went back in time and convinced a younger version of himself (after he got his speed powers) to pretend to be Jay Garrick so that he could infiltrate Team Flash and help him get Barry’s speed.
He explains that he is a time-remnant much like the Reverse Flash was so he was protected from being erased when he killed his past self. Barry also asks who the man in the Iron Mask is but Zolomon just says “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you”.
Barry uses the Cosmic Treadmill to transfer his speed for into a syringe that Zolomon quickly injects himself with. The Speed force has left his body and now Zoom has so much power. He picks Barry up by the throat and chokes him.
Caitlin pleads with Zolomon by saying if any part of what he felt for her was real then he wouldn’t kill Barry. He does as she asks but then takes her instead!!
Here’s a few things that jumped out at me during the episode:
- Iris and Joe turn up at the lab to help fight Zoom. what are they going to do?
- Zoom can sense when breaches are open?
- Cisco’s Star Wars analogy was awesome.
- How has Wally not worked out who The Flash is yet? I’m sure he will soon now that he knows Joe has been working with him.
- Cisco’s powers can apparently be used as a cross dimensional telephone.
- How did the team get pictures of Hunter Zolomon’s family?
- Jay Garrick’s helmet and most of his outfit was inspired by his Father’s war uniform, his helmet was a gift.
- Who the hell is the man in the Iron mask!?!?!?!
I loved this episode. There was lots of cool comic and film references and hints at other stories in the wider comic book TV universe. Although I haven’t seen it yet, I am pretty confident that the Supergirl crossover episode explains where Barry went when testing out the Tachyon device. He is wearing the same device on his chest in the Supergirl promo.
Looks like Wally is probably going to part of Team Flash from now on. He has experienced first hand the threat the city faces and knows who is part of the team. It won’t be long before he works out who the Flash is. Are we going to see him get his powers soon? There isn’t that long until the end of the season!
Iris is falling in love with Barry again. She didn’t go on a date with her boss because she feels that everything is point her in the direction of Barry. They were married on Earth-2, a future version of them were married too.
Her feelings are getting stronger but is Barry in the right place for a relationship with Iris? What about Patty?
I’m glad they finally got around to explaining the Hunter Zolomon/Jay Garrick/Zoom stuff. I think there is still some explaining to do, such as who the man in the Iron mask is and where did Zolomon get the name Jay Garrick from? Was Garrick actually a hero at some point and Zolomon killed him or put an iron mask on him perhaps?!
I still don’t like the Time Remnant part though. The speedforce protecting someone from being erased from history seems like a bit of a cop out and something they did not too long ago with the Reverse Flash.
How will Barry bring the fight to Zoom without his powers? Tune in next week!
What did you think of the episode? Let us know in the comments below.