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SPOILERS AHEAD for Episode 22 "Invincible" and Episode 23 "Race Of His Life" of "The Flash" television series.
Next week's episode will conclude Season Two of The Flash. The Season Two finale, Episode 23 "Race Of His Life" of "The Flash" is expected to reveal the fate of Earth-2, vibed by Cisco Ramon. The season finale will also set the tone of the upcoming Season Three of "The Flash", as well as concluding the Zoom arc which began in Season Two; wherein we'll also find out who the man in the iron mask is. We can also piece together a few key points of next week's season finale from the trailer released for "Race of His Life". In the Season Two Finale, we can expect to see Barry Allen in his final confrontation with Hunter Zolomon a.k.a. Zoom, Earth-2 facing an inevitable collapse, and more deaths circling Team Flash.
Recap of Episode 22 "Invincible" on "The Flash".
During Episode 22 "Invincible", Barry was going about his plan to take down Zoom with a very foolhardy approach, patiently taking everything step by step; both Joe and Henry warned Barry of his overconfidence, and Henry Allen wound up paying the price for Barry's hubris. Although, the death didn't seem all that unexpected. Henry's dialogue was heavily emphasized in "Invincible" more than in previous episodes of "The Flash". The focus on Henry Allen kind of played into a death being foreshadowed throughout Episode 22 "Invincible". Henry was also getting a little bit of action from the doctor. But no one expected the episode to conclude with Henry Allen dying at the hands of Zoom. Up until that last moment, we were all expecting Barry to speed in or another hero to stop Henry's murder, but the death had to happen. The episode seemed to be leading to a loss suffered by Barry Allen, and it is possible that Barry could have stopped Zoom beforehand, had he not been feeling so "invincible" and overconfident throughout the episode. Barry should have taken the initiative to hunt down Zoom before he could gain the opportunity to kill someone else. And as a result of his inaction, Henry Allen paid the ultimate cost, with his life. The death of his father will likely shake Barry's new resolve, placing him in the right state of mind to officially end Zoom's reign of terror in the upcoming season finale.
Does Barry Allen have what it takes to take down Hunter Zolomon a.k.a. Zoom?
As of now, we know that Henry Allen was sadly Zoom's latest victim. We'd expected Zoom to murder another member of Team Flash, but we never expected the loss to come in the form of Henry Allen. Henry just made his return to Central City, and finally began to settle down alongside Barry, right before Zoom took his life. The return of actor, John Wesley Shipp had long been anticipated, and fans were surely excited to see him back on-screen. Some were even expecting a potential recurring role for Shipp, but that hope is long gone now. Although, we haven't seen Henry Allen's Earth-2 counterpart yet. If Earth-2 survives the Season Two Finale of "The Flash", John Wesley Shipp may have a shot at returning to"The Flash" in Season Three as the Earth-2 Henry Allen For now, Barry has to cope with the loss of his father, while the Zoom dilemma still weighs heavy over head. Team Flash still doesn't know if Barry can match up to Zoom, and even if he can, an event might occur due to the two speedsters running to their limits. We've seen Barry run through time before, if he and Zoom are both traveling at high enough speeds, Zoom may just use Barry Allen's speed to travel into another point in time, and trap Barry along the way, to prevent Barry Allen from returning to the present day to stop him. But we still have to see how the race between The Flash and Zoom unfolds in next week's season finale.
Now that Barry Allen is no longer feeling that sense of overconfidence he came back with from the Speed-Force nexus, he may actually focus on defeating Zoom now. But how Barry will accomplish this, is yet to be seen. However, we do have one piece of intriguing information provided in the trailer for Episode 23 "Race Of His Life". Barry Allen and Hunter Zolomon are going to race to the finish, in order to decide the fate of two worlds. With the race between Barry Allen a.k.a. The Flash and Hunter Zolomon a.k.a. Zoom setting the stage for their final confrontation, the race is being set up to mirror an iconic event from DC' Comics, depicting The Flash and Zoom in a race to find out who is the fastest man alive; and the winner of the race remains alive, while the other wound up lost in the expanse of time. We won't know how the race will unfold, but it doesn't look like there'll be a happy ending for Team Flash in any scenario.
Henry Allen's death may have been a major event in Episode 22 "Invincible", but if Barry Allen doesn't succeed in defeating Zoom, Earth-1 will have to fend for itself, without The Flash. Although in that situation, two different speedsters may rise to the occasion, in order to defeat Zoom. Both Wally West and Jesse Wells have shown a desire to combat the growing threat of Zoom on Earth-1. They may be the only heroes left on Earth-1, in the situation that Barry Allen loses to Hunter Zolomon, and he himself is lost during the Season Two Finale of "The Flash". Jesse Quick and Wally West could be up to become the new speedsters of Central City in Season Three, but new developments on "The Flash" may be placing one of these speedsters out of contention to mirror their comic-book counterparts. And the fact may need to be reiterated, neither Wally West or Jesse Wells has exhibited any meta-human characteristics. As of now, there is only an assumption that either or possibly both Wally and Jesse will follow in the footsteps of their comic-book counterparts by becoming superhero speedsters. Although Jesse Wells seems to be the most likely candidate to become a new speedster, seeing as how she was struck by the dark matter from the Particle Accelerator explosion, as well as receiving the connective jolt from Barry Allen after his return from the Speed-Force nexus. All the signs are pointing to Jesse Wells officially becoming Jesse Quick, but nothing is certain. Especially in the case of Wally West becoming his meta-human counterpart in Kid Flash.
Earth-1 Wally West probably won't become Kid Flash. Potential still alive in his Earth-2 counterpart.
It doesn't appear as if Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale) will become his comic-book counterpart in Kid Flash. He was exposed to the dark-matter released during the Particle Accelerator explosion in Episode 21 "Runaway Dinosaur", and he's also had physical contact with Barry Allen; but he didn't get that connectivity of lightning we saw when Barry Allen touched Jesse Wells, upon Barry's return from the nexus of the Speed-Force. Does that mean Wally West of Earth-1 won't become Kid Flash? All the clues are pointing towards Wally West wanting to become a crime-fighter like The Flash, but he may just wind up playing the part, without any meta-human abilities. There's always a possibility that Wally could take up a career in law enforcement like his father, Joe West. In that scenario, there's still a vacancy for Kid Flash to exist in the world of the "The Flash" television series. It's possible that the Earth-2 counterpart of Wally West may have the potential to become Kid Flash later in the future, but we haven't been introduced to him yet. Or have we? There's a chance that we've already seen Wally West of Earth-2 but we didn't know it. One possibility of the identity of Wally West on Earth-2 being that of, the man in the iron mask.
(From the image embedded above, the hair is similar to Eddie Thawne but his skin looks weathered from old age. Looks like either Henry Allen or Eddie Thawne under the iron mask. It makes more sense for Eddie Thawne to be the man in the iron mask, as Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp) has a curling mane of hair, not the straight length hair we can see from the person under the iron mask.)
Could Wally West of Earth-2 be the man in the iron mask?
That theory may seem like a farce or a stretch to believe, but if we really think about it, it makes perfect sense. An unseen hero of Earth-2 whom Zoom has kept locked away, because of the potential danger they represent to Zoom's grander plan. It's possible for Wally West to be the man in the mask for one particular reason. Wally West's family tree on Earth-2 is likely to be very different than the Earth-1 relationships between Joe West and his ex-wife. We can establish that the Joe West of Earth-2 is currently dead, and Joe West wasn't married when we were introduced to his doppelganger in Episode 12 "Welcome to Earth-2". We also didn't hear any mention of Wally West from Iris or Joe during Barry's time on Earth-2 either. Meaning that Wally West of Earth-2 may come from a different lineage of the West family, not identical to the bloodline of Wally West from Earth-1. And that variable in lineage for Wally West could make the theory plausible in believing that Wally West of Earth-2 is someone completely different than his Earth-1 counterpart. Thus resulting in the man in the iron mask potentially being that of Wally West on Earth-2. The race and complexion characteristics don't give us any clues to who the person under the mask is, in that scenario. With the fact remaining constant of Wally West coming from a different line of the West family, Wally West could be Zoom's detainee, under the iron mask. But who'll play the Earth-2 counterpart to Wally West if Keiynan Lonsdale isn't in the role of Wally West a.k.a. Kid Flash?
More popular theory of John Wesley Shipp, portraying an aged Jay Garrick.
However a new theory that has popped up, which is gaining mass popularity, is of Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp) being the man in the iron mask. But in the circumstance that the man under the iron mask is actor, John Wesley Shipp, he won't be the Henry Allen of Earth-2. He'll be someone from either a future lineage or past lineage of Henry Allen's family; implied by Henry Allen's mention of his mother's maiden name being that of Garrick. Along with the implication of the surname of Garrick to go along with the theory of the man in the mask being a speedster as well, it's plausible to assume that John Wesley Shipp will be portraying an aged Jay Garrick in Season Three of "The Flash".
Did Cisco vibe the future of Earth-2 or the potential future?
Another clue to the future of the television series "The Flash" was given through Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes). During his vibe of Earth-2 collapsing, that scene was likely depicting the future of Earth-2 tearing itself apart. There may be a causal reaction to why it is happening, and that cause could have been revealed already. The promo for the Season Two Finale of "The Flash" makes the concept clear, of a race between Zoom and The Flash being set up to decide who'll be the victor in their rivalry. Within the dialogue of the promo, we can hear Hunter Zolomon (Teddy Sears) a.k.a. Zoom making the suggestion of a race between the two fastest speedsters on the planet. Then we can see from the screenshots within the promo that Barry Allen has agreed to the race. As to how that race will decide who wins their confrontation is up for debate. But Barry Allen will have to end Zoom's life, in any scenario, that is if Barry can win. Zoom will keep returning with the same plan time and again, unless Barry Allen stops him for good. That'll require ending Zoom's life. However, Zoom may be planning something that Barry Allen isn't aware of.
To reiterate what Cisco Ramon saw in his vibe during Episode 22 "Invincible". Cisco saw the fate of Earth-2, as the planet ripped itself apart from the inside out. Now there'll need to be some causal event to create such a catastrophe, and Zoom may just be at the head of it all. Zoom's proposal of a race between himself and Barry could be the event that causes the destruction of Earth-2. Barry Allen a.k.a. The Flash has been able to jump through time, as well as through dimensional rifts between worlds. And we know Hunter Zolomon a.k.a. Zoom is capable of the same. If the two are racing on Earth-1, their race could leave some collateral damage on the world of Earth-1, and possibly causing the prophesied end of Earth-2. Zoom isn't one to use the competition of a race for sport. If he sees the opportunity to end Barry Allen's life, he'll take it. There must be some other motive for why Zoom wants to race Barry Allen to end their conflict. Could he want more of Barry Allen's speed-force? Is it possible that he intends to extract the rest of the Speed-Force from Barry Allen with their race? Or is the race simply a distraction to Zoom's true motivation, in order to cause collateral damage on Earth-2 with their race? Cisco has seen the destruction of Earth-2 happen. Will Barry Allen a.k.a. The Flash contribute to the destruction of Earth-2, or will he be able to stop Zoom in time?
But what about Jesse Wells a.k.a. Jesse Quick and Harrison Wells?
There's more to Jesse Wells (Violet Beane) than we can see with our own two eyes. She was exposed to the dark-matter that originated from the Particle Accelerator Explosion. Jesse also went into a coma, just as Barry Allen did, during the first Particle Accelerator explosion. She was awakened by Barry Allen when some residual energy from the Speed-Force connected between Barry Allen and Jesse Wells. All this occurred towards the conclusion of Episode 21 "Runaway Dinosaur", wherein Harrison Wells also acknowledges that the Speed-Force was flowing through Barry Allen as it traveled into Jesse Wells. Is it possible that Harrison Wells knows of the ramifications of the Speed-Force inside of his daughter? In the likelihood of Jesse Wells becoming a meta-human speedster like The Flash, the connection of the Speed-Force between Jesse and Barry Allen may have been the unacknowledged conception of Jesse Quick. Jesse Quick is the superhero moniker which Jesse Wells uses in DC' Comics. We can determine that Jesse Wells will use the moniker of 'Jesse Quick' as we heard Harrison Wells use the nickname of Jesse Quick during one of his conversations with Jesse. But we don't know when Jesse Wells will begin to exhibit her meta-human abilities, or how quickly she'll learn how to use them. There's likely room for Jesse Quick to become the titular speedster of Central City in Season Four of "The Flash", in the scenario that Barry Allen is stuck on Earth-2 at some point during the Season Two Finale.
And we still don't know what happened to Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanaugh) at the end of Episode 22 "Invincible". He was affected by the sonic pulse set off by Cisco Ramon and The Flash, but we didn't see how badly he was affected by the pulse. And he's not seen in the promo for Episode 23 "Race of His Life", which could mean that Harrison Wells won't be around during the Season Two Finale of "The Flash". But the newest photos from the Season Two Finale show Harrison Wells well enough to stand alongside Team Flash as Barry Allen sets up to race Zoom for the last time. Although, he looks a bit tired. Could the pulse have left a lingering effect on Harrison Wells? Possibly endangering his health, requiring a blood transfusion from his closest living relative? In that scenario, that would have to be Jesse Wells, whom was just affected by the Particle Accelerator explosion and took a taste of the Speed-Force from Barry Allen, after his return from the nexus of the Speed-Force. Is it possible that Harrison Wells of Earth-2 is on his way to becoming the Reverse Flash?
"The Flash" airs Tuesdays at 8PM/EDT on the CW. The Season Two Finale of "The Flash" airs May 24, 2016, Titled "Race Of His Life". Here's one more aspect of Episode 22 "Invincible" that wasn't fully fleshed out during the episode.
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Are all the meta-human villains from Earth-2 taken care of?
During Episode 22 "Invincible", the episode concluded with a sonic pulse immobilizing all the meta-humans from Earth-2, as well as causing some internal damage to Harrison Wells. But more importantly, Zoom's meta-human army was dealt with. Well at least the meta-humans still residing within Central City. The range of the pulse only extended to the radius of the city, immobilizing the meta-humans within the range. But could some of the meta-humans from Earth-2 decided to go out on their own? There's a possibility that several of Zoom's henchmen could have seen their transportation from one world to another as a ticket away from Zoom, enticing them to get as far away from Zoom as possible. In that scenario, we may witness more meta-humans from Earth-2 creating havoc and destruction during Season Three of "The Flash". And there's also the implication that some of these meta-humans could have massive roles later on in the series of "The Flash". The screenshot of all the meta-humans gathered in Episode 21 "Runaway Dinosaur", gives us a clear image of plenty of meta-human villains who potentially could have left Central City for a crime spree in another city.
Within the screenshot embedded above, there's a clear image of Captain Cold, Heatwave, Atomic Skull, Livewire, Vigilante, and Hawkgirl of Earth-2. All of these DC' Comics characters have their origins originating from cities away from Central City. It's likely that any or all of these meta-humans could have gone to the Earth-1 duplicate of their hometowns. Captain Cold and Heatwave of Earth-2 may have stayed in Central City, but Hawkgirl and Vigilante may have ventured out to other cities. But we can see Hawkgirl and Livewire of Earth-2 reigning down some pain on Central City's police department, which would place both of them within the radius of the pulse, immobilizing them alongside the other meta-humans. There's still potential for Atomic Skull and Vigilante to appear on "The Flash" later on. Aside from who we can speculate may return on "The Flash" later on, that plot point isn't touched upon, or even considered by anyone on Team Flash. They all seemed satisfied with their victory over the meta-humans, but no one considered the aspect of any of the meta-humans leaving Central City. Zoom may have even directed some of his henchmen to leave Central City in the circumstance that Team Flash is capable of rendering the meta-humans of Earth-2 powerless. That open plot thread may have lasting ramifications on Earth-1 in the future if any of the meta-humans from Earth-2 weren't affected by the pulse set off by Team Flash.
Season Three of "The Flash" could wind up with another Earth-2 villain as the main antagonist of the season; in the scenario that one of Zoom's meta-human henchmen did escape Central City before Cisco set off the immobilizing pulse in Episode 22 "Invincible". We did get to see The Red Hood a.k.a. The Joker in that split second screenshot from Episode 21 "Runaway Dinosaur", depicting Zoom's meta-human army standing at the ready. Could a villain out of the Batman-mythos become a villain in Central City? Highly unlikely, but we can always hope for a Joker or a crossover with a villain from Fox's "Gotham". Both Mister Freeze and Azrael have made huge appearances on the television series, "Gotham". Why not have them crossover into the world of "The Flash", and vice-versa?