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TV Review: The Flash - Season 2 Episode 18 "Versus Zoom"

04.19.2016

EPISODE 18: "Versus Zoom"

SYNOPSIS: Equipped with the tachyon device, Barry believes he is fast enough to stop Zoom and wants to open the breaches to catch him. Harry strongly advises against that plan but after Barry convinces him, Harry reveals that Cisco has the power to re-open the breach. Meanwhile, Hunter Zolomon's painful story on Earth-2 is revealed.

The Flash, The CW, Zoom, Grant Gustin, DC Comics, TV Reviews, Arrow, Action, Comic Book, Fantasy, Superhero

REVIEW: Once the big reveal about Zoom's identity as Jay Garrick was made, many people began to theorize and wonder just how the Earth-2 Flash could also be the big bad black clad villain as well. Tonight's episode begins to answer those questions while delivering a nice setup for the final few episodes of The Flash's sophomore season. It turns out that Jay Garrick never existed and Zoom is actually Hunter Zolomon, the alter ego of the villain in the pages of DC Comics. Something about this big explanation feels a bit underwhelming, especially since Zolomon was teased earlier this season when Jay revealed the Earth-1 Zolomon to Caitlyn. Still, seeing the true nature of Jay/Hunter/Zoom is a chilling reminder of just how much better the small screen villains are compared to the big screen ones from DC and Marvel.

This episode gives us quite a bit of backstory on Hunter Zolomon. The hour opens with a flashback to Hunter as an 11-year-old as he witnesses his mother murdered by his father. The elder Zolomon wore the helmet that would become The Flash's headgear. Hunter was then sent to a foster home where he would remain for the rest of his formative years. The death scene of Hunter's mother is very reminiscent of Barry's witnessing of his own mother's demise which seems intentional. But, where Barry would become a hero, Hunter Zolomon became a serial killer. The Earth-2 maniac would murder two dozen before being sentenced to an insane asylum where he would undergo electroshock therapy during the particle accelerator explosion, giving him his speed. This reveal comes courtesy of Harrison Wells who seems to know the story of Zolomon and claims everyone on Earth-2 knows his face. Despite Zolomon having a beard, it seems odd no one saw the physical similarity between him and Jay Garrick

The Flash, The CW, Zoom, Grant Gustin, DC Comics, TV Reviews, Arrow, Action, Comic Book, Fantasy, Superhero

With the tachyon chestplate in use, Barry manages to get his speed to four times his prior limit. He briefly disappears and reappears during his trial run which also served as his guest appearance on Supergirl a few weeks ago. It seems odd he didn't mention his Earth-3 visit, but maybe he is saving that for later. Barry, more determined than ever to confront Zoom, asks Cisco to help him open a new breach using his vibe powers. Cisco is reluctant as he fears he may follow his doppelganger's evil decline. Barry eventually convinces him he will never turn evil because he has a family that loves him. At the same time, Wells and Joe ask Barry not to confront Zoom, but Barry is adamant. Both surrogate fathers decide to help Barry rather than stand in his way. Knowing the true identity of who Zoom/Jay/Hunter is seems to be an ace in their pocket.

We also get some new developments with Iris and Wally. Iris reveals to Caitlyn that she has begun having feelings for Barry but hasn't found the right time to tell him. Caitlyn insists she should. Wally drops some very passive hints about not having anywhere to live to which Joe offers to help pay for his dorm. It is only when Barry tells Joe that he realizes that Wally wants to live at home with his father. By episode's end, everyone seems to be on pace to be one big happy family. Hell, even Wells seems content to learn that Joe is not going to give up trying to find Jesse in Keystone City. Together, they prepare for Barry to face off against Zoom. When he comes through the breach, Barry leads his foe to STAR Labs where they have life-size cutouts of Zolomon's parents to taunt him. Barry shackles Zoom with a speed dampener and the two chat about Zoom losing. Only, Zoom is just playing and kidnaps Wally. Zoom offers a deal: Wally West in exchange for Barry's speed.

The Flash, The CW, Zoom, Grant Gustin, DC Comics, TV Reviews, Arrow, Action, Comic Book, Fantasy, Superhero

Barry obliges and as Wells prepares to drain his speed, Zoom explains that he sought his time remnant to pose as Jay so the team could see him "die" and keep his secret. Barry asks who the man in the iron mask is in Zoom's lair, but he says they would never believe him. Could it be Wally West as his incarnation of The Flash? Jay/Zoom/Hunter is pretty terrifying in his true form. It oddly feels very early for this confrontation to take place, but Barry allows his power to be drained to save Wally. Once Wally is clear and Zoom has taken his power, he chokes Barry. Caitlyn pleads by saying if any of the emotions Jay shared with Caitlyn were real to spare Barry. He does but then takes Caitlyn and speeds away.

While the reveal of who Zoom is seems to have been dragged on an episode or two too long, this was a solid episode with some dramatic moments. My biggest problem with where this season is heading is that it feels a bit too predictable. This hour is setting up the bond between Caitlyn and Jay as what will be Zoom's ultimate downfall. I really hope it ends up being a bit stronger than that. The "time remnant" explanation was a bit too easy but I am glad they are saving the masked man reveal for later in the season. Something tells me whoever is under that iron headgear is going to be a much more significant reveal that Zoom. It also seems a bit disappointing that the alternate Flash ends up being nothing more than a fiction for a villain, but that opens the door for another true Flash to reveal themselves. Here's hoping the final few episodes are a bit stronger than this one and end the season with a bang.

FINAL VERDICT:

NEXT ON THE FLASH: "Back To Normal" airs April 26th -A meta-human with super strength named Griffin Grey mistakes Harry for Earth-1 Harrison Wells and kidnaps him, demanding that Wells cure him from his current condition. Realizing another brilliant Wells could help track Griffin's location, Barry asks Jesse to help. Meanwhile, Wally corners Joe about The Flash.

Source: JoBlo.com

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11:22PM on 04/20/2016

Sorry to say....

I disagree. This was not one of the better Flash episodes. It seemed to be going in a really good direction until Barry decided to give up his speed. That is just so pointlessly stupid and obviously just a set up to build emotional stakes later. What kind of idiot would think that giving a serial killer unbeatable powers would lead him to stop killing people? What makes Barry think that Zoom wouldn't just kill Wally, Joe, Iris, Cisco, Harry, AND Barry once he has what he wants? Just a
I disagree. This was not one of the better Flash episodes. It seemed to be going in a really good direction until Barry decided to give up his speed. That is just so pointlessly stupid and obviously just a set up to build emotional stakes later. What kind of idiot would think that giving a serial killer unbeatable powers would lead him to stop killing people? What makes Barry think that Zoom wouldn't just kill Wally, Joe, Iris, Cisco, Harry, AND Barry once he has what he wants? Just a ridiculous plot point (and one that means Barry was fine with Zoom continuing to murder at will).

I'll be honest, I'm really curious about the man in the mask thing now. I was sure it was Jay from a different Earth and that Zoom was collecting speedsters to siphon speed force from. Now with that dump "time remnant" explanation, that wouldn't make any sense. It can't be Barry and it can't be most of the rest of the cast.

Maybe Barry's dad? But why would Barry "not believe" it? I hope that reveal is actually amazing. They've built it up for months now, so they really need to follow through.
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12:49PM on 04/20/2016

Spoiler warning? Stinks of click-bait troll-hackism...

@ Alex Maidy, You just can't resist putting spoilers in header images, can you? I had no idea who Zoom was. How about a little journalistic integrity dude? I've been following you guys since the beginning and now i'm done with joblo. too many click-bait spoilers in titles and images. Peace out.
@ Alex Maidy, You just can't resist putting spoilers in header images, can you? I had no idea who Zoom was. How about a little journalistic integrity dude? I've been following you guys since the beginning and now i'm done with joblo. too many click-bait spoilers in titles and images. Peace out.
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1:18PM on 04/20/2016
Its been almost a month since the reveal since Flash took a few week break. Sorry man but I don't have sympathy after that long. I could understand if he posted this pic the day after the big reveal, but its been a pretty long damn time. Its been available online for weeks if you missed the initial broadcast. I hate people that scream about spoilers.You know what I do if I know someplace reviews something or talks about something and I'm not current? I don't act like the world revolves around
Its been almost a month since the reveal since Flash took a few week break. Sorry man but I don't have sympathy after that long. I could understand if he posted this pic the day after the big reveal, but its been a pretty long damn time. Its been available online for weeks if you missed the initial broadcast. I hate people that scream about spoilers.You know what I do if I know someplace reviews something or talks about something and I'm not current? I don't act like the world revolves around my time and ability to watch by demanding they don't discuss or show things, I just act responsibly and don't go there (especially the morning after the show). Its not everyone else's job to protect you from spoilers, its your own, take some fucking responsibility.
3:05PM on 04/20/2016
@Wopolopolus Maybe the OP could have worded his argument better, but some of us have to wait until it's on Netflix to watch. Don't attack people because they don't follow your set of rules for watching a TV show. Point is, there are thousands of different still images that could have been used for the article. But the editor decided to use a spoiler for the whole season story arc instead.
@Wopolopolus Maybe the OP could have worded his argument better, but some of us have to wait until it's on Netflix to watch. Don't attack people because they don't follow your set of rules for watching a TV show. Point is, there are thousands of different still images that could have been used for the article. But the editor decided to use a spoiler for the whole season story arc instead.
3:05PM on 04/20/2016
You would have a VERY VALID point Wopolopolus, if only the thumbnail on the main page wasnt of Jay in Zooms outfit. So if we did do like you say and avoided this article, we would have still been spoiled by just scrolling through the Home Page. And that is a valid point, yes we can easily avoid this particular article and not read it. But when a spoiler is Plastered on the main page, thats just absurd. Theres no defending that.
You would have a VERY VALID point Wopolopolus, if only the thumbnail on the main page wasnt of Jay in Zooms outfit. So if we did do like you say and avoided this article, we would have still been spoiled by just scrolling through the Home Page. And that is a valid point, yes we can easily avoid this particular article and not read it. But when a spoiler is Plastered on the main page, thats just absurd. Theres no defending that.
11:32PM on 04/20/2016
Its not this site's, or any site's, responsibility to protect the secrets of anything after initial release or broadcast. Especially a month afterward. If I haven't seen a movie or tv show I just avoid places I know talk about it or show things regarding it. If I go to them and they're spoiled then its on ME and ME alone. That's because I knew better and did it anyway. I knew there was a chance I would be especially the day afterward. If you're waiting for Netflix fine, but again thats on you.
Its not this site's, or any site's, responsibility to protect the secrets of anything after initial release or broadcast. Especially a month afterward. If I haven't seen a movie or tv show I just avoid places I know talk about it or show things regarding it. If I go to them and they're spoiled then its on ME and ME alone. That's because I knew better and did it anyway. I knew there was a chance I would be especially the day afterward. If you're waiting for Netflix fine, but again thats on you. There are a million ways to watch it prior to that. I didn't catch up on Arrow until S3 had already began. I didn't come to this site on Wednesday nights or Thursday mornings specifically to avoid any chance of seeing what was going on until I got caught up. Why? Because I had no right to expect a site that discusses movies and tv would not discuss movies and tv shows to keep my fragile little world spoiler free. I could have simply avoided it myself. This world is getting to be a sad place where personal responsibility is not existent, its easier to whine and blame someone else rather than yourself.
4:45PM on 04/27/2016
A week late on this since I'm in the UK and avoid these articles until we catch up but I do agree with Joranistan. I found out Jay was Zoom when I accidentally saw the abstract "It has been several weeks since the big reveal that Zoom is actually Jay Garrick" from episode 16 on the homepage. I fell a couple of weeks behind due to prioritizing Daredevil and the knock on effect that caused in the stuff I was watching. I understand the point about taking responsibility in avoiding stuff like
A week late on this since I'm in the UK and avoid these articles until we catch up but I do agree with Joranistan. I found out Jay was Zoom when I accidentally saw the abstract "It has been several weeks since the big reveal that Zoom is actually Jay Garrick" from episode 16 on the homepage. I fell a couple of weeks behind due to prioritizing Daredevil and the knock on effect that caused in the stuff I was watching. I understand the point about taking responsibility in avoiding stuff like this...but I come to this site to read other stories too...so having the reveal in the abstract that's visible on the homepage was disappointing.
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