Wow, what an episode. After weeks of build up and tease, after seeing a blurry Zoom beat Jay Garrick in a fight, after hearing the creepy voice of Tony Todd say scary stuff we finally get to see Zoom in action against Barry, and it doesn’t disappoint at all.
The first part of the episode was all further build up to the climatic fight, that saw some slow character moments that were able to build tension whilst managing some warm and funny beats that got to showcase the whole of the cast.
Following on from the previous weeks encounter with the villainous Earth-2’s Doctor Light the team must turn to their worlds version of her, Linda Park, in order to form a trap for the evil speedster Zoom. The warehouse scene in which team Flash try to teach Linda how to act in the part was one of the funniest the show has had, with some great visual comedy in the form of Cisco’s cardboard cut outs of the group.
Having Linda take the place of her Earth-2 counterpart not only helped to complicate what would have been a pretty straight-forward plan, but also brought Linda into a more prominent role, even going so far as to trust her with Barry’s secret. Which is good for fans of the source material as she felt a lot like a throw away character in the first season.
Despite these comic elements there were plenty of dramatic beats leading up to the conclusion, including a further look into the past of the Earth-2 Harrison Wells. We not only learn that the daughter that Zoom kidnapped is none other than Jesse Quick (please give her super speed too CW), but that Wells is not another of Zooms agents sent to kill Barry, just a desperate man willing to do anything to save his daughter. These brief looks into Wells’ past also gave us an interesting insight into the Earth-2 version of Green Arrow, who in that universe was Robert Queen, instead of Oliver.
The call backs to Barry’s previous feud with the Reverse Flash also help to give a possible insight into his drive to face Zoom, that his lack of closure in not being the one to defeat the Reverse Flash at the end of season one might be leading to him making some rash choices.
After all the build up the team were ready to face off against the villainous Zoom, but nothing happened. Their plan was a bust. Instead Zoom lures team Flash into a false sense of security before striking, showing us all just how cunning and calculating the villain really is.
Not only is Zoom smart enough not to fall blindly into the trap set for him, he’s pretty damn scary. With a face that reminds me of a creature from my nightmares and the gravelly rasp of Tony Todd Zoom is instantly made memorable and vastly different from the Reverse Flash.
Just like with the Reverse Flash, Barry’s first fight against Zoom does not go well. Unlike that fight though, Barry was lucky to escape with his life. Up against a foe even stronger and faster than the Reverse Flash Barry is quickly beaten into submission before being held aloft as a defeated and broken hero in front of Central City’s press and police.
The season definitely hit a high point with this episode, firmly cementing the threat of their new villain, shutting down any complaints that he’s just another Reverse Flash and setting up some new drama (though I doubt Barry will stay paralysed for long).