Comic book tv shows

The Flash 2×18 Discussion: Was the Zoom mystery worth it?

the flash season 2 episode 18 review discussion

The Flash season 2 episode 18 finally gave us some long-awaited answers regarding the Zoom mystery, which has been burdening us from the beginning of the season. But sometimes the chase is more fun than the actual catch. So let’s discuss The Flash season 2 episode 18!

Spoilers follow.

One thing The Flash loves doing, is their story parallels. This time we have the origin story of Hunter Zolomon vs the origin story of Barry Allen. His father was also sent to jail for murdering his mother, but his story is obviously a lot different from Barry’s. Hunter’s dad did actually commit the crime, and Hunter didn’t have a loving family to take him in.

I’m a big serial killer fan, so finding out he went on to become a serial killer was pretty interesting. He truly is a psychotic force. But then things start to feel a little off.

So after Barry makes yet another idiotic plan that goes wrong, and Zoom kidnaps Wally, we start to find out a little bit more about what Zoom’s plan was. So he goes back in time to find his time remnant, to convince him to become Jay Garrick. And his time remnant agrees.

What does this mean? That all those Flash/Zoom battles on Earth-2 were all for show, for some elaborate plan to take hope away from people. I mean I like the concept. Create a symbol of hope, only to show that the powers of darkness will always overshadow it. But it’s a little, I don’t know, inefficient. Not that villains always have the best plans, but spending all that time fighting yourself just seems wasteful. And then if it was his plan all along to kill his time remnant, why was Zoom shocked when it happened?

the flash season 2 episode 18 review discussion zoom identity

And surely he didn’t just use Jay Garrick as a fake name. Surely the writers wouldn’t take an iconic character and just use him as a plot twist? Zoom did say that Barry wouldn’t believe who was really in the mask, so perhaps it still is the real Jay Garrick (hopefully, please don’t waste that character).

Then there’s the whole stealing Barry’s speed portion of the episode. They have Wally back, but they don’t even try to stop Zoom anymore? Instead of fake giving Zoom Barry’s speed, and just giving him some poison instead, they give a serial killer an infusion of power??? (Oh and Wells, if Hunter has such a recognisable face, how did you not recognise him?).

Now I don’t want to be overly negative, but when you spend so much time setting up big story arcs like this, you would hope for a little better execution. The season isn’t over, and the Zoom arc isn’t over, so they could still pull this off.

the flash season 2 episode 18 review discussion barry zoom

I have to say though, Zoom is genuinely a terrifying villain, “You can’t lock up the darkness”. You would think he was the protegé of Darkseid or something. I just hope they don’t bring out the inner humanity in him. I like that he is this emotionless serial killer, devoid of any sense of humanity. If they want to carry on the parallel they should commit to that. Barry has always been a character anchored by love and his humanity, Zoom should be the opposite.

Next week’s episode will have Barry try to be The Flash without any of his powers, should work out well.

Oh and did Barry just visit Supergirl this episode, and not even mention it to anybody else???

Overall The Flash season 2 episode 18 was an interesting episode with the Zoom story moving forward, but not completely satisfying. Hopefully we’ll find out who the man in the mask is very soon…

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22 replies »

  1. “Oh and Wells, if Hunter has such a recognisable face, how did you not recognise him?”

    I guess the same reason that nobody recognizes Barry when he has his mask on. And Oliver and Laurel and Thea, while I’m at it. I think a beard is much better than the masks those guys wear…

    By the way, why did Zoom’s eyes turn black when he talked about darkness?

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    • I caught that too. There was something… else… there. One moment he seemed perfectly in control, then he suddenly went into desperate fear, catching Barry by surprise, then came the darkness and utter savagery. There’s something there.

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    • Haha true, I love comic book logic
      Yeah that’s why I mention Darkseid, same thing that happened in Smallville when Darkseid was controlling people, but obviously not the same as what’s happening here

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  2. You know what this reminded me of? Grant Morrison’s New X-Men run. There was a character named Xorn, who had mysterious powers, was a good guy, and had a similar face mask to both Zoom’s mask and the man in the iron mask. Guess what? Turned out it was Magneto in disguise so he could destroy the X-Men from within, filling them and other mutants with hope, and then reveal himself so he can bring about mutant supremacy, but this failed cause the X-Men beat him and Wolverine killed him. Grant Morrison even said that there was no real Xorn and it was the “cruel point” of his existence. Of course later Marvel decided to bring back Xorn and Magneto, seeing potential for more stories (or just trying to fall back on em like safety nets instead of continuing forward with something new), but that’s beside the point. Zoom supposedly creating Jay Garrick as a “fake identity” and tricking everyone is just like the Xorn/Magneto scenario, though I hope it’s revealed the man in the iron mask is the real Jay Garrick because I REALLY hope they didn’t just drag a good superhero’s name, the FIRST Flash, one of the premiere Golden Age superheroes, in the mud like they did here, and that’s just messed up.

    This episode also kinda proves my thoughts about how the creators (as well as DC in their comics right now) been putting Wally West elements into Barry as if Barry is a blank slate and Wally never had an impact (on the powers that be, anyway). The parallels between Hunter and Barry are neat, they both lost their parents due to murder, only with different circumstances and they grew up differently. Other than that, there’s not much of a connection between them. Eobard Thawne, Barry’s nemesis in comics, was compelling because he was deeply involved with Barry due to their ongoing conflict and his use of time-travel putting him in key events of his life, while also making new events and therefore changing the Arrowverse from whatever it originally was before he appeared. Zoom is only after Barry because he wants his speed, nothing else, no vendetta or anything. Not that it’s bad, but it does feel a little forced at the same time. Trying to humanize Zoom, especially in his current state as a twisted psychopath, kinda takes away a bit of his edge.

    Heck, Zoom kidnaps Wally and they’re in the same room, yet not much happens between em. I also get the idea of Zoom kidnapping Wally, that it’d affect Joe the most because he’s finally starting to really bond with his long-lost son and doesn’t want to lose him again, but Barry sacrifices his speed for this? He barely interacted with him. Then again, this is also similar to when The Savior kidnapped Roy in Arrow season 1, and Oliver saved him, despite not knowing him very well, not just because it was the right thing to do and while Roy was a bit rough he wasn’t evil, but also because he did it for his sister Thea, who loved Roy. Roy started his journey into becoming a hero because of that, so maybe the same can happen with Wally after this. But seriously, sacrificing the speed for this? That’s just dumb. Plus is it just me or could Caitlin become Killer Frost after this too?

    I love The Flash show, even consider it superior to the comic (in its current state anyway), but this is probably the only episode so far that I didn’t like that much.

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    • Agreed, I mean the story they’re giving is fine, but it could have been so much more. And surely they wouldn’t waste Garrick like that…
      Normally The Flash is good and building strong dynamics between characters, but the one between Wally and Barry is weak.
      As for Caitlin, idk, it feels like it would be too much of a leap for her to ever become that evil

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  3. Also yeah, no mentioning of the Supergirl crossover here? Sure, a VERY vague reference, but c’mon! At least Supergirl had an excuse for not bringing up the crossover in the following episodes, because she had to deal with Myriad and everything immediately after, and the season ended too but at least there’s potential for addressing it in season 2. Barry here was just literally running around, and acted like going to another universe, teaming up with an alien superhero to defeat powered villains, and then coming back and never bringing it up was just like getting lost on the way back home after getting groceries.

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  4. I have to agree. This wasn’t a very satisfying way to handle things, and it left me wondering what, exactly, Zoom meant when he talked about it being a complication when he killed his other self. Maybe he did intend to kill “himself” all along, but didn’t mean to do so right then?

    Also, I’m still fairly certain that the guy in the mask actually *is* Jay Garrick, in some form or another. Not the only possible theory I have (including it being Jay from yet another Earth, or it being a future version of Zoom come to try and change something, or it being another Barry from another Earth or time whatever), but, basically, my money’s on there being a *real* Jay.

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  5. Given that Zoom on flash is a weird composite of about 4 different character from the comics, I think it was inevitable that no matter who it was the audience is going to be way more invested in the costumed persona, than who is under it.

    I would have preferred is they just never told us who he is, let it be a mystery, now that the cat is out of the bag, the zoom/Jay related episodes fell pretty flat, and team flash has been doing dumber and dumber things.

    “He’s going to die and be stuck on his own world if we literally site here and do nothing”

    “Oh no, that simply won’t do, let’s open a portal so he can come and leave as he pleases, then give him Barry’s speed making him more powerful than ever, leaving Barry powerless, and now two more of our silly team have been kidnapped.

    Great plan geniuses!

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    • Yeah I actually wouldn’t have minded if they went the Joker route and just never gave him an origin, or at least a definitive origin. He was a lot more scary when we had no idea about who he was or what his underlying motivations were

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