WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!
Ok! I admit it, I have been wrong most steps of the way when it comes to second guessing the Flash, but it shows the writing is not predictable right? I mean…who wants to be right and ruin the rest of the season itself? So we got another dose of the speed force (yes I just did) last night and it was awesome! It turns out that Jay Garrick and Hunter Zolomon were two separate bodies, however, they were the same person only that “Jay” was a ‘time remnant’ or earlier version of himself, presumably before he starting taking Velocity 9 and turned his speed lightning blue. This is all explained in a nice and neat reflection scene but there are several questions that are yet unanswered.
Firstly, I am glad that there wasn’t a separation of a single person through the use of some super drug leading to the creation of Jay Garrick and Zoom, that’s a relief, however, the use of time does throw up a few obvious questions. For starters, how can modern day Hunter Zolomon be living and breathing if his older self is dead? I mean the Reverse-Flash bought it when Eddie Thawne sacrificed himself and they were generations apart, but this is the same guy? I mean I know that the Reverse-Flash did show up again later on in the story after he had already died. This was explained as being earlier on in his own timeline although it was later in Barry Allen’s timeline, because the Reverse-Flash was time travelling his timeline does not have the same chronology as Barry Allen’s. The Reverse-Flash would then move backwards through Barry Allen’s past to the kill his mother all whilst advancing his own timeline. Confusing stuff but it makes sense. The question still remains then why is he still alive? I mean even if his former self did not return to the time from where he came would it not affect the present-day Zoom? I mean, if he never returned would it not affect the timeline for present-day Zoom? Maybe stop him from taking Velocity 9 altogether? I guess playing with time in stories these days can afford the writers some flexibility because it is so uncertain in the minds of the audience, but since they have already shown the effects of killing a predecessor it surely throws up an inconsistency here.
I also have a little irk with the fact that Cisco can vibe Zoom through Jay Garrick’s helmet. Now I get that they are the same person and Cisco can control the energy that sustains the multiverse so most issues are accounted for here across dimensions. However, Jay is a ‘time remnant’ to Zoom, how does he have a connection to view the modern day version of himself? It’s almost as if there should be a gap in his timeline to the point that Cisco can view what he is doing in the modern day. I guess this can be explained away as being within the nature of Cisco’s vibe power but it is a small question that an audience has to get their head around.
Finally, on the criticisms I promise…is it just me or is anyone else a little frustrated with the number of enhancements that are being passed around at the minute? I mean there is the whole Velocity 9 formula and drug enhancements and there is now this how tachyon contraption thingy which made the Flash run faster? I mean the Flash is all about running and running for hope and heroism, using the Speed Force and acting as a conduit for it power, not juicing up or attaching rockets to himself. Then again, does this not reflect society and attitudes today. I mean just in sport, competitors are being found out to be taking supplements that give them a chemical edge and obviously, from a plotline perspective, you wouldn’t want the Flash to be able to run at his top speed from the comics (which would be insane anyway) straight away because there is no room for growth and development, so Barry Allen will reach those speeds its just an obvious character arc for the audience to follow as they watch him get faster. Not just his speed though, it’s how he does it. Another point to be made is that in all the short-termism and narrow mindedness in today’s society people are struggling to be motivated to work for something. I want to see Barry Allen look for the answers within himself, not look to drugs or mechanics or stealing it from others like Zoom. To actually develop and work and earn the right to be a hero, doing it the right way, which was the issue at the beginning of the season, as he did not feel worthy of praise. There can be no short term cheat, it has to be done and done properly, which I am sure is all part of the character arc and they are nailing it so far.
So looking forward; where to now for Barry Allen without the Speed Force…apparently? In the comics Barry pretty much was the Speed Force, every step he took generated more of the stuff so I do not believe he is, or should, be getting a vial and jabbing himself with a needle full of it. I think it will come out that the Speed Force that Zoom took was just a fraction of what Barry can tap in to, and just in that moment too. I am interested to see how they lead him to discover this but discover it he must. It is also interesting because in the comics Zoom did not get his speed from necessarily tapping into the speed force, he had the ability to affect his own timeline and therefore appear to be moving at super speeds and even managing to stay away from the fastest of the Flashes, Wally West. So it will be interesting to see if they bring this up, as Speed Force villains for Barry to take down are a little repetitive, I mean the Turtle has actually been one of my favourite villains thus far as he had a different take on speed, although how he was defeated was a bit of a let down as it lacked creativity, but the idea was refreshing.
There was also the Supergirl crossover reference when Barry exclaims he’s “back”. Although this episode, and the one before it, have come way after the actual Supergirl crossover aired it is still nice to get that cleared up although no verbal reference or conversation with Cisco and his opinion on her was a bit of short change, but it was still satisfying despite the delay which we can thank the NBA for, thanks Kobe! What is also interesting is that, if you’re like me and enjoyed the hell of the chemistry between the Supergirl/Melissa Benoist and the Flash/Grant Gustin, you want to see it again, and since it now seems that Cisco can open up portals to other dimensions it makes it totally possible for this to happen which is uber exciting and can possibly lead to introducing more characters…with a possible Superman appearance which I shall address in a later post.
On a shorter note there is also the concept of the dual personality arising from using Velocity 9. We got a glimpse of this in Hunter Zolomon through his eyes actually turning black and his voice going all Christian Bale/Dark Knight on us, but also through his talking down from harming Barry by Caitlin Snow, who he then proceeds to steal away on for us to find out what happens on a later day. It was made to be too big a deal in the Trajectory character and must play a role somewhere, whether in the character or the plot itself but it will be interesting to see if it gives Zoom more depth or makes him a less believable bad guy, we can only wait and see.
Then there is the one remaining big question! Who is the man in the iron mask? Even asked by Barry himself, like we’re all wondering, speaking as an audience member! To which we get a “you would not believe it if I told you”, which just blows the mind. Could it be a bluff and be someone boring? If it was truly mind boggling, I would have to guess a future Earth-1 Barry Allen, whom Zoom has already stolen speed from…because that is what I would do, if you start in the future and work back surely you can keep stealing the same speed no? Although…that is a little far fetched. The only other option that would cause disbelief would be somebody they all think is dead. Eddie Thawne, Ronnie Raymond or maybe a Reverse-Flash Eobard Thawne? Whichever it may turn out to be, this is intriguing and has really captured audiences and their attention, a brilliant achievement from a brilliant show rapidly becoming a fan favourite.
Whatever happens it seem was still have at least a good five episodes left of the season so I doubt we are going to get any quick answer even if it is the Flash. I don’t know about you but I cannot wait! Speed it up! We need it now! So that is my two cents on everything I like about that Flash episode and where I think it is going I hope it is of value to you, but let me know what you think. Do you like the Jay/Hunter explanation? How do you think Barry will get his speed back? Was this a good use of the Jay Garrick character bearing in mind his role in the comics? Zoom was obsessed with trying to make Wally West a better super hero by making him suffer, will Zoom make Barry suffer? Do you agree with my view on the enhancement and future arc of the character? What about the introduction of new characters or a role for Supergirl in the future? And finally, who is behind that bloody mask? Thanks for the read and let me know your thoughts, sorry it was so long, but when you love something…