The Flash: 2.18 Versus Zoom
In the history of bad ideas, this week's plan to defeat Zoom has to rank as one of the worst. Perhaps its because I have never really understood why Barry Allen wanted to open up a portal to Earth 2 and take on Zoom once again. Yes he's a hero and yes the people of that world were in danger but thanks to some absolutely terrible decision making this week he had unleashed Zoom on this Earth and lost his powers - and Caitlin - in the process.
Perhaps Versus Zoom was attempting to show that good intentions really are what pave the way to Hell. But unfortunately it all came across as a little idiotic. Harrison Wells was the voice of reason but noble Barry would not listen and so he convinced Cisco to take his powers to the next level and open up a portal to the other dimension.
This in itself seemed like a rather large leap in logic and abilities. He only got the visor from his evil Earth 2 counterpart Reverb a few weeks ago and here he is opening portals to alternate realities. It's a bit frustrating because much of The Flash season two has felt like treading water with the Zoom arc, particularly after the thrilling showdown at the end of Enter Zoom and now it feels like a mad rush to the end. I did love his discussion about he was essentially Anakin Skywalker - he could feel the power and thanks to what he had seen in Earth 2, that could easily turn him into Vader.
And the episode was doing really well too, despite the foolish plan. In the flashbacks we saw how Hunter Soloman was traumatised after the murder of his mother by his father and a rather haunting life growing up in an orphanage. It was a chilling, dark and twisted version of Barry's own story and the comparison really worked. The fact that he became a notorious serial killer, murdering 23 people only adds to Zoom's villainy and it was great to see that Teddy Sears could deliver the menace of Solomon even without the mask and Tony Todd's terrifying voice. I also loved that he jumped out of the portal the moment Cisco created it and we got another great race across Central City (far better than the chase with Trajectory a couple of weeks ago). Barry's takedown was also quite cool, if short lived and for a moment it seemed as if the heroes were going to win.
And then it fell apart - both for the good guys and the plot - as Zoom escaped, captured Wally West and demanded Barry's speed in return for West's life. Up to the 'trade' at Star Labs, I really though Barry was going to have something clever up his sleeve, but no. In his decision to be noble and honour his deal with a serial killer with super powers that had murdered 23 people before he even became a speedster, Barry gave up his ability and made Zoom stronger. It made no sense and it was not surprising that Zoom turned on Barry the moment he absorbed his speed. Whether Caitlin got through to him enough to stop him killing the titular hero or whether it is part of some bigger plan remains to be seen.
Versus Zoom was a frustrating episode, not just in the stupid final twist but because it was going so well despite Barry's idiotic plan. The flashbacks to Zoom's origin were fascinating and only added to the villain's evilness. Obviously we're going to be getting a story of Barry trying to adjust to human life and worrying about Zoom and it is no surprise next week's episode is called Back to Normal - the trouble is, normal is Barry speeding around Central City and defeating metahumans. Let's hope the rest of the season doesn't disappoint.