The Flash: “Rupture” Season 2 Episode 20 Review

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One thing is for certain, The Flash is building a steady momentum as we head toward season two’s endgame. The specific plot points make almost zero sense, but tension is forming. Tension, even when achieved nonsensically, will always work in a dramatic show’s favor.

Look, The Flash isn’t expected to have all its story odds and ends click together like they do on, say, Game of Thrones or Better Call Saul. But hell, I’ll even take Arrow‘s plotting at this point.

“Rupture” has Zoom return to Earth-1’s Central City to take it over. But Caitlin says no, so he doesn’t. Instead, he sends Rupture, the Earth-2 doppelganger of Cisco’s brother, over to, well, it’s not quite clear. At first he seems to be going after Cisco for killing his brother (Earth-2’s Cisco), but then he switches gears and attacks the city’s police force. Why is Zoom even trusting him to do this? And when he fails, why does Zoom leave Joe and the police chief? I think The Flash is suffering from some convenient storytelling. It’s episode 20, so the season’s main villain should pose a bigger threat. And he does. Zoom’s ability to murder a room full of men in milliseconds is actually quite horrifying. That visual and his domineering presence on Earth-1 are enough to get Barry to kick things into high gear to save the city. But not until the end of the episode because we need our cliffhanger.

I suppose the biggest problem with The Flash right now is that the strings the writers are using to puppeteer the characters are in plain view. The plot points happening are obviously just there to get other plot points to happen. Zoom has to be on Earth-1 to get Barry to agree to have Wells reuse the particle accelerator. Why Zoom is there doesn’t make sense, but we know Barry needs to get his powers back, so we accept it to get the story moving along. And “Rupture” moves at a solid pace, much like the last two episodes have. The directing and editing are there, but the writing has fallen significantly behind. I don’t need my superhero stores to make complete sense, but even with all the time travel discrepancies, the road to the Reverse-Flash showdown in season one made sense. The way everything is laid out right now, with Zoom’s origin revealed, Caitlin’s kidnapping, and Barry’s father re-entering the mix, The Flash should be firing on all cylinders right now. But it just isn’t.

Though a little John Wesley Shipp goes a long way in bringing back some heart to this superhero series. Gone since the premiere, Barry visits him in his log cabin and he decides to join the team to help his son. The best scene of the episode came because of it, when Henry Allen, Joe, and Wells debated using the particle accelerator on Barry. Just seeing all of Barry’s starkly different father figures in a room discussing their son’s fate was emotional to some degree.

But as the Zoom situation gets worse and worse, Barry finally just decides to go for it. The effects of the procedure seem to kill him. Obviously that’s not the case, and the preview for next week’s episode confirms it, just as it was obvious that Barry wouldn’t lose his speed forever. That said, the lightning also struck Jesse and Wally. Comics fans know what that likely means for Wally, but the outcome for Jesse could be interesting to see.

Still, while The Flash puts all its pieces in place for the end of season two, it’s not justifying how those pieces will get there. The show can still have a great finale after that, but TV shows shouldn’t be made for just one great episode after a bunch of plotting goes awry. The second and third seasons of Heroes both have great episodes scattered throughout, but those are still bad seasons of television. Sadly, The Flash looks like it may be going down a similar road. Grade: C+

Some Other Notes:

  • Season four of Heroes, on the other hand, should just be forgotten. And I couldn’t muster the strength to finish Heroes Reborn last fall.
  • With Henry Allen gone so long just to show up again for these final episodes, he suddenly has a huge target on his back. It’d be a shame if he died. He was one of the best things about season one that seemingly disappeared this year. Another example of the very same thing is Snart, who may be having all sorts of fun on Legends of Tomorrow, but is dearly missed in a season of The Flash devoid of great villains.
  • The opening of the episode was actually very good. I loved how the hologram allowed Barry and the team to patrol the streets yet still ended up not being enough. The Flash sometimes comes up with cool additions like this to traditional superhero lore.
  • Zoom says he sees darkness in Caitlin. If the show can justify it and make her Killer Frost of Earth-1, by all means.
  • Rupture was cool, and like all well-done villains on this show, was killed far too soon.

By Matt Dougherty

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