“Zoom always wins,” Dr. Light tells the unconscious Flash as she rips the emblem from his chest. Can it be true? To find out, we rewind the clock…
72 hours prior
Barry talks with the Earth-2 Linda Park, incarcerated in the Pipeline. She never wanted to kill him, instead willing to take the life of her Earth-1 counterpart, an admittedly bad plan.Enter Zoom
There’s nothing she wants more than to disappear but Barry makes the point she’ll be running for ever so, instead of doing that, he asks for her help. Once he talks to Linda, he breaks the first aspects of the plan down with the gang, and everyone but Wells is reticent to take on Zoom at this time, even with Wells’ serum to retard Zoom’s speed. When the gang breaks, Joe pulls Caitlin and Cisco aside, suggesting the latter use his powers of vibe to see what’s going on with the Earth-2 professor.
Earth-2: Wells talks to his daughter Jesse. She confronts him about what the Flash said about his involvement in the particle accelerator event. He sidesteps the inquiry at first but eventually justifies his actions. “Unlocking the mysteries of the universe. If you don’t have the key to the lock, sometimes you have to kick in the door.” She doesn’t like what she hears and leaves in a huff.
Wells watches her go, love and pride in his eyes. “You’re my joy, Jesse Quick.”
Refocusing on the topics at hand, Patty approaches Joe about her own research on Dr. Light but gets shut down. Speaking of Dr. Light, Linda’s still out of sorts from her experience but wants to help in any way she can. But she won’t be needed now that Dr. Light has volunteered to help…
Except that Light escapes, using her powers to hack the fioptics security and turning invisible, the latter of which Patty brought to Joe as a potential secondary ability. Everyone’s brought in on the current state of things and Joe tries to get Barry to pump the breaks on this plan but the speedster is wholly committed. “Aren’t you the one who told me life isn’t about playing defense,” he reminds Joe. “Sometimes the only way to succeed is by working the offense.”Linda Park has a ways to go before she gets the who super hero thing down.
Now, the problem becomes how to lure Zoom into the light, so to speak. It comes to Barry when he checks in on the furiously baking Linda. They have Dr. Light’s suit, and a ringer. The question becomes if Linda’s down for the plan. She gets a visit from the Flash and accepts the offer to help. With Cisco’s ingenuity and Light’s suit, Linda’s able to simulate her counterpart’s power but needs a test run with the new gauntlets. As one can imagine, the first portions of said test run goes hilariously bad but Linda eventually gets the hang of it and it’s near time for the main event. But Joe, like the rest of the gang—Wells excluded—are having their doubts. He wants to know Barry’s doing this for the right reasons and not because he feels as if he didn’t do enough to take down the Reverse Flash.
Barry thinks about Joe’s words and pays a visit to Linda. He finds her lacking confidence in herself but he’s able to give her the boost of support she needs by revealing his identity as the Flash.
Barry’s identity isn’t the only thing revealed. After his first failed attempt, Cisco’s second try to vibe on Wells’ hidden agenda is a success when he sees Jesse being held by Zoom. He doesn’t say anything but it’s only a matter of time. On the time front, Patty confronts Joe once again about the Light ordeal and he asks for a little more time. Patty wants to use Barry as a sounding board but he declines, siting a “thing” he has to do with Joe.
And now, it’s time.
Much like the test run, the act Barry and Linda put on is patently bad. Razzie Award bad but wholly entertaining. Unfortunately, Zoom doesn’t show. Barry and Joe talk with the former admits to having a hole inside him where he wasn’t able to save his mom. But once again Joe is there with sage advice. “You’re responsible for your own happiness, Barry. Forget about Wells. Think hard about what you want and what makes you happy. Go out and get it. It’s as simple as that.”
And what makes Barry happy? Right now, it’s getting to know Patty and he shows her as much with an unexpected kiss at the station. Additionally, Linda and Iris commiserate about keeping such a secret and joking about the need to stay in shape as a part of Team Flash and, after a tension-filled 72 hours, it seems like things are coming to an uneventful close…
And that’s when Zoom strikes.
He whisks Linda away and dangles her atop STAR Labs and drops her when Barry arrives. He catches Linda and then faces off against the masked monster. Taking Joe’s advice from years ago, Barry goes on the offense, building up enough speed to hurl lightning—only Zoom catches the bolt and hits Barry with it. Not a good start.
“What do you want from me?” he demands of the Earth-2 speedster.
“You wanna be me, is that it? You wanna be a hero?”
“Heroes die…”So far the scoreboard reads: Zoom-1, Barry-0
“Only if you can catch them,” Barry says and takes off. Oh, it’s game on. Well, for a short time, that is. Despite Barry’s attempts to even the odds, he’s thoroughly overmatched and Zoom breaks him. Then, as villains tend to do, Zoom gloats throughout the city…
“Look at your hero. This man is no god. He is nothing. The days of the Flash protecting the city are over. Now, what will you do without your precious hero?”
He returns to STAR Labs, ready to finish the job only to be shot with a serum dart by Cisco. Already affected by the serum, Zoom hightails it out of there while the gang sees to Barry. Joe is pissed at Wells, threatening him if Barry doesn’t recover but Cisco intervenes, asking the distraught doctor about Jesse. His confession to the group about his need to capture Zoom—for Jesse’s sake—puts out Joe’s fire. The important thing now is for Barry to recover. Cisco and Caitlin are at his bedside when he finally awakens but there’s a major problem—Barry can’t feel his legs.
- There aren’t too many shows out there with the ability to capture the right balance of levity and high stakes like the Flash and “Enter Zoom” does it as well as any previous episode. We get the slow buildup towards the trap set for Zoom and, when it doesn’t work it seems to be all quiet on the Central City front—until Zoom takes it to our heroes. To end with Barry having no feeling in his legs raises the danger for our protagonists ten-fold. The only saving grace right now is, with the serum running through his veins, Zoom is temporarily out of commission.
- For the first time, the gang sees a different, less dick-ish side of Wells. As a father himself, Joe can’t help but commiserate with the professor’s dilemma in trying to get his daughter back. His show of emotion may be what they all need to mesh together as a team and take down the most dangerous foe yet.
- It was interesting to see another glimpse of the Earth-2 differences with Robert Queen being unmasked as the Arrow. The other Easter Egg was Wells’ daughter as Jesse Quick. In the DC Universe, she’s a speedster in her own right (aka Jessica Chambers). Will this be her identity in the Flash as well or nothing more than a fun throwaway? Only time will tell…