The Flash S02 EP18, "Versus Zoom" Recap & Thoughts


The Flash returns! We start off with a flashback of E2’s Hunter Zolomon watching his father murder his mother, and ending up in what I’m pretty sure was the hellish orphanage from Thief 3 that I can’t play anymore because it freaks me out so much.

Meanwhile, back on E1, Team Flash is testing out Barry’s new tachyon toy. (Pausing the recap for a moment... Barry disappears into a portal and then reappears, and later the big enhancer gets replaced by a smaller one. In the Supergirl episode he’s wearing the bulky version. So I guess that was him visiting National City! When he gets to STAR Labs, he asks how long he was gone and Cisco apparently misinterprets the question, but Barry doesn’t push it further. See the portal moment below):
Dat Supergirl episode, tho
Anyway, Harry wants no part in Barry fighting Zoom, but he is willing to upgrade the tachyon enhancer for him. Iris heads out on a date with her boss (eww), and Barry heads home to have dinner with Joe. Wally shows up and tells Joe that he can’t afford to live on campus so he’s looking for cheaper housing, but he rejects Joe’s offer of money.

Barry thinks Cisco might be the key to opening portals thanks to his E2 doppelganger’s powers. Harry visits Joe to ask him to change Barry’s mind about fighting Zoom, but Joe says he can’t. He does ask Harry to help Barry succeed (and live). Thanks to that, Harry shows up with Reverb’s shades to help Cisco access transdimensional energy. Cisco succeeds, but freaks out and says he can’t do it and runs off.

While Harry upgrades the tachyon enhancer, Barry tells Joe that Wally wants to live with his dad, so Joe decides to offer him a room. Iris and Caitlyn have a girl-to-girl, where we learn that Iris never went on her date with her boss (yay!) because she’s wondering if she and Barry belong together. Cisco reveals to Barry that he’s Anakin Skywalker, in that he’s afraid that accessing Reverb’s powers will drive him to become Vader (yes, this whole scene is done in one giant Star Wars metaphor). Barry tells him his family at STAR Labs won’t let him go to the dark side, and Cisco decides to embrace the Force.

Harry tells them about E2’s Hunter Zolomon, who is giving off some serious Hannibal Lecter vibes. We basically get Zoom’s origin story in flashback form. Barry gets an idea on how to stop Zoom from that, and the team sets up to trick Zoom into a trap. Cisco opens the portal, Zoom comes through, and we’re off to the races! During the chase inside STAR Labs, the team trots out pictures of Hunter’s dead parents to stop him in his tracks, and manage to chain him down in his distraction. Zoom is not impressed though, and escapes, because “you can’t lock up the darkness.”

It turns out Zoom has taken Wally, and it will cost Barry’s speed to get him back. A trade that Barry is perfectly willing to make so Zoom shows up with Wally, and hangs around as Team Flash drains Barry of all his speed to honor the deal. Once turbo-charged with Barry’s speed, Zoom goes to kill him, but Caitlyn begs for his life. Jay spares Barry, but he runs off with Caitlyn instead.

Drugs are bad, mmkay? Especially speed...

I’m ecstatic that The Flash is back this week. But man, come ON, Team Flash, how can you be so dense? Of COURSE Zoom wasn’t going to honor any kind of deal, although you’re lucky to get Wally back, I guess. Sometimes Barry is too noble for his own good. Giving up his speed was probably not the smartest thing to do. There’s always another answer! Just ask Harry!

I really enjoyed Cisco embracing his Vibe side, especially the way it was handled with usual nerdy charm. I don’t care if you become Vader, Cisco! You will always be better than Prequel Anakin! 

As usual, The Flash’s biggest weakness appears to be knowing what to do with its female characters. I’m glad that Iris didn’t go out on a date with her boss, but I’m also kind of irritated that this episode failed the Bechdel test massively. I mean Iris and Caitlyn mooning over Barry, seriously? They were just missing pink PJs, nail polish, and stuffed teddy bears. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a solid Barris shipper, because Iris is his One True Love, but I wish this show’s writers would actually make use of her badassery. Although if “more to do” means dating her gross editor, then never you mind. Keep the girly sleepover. I prefer that. 

Also, hopefully Caitlyn getting abducted (maybe meeting Killer Frost?!) means she’ll have something useful to do, because she’s been brooding in the background way too long. I don’t see why it’s so hard to give the brilliant scientist on the team stuff to do just because she happens to be female. Come on, Flash, you can do better. 

Anyway, onwards to next week's episode! What does Zoom want with Caitlyn? How will Team Flash succeed without Barry's speed? Find out next week!

Ivonne Martin is a writer, gamer, and avid consumer of all things geek—and is probably entirely too verbose for her own good.