“The Flash” Episdoe 2.22 – “Invincible”

The penultimate episode of “The Flash,” aptly titled “Invincible,” was an hour filled with action, heartache, happiness, and a new-found confident Barry Allen. The last few episodes have been doing a really good job of setting up the finale. I’m still not convinced of Zoom, if only because his story line and motivations throughout this season have been a bit shoddy at best, but Teddy Sears as evil Hunter Zolomon has been far more interesting to watch than his earlier incarnation of the character. Henry Allen, who I predicted would be a goner as soon as he came back, dies in the final thirty seconds, and while I’m more upset that this is just another knife in Barry’s chest, I wasn’t all that moved that Henry is gone, even though the scene was exceptionally intense. Here’s hoping what the image of his mother in the speed force told him about tragedy holds true for him moving forward.

What I was shown in the Speed Force, it didn’t just change my mind, it changed me. I don’t know– what you’re seeing as optimism is, for the first time, I’m just not being afraid anymore.

Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW

Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW

After coming back from the speed force, Barry is feeling particularly chipper. He’s optimistic and overconfident in a way he hasn’t been in a while. Zoom has let Caitlin go, and while she’s suffering from some post-traumatic stress from her time with Zolomon, he has unleashed an army of metahumans on Central City. It’s something Iris has coined “metapocalypse.” Their leader? Earth-2 Laurel Lance, who is known as Black Siren. She has swagger, is sharp, and her metahuman cry can take down buildings. Black Siren is shown far more development and respect than “Arrow” ever gave her, and Katie Cassidy owns her role here. She’s one of the only Earth-2 metahumans who has come close to taking down Barry, so she’s a force to be reckoned with. Having said this, my biggest critique of the episode is that Iris, after being in large part what made last week’s “The Runaway Dinosaur” so great, is pushed aside a bit. It just further proves that the writing team still flounders when it comes to writing their female characters. We’ve made some progress, but there’s still more to be made.

Barry is convinced that he and his team can take down Zoom, no matter what his plans are. And even we’re not sure of these plans. Zolomon has Black Siren taking down buildings to make it look random, but it isn’t, and he doesn’t want Team Flash to know what he’s up to until it’s too late. The Flash is taking out the metahumans, but the team is worried that his overconfidence is making him reckless. Elsewhere, Wally is determined to help The Flash, sans any powers (yet), on the streets. Joe is concerned because Wally could die and he has no powers to back him up, but Wally wants to make up for a lot of things he sees as wrongdoings in his life and prove to The Flash that he was worth saving. Wally West’s subplot has been coming along nicely. He rescues Barry in the midst of a battle between Black Siren, hitting her with his car mid-monologue. Joe convinces Barry to talk Wally down, but the young man won’t be swayed. By the time Wally’s powers (of which I do believe he has) decide to make their presence known, there will be no doubt that he deserves them.

Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW

Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW

Zoom is convinced that he and Barry are cut from the same cloth. They both have similar backgrounds in that their moms were murdered. The show made the parallel clear back in “Versus Zoom.” Zolomon is frustrated that Barry hasn’t embraced their similarities and is confident that he’ll win because Barry is busy being a hero. But here’s what Zolomon still doesn’t understand about Barry: He’s not The Flash because it brings him glory. He just wants to help people, while Zolomon wants to bring nothing but destruction. Regardless of their similar origin story, they are absolutely nothing alike. It’s something for Barry to remember going into the finale, given that he is once more faced with the tragedy of losing a parent.

Some people are calling it the Metapocalypse. The days when Central City was overrun by an army with powers beyond imagination. But in these dark times we must never forget our own strength, our own power to fight back. That it is only in the blackest of nights that we can truly see the light. And know for sure we are not alone. We are never ever alone.

Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW

Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW

Barry, Cisco and the team come up with a plan to take down all of the metahumans by using what Cisco called “metahuman shock therapy.” Since the residents of Earth-2 vibrate at a different frequency, if Barry runs fast enough around the city in a loop, it’s enough to have the frequency machine bounce back and knock them unconscious. Zoom included. But Black Siren is already gearing up to take down a few more buildings, so Cisco comes up with a good/terrible idea that has him and Caitlin cosplaying as Reverb and Killer Frost to distract Earth-2 Laurel. This show can be so zany sometimes when it comes to stuff like this, but it always works in its favor because it’s completely aware of itself and embraces every facet of its characteristics as a show. They distract her long enough, except that Black Siren eventually picks up on something being off and we find out that doppelgangers are mirror images of each other (Cisco using his right to catch something versus Reverb with his left). If I think about this long enough, it’s enough to give me a headache, because it’s been established that there is a multi-verse, so unless doppelgangers elsewhere have several hands, I don’t see how this applies.

After their plan is executed and all metas have been knocked out and subsequently locked up, save for Zoom, who escapes by making a portal back to Earth-2. This is another plot hole, since only just a few episodes ago, Cisco was the one trying to open one back up. However, it can be overlooked because the episode delivers on the whole. Iris warns Barry that he can’t go on acting like nothing can touch him in this fight, and that a little bit of fear goes a long way in making the right choices in dangerous situations. It’s something Barry takes to heart. And by the end of the episode, everyone gathers at the West house to celebrate Zoom’s temporary absence, the quieting down of the city, and Henry’s return.

Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW

Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW

The scene is filled with happiness: Henry flirts with Tina McGee, Barry and Iris decide to date, Joe is proud of Wally for trying to help the city in his own way, Wally and Jesse flirt (there’s a lot of flirting going on in this scene), and Caitlin seems to have come to terms with her kidnapping. But of course, this happiness doesn’t last long as Cisco has a vision of dead birds and Earth-2 crumbling to the ground, and then Zoom shows up and kidnaps Henry. Barry is quick to give chase (much to the surprise of Wally, who finally figures out that Barry and The Flash are one and the same) and winds up back in his childhood home, in the room where his mother was killed and where Zoom makes him watch his father die at his hands.

It’s kind of sad to think about the fact that Henry Allen is to die so soon after coming back, but in terms of the rest of the cast, his death seems the most logical, even though I really wish shows would stop trying to shock us with deaths. It looks like the beginning of next episode will see a bit a darker Barry, given he’s just seen his father die, but my hope is that he doesn’t push anyone away lest he go into Oliver Queen territory. “Invincible” was a well-rounded episode and the last ten minutes were especially intense. Cisco’s visions of dead birds and a falling Earth-2 are ominous and the hour was filled with plenty of character development. There’s still more to Zoom’s story, but given all that’s happened, I’m very excited to see what the finale brings.

Random Thoughts:

  • Cisco testing the “shock therapy” on Wells gave him a “sense of joy.” Their griping at each other will never cease to be amusing.
  • Zoom just lets Caitlin go. Just like that. Is there something more to this?
  • How did Captain Singh not figure out that Barry is The Flash, when the guy raced into the room a second after The Flash disappeared? I need Singh to know. Because it’s Singh… and everyone else seems to know Barry’s identity anyway.
  • Wally finds out that Barry is The Flash. WALLY KNOWS!
  • Cisco is vibing dead birds. It’s a “Hitchcock movie happening” in his head.
  • John Wesley Shipp (Henry) and Amanda Pays (Tina McGee) have met before: On the 1990s “The Flash” TV show. I love when the show does this kind of thing!
  • “And since I’m feeling extra invincible lately, what do you say you and I give this a shot?” “Yeah, I would like that.”
  • Zoom has the audacity to kill Henry in the same exact place where Nora died. If that isn’t cruelty, I don’t know what is.
  • Zoom and Black Siren in a scene together. Yes to this.
  • Cisco uses a new power unexpectedly. He really is more powerful than he thinks he is.
  • Did Caitlin have time to dye her hair or did they just randomly have a Killer Frost wig lying around?
  • “I can’t wait until you have kids and they torture you.” Also, Joe wants his grandchildren to call him “Pop pop.” I am not going to lie, that was a cute scene.

 

80%
80%
Awesome

The penultimate episode of "The Flash," aptly titled "Invincible," was an hour filled with action, heartache, brief happiness, and a new-found confident Barry Allen. Also, Laurel Lance was used serviced better than she ever was on "Arrow."

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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