With a title like “Enter Zoom” for this week’s episode of The Flash, it was expected that it would be an intense hour. However, it went to a whole new level when Barry actually faced the villainous Zoom for the first time this season, as Earth-2 foe didn’t hold back one bit when he went up against the scarlet speedster.
One thing that just stood out so much in this week’s episode was seeing more of Linda Park; the more I see of the character, the more I love her and want Malese Jow to see promoted as a series regular. I was in love with the whole plot of her helping Team Flash, as Barry and Iris come up with the cool idea to try to trick Zoom by having our Linda act as Doctor Light, providing us with one of the most entertaining Flash scenes of all time. Cisco literally runs a “Hero Vs Villains 101” with Linda as she tries to master the light gloves (it’s the best I name I could think for them). I also just loved everything that is the WestPark (bless you internet) friendship between Iris and Linda, because after how things played out during Linda’s first arc in Season 1, I appreciate that we can now get a strong female friendship instead of having them pitted against each other. More Iris and Linda, please!
“Enter Zoom” also provided some great backstory on Harry Wells of Earth-2, with flashbacks revealing more about his daughter, Jesse Chambers Wells, who we know is still kidnapped by Zoom. The comic book fanatic in me would be ashamed if I didn’t bring up the big Arrow twist on Earth-2, where it’s revealed that Oliver was the one that died while Robert Queen became the vigilante, which is basically inspired from the Flashpoint storyline, where in an alternative timeline, Thomas Wayne is Batman as Bruce was the one to die instead that night. I have no idea if they will follow up with this later on, but I have a feeling that this seed is going to come into play eventually. The thing I like with Jesse, even though we still have more to learn about her, is that despite all of Harry’s jerkish behavior, she seems to be the one person that grounds him.
Let’s talk about the horror that was Zoom, as Barry’s first battle with the speed demon went beyond expectations and left me with my jaw on the floor. The only thing that was known about this was that Barry would lose, but how he lost was the biggest surprise. Zoom is ruthless and full-on evil, and even worse than the damage he causes Barry physically is the humiliation he brings upon him, as he parades The Flash’s body around Central City as a defenseless hero. It’s a chilling seqeunce, and it was a lot to take in after a visually stunning battle. It gets worse for Barry, though, as Zoom steals his speed and leaves Barry not being able to move his legs at all. Something that The Flash deserves credit for is it has stakes; despite having powers, Barry isn’t indestructible as he could have almost died here.
However, I do have one issue with one of the final scenes of the episode, where Team Flash gathers around Barry at STAR Labs. Did anyone bother calling Iris? If I was almost murdered by a psycho speed demon, I would probably want to have someone call the important people in my life. In this case, it just felt like the writers, who did a great job with this episode otherwise, forgot to include the woman that is pretty much like family to Barry (not to mention his best friend), because you know that if someone had called her, she would have dropped everything and come rushing to Barry’s side out of concern. Let’s remember: she had to witness Barry being humiliated by Zoom at Central City Picture News, which was terrifying. Some might think it’s “nitpicking” on my part, but it’s beyond me how such a pivotal scene has someone as important as Barry’s great surrogate father there, and yet they don’t write in the most important person in his life to be there as well? It’s not much to ask to have all the characters gathered together for something like this when the hero has fallen big time.
Other than that issue, “Enter Zoom” was a solid episode that took this season to a new level with the show’s most formidable villain yet, making the stakes even bigger now. Jay was right with his warning to Barry to not go up against Zoom just yet. It will be interesting to see how Barry recovers from this and how he learns from it.
The Flash airs on Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
[Photo credit: Dean Buscher/The CW]