Be mindful this is going to be to the brim with spoilers. If you’re a fan and haven’t seen the episode yet, please do that right now. This episode is completely worth it. With that past us, just keep on reading if you’ve seen it!
This week’s episode opens up with something I can barely remember, so I had to actually rewatch the episode to remember the cold opening. The show opens with a flash forward to Doctor Light and Barry’s rematch. It looks a little ominous, yeah sure. The only problem is the previews last week sort of spoil that it isn’t Doctor Light going to ‘kill’ Barry at all, so it sort of falls flat. If one didn’t see the preview, this would’ve been an ominous way to start off the episode. So the flash forward falls into an unfortunate circumstance, but oh well. It’s not such a huge issue.
The plan to capture Zoom is being formed, and of course the cast doesn’t like this. Why should they? Doctor Light wasn’t very willing to help out, and then you get a light-hearted joke from Cisco mentioning how Barry’s emblem isn’t such an easy thing to make, much less cheap. Despite the completely different feeling as opposed to what’s coming up, the tension building up to Barry & co.’s encounter with Zoom is great.
Personally speaking, I think the most fun to be had from the episode was from where they bring Linda into the team to act as Doctor Light. The original escapes by becoming invisible, hacking the systems at Star Labs, but leaves her suit behind. Joe expresses his concerns some more, keeping well on his character as well as feeding into the foreboding feeling leading up to the encounter with Zoom.
So Barry and friends’ attempt to groom her as Doctor Light goes by with great dialogue bouncing between each of the characters. There’s extra goofy poses in the cardboard cutouts for Cisco, which keeps solidifying my theory that Carlos Valdes isn’t actually acting. I swear he just randomly wanders onto stage and does whatever he wants.
I feel as though Linda could potentially be used as a more prominent character, especially now that she’s aware of Barry’s identity as The Flash. Being groomed as “Doctor Light” also gives me this vibe. Get it?
Ha. Ha. Ha.
So let’s get to “Doctor Light” vs Barry!
This is also rather amusing, because the flash forward is shown to be a completely different thing. The tension of the beginning completely vanishes here, and it’s a great touch as far as I’m concerned. Barry and Linda exchange awful hero vs villain one-liners, to which Cisco expresses exasperation at. I think that actually made this rather funny. The show doesn’t stop with the tension leading up to a villain that seemingly isn’t taking the bait. With that failure in mind, the entire cast up and quits. We get a little more insight on why Barry wants to take down Zoom so badly, and it plays out real well. The writers made sure to reference Reverse Flash-Wells’ final message to Barry, how he’ll never be happy since he never saved his mother. I think it was a great touch. Barry returning to his romance with Patty in order to reject what Wells said in his final message was, what I feel, a neat character interaction.
However, the warm character interaction is what makes the next events probably the best 8 minutes of television I’ve ever seen. About 49 minutes in, Barry finally encounters Zoom after receiving news from Iris that Linda had been kidnapped. “You like to fish with bait. I do too” is undoubtedly a rather chilling line, even if it was nothing big. I think a lot of credit has to go to the cast behind the scenes, alongside Tony Todd giving Zoom a completely unnatural voice. That raspy voice is just something only the ears could possibly describe. The suit designers need way more credit, because Zoom’s suit texture looks completely weird, and the designs around it too. Special effects creator giving Zoom constant blue lightning surrounding him also sells the image of Zoom being completely frigging horrifying.
So to start off with Zoom vs Barry, Barry opts to run around fast enough to create lightning, a technique he’d learned from Jay Garrick not too long ago. Cisco hypes this up with “OHHH, HE’S GONNA THUNDERBOLT HIM” , which gave me a chuckle. I think the horror begins the moment Barry tosses the lightning bolt at Zoom, and Zoom just catches it. It’s not even the part where he throws the darn thing back at Barry, it’s the fact he captured it.
Cisco continues to keep the tone a little low when he comments that he saw Zoom capture a bolt of lightning with his “demonic claws”.
Barry: “What do you want from me?”
I still swear Tony Todd’s voice needs to be credited more. And I’m doing that. A lot. Practically anything Zoom says is a little chilling, especially when backed by the part where he caught a freakin’ lightning bolt and threw it back. No I’m not going to leave that alone, because that’s just awesome.
Barry: “You wanna be me? Huh? You wanna be a hero?”
Zoom: “Heroes die.”
Barry: “Only if you can catch them.”
I’m sorry if I seem to be fanboying out between normal exchanges. It’s Zoom’s voice doing this to me. When Cisco and Katie discuss Barry’s plan to take Zoom into the air and take Zoom’s speed completely out of relevance, it was pretty cool. Then we see how it actually turns out for Barry, and it just doesn’t end well.
Zoom proceeding to prove his powerful dominance over Barry, and then running with his body around Central City like a trophy was probably the greatest touch.
“Look at your hero. This man is no god. He is nothing.”
“The days of The Flash protecting this city are over. Now what will you do without your precious hero?”
Zoom’s voice continues to be extremely ominous while he’s doing all this. The part where he ends Barry’s torture with a stab through his guts is almost horrifying to see. While watching this episode live, my jaw actually dropped. I cringed, and despite all that? I couldn’t look away from the screen. I was loving every second of it.
At first I feared Zoom would sort of be like retreading Reverse Flash, just a little less personal since we already dealt with the guy that killed Barry’s mother. Oh no, Zoom doesn’t try to live up to that. He surpasses that. He leaves Barry paralyzed from the legs, which is a great touch on the writers’ end of things. It shows that Barry didn’t just get away from this encounter unscathed, now he has an actual scar from meeting Zoom and underestimating him. There’s an actual sense of loss to the aftermath of his battle with Zoom. And I freaking love it.
I think I’ll leave this with a verdict of: Freaking awesome and what are you doing reading this when you could’ve watched the episode again?
I know I’m going to watch this episode again. JJ Makaro did a great job on this week’s episode, and I hope he’ll be brought in more often.