Flash: “Invincible” (Season 2, Episode 23)

Comics, reviews, TV

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WARNING: Spoilers

Wow, this week’s episode is quite a doozy! There are several plots that keep this episode jumping, and the title of this episode was certainly both ironic and a bit of foreshadowing if you looked it up ahead of time. So, let’s hop right in!

The first, and largest, plot line revolves around Barry. After spending time in the Speed Force, it seems that Barry is more zen than we have ever seen him which is an incredibly interesting dynamic. As the rest of the team begins to stress the pressures of the attacks executed by the Earth-2 metahumans that Zoom brought with him, Barry remains calm and seemingly overconfident–even when facing off against Earth-2 Laurel, which leads to a few difficult moments for the team who are still reeling from her death (see our own Kristen McLaughlin’s review of Arrow’s “Canary Cry” to get caught up on that!). Barry has the team worried enough that multiple people (Cisco, Joe, Henry, and Iris) talk to Barry about his seeming overconfidence, despite the dire straits they are in. Iris seems to the be the one who manages to break through, reminding him that he is not invincible (ahhhh, look at the tie-in), and that fear can be a good thing too.

Barry and Zoom have a confrontation where Zoom points out their similarities and origins, claiming that they are the same person. Barry refutes that, only to have Zoom point out that Barry hasn’t suffered the way Zoom has, in that Zoom watched his mother be murdered by his father. Zoom swears to Barry that he will make that change, and Zoom will always win because he’s willing to do the things that Barry won’t. Barry then rushes off to try and stop an attack. Team Flash realizes that Zoom’s largest advantage lies in the sheer numbers of Earth-2 metas he brought with him. They concoct a plan to take them all down at once using a recalibrated S.T.A.R. labs as a tuning fork, and having Barry run fast enough to vibrate the building to cause sound pulses that would only affect Earth-2 metas. It works, but Zoom escapes.

The end of the episode shows the entire team celebrating at the West family home, but shortly after their toast to “family”, Zoom shows up and kidnaps Henry. Barry follows him to his childhood home, and Zoom kills his father right in front of Barry. It was a hard scene to watch, remembering all of the time Barry spent struggling to prove his father’s innocence and gain his freedom. But, it wasn’t entirely unpredictable, given how Barry was acting throughout the episode.Also, in the previous episode, he got his chance to make peace with his mother’s passing. It will be very interesting to see what Grant Gustin does with Barry Allen as a character in the season finale.

The next plot line revolves around Caitlin, Cisco, and Laurel Lance’s Earth-2 doppelganger. The Black Siren, as Earth-2’s Laurel is called, is a metahuman with an actual Canary Cry, not a device-driven one like Cisco created for Earth-1’s Laurel. She is tasked by Zoom to randomly destroy buildings to keep Team Flash guessing as to what Zoom’s next move will be. She and Barry have a confrontation that she is winning until Wally interferes by hitting her with his car (more on that in the next paragraph). In the end, Zoom sends her to a large housing project that is home to hundreds of people, tasking her to bring it down and kill those living there so that she will lure the Flash away from him.

At the same time, Zoom is also running amuck, leaving the team needing to do two things at once. So, Cisco and newly recovered Caitlin pose as their Earth-2 doppelgangers, and try and convince Black Siren to join their team and defeat Zoom. The plan nearly works, however Black Siren remains unconvinced. Luckily, Barry, Wells, and Joe manage to get the frequency device working in time to disable all the Earth-2 metahumans, knocking out Black Siren, and allowing them to lock her (and the other Earth-2 metahumans) in the pipeline or Iron Heights, depending on how dangerous they are.

Frankly, I found the different elements of this plot interesting, but problematic. I liked how, even in the heat of a pitched battle, Team Flash had to deal with seeing a familiar face go against them. It was a good way to gain closure, in a way. That being said, now there is an Earth-2 Laurel that is locked away, and my fear is that they will use her in some form or fashion to replace our Earth’s Laurel and cheapen that death. The other issue I had was just how heavy handed Caitlin’s scenes were. As an audience, we know just how dastardly Zoom is, we know what he put Caitlin through, and we also know what she’d been through previously. Yet, the show felt the need to smack us with it yet again…juuust in case we forgot. The acting was solid, yet the scenes with Caitlin and Cisco seemed to fall flat. Perhaps this is because the revelation of Jay Garrick as Zoom does not feel nearly as impactful as last season’s Harrison Wells turning out to be Eobard Thawne. Or, perhaps it’s because we’ve seen Caitlin betrayed too many times now. (Can we cut the poor woman some slack, CW?!)

Finally, we have Wally West. In this episode, we discover that he feels like a part of what is happening to Central City is his fault. He feels that he has so much to make up for, and that he needs to be “worthy” of having been saved by the Flash because he blames himself for the Flash temporarily losing his powers. So, he borrows one of Joe’s police radios and begins acting as a vigilante. Joe is, obviously, concerned, and attempts to speak with Wally about it, which is how the audience discover just what is driving Wally. He gets his moment in this episode by saving Barry from Black Siren, and finally discovers who Barry is at the end of the episode when Zoom steals Henry away…but not before calling him “Flash” in front of the assembled team. It was an interesting dynamic that I truly wish they had explored more in this episode, and I will be very curious to see if they make Wally a speedster going forward, or just have him be a vigilante type in the way of John Diggle (see Arrow).

So that’s it for this week! A fever-pitched episode that should lead to one hell of a season finale! We saw a lot happen all at once and the previews for next week indicate that we should expect season two to go out with quite the proverbial bang. Until next week, Flash Fans!

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