Time to fear…Zoom is here! The demonic dark speedster has come to Central City and has left a wave of destruction in his wake. “The Flash” knocked another episode out of the park this week. We spent the majority of its running time entertained and smiling, only to be beaten into bloody submission when the evil Zoom finally arrived. Folks, Barry is in trouble.
The first three fourths of this week’s installment was an absolute blast, from the usual team reactions (“I would never allow that to happen, Sgt. Slow is a terrible name!”) to Barry’s almost painfully adorable relationship with Detective Patty Spivot. It was night to see Malese Jow’s upped screentime continued this week, both as Earth-2 Doctor Light and as our own Linda Park. I’d almost forgotten how good she was before she fully waltzed back into the series last week and had hoped she would be better utilized going forward. This week granted my wish in some wonderful ways.
So what’s the plan? After Doctor Light turns invisible and escapes confinement, Team Flash manages to convince Linda to pretend to be Doctor Light, fake the death of The Flash, and trick Zoom into coming over into our world to be captured. Linda’s Doctor Light training is a blast (pun intended) and breathes a lot of lightheartedness (heheh) to the proceedings, which deftly manipulates the audience ahead of what is to come.
Their plan doesn’t work, of course, but not in the way you might think. Zoom doesn’t show up. Everyone goes home bummed, but also relieved. It is at that moment that Zoom strikes. After a playful face-off…or at least as playful as facing of against someone with the voice of Tony Todd can be…Zoom’s abilities are finally showcased. What we are left with is a bloody, broken, and beaten Flash that our new arch-nemesis showcases in front of the press, the police, and finally Barry’s friends. If not for a last minute save by Cisco, Barry would no longer be among the living.
If that weren’t enough darkness for you, it becomes clear shortly after that Barry is now (at least temporarily) paralyzed below the waist, leaving Zoom to terrorize Central City as he sees fit. This does bode well for our characters or the city, as next week’s preview showcased the return of the dark matter enhanced gorilla, Grodd. Are you bummed out yet? I sure am. On the flipside, while it’s terrible that we now know his daughter Jesse is held in captivity by Zoom, it’s nice to have “Harry” Wells story further brought to light and see him humanized a bit more.
While not as personal a threat as Reverse-Flash was for Barry, the writers have smartly skewed in the complete opposite direction when crafting Zoom. He is (possibly literally) an inhuman monster of a foe, lacking the complexity of Eobard Thawne (at least for now), but doubling down when it comes to sheer evil. It remains to be seen who lies behind that menacing mask. I’m sure it will come as both a surprise and a blow when the time comes, quite likely offering up a twisted, dark version of one of our favorite characters and giving whichever actor it is a fun change of pace in terms of performance. I can’t wait for that particular shoe to drop, but I also can’t wait to see how they continue to showcase the grim machinations of Zoom.
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