After watching The Flash last night, I came to one shocking realization – my mind had been blown!
In an episode that had more twists and turns than a speedster’s duel, (you would have had to see the episode to know exactly what I’m referring to) the plot developed in many unforeseen ways. A lot of questions were answered, and there’s a lot to get through, so bear with me because even the opening scene kick starts us into one crazy episode.
Reintroducing Hunter Zolomon
So the show starts with a brief re-depiction of the poignant moments from Barry’s mothers death – no biggie, we’ve seen that countless times. As soon as I began to believe the episode was going to slowly build, the plot rapidly accelerated.
In Earth 2 many years ago, a young boy was awaken from a slumber by commotion downstairs. A scorned soldier, who believes his wife cheated on him, unleashes a furious slap, which the boy [their son] sees. She pleads for mercy in the presence of their son, but the soldier turns, crowns his son with his hat, and shoots her right before their son’s eyes. That boy, Hunter Zolomon – who was briefly introduced as Jay’s doppelganger in the midst of the Earth 1/Earth 2 commotion – was forced to witness his father kill his mother. As a result, his remaining family washed their hands of him, and he fell into life as an orphan.
Unlocking the speed Force
The Flash tries out a tachyon enhancement device that jump starts his speed cells. The device passed all tests and the Flash ran 4x faster than ever before. WHOA. After the preliminary run around the city, Barry asks for a smaller tachyon compressor and declares that [the size] is bothersome.
A Weary Wells
Even after the successful testing of the tachyon enhancer, Wells is weary about challenging Zoom. He agreed to helping the Flash get faster, but completely disagreed with reopening breaches. He already wants to find lost daughter and says he doesn’t want Zoom to capture and torture Jessie again.
Wells swings by Joe’s house to see if Joe has had any luck locating Jessie. Unfortunately, Joe hasn’t. Wells follows with asking Joe to persuade Barry from trying to re-enter Earth 2, but Joe already tried that and counters with asking Wells to accompany Barry on the journey instead.
Growing as a Family
Barry and Joe converse over a pizza at the house. Wally arrives and confesses that he doesn’t live on campus anymore because room and board rates went up – that broke, college student struggle is real. Joe offers to help Wally pay for school expenses, but Wally declines. A perplexed Joe says “I wonder if his doppelganger is that difficult” – stayed tuned in the coming weeks, because I believe that’s classic foreshadowing my friends.
Joe and Barry’s father-son relationship is really highlighted in the episode, so it comes as no surprise that it’s Barry who helps Joe realize what’s going on with Wally. Barry relays the idea that Wally doesn’t want Joe’s help paying bills, but instead wants Joe to offer him a place to stay, which he later does.
Back at Star Labs, Barry is curious about Reverb and his actual powers. He thinks that Reverb can see through multiple dimensions, and Barry believes Reverb can manipulate multi-dimensional energy and actually open breaches. Cisco’s ego kicks in with the whole “anything you can do, I can do better” vibe, and he also begins to believe he can open breaches as well.
Nevertheless, Cisco tries to channel powers that will open the breach at Star Labs, but fails miserably. Wells emerges with the goggles that Cisco nabbed from Reverb but has made some tweaks that should help him properly manipulate transdimentional energy.
Cisco tries once again to channel energy. He closes his fist, and a portal begins to form. Zoom senses the beginnings of the portal opening, and urges Cisco to finish the process from the other end. It appears that Cisco couldn’t see or hear him, and he suddenly quits in fear. I’d probably quit too. I wouldn’t want to face Zoom either.
Don’t Fight the Feeling
In a private conversation, Iris reveals to Caitlin that she flaked on attending a date with Scott. Iris confesses that she is starting to feel that her and Barry are supposed to be together. Caitlin seems happy with the potential for Iris’ new love but doesn’t necessarily believe in destiny due to her recent tragic relationship run.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the feelings spectrum. Cisco confesses to Barry that opening the breach is a power he’s never felt before and is afraid that the power will corrupt his morals. Barry reassures him that from his own experiences he knows what its like to feel supernatural powers, and that he and the crew will support Cisco through the process.
Formally Introducing Hunter Zolomon
Caitlin is also afraid to confront her feelings and see Jay, “or whatever his real name is” face-to-face again. She then tells Barry about about Jay’s doppelganger, Hunter Zolomon. In Earth 2, Hunter Zolomon was a serial killer convicted on 23 counts of murder, so he was sent to an asylum and given electric therapy daily.
During one of his daily electric treatments, the particle accelerator explosion occurs. The wave knocked him out of the electric chair, and his hand instantly begins to phase when he stands up. Just in case you didn’t notice, allow me to clue you in – Hunter got his speed from electricity, just like Barry, and Hunter is Zoom, not Jay.
Cisco and Barry head back to the portal bridge and proceed to open it. Poof! Zoom instantly jumps out and tells Barry he was unwise to open the breach. Given how their first couple battles turned out, I agree, but its about to go down! The Flash zips away and leads Zoom into an intense serpentine chase through the city to Star Labs and ultimately distracts him with staged cutout pop-ups of his mother and father. The chase was possibly the most intense moment of the season thus far.
While distracted, the Flash pummels Zoom with punches from multiple angles, then runs to get a gun that would neutralize Zoom’s speed. Barry captures and unmasks Zoom, then clues Zoom in on how the crew uncovered his hidden identity. A heated back and forth verbal exchange ensues and Zooms asks why the Flash isn’t a cold-hearted killer after also witnessing his mother die. Barry retorts, but Zooms exclaims “you cant lock up the darkness!” before his eyes turn black, he phases out of his leg clamp, steals the tachyon compressor from the Flash, and disappears.
After disappearing, Zoom kidnaps Wally and leaves a message attempting to force an exchange of Wally for the Flash’s speed. Barry reluctantly agrees after the crew fails to formulate a sensible plan.
In a dire need to uncover Zoom’s location. Cisco puts on the goggles and enters into an extended vibe with Jay’s helmet. He sees Wally alive in a cage. Zoom can sense Cisco’s pulsating presence, and Cisco confirms that the Flash will trade his speed for Wally.
Zoom storms into Star Labs gripping Wally by the collar, and releases him once the deal is confirmed. Wells declares that he has to rig a vial that will transfer the Flash’s speed. Zoom, or Hunter (because he was unmasked at the time) attempts to punk Wells into creating the vial faster. Wells walks away, but before doing so he snarls to Hunter, “one day I’m gonna knock that smug expression clean off your face!” Foreshadowing alert.
As Wells creates the vial. The crew questions Zoom of how he faked his death. He used a time remnant of himself from the past and got him to agree to a staged murder – confusing, I know, but this guy is pure evil so anything is possible.
The Flash mounts the treadmill at Star Labs and begins relinquishing his speed. A literally drained Barry falls out in exhaustion. Hunter injects himself with the vial then grabs Barry and puts him in a choke-hold. Caitlin pleads with Zoom to release Barry and asks him if any of the interaction between them was genuine. Hunter drops Barry, snatches Caitlin then zooms away.
I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around everything that occurred in this episode. I like the fact that Zoom and Barry have very similar family tragedies that help create a good and evil speedster. The parallels between their stories are beginning to set up an epic battle of opposites. Yet, how will the team get Caitlin back with Barry no longer possessing super speed? What will develop from Iris’ confession of feelings forming towards Barry? Want answers? So do we! You’ll have to tune in next Tuesday night at 8 on Atlanta’s CW!