THE FLASH S2 EP6 "ENTER ZOOM" REVIEW!
By Jarrett Kruse
The Flash is my favorite show on TV, their I said it. Every week it continues to outdo itself with each episode being an awesome self contained cinema-like installment leaving me salivating for the next episode. I want the weekend to get here and the new week to start so that Tuesday will come and I can get to watch a new episode of The Flash. I am literally letting the show revolve my week around and if I don't get my fix, I seriously get pissed! I know that the first week is coming, usually around the holidays where there will be that first rerun of the year and I'm gonna be jonesing for a fresh episode. I cannot even catch up on seasons of ARROW which I am dying to watch but am so invested in The Flash that my only thought is, "how can ARROW top this??" Tuesday's episode was as close to five stars as I could give except for one little thing that bothered me like a piece of chicken stuck in my back tooth. So I consulted my best friend/brother who knows everything according to him and has been telling me "I'm right, you're wrong, go away" for several decades now. However, his explanation was just "eh" and didn't really do it for me thus the 4.5 star rating. So lets dive right as we finally get to "Enter Zoom."
When the show opens, we see Flash getting an ass whooping by Doctor Light who we all thought was in the pipeline. Victorious, she stands over Barry and tears the emblem off his chest and defiantly says, "ZOOM always wins." Then they cut away to STAR Labs and it says "72 HOURS EARLIER." Hmmm, a very interesting beginning to an outstanding episode but I am usually not a big fan of the whole "72/48/24 HOURS EARLIER" plot device but it works here. So we know that ZOOM is sending baddies through the tears caused by the singularity and wants the Flash dead asap. Barry takes a pretty novel approach and visits Doctor Light in the pipeline and wants to know what ZOOM's plan was and she spills. Well, a little. She tells Flash that she was supposed to engage him in a fight and then take his emblem and send it through a rip letting ZOOM know that the job is done and she can be relieved of whatever debt she owes him. She pleads with Barry to just let her go but he tells her that she will be looking over her shoulder the rest of her life. There has to be something...
Then their is an interesting segue to Earth-2 where Harrison Wells is running STAR Labs with an iron fist right after the press conference from last week where the Jay Garrick Flash outed Wells as being the one that has created all of these meta-humans in Central City. It was because of the explosion of Wells' particle accelerator that has created these beings and he has never taken responsibility for it to the press. His daughter Jesse, a very bright girl, wants to know if what Garrick said is true at the press conference. Now she understands why he's hated Garrick, its because he knew what Wells did letting the particle accelerator go critical causing the creation of meta-humans. As she exits angrily, Wells says softly, "Jesse Quick..." And of course we all know who Jenny Quick is but we are in a spoiler-free zone tonight! What we do know is that ZOOM has Jenny on Earth-2 imprisoned in pretty lousy conditions without meal service or wi-fi.
At the Picture News, sports reporter Linda Park is still super freaked out that she has a doppelgänger from another version of Earth that is trying to kill people. Iris does her best to calm her but I immediately got the feeling that either Linda is not going to make it through the episode or is going to contribute in a big way. Either way, she is scared, worried and most of all does not want another person hurt by someone that looks exactly like her. Meanwhile at STAR Labs, Cisco goes to bring Doctor Light some Big Belly Burger (so thats how they eat!) but sees that her cell is totally empty. Her clothes are still there but this is a serious breach and she is apparently hacking all of the safety protocols via the fiber optics that are made of pulses of light. I guess its ok to be naked then. Whatever happened, Doctor Light is in the wind...and she's naked. How far can she get?
What I am digging so much about the Flash narrative is that they are managing to seamlessly intertwine several ongoing stories at once. Plus, now their is the added bonus of what is going on on Earth-2 and who knows what that will bring us. The fact that Wells' daughters safety is in jeopardy by ZOOM, a character now formidable on two Earths is making for great TV. I am praying that they can parlay this on the new show Legends of Tomorrow that will pretty much feature all of the good and bad guys we have seen on both The Flash & ARROW. Creating a triumverate of shows on the same network all within the same universe is no small feat so I am very excited to see what Legends of Tomorrow has in store for us who live in Central and Starling City on a weekly basis.
Worried that she may go after Linda again, they stash her at Iris and Joe's place. However, Barry is adamant on figuring out a way to stop ZOOM. The ghosts of the REVERSE FLASH seem to be haunting Barry because he is still seeing the face of his mother's killer every day albeit a different version in Earth-2 Wells. Caitlyn and Cisco discuss if the latter can get a "vibe" off of the new Wells by touching him but Wells is pretty anti-touch as in when he tells Cisco "don't touch me. Don't try to get a vibe off of me."
Back on Earth-2, Wells is tinkering away and watching the news when they are interrupted with an emergency broadcast. The science building at the Central City College was attacked by a hostile meta-human. ZOOM has abducted Jesse. So, ok, at least we now have a little back story on how that all went down and I do love me some backstory. It is strange because the Wells from Season 1 and Earth-2 Season 2 Wells are vastly different but also have some kind of quality that I cannot put my finger on yet of how they are interesting people that despite being dastardly have some level of likability. Another character who at first I was not crazy about is Cisco who has proved himself to be very useful since he has discovered that he is VIBE. In season one he was really the only character that I could have taken or left and I always felt like his jokes died like a lead balloon. However in season two, he is coming into his own and that can mean only good things as far as building his confidence up both as a person and now as a meta.
At Joe's place, Linda is cooking up a storm to relax but Iris and Barry realize that she is terrified. Something Iris says tiggers Barry with an idea that they do have Doctor Light's suit and a woman that looks exactly like the villain, so what if they were to do the old switcheroo and bait ZOOM? Iris takes Linda to STAR Labs having no idea why when The Flash appears wowing Linda telling her that he needs her help. How cool is that, when a superhero needs your help? Linda is game for this ruse and Cisco has made and set up cutouts of of the whole cast for this faux Doctor Light to "practice" shooting the stand-ins with these gloves that emit power and light blasts designed by Cisco. It goes remarkably bad and actually gives us some much needed comic relief. Despite her poor performance, everyone but Barry does not think that Linda is prepared to do this. Setting up a fake matchup between Linda as Doctor Light and The Flash to bait ZOOM into appearing so that Barry can have a go at him? It's all very thin but again, those ghosts are talking loud to Barry. To really sell it, Barry decides to show up at Linda's as The Flash doing his voice thing wear it vibrates and decides to remove the cowl and show Linda that it is just good, old Barry behind the mask. Her reaction is funny as she automatically says without thinking, "Holy Crap. I've made out with The Flash!" I do wonder sometimes how vulnerable Joe's old house is for the bad guys and that stashing witnesses and people of importance there is the brightest idea. Not that ZOOM could be stopped even if they were under lock and key, I'm just saying if I wanted to be in police custody, the last place would be in a very vulnerable old house.
Cisco is still trying to touch Wells in any way that he can and decides to invade his work space and spills some grease or something. Despite the awkwardness, he finally interacts with Wells and gets a "vibe." Its Jesse on Earth-2 being held captive by ZOOM and he is talking to her while she hysterically whimpers and cries. He says, "I know Wells went to the other Earth, why?" Tied up, you can barely make out her say, "I don't know why, I swear!" However, ZOOM is not convinced and comes back with, "your loyalty is admirable, Jesse."
Finally at the docks in a remote part of town, the fake showdown between Linda as Doctor Light and Barry as The Flash is on. They make it look real enough and Barry takes some actual hits until Linda finally knocks Barry down and takes his emblem. She yells into the nothingness, "I've done what you wanted, now bring me home!" and throws the emblem into the rip that appears out of nowhere. All I am thinking is this: Is ZOOM wtching everything all of the time? How does he know when they were going to fight? What world is he on? Anyway an hour goes by and nothing happens so they decide that despite the valiant effort, ZOOM is too smart for this ruse. At the precinct, Barry and Spivot share a moment after Joe gives him a pep talk about not letting Wells #1 get back in his head.
Linda and Iris are sharing a beer at the Picture News as the former mulls over that the biggest story of her life as something she cannot even write about. But just as Linda leaves, out of nowhere she is face to face with a snarling ZOOM and the pair are gone. In a flash (sorry), ZOOM is on the roof of STAR Labs with Linda and tosses her off the structure but Barry is able to save her. What ensues next is totally cinema-worthy. ZOOM does not look human but instead has what appears to be an alien texture, almost like SPAWN with these cool claws. Wells assures the STAR Labs gang that ZOOM is indeed human as Barry is prepping to do what Garrick taught him to do and create a lighting bolt. Barry does and throws it right at ZOOM but he catches it and throws it right back at Barry knocking him out. I have a feeling that character actor Tony Todd is going to be a hit at Con's next year and will be able to charge a pretty penny for an 8 x 10 of him dressed up as ZOOM. Just go to imdb.com and type in Tony Todd and I'm sure you will say, "ohhhhhh, that guy." He's been in everything.
The two engage in an epic battke as Wells tries to get a shot off of the serum he created to slow ZOOM down. ZOOM catches it in his hands and then goes on a tour of the city holding up an unconscious and incoherent Barry like a rag doll, first at the Picture News and then the CCPD where the on duty cops empty every round they have at him. ZOOM catches every last bullet and simply says, "nice try." This is one of the coolest villains I have ever seen! I mean he was cool on the comic book page but I didn't think he would translate so perfectly in this medium. He runs back using this cool slo-mo effect (talk about irony) to STAR Labs and says "Harrison Wells, you thought you could defeat me with this?" Wells responds that he made a mistake. ZOOM concurs that it was a costly one. Holding Barry up like a bunch of grapes, ZOOM bellows, "You, too, weren't fast enough." Then bam, Cisco out of nowhere hits him with the elephant rifle filled with the anti-speed serum and ZOOM is gone.
As Barry is critical in the in house STAR Labs hospital, Joe is ready to knock Wells out just to have something to hit. Cisco intervenes and admits that he got a vibe off of Wells and that Jesse is alive and being held captive by ZOOM. Although Wells is relieved for a moment that his daughter is alive, he realizes what this means. Wells admits that he tried on his Earth to capture ZOOM but couldn't and thought that with Barry's help, he could do it here on this Earth. Apparently he was wrong.
While Cisco and Caitlyn surround Barry's bedside, he finally comes to and looks worse than ever. The Reverse Flash seems like a dance partner compared to ZOOM and his powers. Suddenly Barry goes sheet white and tells the guys that he can't feel his legs. Again he says, "I can't feel my legs" and the episode is over. Can you pack more into a 41 minute episode of network TV? Impossible!
Like I said at the beginning of my review, The Flash has it all. Drama, action, sci-fi, romance; just solid storytelling all around. The narrative is broad but just so damn good and never seems to miss a beat. I took off the half a star for that one infraction about how I cannot figure out how it is that ZOOM is able to keep tabs or know when to do what and how he can monitor everyone's movements. I am not sure if there is going to be a simple explanation for that because that sounds like a biggie to me. Other than that, I watched the episode six times just while writing this review and not once did I feel like watching something else. That's how good this show is. Go buy Season 1, binge watch that baby like there's no tomorrow, then catch up on Hulu because its all happening in Central City folks. Everything, And its all going really fast.