I don’t think anyone prepared themselves for what exactly played out on the second to last episode of The Flash. Preparing for next weeks season two finale, the stage is set and things are racing as we approach an ultimate showdown between Barry Allen’s strongest opponent.
Caitlin Snow was suddenly released from the grips of Zoom and make her return to S.T.A.R. Labs, although her return brought fear along with her. Why was she all of a sudden released? But something just didn’t feel right about the sudden change of heart from Zoom.
Fear played a common denominator for the entirety of the episode. Barry is riding a sort of high after his experience within the speed force, leaving him without fear for the time being. On the opposite end, Caitlin is broken and full of fear, visualizing Zoom everywhere she goes and Wally is abandoning any fear he has, setting himself up for vigilante-like actions.
Personally, this theme was a great undertone for the entirety of the episode, even if it wasn’t a prevalent message that was being displayed.
Zoom’s army is running rampant in the streets of Central City, creating much more of a problem for the team, trying to fend off the various metahumans and cleverly named “metapocalypse” is one thing, but when their leader is running faster and with a much more sinister agenda, things are a bit more complicated.
Feeling like a new person, Barry is running like the wind. He’s upbeat, proactive and taking any challenge head on and just rolling with the punches. Sounds like the type of person one would want on their team, right?
One would argue that optimism is a value that any team would be lucky to have, and in this case, some sort of optimism is necessary. However, Barry takes this to a whole new level, warranting a small chat with Henry about how his optimism seems to be blinding him from the reality of things. You can tell that not everyone is on the same wavelength as him, simply because Central City is close to erupting and they are in for a potentially catastrophic result if something isn’t done immediately.
Looking at this weeks villain, a familiar face in Katie Cassidy is walking the streets playing Jenga on a city-wide scale. Only this time, she’s not the Laurel Lance we all know, love and miss. This time, she is the Earth-2 Laurel, known as the Black Siren. Our first glimpse shows a leather-clad Laurel approaching Mercury Labs, and using her high-pitched shriek, manages to reduce the tower to rumble. With intent to injure all inside, Barry managed to speed through the collapsing building and save Dr. Christina McGee, who revealed to him that she knew exactly who the Flash was.
Alongside this, we catch a glimpse of the unfolding events going on through the eyes of Cisco, who briefly vibed a dead bird laying on the ground. Before he could make heads or tails of the vision, Barry sped off to help with the Mercury Labs attack. This was not the only vision, however, as Cisco’s visions became more developed and elaborate throughout the episode, as his next vibe was of multiple birds crashing into a building, shattering glass and falling to the ground.
In the days following the second particle accelerator, we have seen two very different reactions from Jesse and Wally. Wally is taking himself to the streets to prove to himself that he was worth the saving and all of the bad things that have happened and that the redemption is necessary for him to feel better. Jesse, on the other hand, knows that something is going to happen, having Caitlin run tests on her again. Interrupted by Harry, it seems like he knows something is going to happen, but he doesn’t want to believe it and instead influences her to rely on her intellect to help with the metapocalypse.
It was only a matter of time before Zoom and Barry went face to face since his return from the force. But it was done in a different way.
I have to give it to Teddy Sears, because his sadistic and pessimistic outlook as he grows into his Zoom portrayal are amazing. It evident that Zoom is the darkness to Barry’s light, his polar opposite outlook make for what will be a phenomenal battle. When Barry speeds to CCPD to confront him, I expected a fight and a chase, but we were hit with a mincing of words.
“You know I never saw the crime photos of my mothers murder,” we hear Jay speak, “well I guess I didn’t need to. A ring side seat while you got whisked away.” Right off the bat he paints a picture of the stark difference in their origins. Jay goes on and speaks of how they are mirror images of each other, despite not actually being doppelgängers of each other. He’s doesn’t blink twice at killing others, but he exploits Barry’s need to always be the hero and how that is the way he is going to beat him.
Just as Barry was about to attack, he hears another building collapsing and speeds off to save those in that building, just as Jay planned.
Back at S.T.A.R., the team needs a way to solve the issue of numerous meta attacks and the impeding Zoom attack. Bouncing around ideas, they come up with a pretty decent idea. Using the idea of the different vibrations that Earth-2 beings are used to, Barry roots on the team as they look to explore ways to knock out the threat at large. Again, his high hopes seems to just sit awkwardly with the group, most notably Cisco, who just kind of balks at the “rah rah” that Barry is putting out.
Joe pulls Barry aside to speak to him about Wally and how he is nervous about his son’s sudden knack for catching bad guys. Asking Barry to speak to him, he does. Which goes down almost immediately. The scene changes to Wally’s car, where he is listening in to a police scanner, hoping to catch wind of another meta attack.
Barry flashes in and using his vibrating voice distortion, Barry tries to talk some sense into Wally, but it goes the complete opposite direction. As Wally speaks of how Central City is his city now, you can see Barry is recognizing the heroic inner self that Wally has. Their talk is cut short as Barry is called away to a major meta attack. But not before he reveals the location of the attack, prompting Wally to follow suit.
In this encounter, Barry finally puts a face to the attacker. Stunned at who he is looking at, being that he was just at her doppelgängers funeral, he looks at Laurel Lance. Their first meeting did not go well, as she outmatches Barry with her shriek, nearly killing him with 250dB. Barry was writhing in pain and just as she was about to finish him off, Black Siren began talking about how Zoom was afraid of him and if it were her, she would have already killed Barry. Her speech was cut short, as a fishtailing Wally knocked her off stride and taking Barry in to his passenger seat.
While the heroics were one to be amazed at, they were equally aggravating for Joe, as he laid into Barry for Wally doing to opposite of what Barry told him to do. However, Barry seems to be buying into this whole heroic Wally bit that he even tells Joe that he has an inherited need to help people, which he got from Joe. This prompts another speech to Barry about his lack of fear and his over-confident mentality, this time from Iris. Short and simple, she tells Barry that being a little bit scared is okay, as it’s a healthy thing to know which risk to and to not take.
I mean, can we just give Wally his powers now? There is so much set up for Wally to take a Flash persona that I cannot take much more. Though I doubt we see him, in any way, take in the speed force this season.
We then see the scene change to Zoom and Siren talking about his plans for Central City. While his overall scheme is still shrouded in secrecy, he does reveal that he plans on keeping Barry occupied doing “hero” things while he is up to no good.
As the final encounter approaches, we see just how the team plans to defeat all of the Earth-2 metahumans. Using Barry’s speed as an amplifier and a vibration, the team designs a device that utilizes the higher frequency that E-2 inhabitants are accustomed to, the plan is to knock them out and trap them, reducing Zoom’s army to next to nothing.
With the Siren ready to take down an entire apartment complex, Cisco cooks up a huge diversion technique to throw off Siren’s attack, by dressing him and Caitlin up as Reverb and Killer Frost, respectively. Fooling Siren by saying that they’re alive and forming an alliance, she quickly realizes that it’s a lie and attacks them, only to be thwarted by a pulse shot out by Cisco. Unfortunately, it was a one-off for the time being, but the amplifier kicked in and knocked her out before she could do anything.
Around the city, E-2 metas were immediately affected, Zoom included. However, Zoom managed to open a breach and escape back to Earth-2. Locking some up in the basement and the rest in Iron Heights, the team also locked Siren in a sound-proofed case, not to be heard from for awhile.
While all seems right for now in Central City, the team groups at the West household for dinner. Henry and Dr. McGee seem to be hitting it off, as do Jesse and Wally. All that leaves is Iris and Wally, who FINALLY decided to give their relationship a shot. After all this time, we see the beginnings to their relationship begin to take hold.
As they were sitting down to eat, Cisco had one last vibe, this time of the birds around him and him looking into the sky of Earth-2 Central City splitting in half and falling to ruins. Nervously hoping he didn’t see the future, the team looks just as equally frightened by the latest vision.
Adding to this, Zoom reappears right in the West living room and takes Henry hostage, speeding off.
Barry chases after him, back to the old Allen household, clearly setting up to rip all of our hearts out. Jay stood there, showing his brutal side, ready to show Barry what it’s like to watch a parent die. Henry is pushed forward and just like when “Jay” was killed, a hand was thrusted through Henry’s chest to Barry’s screams, and the episode cut to black.
So many emotions, so many expletives. But what a way to lead into the season finale, this is the first time that I am actually not quite sure how things will play out. Most cases, I get the drift of how they are going to go about, missing a few details or major spoilers, but this episode left me in the dust about the way things are heading.
Next week, we will see the ultimate showdown of Flash and Zoom, which happens to be a race to see who is the fastest man alive. Tensions are high and a very angry Barry are in store for a thrilling finale. Can it be next Tuesday yet?
Check out the promo for next weeks episode of The Flash.