The Flash 2×06 – Enter Zoom

flash2x06With Zoom seemingly intent on sending a stream of metahumans over from Earth 2 to kill the Flash, Barry is keen to leverage the captured Dr Light to lure Zoom to Earth 1, on the basis that the longer it goes on, the more likely someone will get hurt.

However, this becomes a bit of a problem when she turns out to have a surprise power, letting her turn invisible to escape the STAR Labs pipeline. Given Light’s plan last week involved killing her Earth 1 counterpart, Iris and Linda Park lie low chez West where they spark the idea to turn things on their head and have Linda impersonate Dr Light.

This leads to the obligatory Cisco comedy interlude as he ‘trains’ Linda how to be a super villain. Like Felicity in Arrow and Wyn in Supergirl, it seems a notable Berlanti trope is for a lovable geek character to play a significant role in the show, though sometimes it takes time for the character to develop into the niche. Whilst the power seems to be more an analogue of the post 2011-comics’ Vibe ability with the Bleed, the characterisation is much more so the 80s jester (albeit with the demographic clichés significantly toned down, and no disco outfit… yet).

Whilst Harry Wells hasn’t endeared himself to Team Flash, we get to see a little more of the background to his war against Zoom. We learnt last week that Zoom is holding his daughter hostage, and we saw that this was Jesse Chambers (aka the comics’ Jesse Quick, with a nice nod to the sobriquet from Harry).

Although the episode is more about the journey than the destination, Zoom makes up for lost time on his arrival. The battle is reminiscent of Barry’s first fight against Reverse Flash, with a similarly mismatched set of abilities. Zoom is much faster and stronger than Barry; with the gap between them being comparable to that between Bruce and Bane at the end of the KnightFall storyline. Zoom also has the ability to catch and deflect the lightning shock ability that Jay taught Barry a couple of weeks ago. Despite an initial tactic to remove Zoom’s speed advantage by taking the fight into a free fall through the air, Zoom easily defeats Barry by breaking his back. Running him around to show the city before finally confronting Team Flash in STAR Labs, Zoom leaves a threat hanging, and Barry crippled.

After a promising start this season on rectifying some of the issues surrounding the show’s treatment of Iris, it is disappointing to see the issue of how Barry seemed to reveal his identity to practically anyone he met yet kept Iris in the dark for so long bubbling up again.

Whilst not as radical a departure as Smallville’s Earth 2, the Flash’s Earth 2 does stray from the comics. We’ve already seen the Tomorrowland look and feel to the world, and now we know there is no Arrow on Earth 2 – Oliver died in the boat accident, and his father is The Hood.

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