This was a very conflicting episode for me.
On one hand, it had very powerful stories for Cisco, his brother, and Zoom. On the other hand, the main story with Barry dragged on way too much, and the ending was very hollow.
Let’s start with the good bits. Cisco “vibing” his brother and wanting to see if he was ok was cool. And I’m happy in a way to see that the relationship between him and Dante was anything but cool after what happened with Cold. Dante was even MORE of a jerk, making Cisco wonder why he even bothered. Then for Rupture to appear, and reveal himself to be Dante E2 was something I honestly didn’t expect…though I should have. Rupture was a big part of Vibe’s New 52 series before it got cancelled. And this interpretation was really close to its comic counterpart. The effects on the scythe alone were pretty epic.
Then there was Zoom, who made his play to rule Central City of Earth-1 in a pretty epic way. What made Reverse Flash an epic villain was the feeling of untouchability. Flash and the other could never touch him, not up until the very end. For Zoom, though it started that way, it faltered recently. So to see Zoom have that mean streak back was terrifying. Especially when he snapped all those officers necks in the blink of an eye, and then killed Rupture for good measure.
Nothing more than a monster indeed. But even in that monster state, you could tell he really did want to be with Caitlin, and felt betrayed when he figured out she warned the police about Rupture’s attack.
Then there’s Iris. Who really suffered this week as she all but professed her love for Barry…FOR ALL THE WRONG REASONS!!!! It’s clear she loves him, but when the reason the love of your life is professing her love is because she’s seen proof you “might be destined to be together”, that sucks. Thankfully, she didn’t recant what happened with Eddie in Season 01, but this still felt hollow. Love someone because you love them, not because you’ve seen something that makes you think you have to be with them.
Finally, there’s Barry, who had to make a decision on whether to trust Harry and retry the Particle Accelerator in order to get his powers back. Now again, I’m happy they didn’t rush into this. They even made a fun use of technology for them to create the illusion of the Flash still being around when in fact he wasn’t. That was cool. Bringing in Henry (FINALLY!) to help consult on things was cool. Oh, and Garrick is apparently his mothers maiden name…man in the iron mask anyone?
What wasn’t cool was how long it took for Barry to make the decision. Yes, it was his life on the line, and it should’ve been his choice. BUT, given everything he’s scene, and even the risk he took in “Blackout” last year when faced with similar circumstances, why did it take him this long? Zoom almost killed the entire CCPD early on, and that didn’t do it. It took a literal massacre for him to pony up and go with it.
Then there’s the ending…
Ok, in the Flashpoint comic book event. Barry found himself on Earth (not a parallel one, it was his Earth but altered) without his powers, with nothing he knew around him anymore. He met Batman (Thomas Wayne) and convinced him to help recreate the experiment that made him Flash. The result the first time around? He got electrocuted, burned most of his body, and almost died. Almost.
Here, though done rather beautifully with the visuals, Barry basically did die…kind of. We know he’s not dead. Period. We still have three episodes left this season, we know he’s not dead. And that’s just the season 02 reason why. The reason the Flashpoint version of this event works and this doesn’t is impact. Yes, it was cool to look at, but we know he’s not gone. And yes, seeing Wally and Jesse get his with the wave may be the spark that turns them into Kid Flash and Jesse Quick, but it felt cheap. Honestly, the coolest part was Zoom’s reaction both before and after.
Again, this is a hard episode for me to judge. It was good in some ways, but not good in others. A trend that continues to haunt the second season of Flash.