I LIKED IT
The Flash returned tonight from yet another (goddamn) hiatus with "Versus Zoom", and the wait was definitely worth it. We got a lot of forward momentum on the Zoom storyline, some back story on Hunter Zolomon, and Cisco came one step further to becoming Vibe. So let's get into it.
In this episode we returned with Barry looking to find a way back to Earth-2, which is proving difficult considering Team Flash closed all the breaches. A solution presents itself with Barry recalling Reverb's ability to manipulate the energy that creates breaches.
It's a solid way to bring Cisco closer to becoming his comic book alter ego. Despite Cisco having some reservations about using his powers, and a lengthy Star Wars comparison, Cisco, with the help of his new modified goggles, is able to harness his abilities.
So, on to the Zoom front. We discover that Hunter Zolomon on Earth 2 is a psychopathic serial killer who is power hungry and actually doesn't care how many people he has to murder to achieve it.
The coolest part of the Zoom story line was learning how he was able to murder Jay Garrick. He went back in time and convinced his doppleganger to go along with his plan. He even got him to agree to allow himself to get killed. (That sentence is so dependent on context. I hope you're with me.)
So Zoom makes it through Cisco's breach and a pretty sexy chase ensues between Zoom and Flash. For the time being Flash is faster, and he's able to draw Zoom into a trap. The trap involves cut outs of Hunter Zolomon's parents.
You see, he saw his dad murder his mother as a boy (just like... what's him name. The fast guy) These cutouts caused Zoom pause just long enough for Barry to incapacitate him and................talk to him until Zoom was strong enough to break free and snatch up Wally. Yeah. Jesus Christ. An exchange is arranged, Wally West for Flash's speed, and Flash obliges and is rendered basically human and gets to watch as Zoom makes off with his speed and Caitlyn.
Things in this episode seemed to be looking up for Team Flash, which made it even more painful when Zoom tore it all down. This is what he gets off on. He mentions earlier that he dressed up as Earth 2 Flash to give people hope, just so he can relish in ripping it away from them. He's a dick.
YOU SAW YOUR MOM GET MURDERED TOO?
This goes to show that Barry has more in common with Hunter than he does with Earth 2 Barry. Both witnessed terrible tragedy at a young age. The only real difference is where Hunter gets off on people's pain, Barry get's a high from people's hope. It's a parable of the paths we choose.
Barry enjoys being a hero where Zoom enjoys being a villain, and good on Teddy Sears for doing an excellent job switching so convincingly from heroic Jay Garrick to sociopath Hunter Zolomon.
So overall a great episode. It's great to have the show back after another hiatus. The show went to some dark places in this episode, but always managed to ground it by adding some heart and a family theme. The Flash always does a good job of balancing levity and with darker themes.