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After several weeks off, The Flash is back and back with new episodes until the May 24 season finale. Until then, it looks like it’s going to be an uphill battle for Barry and his friends. In this week’s episode, titled “Versus Zoom,” the team suffered a bit of a setback just as things were starting to look good. But fear not, this is only the beginning. So hold on tight, because the tail end of the season is finally here and it looks like they’ve finally kicked things into fourth gear.

Per usual, this RECAP/REVIEW does contain spoilers. So if you haven’t seen last night’s episode yet, then look away. To help you out, the fine folks here at NerdBastards have inserted a photo found on the internet to help block your eyes from any information it may have accidentally stumbled upon. So if you’re ready, scroll past the photo.

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RECAP

This week’s episode starts with a harsh comparison of the lives of Barry Allen and Hunter Zolomon. Both experienced tragic moments in their life, but both experienced opposite aftermaths thus resulting in the men they’ve grown up to become. One is a superhero and the other is the incarnation of darkness.

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When the audience finally meets up with Barry, he’s out in the field testing the new tachyon prototype which they got from Eobard Thawn in the past. Not only did the device work, but it managed to increase Barry’s speed fourfold. Later that night, Barry get’s an idea (thanks to Joe) about how to get back to Earth-2. The idea is to Cisco use his powers to open a rift by tapping into Earth-2’s frequency. Unfortunately, their initial trials net zero results causing Cisco to go back to square one. Though, it seems something else may be bothering him.

The duo try again and once again fail, but this time a reluctant Wells shows up to help them. If they’re not going to listen to him and stop trying, he might as well help them out and make sure they don’t get themselves killed. And thanks to the help of Wells and Reverb’s altered goggles, Cisco is finally able to open a rift to Earth-2. On the other side, Zoom can feel the presence of another rift opening and realizes it’s Cisco who’s making the attempt. However, as he begins to open it, Cisco stops and asks them never to have him try again.

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A quick chat with Cisco reveals that by tapping into too much of his own power, he may succumb to the “dark side” and become evil like Reverb. Thankfully, Barry can relate to learning new powers and how it was helpful to have his friends with him as he learned. He reassures Cisco that he’ll also be with him every step of the way as he learns more and more about his powers.

Back at the lab, Caitlin mentions the name “Hunter Zolomon” and Wells recognizes the name belonging to a serial killer on his Earth. The day that the Earth-2 particle accelerator exploded, Zolomon was receiving electro-shock therapy. While being electrocuted, matter from the explosion combined with his treatment gave him Speedster abilities and thus turned him into Zoom.

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With a plan set, the team attempts to lure out Zoom and capture him using images of his parents to catch him off guard. The plan works, but only for a moment, and Zoom gets away. Somewhere in Central City, Barry realizes that only bad things will happen now that he’s loose. And bad things do happen. Just like how Barry used family against Zoom, Zoom uses family against Barry by kidnapping Wally. Zoom, though, is willing to give Wally back in exchange for Barry’s speed. With no other choice, Barry gives up his speed. Zoom returns Wally, but before leaving takes Barry by the neck and threatens to kill him. Caitlin screams for his release. She begs Zoom to let him go asking him that if he had any ounce of humanity left inside of him to let Barry go. Zoom looks at Caitlin and releases Barry. Having released Barry, Zoom takes Caitlin and races away.

REVIEW

At first glance, this wasn’t just another ordinary episode. In fact, the beginning hit the audiences hard with a scene dealing with domestic violence. It was clearly juxtaposed with Barry’s situation, but Zolomon’s situation was probably the worst thing that could have happened to a young child in that position. After having witnessed his mother killed by his father, having none of his relatives wanting him, then being practically stored away within an orphanage, there’s no wonder why he became the man he is today.

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The most surprising moment of the episode had to come at the end, when a Speed Force juiced up Zoom had Barry by his neck. In the background, Caitlin is begging for his life and asking Zolomon to let him go. “So if you have any humanity left, then please let him go.” Zoom looks at Caitlin (obviously frustrated), releases Barry, and races of with Caitlin in tow. Now you can analyze it any way you want, but the moment says a lot about Zolomon’s character. Here is a man, who should be completely broken but, somewhere, has the decency inside himself to spare The Flash’s life. By all means, he should have killed him, but didn’t.

In a typical episode of The Flash, the side stories tend to be just that…side stories. However, in this episode, the side stories did a solid job of displaying character growth from the rest of the ensemble. Audiences were able to watch Cisco as he developed more abilities by tapping deeper into his powers. And if you remember what Reverb had said to him on Earth-2, Cisco has quite the arsenal when it comes to his powers. How powerful he really is is something that fans will have to watch and see. Cisco already exists in the comics, but who knows how far the writers are willing to go with his character, especially if they’re having fun with him.

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The relationship between Joe and Wally also took another step forward when Wally finally moved in. You could also say that their relationship took another step forward when he became the kidnapping victim of Zoom. Honestly, if there was an episode where Wally finally discovers that Barry is The Flash, this would have been it. Being so close now, it’s only a matter of time before he figures things out. The question is when will it happen.

Overall, this was a great episode. Admittedly, when the episode ended, it felt abrupt…like there was more or there should have been more. However, this is probably more of a testament of how good of an episode it was. You find yourself so engrossed in it that you don’t realize that the hour is actually over. Also, on a final note, did anyone else pick up what happened to Barry at the beginning of the episode when he was testing out the new tachyon prototype? There’s a point he’s running where he says that he can go faster. As he says it, he runs into a rift and then moments later runs out. When he gets back to the lab, all he can say is “I’m back. How long was I gone?” That’s probably in reference to when he ran to another Earth and met Supergirl. Although, by the look on his face, it looks like he may have gone to other Earth’s. How long was Barry really gone for? Here’s hoping that question get’s answered.

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Versus Zoom” overall grade – A

The Flash airs every Tuesday on The CW at 8PM EST. Check out a preview for next week’s all new episode:

Category: reviews, TV

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