One thing I”ve learned over the course of my television-watching-career, and from books and movies and so forth, is that you never make a deal with the villain. It”s a bad bet. The Big Bad will almost always break their promises.
You are watching: You cant lock up the darkness
So it struck me as enormously foolish of Barry to agree to give up his Speed Force to Zoom in exchange for Wally West. Enormously, horribly, almost unforgivably stupid.
Let”s paint the picture. Zoom is incredibly fast and even more bloodthirsty. We glimpse some of Hunter Zolomon”s past in this episode:his father kills his mother in front of him; he goes into the orphanage system and emerges a serial killer; he becomes both Zoom and the Flash so that he can give people hope and then tear it away. This is not a very nice person, and that fact has been well-established. He had Harrison”s daughter in his cage for much of the season but Barry never gave up his Speed Force for her.
Anyways, you have Zoom on one end and Team Flash on the other. Barry has gotten faster and faster thanks to Harrison Wells—fast enough now to keep up with Zoom, though he underestimated the extent of Zoom”s power. But if Barry gives up his speed to Zoom, he will have no powers whatsoever. Nobody else on Team Flash will have the ability to stop Zoom at this point. Not Cisco and his vibing, not Wells and his fancy guns.
In other words:If Barry gives up his power to Zoom, then Zoom will be the only one with powers left standing.
This seems like a very, very bad trade even for Wally. Zoom could simply take the speed and then kill each and every one of them in the span of a few heartbeats. Instead, he nearly kills Barry and then makes off with Caitlyn. Because of course he does.
This was really, really stupid on Barry”s part. They didn”t even come up with a trick or an ambush. They didn”t double-cross Hunter Zolomon when they had the chance. I”m honestly a little baffled still that this is actually how things played out.
Meanwhile, once Zoom did show up and hand over Wally, why didn”t Barry just double-cross him first? His sense of honor? Give me a break! Now Caitlyn has been taken off to Zoom”s creepy dungeon for lord knows what kind of awful sadism and Barry can”t even get her back.
Gallery: The Flash – Season Two
Other Thoughts on Zoom
The Hunter Zolomon backstory certainly adds some depth to his character, and the fact that he then became a serial killer before gaining his super powers is pretty fascinating. I had assumed Earth 1″s Hunter Zolomon was working with Zoom but it was actually a time remnant. Not sure how I feel about this. I liked the idea that Earth 1 Hunter Z. was getting addicted to the speed himself, and tried to double-cross Zoom. I guess that”s sort of what happened with the time remnant. “You can”t lock up the darkness.” That”s a great line, and it was super creepy when Zoom”s eyes turned black and he freed himself. But is there more to this line than I”m aware of? Does it have some other meaning to Barry? Teddy Sears really shined. As hero Jay Garrick he always seemed kind of goofy and awkward; as evil Hunter Zolomon/Zoom he”s just oozing villainy and a sort of smug, wicked charm. Zoom is a scary dude, Sears is terrific in the role, but what a convoluted mess this season is when you really sit down and think about it. Zoom”s plan to get Barry”s speed has been far too complicated and absurd from the get-go. Still, I can look past it because it”s been a fun ride regardless.
The rest of the episode was pretty good. I liked seeing Joe and Wally bond. The scene in Wally”s new bedroom had all the feels. Of course, it was in some ways just a big set-up for what came next.
I also liked seeing Cisco use more of his powers. That first time he opened a rift to Earth 2 was freaky! With Zoom waiting on the other side ready to strike…
I”m less upbeat about Iris suddenly deciding that yes, after all this she does have feelings for Barry. Ye gods, I thought we were past all that. Now we can expect some good old fashioned CW-style romantic melodrama, I suppose. Just what this show doesn”t need. Hey, maybe Patty will come back at the same exact time Iris confesses her feelings. Or maybe Felicity will use Barry as a rebound. Suffice to say, I”m not thrilled by this development though I”m hoping against hope to be proven wrong.
Finally, the man in the iron mask remains a big question mark. When Barry asks, Zoom simply says “You wouldn”t believe me if I told you.” All I can say is that I hope the writers have this mystery answered already. We don”t need another grave waiting to be filled with whichever random character the writers choose when the time comes.
All told, an exciting episode even if it was built on some really bafflingly stupid decisions by our heroes. What did you think?
P.S. I think the man in the iron mask is the real Jay Garrick and the real Flash from Earth 2. He never revealed his true identity or face to the public, but when Hunter Zolomon started impersonating him, he revealed his face. That”s why Wells recognized him as Jay. Nobody knows what the real Jay/Flash look like because his identity was secret. We”ll see…
Erik Kain writes a widely read and respected blog about video games, entertainment and culture at sahib.tv. He is a Shorty Award-nominated journalist and critic whose work
Erik Kain writes a widely read and respected blog about video games, entertainment and culture at sahib.tv. He is a Shorty Award-nominated journalist and critic whose work has appearedin The Atlantic, The National Review, Mother Jones, True/Slant and elsewhere. Kain co-founded the political commentary blog The League Of Ordinary Gentlemen, whose members have gone on to write at multiple major publications including The New York Times and Slate. He lives in Arizona with his family.