In this episode of The Flash season 2, “Versus Zoom,” Barry finally goes up against the man who betrayed him in an episode that sheds light on Zoom’s past. Alas, Barry’s battle with Zoom puts one of his friends in danger, and the episode ends with Zoom taking someone hostage. Meanwhile, Wally continues to grow closer to his family, and Iris questions her romantic future.

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Who is Hunter Zoloman?

As the episode begins, we get a look at Hunter Zoloman’s — aka Zoom’s — backstory. When Hunter was a kid, his father killed his mother right in front of him. Since Hunter had no other family, he was sent into the foster care system. Harry then fills in the rest of Zoom’s history. Earth-2’s Hunter Zoloman is a famous serial killer convicted of 23 counts of murder. After his trial, Zoloman was sent to a mental asylum where he was treated with daily electroshock therapy. He was in the asylum getting said electroshock therapy when the particle accelerator exploded. Zoloman was flooded with energy from the explosion and that’s how he got his speed. (Essentially, “Jay Garrick” is just an alias Zoloman created to help him with his villainous plans.)

Barry is Ready to Face Zoom

Back on Earth-1, Barry is practicing with the tachyon device. He runs all the way from Keystone City back home and the team tells him that he went four times faster than normal. That is faster than even Zoom. (Unbeknownst to his friends, this appears to be the moment when Barry runs so fast that he ends up on Kara’s Earth for the Supergirl crossover.) Barry is thrilled about his increased speed because this means he can now beat Zoom. All they have to do is find a way to reopen one of the breaches back to Earth-2.

Alas, Harry is not on board with Barry’s plan to re-open the breaches. He tells Barry that Zoom doesn’t have ties to anyone or anything, but they all have people they care about and Zoom will use those connections against them. Harry says Barry should just give up on his plan to return to Earth-2, but Barry refuses to leave an entire world at Zoom’s mercy.

Eventually, Barry comes up with an idea of how to re-open the breaches. While they were on Earth-2, they saw the kind of power Cisco’s doppelganger, Reverb, was able to use. Barry thinks Cisco has the same abilities and he can tap into the energy of the multiverse to re-open one of the breaches.

While Cisco and Barry work on that, Harry goes to Joe to ask him to talk Barry out of going to Earth-2. Joe says he knows from experience that if Barry sets his mind to something, he cannot be talked out of it. Joe then asks Harry to go with Barry because he believes Barry will have a better chance of defeating Zoom if Harry helps him. Harry eventually decides to do just that.

Cisco Opens the Breach

After Cisco’s first few attempts fail, Harry recalculates Cisco’s glasses so he has more control over his powers. Cisco is then able to open one of the breaches, but he stops before he completes the job. Later, Barry goes to check on Cisco, and Cisco admits he is worried that if he channels the same powers his doppelganger used, it will turn him evil like Reverb. Barry points out that Cisco has friends — make that family — that Reverb didn’t. Barry reminds Cisco that he has been there for him while he explored his powers as The Flash, and Barry promises to do the same for Cisco.

Once Harry fills them in on Hunter Zoloman’s history, Barry comes up with a way to beat Zoom. Cisco successfully opens one of the breaches to Earth-2 and Zoom speeds through it. Barry then leads Zoom on a chase around Central City while the gang at S.T.A.R. Labs gets ready for Zoom’s arrival. Barry eventually leads Zoom to S.T.A.R. Labs, where he has set up some reminders of Hunter Zoloman’s past. These reminders — pictures of his parents that they’ve made into life-size cut-outs — distract Zoom long enough for Barry to zap him with the boot gun.

With Zoom trapped, Barry explains how he figured out who Zoom really is. Zoloman is impressed with Barry’s deductive skills. He also tells Barry that they are not that different. What happened to them as kids shaped the people they became. The only difference is that Barry became a hero and Zoloman embraced the darkness. Zoloman then taps into said “darkness” to vibrate fast enough to escape the boot. While Barry watches in horror, Zoom speeds away.

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Zoom Targets Barry’s Family

When Barry returns home with Joe and Iris, it is clear that something happened there. They rush upstairs and find a written message from Zoom — “Your speed for Wally.” That’s right. Zoom has taken Wally hostage.

Wally wakes up on Earth-2, unaware of his surroundings. He tries to communicate with the man in the mask, but he is unable to interpret the man’s tap-code. Zoom then tells Wally that the only person who can help him now is The Flash. Wally is confused about why The Flash would save him since he doesn’t even know the speedster, and Zoom tells Wally that someone who cares about him is close to The Flash.

Back on Earth-1, Joe and Iris are freaking out over Wally’s abduction. The team is going over any and every way to beat Zoom, but Barry knows there is only one option. Barry sits down with Joe and tells him that since Wally is family, they will do whatever they need to do in order to save him. Joe doesn’t want Barry to give up his speed, but Barry says it is not Joe’s decision.

With Barry’s mind made up, Cisco taps into his Vibe powers to contact Zoom. He is able to Vibe Zoom over on Earth-2 and Zoom can somehow sense his presence. Cisco tells Zoom that Barry will trade his speed for Wally’s life.

Wally Moves in and Iris Questions Her Future

Before all the chaos with Zoom, Wally stops by the West home and asks Joe if he can do some laundry there. He explains that he is no longer living in the dorms because he cannot afford the room and board. Joe offers to help him out by giving him the money he needs, but Wally says he isn’t interested. Later, Joe talks to Barry about not understanding what Wally wants from him. Barry explains that Wally didn’t want Joe’s money — he wanted Joe to offer him a place to live. Joe feels foolish for not realizing that and he immediately goes to remedy the situation. Joe invites Wally over and offers him a place in the West home. Wally is all too happy to accept.

Also, before the Zoom-related chaos, Iris tells Barry that she has a date with her boss, Scott. Barry is glad that Iris is now able to move on from Eddie, and Iris thanks Barry for his support. Yet when Iris leaves S.T.A.R. Labs, she looks anything but excited about her upcoming date. The next day, Iris tells Caitlin that she changed her mind and didn’t go on the date after all. Caitlin has noticed the way Iris has been looking at Barry lately and she wonders if Iris’ hesitance to date her boss is about her feelings for Barry. Iris knows that she and Barry are married on Earth-2 and they were together in the future that Reverse Flash came from. Now that she is finally ready to move on from losing Eddie, she wonders if the person she should be moving on with is Barry. Is it Iris’ destiny to end up with Barry?

Zoom Gets Barry’s Speed

With Zoom on his way, everyone arms up and prepares for his arrival. Zoom brings Wally back home, and Barry tells Zoom that he will give him his speed as soon as he releases Wally. Zoom does and Joe tells Cisco to get Wally out of there. Once Wally is safe, Barry prepares to give Zoom his speed. Zoom/Hunter Zoloman unmasks himself and poor Caitlin is horrified, even though she already knew who he was.

Harry tells Zoloman that he created a device to steal Barry’s speed, so all Barry has to do is run and the device will collect his speed. While they are waiting, Barry asks Zoom if this was his plan all along. Zoom says he knew he had to do this the moment the skies parted and he saw another speedster on another Earth. The team wonders how he is still alive when they all saw “Jay” die. Zoom explains that the “Jay” they knew was really just a time remnant. Zoom went back in time and convinced his time remnant to pose as “Jay” and let Zoom kill him so Barry would be prompted into increasing his speed.

The team also asks Zoom who the man in the mask is, but Zoom is not giving up that information. (I guess they need to save at least one big reveal for the season finale.) Zoloman claims he posed as “Jay Garrick”/The Flash on Earth-2 to give people hope so that he could then take it away from them as Zoom. This is when they all realize just how insane Zoloman is.

Barry goes through with the plan to give up his speed — essentially making himself a normal human again — and Zoom then shoots himself up with it. Once Zoom has Barry’s speed, he attacks Barry. Zoom/Zoloman is about to kill Barry when Caitlin starts talking to him. She tells him that she knows there was some part of him that cared about her and says that if he has any humanity left, he will let Barry go. For some reason, Zoom listens to her and releases Barry. He then kidnaps Caitlin and speeds back to Earth-2.

What did you think of this episode of The Flash? Are you happy that Iris is questioning her future with Barry? Are you glad that Wally has moved in with his family? Did Wally figure anything out during his time as Zoom’s hostage? He now knows that his family is connected to The Flash, but does he suspect that Barry is The Flash?

Barry didn’t mention anything to his friends about his trip to Supergirl‘s Earth. Will he keep that a secret or will he eventually tell everyone about his travels? How will Barry protect his Earth now that he is without his speed? Why do you think Caitlin was able to talk Zoom down? Does he really care for her, and if so, why did he make a connection with her and not anyone else on Team Flash? What does Zoom plan to do with Caitlin now that he has taken her hostage? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.

The Flash airs Tuesday nights at 8pm on The CW.

(Image courtesy of The CW)

Megan Cole

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV