Flash: Vs Zoom
I have to admit, I really can’t remember when The Flash last aired. While the show isn’t responsible for network scheduling problems, we can all admit it’s a bit problematic to leave such huge gaps between episodes. All that aside, this episode (finally) features the return of Zoom, who, given the recent reveal, is due for more insight into his origins.
Zoom’s origin is a fairly predictable one as far as crazed supervillain’s go, and it only serves to further distance Zoom from being a compelling villain like Tom Cavanaugh’s Reverse-Flash, and creates confusion as to his characterization and what he hoped to gain by infiltrating Team Flash.
The conversation about having the major villain of Season 2 be, yet again, another evil speedster and one posing as the original Flash at that, is one best saved for another time (and article). However it digs at one of the show’s underlying problems: characterization. While the main cast have all veered off into strange decisions at one point or another in the show’s run, it usually folds into the way they’re usually presented. Zoom has no remarkable personality whereas Jay Garrick was reasonably interesting as a hero mentor to Barry and a love interest to Caitlin, so folding that all into a lie designed for him to save his own life and continue being a villain for… reasons, just sustains the tradition of the show undercooking its villains for the most part. All of that is a shame because Teddy Sears does a fairly good job selling what he’s given, even if some of that (like pretending to be a hero) is a bit hard to swallow at times.
That said, Grant Gustin does a great job, as usual, of playing out the better nature of Barry Allen. While he isn’t perfect, and even a little self-righteous, he will always try to do the right thing, even if that means helping the bad guy if he’d simply asked. And while we (sadly) don’t get much in the way of Joe’s manly tears, we do get more of his bonding with Wally which is welcome, given Wally’s development in this episode and his use as a hostage requiring you to care about his fate.
Where the episode kind of stumbles, as is typical with a CW show, is the romance. It was inevitable the show would eventually circle back to Iris and her feelings for Barry, it just feels forced and undercooked, future prophecy or not. It also highlights the inherent hypocrisy of Barry putting the women in his life at arm’s length if he’s dating them, like with Patty, so unless that gets resolved it just feels like a chore to return to this defunct plotline.
Overall, Flash is still better than its sister show Legends of Tomorrow. While that does sound like faint praise, it’s hard not to love what the show does get right, and one can only hope they get back to the heights they reached in season 1.
3 out of 5 Helmets
- The “time remnant” explanation is fairly clever, if an over-complicated explanation that just adds more confusion on where and when Jay has been. I would have just gone speed mirage.
- How could Cisco think of himself as Anakin? That’s a horrible thing to subject yourself to.