Barry returns in “Invincible” in an unusually upbeat mood after his trip to the Speed Force. Despite staring down a Metapocalypse (not to be confused with a Metalocalypse) and the destruction of Central City at the hands of Zoom, Barry is so shockingly positive about their endeavors that it worries everyone around him.
They’re facing a huge number of evil metahumans and a possible end-times scenario, and yet Barry is so surprisingly enthusiastic you’d think he inspired Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop The Feeling.” Unfortunately, by the end of the episode, all of that positivity and his belief in the universe being on their side can’t stop another major loss in Barry’s life.
Before that casualty is even close to a reality, however, Team Flash is doing all it can to quell Zoom’s army of Earth-2 metahumans laying siege to the city. CCPD has its hands full, even with the Flash zipping around town to stop every baddie one by one. He can’t be there to stop every tragedy, and so Mercury Labs comes crashing down thanks to the sonic blasts of Black Siren, Earth-2’s Laurel Lance. (She comes with more swagger than Laurel does, in addition to a costume that is miles ahead of anything the Black Canary ever had to wear. Was this one just stuck in the back of the costume closet this whole time?)
Barry makes it to the scene in time to save Dr. McGee, who has no problem guessing that Barry is underneath the scarlet costume. But at the time, neither of them know how the building came tumbling down. Bringing McGee back to the lab (where they have to fill her in on more than a few developments), they decide to go after a black box failsafe in the wreckage that includes security footage and will reveal who brought the labs down.
Barry reclaims the box with relative ease and his newfound unshakeable (for now) spunk, but before the team can do much, sirens go off signaling a problem at CCPD.
Barry rushes over despite Henry trying to warm him about still being careful (comments Barry doesn’t immediately take kindly to) and confronts Zoom in his office. He’s ready for a fight, but Zoom, unmasked, is more interested in coming to verbal blows, not physical ones. He wants Barry to realize the two of them are not so different, coming off with all the menace of Dr. Evil as he beats Barry over the head with this point.
He calls attention to what he believes is the one difference between them — Barry’s need to be the hero. Zoom can’t see how Barry keeps it up; he found being Jay exhausting. Being the villain allows Zoom the freedom to make cataclysmic decisions without a second thought, a point he makes by having a building crumble outside at that very moment. He promises Barry that’s why he’ll lose. Barry always has to be good, and Zoom sees weakness to exploit there.
And because of this Zoom is interested in cutting at Barry’s emotional core, rather than a fight. Returning to the lab, Barry wants to figure out how to take down all of Zoom’s metas at once, tearing down his armor to leave the big bad exposed. He and Cisco consider the possibility of concocting some vibrational technology that will simultaneously take down everyone from Earth-2 without harming anyone from their Earth.
NEXT: Finding the right frequency