We just watched the most harrowing — and quite possibly the best — episode of The Flash Season 2.
The old adage goes that a hero is only as good as his villain, and in Zoom, this bright and bubbly superhero series has found a real piece of work, a speedster as cocky as he is ugly.
What Zoom ultimately does to our Flash, and that it was somewhat brought upon ourselves, is the great gut punch here, injecting Arrow‘s lighter, brighter cousin with a heavy dose of darkness.
Learning that Dr. Light was to defeat The Flash and then lob his emblem into the portal as a signal for Zoom to cross over, the team gets the idea to have Linda Park pose as the Earth-two metahuman, get into a faux fracas with Flash and then summon Zoom. This cues up perhaps the episode’s one weak spot, a “wacky” montage where Linda couldn’t get the hang of her light-zappers. (The segment simply went on too long, to a degree that it read as filler.)
Fact is, Linda was not at all ready to pull off this masquerade, but Barry insisted they forge ahead — a questionable call that Joe is sure to grill him about. Joe suggests that what’s at play here is Barry feeling “cheated” out of not besting Reverse Flash himself, so he’s taking that out on Zoom. Barry deflects, for now, then proceeds with the fake fight — which is goofy in a more entertaining way than the montage was, but ultimately for naught. Because even after “Dr. Light” “defeats” Flash and throws his emblem into the portal, Zoom is a no-show.
Afterward, Barry admits to Joe that he was half-right, that he was not so much projecting onto Zoom but taking out some frustration based on what our Wells/Eobard said in his posthumous video, that Barry will never be happy. Joe begs Barry to not let Wells “win” by allowing that notion to seep into his noggin, and to instead go after what makes him happy. And right now, that is Patty in her crisp white blouse and waiting-for-a-reminder-of-how-good-that-first-kiss-was lips.
And then things got very unhappy for Barry.
Zoom shows up at CCPN to grab Linda and then dangle her from the STAR Labs roof, forcing Barry to race down and save/catch her. Flash and Zoom (hey, I just realized they are both photography terms) then get into it, with Barry aiming to “thunderbolt” the baddie. But Zoom catches and then throws back the bolt! “Harry” arrives on the scene to shoot Zoom with a speed-dampening dart, but Zoom catches it and then jabs it onto Barry, whose back he seemingly had just broken, Bane-style.
And then Zoom got really deplorable, parading the fractured Flash all around town — in front of cameras at CCPN, before the cops at the CCPD (as he caught dozens of their bullets), and then in the faces of Team Flash themselves. “You made a mistake — a costly one,” Zoom growls at Wells, before thrusting one of his talons into Barry’s side. Cisco, God bless him, pings Zoom with a serum dart, forcing him to speed away. But Barry is very much down for the count.
At episode’s end, Barry awakens in his STAR Labs hospital bed some time later, but near-instantly comes to a tragic realization — that he cannot feel his legs.
Elsewhere in the episode:
* It took a couple of tries, but Cisco was able to “vibe” off of “Harry,” seeing that Zoom was keeping the scientist’s daughter, Jesse Quick, prisoner on Earth-Two. The news that Jesse is alive came as a relief to Wells, later.
* One of Wells’ flashbacks revealed that on Earth-Two, Robert Queen went on to become Starling City’s Hood aka Arrow, after his son Oliver died in the boat tragedy.
* In giving Linda a needed pep talk, The Flash revealed his identity to her. (“I made out with The Flash?!”) Iris and Linda later then bonded over the weight of keeping big secrets and the whole Dr. Light masquerade.
* If Zoom didn’t arrive via the portal where Barry and Linda staged the fight, how did he get here…?
* Similarly but of far less urgency: Where is the naked and escaped real Dr. Light?
* Hey, Jay Garrick! Way to sit this one out, pal.