This review contains spoilers.
2.6 Enter Zoom
Earlier this year, season one’s Out Of Time, the fifteenth episode of The Flash‘s debut run, got a lot of praise for just how much like a finale it felt. Yet it was placed in what seemed like a random mid-March spot. Enter Zoom is not unlike that episode, and deserves maybe even more plaudits for airing so early in the season. It proves once again, as do most things this show does from week to week, that The Flash isn’t interested in messing around.
Giving us everything what we want before we know we can have it is this series’ thing, and so six weeks in, we have Zoom not only in play but already facing off with Barry. As action sequences go, this was impressive, and Zoom is being set up as a pretty formidable villain who so far surpasses Barry in both speed and strength.
So the fight doesn’t really go our hero’s way, and he ends the episode recovering from a pretty thorough beating, teasing the prospect of a paralysed Flash. Obviously this isn’t going to be an actual thing long-term, but it certainly begs the question of what he’s going to do if Zoom strikes again next week.
Good job there’s Jay Garrick to pick up the slack, I guess.
Of course there’s also plenty of soul-searching for Barry alongside the action, as he admits that his recklessness when it comes to targeting Zoom could have something to do with what happened with the Reverse Flash last year. But, while Joe assumes that it’s because Barry never actually got a chance to defeat Thawne himself, he says it actually has more to do with the void he feels without a revenge mission to focus on.
I really wish they’d incorporated the Henry Allen issue into this, as I feel as though Barry’s father abandoning him straight after being freed from prison, after over a decade, would seriously exacerbate the problem. Poor Barry only had a vague idea of his biological parents in the first place, but now he doesn’t even have that.
Speaking of fathers, there was some light shed on Wells’ real motivations this week as we found out the freedom of his daughter is being used a reward for killing Barry on Earth One. As unpleasant as he’s been revealed to be via his interactions with Jay and a flashback conversation with Jessie, he’d still prefer to take down Zoom than murder someone, and that’s a far more interesting direction than the writers could have gone with.
Barry might be quick to trust him, but really his instincts were more on point than Joe or Cisco’s, who were instinctively wary simply because of the face he was wearing. Not that I’m complaining, because the very concept of having someone who looks like last season’s villain, but isn’t, but is also kind of a bad guy, is genius.
This was The Flash at its best, managing to marry up the earnestness of Barry’s family issues and burgeoning relationship with Patty with some gnarly action and genuine peril. How long it can keep it up we’ll have to see, but right now it’s just to have a game-changing episode on television at a time when all the other shows are saving their best for Christmas.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, The Darkness And The Light, here.