“The Flash” episode 2.20 review – “Rupture”

Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW

Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW

I’ve always said that “The Flash” is one of the strongest superhero shows on TV, and the episode “Rupture” proves this to be true. Not only did the plot move significantly forward, the episode ramped up the threat of Zoom in a big way. Ever since Zoom was revealed, the dynamic changed a bit and the level of villainy he seemed to possess before almost evaporated. This episode was a strong entry with plenty of heart, plot development and character development and a lot of heavily intense moments that made “Rupture” one of the strongest episodes of season two.

The episode begins with a high-speed chase scene. The Flash is zipping around Central City helping the police take down the runaways, but wait, what? Didn’t Barry Allen lose his speed a couple of episodes before? Yes, but Cisco has found a way to get Barry around the city: By using a hologram version of himself. Which is pretty clever. Wells thinks that this can’t be kept up because everyone will start to wonder why The Flash never touches anything or goes inside buildings. He brings up the particle accelerator explosion again as a way to bring back Barry’s powers. Of course, everyone is against it because it’s dangerous, put Barry in a nine month coma last time, and brought on a whole herd of metahumans. And oh, let’s not forget Zoom was created by the explosion as well.

Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW

Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW

Feeling overwhelmed, Barry seeks out the MIA Henry for advice and brings him back to S.T.A.R. Labs. Henry doesn’t think he should do it, Joe is on the fence but is convinced that once Barry has made up his mind, there’s no changing it, and Henry is adamant that it’s the only way. What I loved is that, although it was clear that Barry would be making the decision to reenact the accident that gave him his powers, that the episode acknowledged the fact that it was a bad idea. They went over the possible consequences and didn’t just jump into doing something so irresponsible.

Probably the biggest thing that happened in the episode, aside from Barry agreeing to Wells’ plan, is Iris’ confession of love to Barry. This has been a long time coming and I was so happy when it finally happened. The two have had a lot of false starts and the writers sidelined Iris for the better part of the first half of season two, so it was a breath of fresh air when she confesses her feelings. The scene itself was setup so wonderfully and was Candice Patton’s best acting since the Earth-2 episodes. She was vulnerable with her emotions, but open to taking the next step. Great dynamic between her and Grant Gustin.

Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW

Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW

Part of me was frustrated that Barry didn’t kiss the love of his life right there and then, but then I realized that aside from being taken by surprise by his best friend’s confession, there was also a lot riding on his shoulders at the moment. Iris tells him that it doesn’t matter to her whether he’s The Flash or not, but it matters to Barry. He doesn’t feel complete without that part of him and that’s kind of tragic in many ways.

Elsewhere in the episode, Cisco vibes his brother Dante (guest star Nicholas Gonzalez) and goes to meet him. We discover that since their kidnapping by Captain Cold last year, nothing has changed between them and there’s still a lot of angry tension there. Leaving the bar, they’re intercepted by an Earth-2 metahuman named Rupture. The big surprise for the Ramon brothers is that Rupture is Dante’s doppelganger, and he mistakenly believes that Cisco killed his brother, Reverb.

I thoroughly enjoyed Dante’s presence and the dynamic between he and Cisco last year, and the same goes for this year as well. It’s great that this episode also let Cisco shine and bridge the distance between he and his brother. Hopefully, there’ll be a way to bring Dante back at some point in season three.

Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW

Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW

On a rampage, Zoom orders Rupture to kill all the cops being held at CC Jitters in a show of power. But thanks to Caitlin’s warning about Zoom’s plan, The Flash hologram is able to distract him long enough for Joe and Captain Singh (who I was worried would be killed and I’m glad he wasn’t) to de-power Rupture. Zoom, not having any of it, makes his appearance and kills Rupture and snaps the necks of all the remaining officers so fast that no one registers what’s happened until after the fact.

This turn of events immediately changes Barry’s mind about using the particle accelerator. Any trepidation he has is thrown out the window. And although he’s scared (yes, Barry Allen is crying as he’s being strapped in and this makes him such a distinguished superhero in my eyes), he’s willing to do it to stop Zoom. The final scene is one of the most intense the show has ever had. And all the buildup throughout the episode made it all the more powerful as, instead of regaining his powers, Barry vanishes in a flash of light and energy, to the horror of Iris and everyone in the room.

Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW

Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW

It’ll be revealed next week, but it’s clear that Barry has been sucked into the speed force and, if it plays out like in the comics, his love of Iris is the thing that is going to bring him back to the tangible world. “Rupture” provided everything that makes “The Flash” great. It progressed its interpersonal relationship, had some great action, and the finale was one of the most intense the show has ever had. Although I know the show would never kill Barry, the surprise of him disappearing was so very well done, and the reactions from everyone in the room was so tangible and heartbreaking. This episode certainly brought on the emotions and made the impact truly stick.

Next week, Tony Woodward, aka Girder, is back and Barry’s journey in the speedforce will take front and center.

Random Thoughts:
– Cisco’s pop culture references were on point this week.
– “How did you know about the Harry Potter convention?”
– Henry Allen is back, maybe permanently, so this means his death might be imminent.
– Henry dropped a big bomb (or clue). Apparently, his mother’s maiden name was Garrick. So, the Man in the Iron Mask is… Earth-2 Henry Allen’s brother?
– Zoom kidnapped Caitlin because he cares about her and… he doesn’t want to be alone. He’s still delusional if he thinks she could continue to care about him the way she did before.
– I’m so happy WestAllen is moving forward. There, I said it.
– Zoom returning to being an actual threat. I am here for this.
– Rupture looked awesome, but I could have done without the distorted voice.
– “Expecto Patronum!”
– That emotional last scene kept me on edge. Loved it!
– BIG DEVELOPMENT: Wally and Jesse were locked in a room the entire time and when they finally got out, they were hit with some of that particle accelerator energy. So… will they get powers, too? I sure hope so!

80%
80%
Awesome

"Rupture" provided everything that makes "The Flash" great. It progressed its interpersonal relationship, had some great action, and the finale was one of the most intense the show has ever had.

4star

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About Author

Mae is a Washington, DC-based film critic, entertainment journalist and Weekend Editor at Heroic Hollywood. A member of the Washington, DC Area Film Critics Association (WAFCA), she's a geek who loves discussing movies and TV. She is also a voting member of the Black Reel Awards. If she's not at the movies, she's catching up on her superhero TV-watching, usually with a glass of wine in hand.

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