The Scarlet Speedster is back!
Seriously, though. The issue of scheduling needs to be addressed. Skipping multiple weeks is not good for the momentum or the flow of a series, come on, now.
Random hiatus aside, this week’s episode saw Barry contemplate an alternate future wherein he hadn’t had the West family’s support after his parents’ demise. We also learn about Zoom’s backstory, which happens to answer Barry’s question.
When Jay Garrick (Hunter Zolomon)’s father killed his mother in front of him, he was sent to an orphanage and lived a pretty rough life. Eventually, he became a serial killer, but took on the alias of Jay Garrick to perform heroic acts as Earth2’s Flash (because nobody ever suspects a hero, right?). Ultimately, Zoom is revealed to be a much shrewder and psychologically twisted character than fans thought possible. Even the parallel that Garrick donned his father’s helmet while saving people…the same helmet that his father gave him before he splattered the walls with his mother’s brains…is, well, disturbing.
Eventually, Garrick/Zolomon/Zoom reveals that his plot from the very beginning was to kidnap one of Barry’s loved ones and hold them for ransom against Barry’s speed. So, Zoom abducts Wally, who had recently moved in with the West family, and demands that The Flash surrender 100% of his Speedforce.
Team Flash agrees, and, as the audience bites their nails in anticipation of whatever clever trick the team has dreamt up to save the day; nothing comes.
They just surrender. Just like that. No tricks, no nothing, and now Zoom has Caitlin and Barry is powerless.
This is what pissed me off about this week’s installment: there’s no way the team wouldn’t try to double-cross Zolomon. They are too clever, resourceful, and know too well what is at risk of Barry loses his speed. So while it was a good, jaw-dropping cliffhanger, it was kind of a stupid one and too out-of-character to be believable.
On another note, Iris and Cait have an emotional talk about whether destiny involves itself in affairs of the heart, since fate seems to be pulling Iris and Barry together. This is particularly sad when one remembers that all of Cait’s lovers so far have met tragic deaths. This scene was arguably the most authentic and consistent scene in the episode.
Overall, it seems the writing team is playing off of shock-factor and sacrificing consistency for it. Zoom’s backstory was mind-blowing enough to make up for the awkward cliffhanger, though