Flash: “Versus Zoom” (Season 2, Episode 18)

Comics, reviews, TV


WARNING: Spoilers

And, finally, we are back! Sadly, this was not a great episode to come back with (more as we go). As usual, the episode can be broken down into three different storylines. The first pertains to Wally West, and the West family becoming closer. The second is Barry’s determination, now that he has Thane’s tachyon technology, to defeat Zoom. The third: Cisco does not want to become like Earth-2’s Reverb. Overall, the big theme of this episode is the importance of family, which we will come back to later.

So, the episode begins with us watching, for the bajillionth time, what happens to Barry’s mother, before cutting to a rather intense flashback of what happened to Earth-2’s young Hunter Zolomon (aka Jay Garrick, aka Zoom) after he watched his father murder his mother. In a rather heavy-handed opening monologue, our theme is revealed, showing why Barry Allen has become a hero, and  how important it is to have a strong connection with a  family. This works in juxtaposing with why Zolomon became Zoom.

I’m going to take the rest of a rather long, exposition heavy episode and condense it for you all here: Joe (towards the end of the episode) invites Wally to live at the West family home after Barry points out, after a dinner with the three of them, that Wally is looking for that connection. Barry thinks it would be a good idea, and tells Joe just how important it was for him growing up. (I kidded you not when I said heavy handed.) Through discussions in the lab, Caitlin reveals to the team that Jay showed her their Earth’s “Jay”, a man named Hunter Zolomon. Earth-2 Wells reveals that Earth-2’s Hunter Zolomon was a serial killer who gained powers while being subjected to electroshock therapy during the particle accelerator explosion. Barry approaches the team about opening up a rift now that he is significantly faster due to Eobard Thawne’s tachyon technology, so he can defeat Zoom once and for all. The team approaches Cisco, with Wells and Barry theorizing that Cisco could use Reverb’s technology to open a rift. Cisco is hesitant, afraid to become his doppleganger, but eventually acquiesces.

The team effectively uses Barry’s newfound speed, and images of Zoom’s parents, to disorient and trap Zoom. However, Zoom quickly escapes and kidnaps Wally in the process. Barry agrees to an exchange: his speed for Wally’s life. After that exchange, Zoom attacks Barry, but spares him after Caitlin pleads for Barry’s life. Zoom takes Caitlin and speeds off.

This episode was particularly frustrating, in this writer’s opinion. There was a LOT of exposition jammed into one episode that would have been better served by being spread out over several. On top of that, I understand that this show’s Flash is not the one we’re used to seeing, saving the world alongside the Justice League…but it is tiresome to watch him constantly lose or be outsmarted. It’s also equally tiresome to have yet another member of this cast be kidnapped by Zoom and whisked away. This scenario has occurred ad nauseum this season. Considering how on point recent episodes have been, “Versus Zoom” felt like a step backwards, which is not a good sign considering how few episodes we have left!

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