Versus Zoom Plot Synopsis:
Barry, having now learned how to travel between the different Earths, decides to take the fight to Zoom.
After being given way more information about Zoom’s past than ever before, I hate to admit that I think I somehow know less about Zoom.
So this week was essentially “Zoom Origins” and “Oh Boy” does his story have a bunch of holes. Apparently young Hunter Zolamon grew up on Earth 2 in the brokenest of homes. His backstory is essentially the same as Barry’s except this time his dad actually did murder his mother and made Hunter watch while wearing dad’s goofy hat. Then Hunter was put into the foster system and, like all orphans, became a cold blooded serial killer. And while Hunter was about to be executed via electric chair (in the same universe that is a technological utopia akin to Tomorrowland), wouldn’t you know it, Harry’s particle accelerator disaster (that I thought didn’t actually happen) turned Hunter into a speedster.
Then things get really confusing. Hunter started killing people with speed because that’s his favorite thing and he earned the nickname Zoom. Then, and I’m really not sure about this one, he sees the breach as an opportunity to get more speed from another speedster so he concocts one of the more convoluted plans in the history of the CWverse (and that’s saying something). He decides to go back in time and get another Hunter from the past to work with him and masquerade as the hero Jay Garrick aka Earth-2 Flash. Then Zoom uses Jay Garrick to trick team Flash into getting even faster (a thing Barry always does on his own anyway) and eventually steal Flash’s speed. Here are a couple of problems with that explanation.
- Harry alleges at one point that he created Zoom but he doesn’t know the parts of the backstory that it seems like would be necessary to make that kind of claim.
- This whole plan would have completely fallen apart if Caitlin had mentioned the name of Hunter Zolomon to anyone from Earth-2, and Jay gives that information to her for no real reason.
- Hunter Zolomon created the character of Jay Garrick but gave Jay a hat to wear that is clearly associated with Hunter Zolomon and his murderous father.
- At some point, Hunter convinced Jay to sacrifice himself at a critical juncture in the plan even though Jay and Hunter are both incredibly selfish.
- Hunter is able to kill Jay with no time ramifications, even though the entire ending of Season One hinged on time ramifications being a thing.
- When Hunter came through the breach after killing Jay, he said to himself “This is a complication” even though killing Jay was always a part of that plan that Jay apparently agreed to.
And this would not be the first time this kind of thing happened. In Season One, Thawne’s plan was all over the place. He killed Blackout, that villain who was able to steal Barry’s powers, and did absolutely nothing with it. This is a whole nother level of plotforce.
And I have heard people say that maybe Zoom is lying about everything, which probably answers some of these questions but I doubt all of them. I do get the distinct feeling that Zoom is just making this up as he goes and that leads to my big question.
Nothing would have stopped Zoom from kidnapping any member of Team Flash and ransoming them for Barry’s speed, so why did he wait until now to do it? He gives the explanation that he needed to wait for Barry to be fast enough but if Zoom is dying, why not just get Flash’s speed immediately and use that time travel power that he apparently has to keep going back in time and stealing Barry’s speed?
To give them credit, I really enjoy Teddy Sears’ take on Hunter Zolomon. He is really reminding me of an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. character (that I will not name for spoiler reasons) who also starts out as a boring good guy but then switches to evil jerk, and it’s really great. I also enjoyed Barry in this episode. I think my favorite parts of his performances are when he is just acting like a normal guy. His chat with Joe about Wally stands out as a bright spot of this episode. They don’t feel like TV characters. They just sound like friends talking and that is how dialogue always should be.
One last question. If Jay and Hunter were distinctly separate characters this whole time, then why does Hunter have feelings for Caitlin. Forget about how out of character that whole moment felt for Zoom, should Hunter even care about her? She fell for Jay. Shouldn’t it be more like the Prestige where [PRESTIGE SPOILERS] the two brothers switch places and only one of them really loves his wife? [PRESTIGE SPOILERS END]. If that is the case, then I think we have finally found a way to take down Zoom once and for all. Once it is revealed that he is in love with Cailtin, the writers will instantly kill him and the day is saved. Now that would be a great season finale.
P.S. I loved how nonchalantly they worked in the Supergirl episode. It might have been my favorite part of the episode.
Matthew Nando Kelly is an incredibly cool and handsome staff writer for Pop-Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Besides weekly Flash recaps, he focuses on film, television, music, and video games. Matthew also has a podcast called Mad Bracket Status where he discusses pop culture related brackets with fellow Pop-Break writer DJ Chapman. He has an unshakable love for U2, cats, and the New Orleans Saints. His twitter handle is @NationofNando. Did we mention how handsome he was?