Tuesday, November 10, 2015

REVIEW: 'The Flash' - Barry Uses Linda to Lure Zoom into Battle But Gets More than He Bargained For in 'Enter Zoom'

The CW's The Flash - Episode 2.06 "Enter Zoom"

After recent events, Barry decides it's time to confront Zoom and comes up with a dangerous plan. Caitlin sides with Jay and deems it too dangerous for Barry to engage with the speed demon. Iris shows her support and brings forth a surprising ally. We see what Earth-2 Harrison Wells' life was like before coming through the breech.

Zoom is one scary bad guy for the season. After weeks of Jay Garrick and Wells-2 declaring just how powerful and menacing this new threat is for Barry and the team, Zoom finally does battle with Barry as the Flash. It takes awhile for the episode to build to that grand confrontation. But when it finally does happen, it is everything that this season has promised that it would be. Zoom is a terrifying new threat. He is much more terrifying than the Reverse Flash was last season. It's chilling watching him in this battle. Barry wanted to lure him into a fight so early in the season. And now, everyone has to deal with those consequences.

"Enter Zoom" is a tad less chaotic than the previous episodes of the season. It's rather simple to follow as it focuses on the emotional journeys the regular characters are on this season - and not just setting up plot for the spinoff, Legends of Tomorrow. The team is hoping to use the just captured Dr. Light in order to lure Zoom into this world so that they can trap him and end this threat once and for all. It's a precarious situation for everyone. Both sides of the argument have a fair point. Joe wants to remain cautious. Barry doesn't know enough about this new enemy to take him on so soon. He's being influenced by the man who shares the face of his mother's killer. That's just not something Joe can easily understand. And yet, Zoom's not going to stop sending meta-humans into this world. After seeing what Dr. Light did last week, Barry doesn't want any more innocent people to die in this war. That's an admirable quality that is fueling his decision to take on Zoom so soon.

Of course, things are soon complicated by Dr. Light managing to escape the containment unit at STAR Labs with her previously unknown powers of invisibility. Patty figuring out that Dr. Light may be able to do that shows just how smart she is - and just how foolish Joe and Barry are by not letting her in on their big secret. But nevertheless, Dr. Light has escaped with the team not being able to track her down. Iris takes Linda back to the West home for some protection in a world where a woman with the same face wants to kill her. It's not enough to make her feel safe though. That's when Iris and Barry come up with the plan to have Linda pose as Dr. Light so that they can lure Zoom through the breech with a staged fight. It's a plan that could go array any number of ways. But it's the only option these characters think they have left because they are so committed to dealing with this threat right now.

The training sequence of Linda using Dr. Light's powers is pretty fantastic. All of those cardboard cutouts were great - especially the ones with Cisco doing various poses. That was the comedic highlight of the week. But it was all to prepare her for the serious task she has just signed up for. Linda wants to do her part to find justice for the death of her editor. Helping the Flash is the only way to do that even though he is asking a lot of her right now. So that leads to Barry revealing himself to Linda as the Flash. She has a pretty funny reaction - noting that she has kissed the Flash. But it's all to make her feel more comfortable with this incredibly risky operation. It could also be frustrating that Barry has revealed himself to his ex-girlfriend before his current girlfriend, Patty - even though she is all about transparency. At least, Iris should be a little bothered by how quickly Barry tells Linda the truth after how long he kept the secret from her last season.

After so much preparation, the time comes for the trap to be set - only for Zoom not to show. After waiting for a little while, they all just give up. But that only sets things up for the surprising reveal of Zoom in the end. He's the one who catches the team off guard. And now, Linda's life is in even more danger than it was before. Barry got his fight but it also proved just how formidable an adversary Zoom actually is. The Flash's new lightning attack was rendered useless because Zoom could catch the bolt and send it right back at the Flash. Even Barry's big free fall strategy didn't work. The Flash was defeated. It was then particularly chilling to watch as Zoom dragged the Flash's body across the city to show him off as the weak, brittle hero he actually is. In that moment, nothing could stop Zoom - except for getting hit by the serum that Wells-2 created to affect his speed. That's enough to weaken him and send him running away to his own world. But Barry is also critically injured. He survives this battle. And yet, he wakes up to having no feeling in his ends. Zoom definitely did something to him. And a Flash rendered useless could have major consequences next week when the next meta-human attacks.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Enter Zoom" was written by Gabrielle Stanton & Brooke Eikmeier and directed by JJ Makaro.
  • The in media res opening was so unnecessary. It showed that Dr. Light would remain a crucial threat during this episode. But it still didn't add a whole lot of value to an episode that was already very tense - especially knowing that this confrontation was something Barry and the team actually wanted.
  • Considering what happened with Linda and Dr. Light, it's a tad surprising that no one from the team is curious about what their Earth-2 doppelgangers are like.
  • Why was Wells-2 so hesitant to having Cisco vibe him? He was so insistent on learning everything that Cisco saw when it came to his daughter, Jesse, being held captive by Zoom. Is Wells-2 hiding an even bigger secret?
  • Also, the show wasn't being subtle at all when it came to telling the audience that Wells-2's daughter is Jesse Quick from the comics.
  • As a detective, Patty is already starting to notice that Joe is keeping stuff from her. How long will that last before she presses for more answers. She doesn't notice it as much when it comes to Barry but that's only because she is infatuated with him.
  • There was a fun little Arrow twist in the Earth-2 flashbacks with Oliver having died on the island and his father, Robert, being the man in the hood. That could become a fun complication for Arrow in the future.
  • Linda flees for Coast City at the end of this episode in order to avoid Zoom. Both Arrow and The Flash have mentioned Coast City a lot. When is one of them actually going to spend some time there?