The Flash: 2.22 Invincible
If there was ever an episode the represented the best and worst of The Flash, it would be Invincible, the penultimate episode of season two. It was an episode with some great moments - and a dramatic finale - but it did what so many episodes this season have done; tease great things and then just give us a glimmer of it before taking it all away.
After the emotional events of last week's episode , Barry was back and more confident than ever, so much so that an entire army of metahumans working with Zoom, threatening to destroy the city, didn't phase him. Not that you would have noticed the army of metahumans. The episode opened with the Central City police department overwhelmed by super-powered villains, jumping straight into the action with the promise of a 'metapocalyptic' couple of final episodes. (It's a term they used that NEVER paid off). I assumed we were then going to jump back to the events of the last episode, with Zoom assembling his hordes in the police department, but alas this was all we got. No build up. Just one crazy action sequence, and then...
...Pep talks. Wally trying to be the hero. Caitlin dealing with her trauma at the hands of Zoom. There was a lot of talk about the city being in mortal danger BUT WE NEVER SAW ANY OF IT!!! The one scene that held any real promise was Zoom and Barry's talk about how similar they were in their origins and yet very different in their attitudes. It is a great metaphor - they lives shaped by the brutal loss of a mother - and the one saving grace in the story.
Instead of being Barry against multiple villains it ended up being just one metahuman of the week, admittedly a good one. Laurel's death in Arrow has been a questionable one, so to see her here as evil Earth 2 metahuman Black Siren, complete with super powered canary cry that could level buildings was a nice twist. Or it would have been if it hadn't been so publicly announced that Katie Cassidy was turning up on The Flash this season as Black Siren. Still there were some great moments, such as the destruction of Mercury Labs, even if the special effects were a little ropey.
It's just a shame that Black Siren was shoved into a rather messy and ultimately disappointing episode of The Flash; though her eventual imprisonment means she'll no doubt escape next season and cross over to Arrow to wreak havoc on this Earth's friends and family of Laurel Lance.
The scenes with Wally with equally frustrating; why would he suddenly develop a hero complex? He hasn't demonstrated any abilities since he was exposed to the second particle accelerator explosion and yet here he was taking on pickpockets and racing around in his car to save Barry at the opportune moment. Oh and don't get me started on the fact that one of Zoom's evil metahumans was causing havoc on this Earth's Central City by stealing a handbag. I did love Wally's double take reaction at the end of the episode though when he saw Barry speed away before his very eyes.
The take down of the metahumans was rather nifty, using a pre-established plot thread of Earth 2 people working on a different frequency, though sadly it didn't really feel earned because we hadn't seen enough of the threat to make such an elaborate, desperate plan feel like a last ditch measure. And as fun as it was seeing Cisco and Caitlin disguise themselves as Reverb and Killer Frost to deceive Black Siren, all it did was remind me that the show had disposed of these evil doppelgangers far too early.
The ending was either brilliantly shocking or frustrating and I cannot decide which side of the fence I am on with that. Barry had finally had closure on his mother's death last week so to have his father murdered in his childhood home by Zoom seemed like a huge regression on that part. At the same time, it was beautifully poetic and tragic and if Henry was going to die (and his recent return to the fold suggested his days were numbered) this was a brilliant way to go. To cement himself as one of the Flash's biggest foes, Zoom had to kill someone close to Barry and to be honest I'm not sure who I would have preferred to go in Henry's place. Perhaps Caitlin who has been severely wasted this season (though Danielle Panabaker was a lot of fun as Killer Frost). Also, there was a nice red herring with the budding romance between Henry Allen and a recently rescued Christina McGee.
Invincible was anything but invincible. Like much of season two the episode was poised for something huge and dramatic as the Flash faced off against Zoom and his army of Metahumans and yet it ended up as another virtual metahuman of the week episode. It started off strong and ended in spectacular fashion (plus kudos for finally getting Barry and Iris together before Zoom interrupted the happy proceedings). The tease of the destruction of Earth 2 and Barry out to get revenge on Zoom for the murder of his father promises an exciting finale. But then when we were promised an epic showdown this week and look what we good. The Flash, please do better next week. It's your last chance to end the season on a high and that's quite a steep hill it needs to climb to get there.