Television,  Uncategorized

FLASH SPOILER Review: Episode 2×18- “Versus Zoom”

The Flash
(2×18) –
“Versus Zoom”
Written by: Joe Peracchio
& David Kob
Directed by: Stefan
Pleszczynski
After a quick retelling of the night Nora was murdered and a
scene from the night Joe brought Barry into his home for contrast we slide on
over to Earth-2 and see the night Hunter Zolomon’s mother was murdered.  Unlike Barry, Hunter’s mom was actually killed
by her father right in front of and instead of being taken into a loving home
by a family friend, lil’ Hunter is dropped off at the Central City evil
orphanage where he will no doubt receive the same loving care that made Tom
Riddle into the man he is today.
Back in the present, Barry has ran all the way to Keystone City
and he’s got himself some new tech based on Thawne’s speed equations.  The device is supposed to enhance his connection
to the Speed Force with the power of tachyons. 
(I did the same thing to my blender last year and boy let me tell you
mashed potatoes never tasted so good!) 
Barry attaches the doodad to his chest and it looks a little familiar.
Barry takes off back towards STAR Labs and the tachyon device
seems like a really big success.  He’s far
faster and his body isn’t exploding so good signs all around.  In fact, Barry feels like he has another gear
and tests it out.  Which opens a wormhole
that he pops into for a second before popping back out in time to still beat
his fastest Keystone to STAR Labs run. (Gee, I wonder where he went!)
So, the tech
test is a big, big success all it needs is a cosmetic upgrade and the gang is
golden to get back to Earth-2 and beat Zoom. 
One problem.  All the breeches are
closed, they don’t know how to reopen them and Dr. Wells also has no desire to
do so.  He also has a really good reason;
Zoom is on Earth-2 and he still wants to kill all of them and the people they
love before taking Barry’s speed!  To
Wells this plan of Barry’s is like walking into a Star Trek convention, rushing
the stage and slapping William Shatner. 
It’s a surefire path to an ass whipping.
Barry doesn’t
care about that and come hell or high water he’s going.  Being the “good” friends that they are,
Caitlin, Cisco and Iris offer to help lead Barry to his death but Iris can’t
help at the moment because she’s got a hot date with GQ Jonah Jameson.  Barry is happy for and wishes her luck but
Iris leaves with a weird expression.
That night
at the West Home, Joe and Barry are enjoying some pizza from Keystone City and
catching up on exposition… I mean, Joe’s telling Barry that things are getting
better with Wally.  When the topic of
Zoom comes up, Joe brings up a crazy idea: Wells is right.  Zoom isn’t just faster he also has shown
himself to be really good at out-thinking Barry.
Their conversation
is put on hold when Wally shows up with a bag full of laundry.  It seems, room and board is getting to
expensive for Wally and he’s looking for a place to live.  Ahem. He’s looking for a place to live.  Joe? Anyone?
Joe offers
to help pay for some of his school but Wally blows him off and goes to start on
his laundry.  Joe then laments that he
doesn’t get Wally and wonders what his doppelganger is like which gives Barry
idea-face.
Later at
STAR Labs, Barry brings the gang together and asks Wells about Reverb’s
powers.  Specifically the part where he
could tap into the energy of the multi-verse. 
Barry thinks that Reverb could probably open a breech and if he could,
Cisco could too.
Cisco tries
to open one but it doesn’t go well and he storms off.  Meanwhile, Wells stops over at Joe’s and
tries to get him to talk Barry about the insanity of his plan.  Joe unfortunately, Joe doesn’t think he can
do that since Barry’s like a dog with a bone when he thinks he can help
people.  Joe has a counter-proposal;
Wells actually helps him because of the whole stronger together thing Team
Flash has going on.
The next
day, Cisco and Barry have gone to an abandoned children’s hospital since the
closed breech there is still giving off the most energy.  Wells shows up with a gun and a peace-offering,
he’s upgraded Reverb’s old glasses to better work for Cisco and hopefully
enhance his powers.
Cisco tries
them out and wouldn’t you know it, Cisco starts opening the breech.  Also filed under “wouldn’t you know it” Zoom
feels the breech reopening on his end and goes to it to wait for them.  Unfortunately for Hunter, Cisco gets spooked
and stops before then leaves.
Later at the
Lab, Cisco has still not come back but on the good news front, Wells has
modified the device he had used to siphon away Barry’s speed to do the job of
the tachyon enhancer.  Iris and Joe show
up to lend a hand so while Caitlin takes Iris to help Joe wants some advice
from Barry about Wally.  Barry points out
the obvious, that Wally wants to move but doesn’t want to ask.  Joe likes the idea but wants to make sure
Barry’s cool with it first.  They lament
that they won’t be able to get pizza from Keystone or Coast City anymore but
the men agree it will be good for everybody.
Meanwhile,
Caitlin and Iris have girl talk.  Iris
broke off her date with her boss and while she thinks it’s because of Eddie,
Caitlin believes it’s because her feelings for Barry are such a mess.  No, ladies… No!  
Barry and Iris are in a good
place right now!  Let them have some time
here before they flip the angst switch back on!
Anyway,
Wally pops in at the West Home and Joe surprises him with his own room.  We even get a nice father/son moment between
the two.  All that was missing was the “aww moment” music from Full House. 
Meanwhile, Barry finds Cisco and tries to talk to him about Zoom but
Cisco tells him what he’s really afraid of is losing himself in the temptation
of power (he wraps it up in a clunky Anakin Skywalker metaphor but that’s what
we’re talking about.)  Barry’s not
worried about that, because Team Flash is there for Cisco.
Barry, Cisco
and Wells gear up to go open the breech and Barry sees that Caitlin is
uncomfortable he tries to comfort him and when Caitlin says she’s okay she
mentions that Jay’s double was named Hunter Zolomon.  Wells hears this and explains that Hunter was
a convicted serial killer on Earth-2 that was locked up in an asylum.  They theorize (and judging by the flashback
they’re correct) that while Hunter was receiving an electro-shock treatment the
Accelerator explosion’s shockwave passed underground, giving Hunter his powers.
This gives
Barry an idea, they use their knowledge of Zoom’s past against him.
Barry and
Cisco go to the hospital while the rest of the gang holds up in the time vault
and they open the breech.  Zoom comes
through and Barry leads him on a chase through the city before they arrive at
STAR Labs where Barry puts his plan to work. 
Using pictures of Earth One Hunter Zolomon’s family as a distraction
Barry slows down Zoom enough to use Cisco’s Boot Gun from the season premiere
on him. 
That’s when
they do some hero vs villain posturing. 
Including the classics of “We would have helped you!” and “We’re not so
different!”  Zoom then escapes the
restraint and gets away.
Barry and
Joe return home and see that the place has been trashed and Wally is missing
with a message from Zoom.  “Your speed
for Wally.”  If Barry’s going to use
Hunter family against him then turnabout is fair play.  While the others are trying to figure out a
way to get Wally back, Barry knows what he has to do.  He tells Cisco to contact Zoom and tell him
he’ll do it.
Zoom returns
with Wally and give him back but they can’t make the exchange right away.  Wells has to reverse his modification of his
speed siphon to do what he originally designed it for before they can make the
exchange.  This gives Zoom the chance to
do what villains love more than anything, gloat.  He tells them how and why he fooled them and
why he pretended to be Jay Garrick and it all really boils down to Shits and
Giggles.  He traveled back in time and
convinced a past version of himself pose as Jay Garrick for Team Flash after he
establishes the Flash on Earth-2 to give people false hope.
Finally they
make the exchange and Zoom takes Barry’s speed for himself.  Then Zoom shows his gratitude in the expected
manner, he grabs Barry with the intention of “Telling it to Zod’s snapped neck”
but Caitlin stops him.  So Zoom kidnaps
her instead.
This week’s
episode felt very familiar, it shouldn’t be a surprise though.  Any episode where the villain lays their
cards on the table will feel that way but there’s some definite parallels
between this episode and last season’s “Who is Harrison Wells?” And “The Trap.”  Which makes sense, in those episodes we
learned what Thawne’s plan had been and the heroes trying to outmaneuver him
only for him to turn the tables on them.
There’s also
small similarities, pizza from another city for example and those episodes did
deal with Cisco’s growing abilities.  It
all makes sense since it seems that the Zoom storyline is very much like the
Thawne story and they’ve been pretty compelling to this point.  So, while I’ll give them a pass for following
a similar path, this is the only one. 
They will have to start telling different types of villain stories next
season or this will all get really tiresome.
As for the
episode itself, I liked a lot of what they did. 
Particularly the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it nature of Barry’s trip to
Earth-CBS and the West family drama. 
Other stuff I was a little colder on, I really do think I’d appreciate
it a little more if Barry and Iris put their romance on the back burner for a
little longer.  I’ve liked their dynamic so
much better this season and I think the quieting of their romance plot was part
of that.  Plus, Iris is just reaching a
place where her character is more defined by her character than her love
interest status and I don’t want to lose that.
As for Zoom,
I’ll just say this.  You can sure tell
this is the part of the story Teddy Sears has been waiting for all season.  He’s clearly having fun removing the mask of
Jay Garrick and playing the heavy and it’s good to see.  It puts his stiffness as Jay in context well
and gives weight to what he does in the final stretch.  I would advise that he pulls back on the
faces a little bit.
This was a
good set-up, something I keep saying lately, so I’d appreciate it if they start
knocking down the dominoes here pretty quick.
Three Things We
Learned This Week:
1)     
The Barry that appeared on Supergirl was definitely our Barry.
2)     
Jay, Hunter and Zoom are one in the same.
3)     
Mark Waid’s a jerk.  (Don’t look at me like that! His little
temper tantrum forced Berlanti to take the punch out of a reveal.)
Three Questions:
1)      How can Barry regain his speed?
2)     
Did Zoom cure himself with Barry’s speed?
3)     
Has Wally seen enough to figure out the big
secret?

Just another guy on the internet.

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