SPOILER ALERT: If you haven't yet watched this week's episode of The Flash, then turn back now! This contains spoilers and key plot points.
Last week was all about bringing Barry home. The emotional "Runaway Dinosaur" took us through Barry's past so that he could finally let go of his guilt over his mother's death (and we could all have a good cry), as well as giving Barry back his speed (and potentially turning Wally and Jesse into speedsters themselves). Although most of the episode centered on Team Flash, it ended with a major moment for Zoom, as he riled up a metahuman army at the CCPD headquarters.
Which brings us to this week. We're less about Barry's inner life for "Invincible," and more about Zoom and the wider world. Surprisingly, there isn't as much build up to the finale battle as you might expect, though. Zoom, the man in the iron mask and Barry's big showdown almost take a back seat this week, with an episode that focuses more on the single-meta formula that we are already used to seeing. With only one more episode to go in Season 2, it seems that The Flash is holding it all back for the big finale.
Zoom's metahuman army has now been unleashed upon Central City, and at first, it seems as though this is a big problem. Joe and the rest of the force are seen attempting to deal with the threat, but there are simply too many super-powered beings to deal with. Luckily, it seems that The Flash is more than capable of dealing with them, as he speeds to the rescue, clearing an entire horde of metahumans in seconds. It's pretty impressive, given that he's previously taken a full episode to dispose of a single threat, but that's what visiting the Speed Force does, apparently.
However, it's not quite that easy. Barry is dealing with the metahumans from Earth-2 with surprising ease, but it's proving difficult to get them all. Team Flash doesn't even know how many there are, and while most seem intent on causing chaos (as Zoom orders), there could be more hiding out in the shadows. Still, Barry is confident that they will prevail. In fact, he's a little too confident. His time in the Speed Force has imbued him with feelings of invincibility, and it's concerning the rest of the team. Throughout the episode, his friends and family attempt to talk to Barry about the dangers of overconfidence, but he will not be shaken.
At the end of last week's episode, we saw Zoom giving Caitlin a choice: Stay with him, or go free and become his enemy. This week we learned that she had decided to opt for the latter, unsurprisingly. She's back at STAR labs, but not quite her old self. Dehydrated and in shock, not only is Caitlin a little shaken up, but she seems to be hallucinating. She sees Zoom around every corner, leading us to wonder if she'll truly recover from her ordeal.
Wally and Jesse — Still Not Super
After being hit with dark matter, everyone (on and off screen) seems to be waiting for Wally and Jesse to develop speedster powers. However, we're going to have to wait at least one more week. Jesse is convinced that her dark-matter coma must have done something, and gets tested at STAR labs (multiple times, from the sounds of it), but nothing is showing up in her molecular structure. When Harrison catches Caitlin testing her again, he's quick to tell her that she's not a metahuman, just a genius.
Wally, meanwhile, is showing no signs of superpowers but is still determined to do his best to help Central City. He heads out to try and take down some of the Earth-2 metahumans on his own, much to the fury of his father. Joe sends Barry to go and have a word with him as The Flash, which Barry does — but it has no effect on the headstrong would-be hero.
Laurel Lance is back! Not the Earth-1 version, of course (although it wouldn't be the first time that someone in the Arrowverse was resurrected), but her evil Earth-2 twin, Black Siren. As well as having a much cooler jacket than Black Canary, she's also got no compunction about murdering people, and uses her Canary Cry (or Siren Scream, perhaps?) to take down entire buildings, starting with Mercury Labs. Barry is quick to save the occupants, including our old friend, Dr. Tina McGee — who knows The Flash's secret identity!
It's revealed that Siren is (surprise, surprise) working for Zoom, as he tries to keep The Flash busy and away from his secret plans. She becomes the metahuman focus this week, representing the metahuman army to the viewers (and providing Black Canary fans with an extra episode of Katie Cassidy, of course!). She even comes close to taking Barry down, as the two face off and she blasts him with a decibel level that no human should be able to withstand. Barry's accelerated healing allows him to survive, but only just, and he ends up making it through after Wally (who overheard his destination during their talk about heroics) speeds up and hits her with his car. It just goes to show Wally doesn't need super speed to zoom in and save the day!
Zoom vs. Barry
Although Barry and Zoom don't go head to head this week, they do have a few interesting conversations. Zoom lured Barry to his own lab, where he confides that he and Barry aren't that different. Both with murdered parents, both with speed powers. He seems to think that the major difference between them is only that Jay/Hunter saw his mother killed, whereas Barry didn't have to see it. Zoom gives a particularly creepy speech about heroism, claiming that it's Barry's need to be the hero that will lead to him losing the final battle.
The Big Plan
As usual, Team Flash discovers a problem (usually one meta, but in this case, it's the sheer volume of metahumans that is the issue), battles it out for a little, and then comes up with a way to fix it. This time, the team realizes that the different frequencies of Earth-1 and Earth-2 is the key. They don't have to take out each meta individually — if they can target everyone on the Earth-2 frequency, they can take them all down at once. Including Zoom. Cisco and Wells get to work on a big shiny machine to generate the frequency, and Barry is going to be racing around the city in a ring, creating an invisible wall to bounce the frequency back, knocking out every Earth-2 inhabitant within that perimeter.
Of course, that also includes Harrison Wells and Jesse, but Cisco also created headphones in order to protect the two Earth-2 members of Team Flash. When Black Siren threatens to take down a high rise development full of people, it's time to take them all down, but Barry can't risk Siren letting loose before their plan has time to work. As a stalling tactic, Cisco and Caitlin decide to dress up as their (dead) doppelgängers and pretend to be teaming up to take down Zoom and take control. They do a fairly impressive job (Oscars for everybody!), but Black Siren catches them out when she tosses Cisco/Reverb a random piece of debris and he catches it with his right hand. Earth-2 types, being mirror images, would be left-handed. Oops.
Luckily, the two distracted her just long enough for the rest of the team to set their plan in motion, and it knocks Siren out. Even more luckily, it seems that Cisco is starting to develop his powers, and he managed to blast her backward with a vibration wave before she can kill them and just before Team Flash takes her down. Everything isn't perfect, though. Only one set of headphones works, and Wells gives them to Jesse, leaving him to be knocked out along with the metas. And Zoom, tricky villain that he is, opens up a portal to Earth-2 and leaps through before he can be caught.
The Final Twist (And Cisco's Vibes)
It looks for a moment as though we may have a happy ending on our hands. Wells is going to be fine, the metahuman army has been locked up (Iron Heights or the Pipeline), Caitlin's time as Killer Frost has her feeling a little more like her old self, the gang are celebrating some quiet time and Henry Allen is home for good. Barry and Iris even decide to give things a try, and it looks like Dr. McGee and Henry Allen might be giving things a try too!
But of course, there are no happy endings in the Arrowverse. First, Cisco vibes, for the third time this episode. The first two times, he saw dead birds — disturbing, but just a little odd. This time, he saw the total destruction of Earth-2. Before we can let that settle, Zoom appears and kidnaps Henry Allen and taunts the Flash (so now Wally knows the Barry is the Flash). After chasing them to his childhood home, Barry is forced to watch as Zoom punches through his father's chest, killing him instantly.
What's Next? 'The Race of His Life'
The season finale promises to be a doozy but it's got a lot to pack in. The promo for "The Race of His Life" is incredibly short, showing simply that Barry and Zoom will be facing off in a race to determine who is the fastest man alive (and a shot of Henry Allen's funeral). It's hard to see how this will help Barry kill Zoom, but we're sure that there is a plan afoot.
Obviously, the big showdown is going to be the focus of the episode, Barry vs. Zoom, with an inevitable cliffhanger at the end. But there is a lot more than that that we can expect to see next week. We should find out what Cisco's vibes mean — could Zoom's portals or this week's "dimensional tuning fork" weapon have caused the destruction of Earth-2? And will that be part of what brings Supergirl over to Earth-1 (now that we know she will be spending Season 2 on the CW)? Wally and Jesse may also finally get their speed. It's been building up all season, and it would make sense to get a glimpse of their powers before the end. Finally, we need to find out who the man in the iron mask is! It's been in the back of fans' minds since he first appeared, and with Earth-2 on the brink of destruction — surely we'll be finding out soon!
Things You May Have Missed
- New 52: As usual, we get a little call out to DC's New 52 whenever the news is on TV in Central City, as the news channel is 52.
- Blackest Night: Iris refers to the metapocalypse as "the blackest of nights" — a phrase that made every comic book fan prick up their ears. It's a reference to the Green Lantern oath: "In brightest day, in blackest night, no evil shall escape my sight."
- Cisco's Shirt: After a couple weeks of nothing, Cisco's nerdy fashion sense is back on display! This week, he'e sporting a classic Street Fighter tee.
- Beats By: Pop-culture reference of the week award goes to — Cisco! Obviously. This week, it's either for referencing Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (talking about his visions), or Beats By Dre — the uber-expensive headphones. (Beats By Wells!)
The finale of 'The Flash' Season 2 'The Race of His Life,' airs Tuesday May 24th on the CW.