Review: ‘Flash’ Finally Explains Zoom-Hunter Zolomon Mystery (Sort of?)
Warning – FULL SPOILERS for Tonight’s “Versus Zoom”:
It’s been some time since The Flash revealed that a man with Jay Garrick’s face was hiding underneath the Zoom costume, apparently independent of the “Hunter Zolomon” doppelganger we’d met on Earth-1, while producers quickly clarified that the speedster in black was in fact the same “Jay” helping the team all season. That … didn’t really make matters any less confusing, something Tuesday’s “Versus Zoom” set out to clarify, but did it succeed?
Uh … maybe? Here’s what we know:
Apparently, since learning of Jay’s Earth-1 doppelganger (and her own love interest’s murderous masked activities), Caitlin neglected to share with anyone the name “Hunter Zolomon,” which itself set off immediate alarm bells with Harrison. On Earth-2, that name has long been associated with a famous serial killer, one of their universe’s few, who watched his abusive father murder his mother at comparable age to Barry. Lacking Barry’s familial support however, that Hunter grew into a serial killer, who was caught and undergoing electroshock therapy at the time of his Earth’s particle accelerator explosion.
Bingo-bango, Zoom. Or … The Flash? Apparently, no one realized that Central City’s fastest hero shares a mug with its most notorious killer, just clean-shaven, and less shaggy.
In any case, the team pieces the story together with a little help from Cisco’s blossoming Vibe powers, even managing to open the breach, and inspire Barry with a plan to finally capture his Season 2 nemesis. A new breach of course immediately draws Zoom’s attention, and thanks to some fancy upgraded tachyon tech*, Barry easily outpaces the man in black all the way to S.T.A.R. Labs, wherein Zoom ends up distracted long enough by cardboard cutouts of his parents (oh, that Cisco), for Barry to place “the boot” on his foe, and taunt him for slipping up.
*As expected, Barry’s first tachyon device indeed offered a brief trip to the Supergirl universe, music cue and all, though one that only lasted half an instant in Earth-1 time. Barry acknowledges having been gone longer than it seemed, but apparently never shared any of his Super-stories with the group.
Well, wouldn’t you know it, Zoom escapes anyway, and takes poor Wally West hostage to boot (puns!), forcing Barry to voluntarily give up his speed. What follows is a seriously awkward exchange in the lab, as Harrison details his plan for siphoning Barry’s speed from some reverse-tech and his favorite treadmill, while the team takes a few moments to ask the unmasked Jay/Hunter/Zoom some outlying questions about his nefarious schemes.
Like, perhaps, who was that poor Jay-lookin’ fella we saw Zoom first impale by the breach, before the villain dumped his body on the other side, and removed his own mask to reveal … also Jay? No mere speed mirage, it turns out, as Jay/Hunter/Zoom/Whoever apparently managed to find a “time remnant” of his past self, and … charm the figure into taking a claw for the team. Still confused?
Don’t bother asking about that chap in the iron mask, either, as even Jay says “you wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” so here’s hoping that’s one heck of a reveal to save for the finale, guys. There’s also the question of whether there ever was a real, heroic Jay Garrick, if Hunter Zolomon had been sociopathically pretending all along, or whatever happened to the Hunter Zolomon pointed out on Earth-1, but with Caitlin now an ultra-powered Zoom’s prisoner, and Barry devoid of any Speed Force, those questions will sadly have to wait.
AND ANOTHER THING …
- That opening scene of Hunter’s father forcing his son to watch him murder his mother with a rifle at point-blank range was troubling to watch, so excuse me while I draw up a conspiracy wall that Earth-2 is actually the Gotham universe.
- I feel weird about Barry’s speed now having a technological component, if we’re keeping the tachyon device.
- Did anyone else think Barry and Joe had totally misread Wally’s interest in moving in at first?
- A thousand x-nays on Iris contemplating a romance with Barry because “destiny” (read: every alternate reality so far) wants them together.
- Cisco comparing his Vibe powers to Anakin Skywalker for such an extended metaphor was pretty great.
- Was Barry’s entire plan just the solitary boot? Come on.
- After injecting himself, I was at least partially convinced Zoom was about to unmask himself as Judge Doom.
The Flash Season 2 will return April 26 with “Back to Normal,” airing at 8:00 P.M. on The CW.
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