Catching Up: The Flash Episode 206, "Enter Zoom"

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Flash Enter Zoom Critical Blast CW Grant Gustin

This is the episode of THE FLASH that should have been one of the better ones. And as much as I love the show -- it's not.

Following on the heels of last episode, "The Darkness and The Light", Barry confronts Doctor Light (Malese Jow) in her cell to probe her about Zoom. She's not very forthcoming, and when she ultimately escapes (using her power over light to render herself invisible), she hacks STAR security and high-tails it, leaving her costume behind.

Which brings up my first question: If she has the power to bend light, why can she only bend it around herself and not her costume? And if her powers were focused through the devices in her gloves, wouldn't she have needed those? And isn't she cold, running around naked?

The answer to that is simple: plot device. With the costume in hand, Barry (Grant Gustin) hatches a plan to dress up Linda Park, Light's Earth-One duplicate, in the costume and use her to bait Zoom into crossing through the breach. This will allow Dr. Wells (Tom Cavanagh) to shoot him with a formula he's developed to dampen Zoom's speed.

When Zoom doesn't show (after an hour -- because it probably took Zoom that long to recover from watching good actors act like they're bad actors; even Cisco admits that next time they try this he's going to have to write better dialogue), they give up and Wells takes it hard. But it turns out Zoom just out-waited them, and he shows up to re-deploy The Flash's idea: to use Linda as bait to draw him out. They confront each other on the roof of S.T.A.R. Labs, where Zoom drops Linda over the side of the building, giving fans a chance to see Barry deploy the twin-tornado cushion of air that he used frequently in the comics, so kudos for an opportunity to get that special effect onto the screen.

With Linda rescued, Barry goes for his newest trick -- hurling lightning. Zoom lets him -- and then catches the lightning bolt and throws it back at him! As much as I didn't care for the first half of this episode, the latter half fight scene is truly something to behold, as Zoom proceeds to kick the snot out of Barry at every turn. When they finally have their shot at Zoom, he still catches the dart while holding Barry to the ground. "Never forget. I am the fastest man alive," he growls at Wells. (Zoom's voice is provided by Tony Todd, however he's not the actor under the suit; there's been some speculation that Zoom's identity might be Henry Allen, played by John Wesley Shipp.)

Zoom then takes Barry's unconscious body on a super-speed tour of Central City, showing him off to the newsroom at Central City Picture News, the Central City Police Department, and finally back to S.T.A.R. Labs where he proceeds to finish Flash off in front of his friends -- giving Cisco the opportunity to get the shot off!

Zoom speeds away to recover, and the team gets Barry into a hospital bed. As they wait for him to recover, Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) gets in Dr. Wells face over this plan and its effect on Barry. But Cisco reveals that he was able to "vibe" Wells earlier on, and knows his intentions: because Zoom has Wells daughter, Jesse (whom Wells calls Jesse Quick as a term of endearment in an Earth-2 flashback moment), captive. Wells has a vested interest in capturing Zoom.

The traditional OMG moment of the show? Barry wakes up, still recovering -- and he can't feel his legs! That might be a good season ender, but as an episode closer right before we know he's going to go up against Gorilla Grodd, this just doesn't have the feeling that it's going to "take."

Takeaways from this episode:
-- Robert Queen is revealed as the Arrow of Earth Two
-- Flash reveals his identity to Linda Park (if you help him, you get to know him; it's like a Kickstarter reward tier)
-- The lights of The Pipeline beneath S.T.A.R. are fiber-optically connected to the entire computer system, which just seems to be bad design.

3.5 / 5.0