“Enter Zoom” certainly showcased the frightening power of its titular villain after a few weeks of the foe’s silly plan to send underlings after Barry. For such a fearsome figure, his moves so far have felt more like the necessity of a TV series, not the plan of an actual intelligent villain, but Zoom’s inability to fall for Team Flash’s tricks and his powerful lengthy appearance on Earth-1 indicate he has little interest in messing around.
Zoom appears in Barry’s world because he and Harrison, despite the understandably cautious advice of Barry’s friends, focus on the only solution they find viable. Zoom has to be stopped, and it’s better to do it now than wait around any longer, Barry reasons.
And for that bullheaded thinking, Barry receives a crippling injury.
Zoom doesn’t show up simply for kicks, though. Barry wants to lure Zoom to their world, and he believes Dr. Light will be the perfect bait. And though she escapes (her abilities also apparently include turning invisible, a convenient method of breaking free), she leaves behind her outfit. Luckily, there’s someone else who can wear it, since Dr. Light has an Earth-1 twin.
So the disparate parts of the plan coalesce. Dr. Light tells Barry, before her Invisible Woman stunt, that she was instructed to throw the Flash’s suit emblem through to Earth-2 as proof of his death. Barry still wants to send his emblem through to the other side, forcing Zoom’s hand. Earth-2’s Harrison can develop a speed-dampening serum. And with surprise on their side, the two of them believe the plan will work.
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Everyone else isn’t so sure. Cisco, Caitlin, and Joe all share their suspicions of Wells’ true motives for helping Barry fight Zoom, and Joe even suggests Dr. Light’s escape is a sign that their current plan may be a foolish one. Barry and Harrison refuse to give up, though, and so the only logical choice they see is to bring Linda Park into the fold.
With Light on the loose, Iris has been keeping a watchful eye on her fellow journalist, who is nervously cooking her way through several dozen cookbooks. But Iris happens to agree that letting Linda help is a good idea, and the only way for them to find out if she’s in for the gambit is to ask. Iris brings her to S.T.A.R. Labs, where Barry, in his Flash suit, asks for her help.
She agrees, but her training montage indicates she has miles to go (and requires a few tweaks to her pulse gloves from Cisco). Linda eventually catches on to aiming and hitting only her targets. Those targets just so happen to be cardboard cutouts of the Flash (guess a few promotional items were hanging around the set) while avoiding other cutouts of a selfie-taking Cisco, Joe, and the others.
Linda improves, but just barely, accidentally frying Cisco’s command center at practice in all the excitement of hitting a target. No one thinks she’s ready, but Barry plans to convince Linda to remain involved. Joe stops him on his way out, asking him to seriously consider the consequences of asking someone to risk her life. He also intimates Barry’s fervent desire to take down Zoom stems from a lingering disappointment that Eddie, not Barry, was the one who ultimately took down Reverse-Flash.
Barry brushes the latter idea off for now but takes to heart that he has to consider Linda’s part. He appears to her in his Flash costume, as she sits distraught and dejected, knowing that she failed the team. Barry tells her he believes in her, though. He knows she can do it, and to prove that to her, he’s going to trust her as much as she trusts him. So he removes his mask and reveals his true identity to his former flame. (“I made out with the Flash,” she exclaims in an episode-best line.)
With that show of faith, she agrees to don Dr. Light’s outfit and hold a fake duel with Barry out by the docks. The fight is hilariously overstaged, Cisco having come up with a cheesy script for them (he promises to do better next time, not that there should ever be a next time). Grant Gustin channels Wentworth Miller’s scenery-chewing Captain Cold performance in his inflection before the “fight” finally commences. A few hits and Barry takes a fake fall.
And so they wait, over an hour passing without a sign from Zoom. They pack it in, Wells particularly displeased, while Barry comes to terms with his perhaps reckless behavior. He opens up to Joe about Earth-1 Wells’ taped message to him, telling him that he knew Barry, and he knew Barry Allen would never be happy.
NEXT: Zoom comes to town