As if The Flash didn’t have enough titles – Best Superhero Show, Most Satisfying Season Finale, etc – they just added a new claim to fame this week: Most Terrifying Villain. This week’s episode appropriately named “Enter Zoom” gave us and Team Flash our first sustained look at this season’s villain, Zoom. And he was terrifying!
Needless to say much of this article will deal with him; but beyond Zoom there were also some incredible story twists and major Easter Eggs that could lead to a future DCTV adaptation of one of the most famous Flash/Batman stories ever. But I’m getting ahead of myself. So let’s get started and take a Closer Look at The Flash “Enter Zoom”.
“Enter Zoom” – Analyzing The Nightmare:
So what made Zoom so terrifying? Well for starters we have to point out his familiar and yet other worldly look. His costume is that of a corrupted Flash costume – which I’ll touch upon more later – and yet has demonic claws and a mouth piece that appears to have been sewn shut. It’s this human/no longer human appearance that scares us both directly and indirectly when we think about what it could mean – again I’ll explore that more in the next section.
The other aspect of Zoom that is so terrifying is his overwhelming power and directness. Last season we saw how Barry and the crew tried to set a trap for the Reverse Flash and he set a trap in return. Zoom is above that. He saw through the ruse and then threatened Linda’s life just to make a point of using bait. This wasn’t an attempt to kill Linda – because she’d be dead – but rather a statement to Barry to “not dangle bait in front of Zoom” because Zoom can do it MUCH better.
Zoom doesn’t care about manipulating or tricking. He’s an overpowered monster who wants to crush and humiliate the Flash. The fact that Barry built up SO much lightning momentum and Zoom was able to catch it and fling it back as if it was nothing perfectly showed their power difference. Barry’s best move was used by Zoom like a hula hoop. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the ensuing fight was so brutal that many audience members probably found them selves on the verge of crying “Stop! You’re killing him!” Even if we didn’t learn about Barry’s paralysis until episode’s end, we knew it was coming the moment we saw Zoom thrust his demonic hand into Barry’s back and we heard the grotesque sound of Barty’s spine cracking.
Every ace they tried to use – thunderbolt, terminal velocity, power dampeners – all failed and were turned back on Barry. If it wasn’t for Cisco’s quick thinking, Barry would be dead. Even then, our hero is now broken in both body and reputation. Who would do this? Who could do this? WHO IS ZOOM?!?!?!?!
Who Is Zoom – New Evidence Emerges:
So just who is Zoom? Well the two theories I’ve been holding thus far are Earth 2 (possibly future) Barry Allen OR the result of Eddie Thawne that’s been twisted and torn between dimensions. To check out the evidence so far you can see my linked past articles on that, but as far as this episode is concerned we got some pretty strong hints to the Earth 2 Barry idea.
What if Wells knows who Zoom is? That would explain why he knew to seek out Earth 1 Barry if he knew Earth 2 Barry was Zoom. Additionally, there is the line that “Heroes die”. In the Future Flash storyline Barry goes evil after the death of Wally West. Maybe it’s too soon for this; BUT the talk of Barry feeling a void and all these Earth 2 selves really point to alternate universe Barry being Zoom. That would even add more level to the “you like to fish with bait, so do I” comment.
The other option is of course Eddie, which the “heroes die” like could reference in a more self referential sense. Additionally, the ‘he used to be human’ line could refer to Eddie more literally too as he’s technically dead. All in all, I can’t wait to see who Zoom is because the writers have been dropping marvelous hints that can all be put into solid context later. Although Zoom’s quip about being “the fastest man alive” could still be less of a brag and more of an admission of identity. I am “the flash”. Either way, the final reveal will be shocking.
Learning To Trust Your Partner Enough:
Besides all the horrors that were Zoom, another theme emerged this episode and that was learning to trust your partner(s) enough. We saw this most explicitly with Joe and Patty, where Patty feels Joe is keeping things from her concerning Dr Light and other Metahuman activities. We of course understand his reasons, but Patty’s cries to be trusted actually ring true in another part of this episode.
There is a lot of trust and distrust when it comes to Earth 2 Wells. On one hand, he’s NOT the man who killed Barry’s mother; but beyond that there’s no real way to know his motivations and secrets. Cisco of courses ‘vibed’ with Wells and learned about his daughter; but there is still more to learn. Barry trusted Wells theory and rushed ahead because he wanted results. Similarly Wells pushed ahead without explaining anything about himself or what he knew. Like Barry he just wanted the result and vastly underestimated the situation.
If Wells and Team Flash want to win, they’re going to have to ‘trust each other enough’ to share their own motivations and knowledge. They have to be able to discern solid plan from emotionally charged gambit. Though there is hope of this in the future based on the one relationship that was trusted enough – Linda, Barry and Iris. Once kinda rivals, Iris has welcomed Linda into the fold and Barry reciprocated by trusting Linda with his secret. If only Wells and Team Flash had been as open with each other as Barry and Linda, maybe they would have had second thoughts about the whole “let’s bait Zoom” thing.
In A Flash – Easter Eggs, Quotes & Other Notables:
- In the comics, there have been multiple identities for Dr Light. So having Linda Park (Earth 1) try it out was a good nod to this. Now if only Linda could keep those powers and join Team Flash.
- On a related note, Linda Park just took cosplay to a whole new level. That training montage and “fight” we’re so much fun to watch. You can tell Malese Jow and the cast really had fun with it.
- Unlike other shows/episodes that begin with a ‘defeat moment’ and flashes back, we know from the start that this isn’t the climax but rather a set up. The actual climax doesn’t come until much later – on Zoom’s terms of course.
- “You’re my joy Jessie Quick”. Yup, Earth 2 Well’s daughter is a speedster in the comics. Does that make Well’s a speedster too? When will Jessie get her powers? Well it’s way too soon to answer any of those.
- Did you hear that Earth 2 news broadcast stating Starling City’s Arrow was Robert Queen? Considering the time frame, that probably was during the battle with Ras/hunt by Starling City PD. Though what this actually does is confirm a long time theory of the Flashpoint Paradox taking place with the Arrow substituting Batman’s role. Will Barry travel to Earth 2 at some point or will he rewrite history in a future storyline to this? Either way, we MIGHT one day get the famous scene where Barry meets Thomas Wayne (Robert Queen) who gives him a letter to give to his son Bruce (Oliver) in the other reality saying how proud of him he is… FEELS!!!!
- Can we take another moment to appreciate how hilarious the Joe and Cisco ‘cardboard cut outs exchange was? “It’s good to have a hobby!” Lol
- The “best story you can never write”. Yah Linda, Iris know. But the Flash’s identity isn’t her most pressing secret at the moment. Remember she’s keeping her long lost brother secret.
- Looks like Zoom learned how to fight from Earth 2 Bane… breaking backs… it’s a joke… too soon?
- Favorite Quotes – Winner: Cisco (Again)
- “It was the best bad idea I could come up with” Earth 2 Linda
- “You know it took a lot of work to make that emblem right” – Cisco
- “I would never let that happen, Sgt Slow is a terrible name” – Cisco
- “When you don’t have the key to the lock, sometimes you have to kick in the door” – Earth 2 Wells
- “Holy crap, I’ve made out with the Flash” – Linda Park
- “See him catch a bolt of lighting with his demonic claws… YAH!!! – Cisco
- “Look at your hero. This man is no god. He is nothing. The days of the Flash protecting this city are over. Now what will you do without your precious hero? Harrison Wells, you thought you could defeat me… with this?” – Zoom
- “Next time we’re doing this I’m writing better dialogue” – Cisco
- “NEXT TIME?!?!?!?!” – Iris and Caitlin
So now Barry is paralyzed and finds himself in the same chair that Doctor Wells once used. I’d make another comment about ‘becoming the thing you hate’, but I did that enough with my “Earth 2 Barry Is Zoom” theory. The real question is how will Barry recover and will he be able to recover in time to stop an old friend?
That’s right! Next week one of Barry’s most powerful villains, Gorilla Grodd returns. Will he heal in time? Will we see Gorilla Grodd vs King Shark in a ‘who gets to kill the Flash battle’? Whatever the case may be, it’s safe to say Team Flash is going to avoid Zoom for a while. And with only a few episodes left till the midseason finale – and the crossover dedicated to setting up Legends Of Tomorrow – the midseason finale will probably give us another climactic battle with Zoom. Perhaps that time we’ll even get the big identity reveal like last season.
So see you all next week!