Season 2 of The Flash has continued Season 1’s habit of delivering crazy fun superheroics on a weekly basis. And if you thought Season 1 was insane with its psychic gorillas and time travel, Season 2 cranked up the wacky elements, from giant anthropomorphic sharks to parallel universes. This show continues to be a delight, even more so for comic book fans. Not only that, but Season 2 wasted no time getting into the main plot, name-dropping the season-long villain in the premiere (something neither it nor any of Arrow‘s previous seasons had done), giving us a glimpse of him the very next week, and delivering a midseason-finale-worthy showdown by the sixth episode. Which brings us to this week.
Warning: this review contains spoilers.
"Enter Zoom" was this season’s best episode yet, and definitely one of the top five of the whole series. Even before we got to the harrowing final 10 minutes, the episode was a lot of fun. I was glad to see Linda Park brought into the fold, since it promoted her to being more than just a former love interest now relegated to the background (even if she was shipped off to Coast City by the end of the episode). Her haphazard training sequence—including Cisco’s hilarious cutouts—and over-the-top staged fight with Flash were a source for a lot of laughs and showcased the series’ ability to mix light and dark elements seamlessly.
That being said, Barry’s plan to have Linda imitate her villainous Earth-2 doppelgänger, Dr. Light, in an attempt to bait Zoom was boneheaded to say the least. This isn’t a complaint. The idea Barry and Wells (or "Harry"), two incredibly intelligent characters, could not see how the idea was destined to fail even when confronted by Joe and the others speaks to how desperate both men were. Not only is Zoom Wells’s responsibility, but his daughter’s life is at stake. And for Barry, it’s more than just saving lives. It’s about disproving Eobard Thawne’s prophecy that he’d never be happy, and it’s about filling the void he’d been feeling since failing to be the one to dispatch the Reverse-Flash. This led to him underestimating Zoom and agreeing to put a friend’s life in danger, something I don’t see him doing under other circumstances.
Finally, Zoom arrived, and he lived up to the hype in a major way. Jay Garrick had referred to him as "an unstoppable demon with the face of death" and, well… yeah, that’s pretty accurate. Far from just a Reverse-Flash retread, Zoom was an imposing monstrosity with a spine-chilling voice to boot. He was legitimately terrifying, a speed demon more powerful than Barry could even dream of being. He destroyed the Flash, dragged him around the city like a rag doll, and paraded his broken body in front of the media and the police before leaving him crushed and crippled.
There are few things more dramatically compelling than watching a hero be utterly defeated, and that’s exactly what happened here. This villain means business, and if this is what we got barely six episodes in, then I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the rest of the season.
Rating: 4.5/5 (Excellent)
Notes and Observations
- Earth-2 Wells’s daughter is Jesse Quick, another speedster from the comics. Will her TV counterpart get powers too?
- On Earth-2, Oliver Queen was the one who died, but his father survived and became the Arrow instead. This is likely an intentional reference to the Flashpoint comic series, in which Bruce Wayne died and his father became Batman instead. Things like this are why I love parallel universe stories.
- Coast City, the comic book home of Green Lantern, was name-dropped again.
- Was there a reference to the number 52 this week? Let’s assume there was.