With Dr. Light captured, Barry tries to convince her to help them take down Zoom. She agrees, but then uses her abilities to go invisible and trick Cisco into letting her out. With Dr. Light gone, Barry’s plan stalls out until he realizes he can use Linda to double as Dr. Light in a staged fight to lure Zoom into a trap. They enlist Linda’s help and train her, but to give her the confidence she needs Barry reveals his identity to her. The staged fight goes down awkwardly, and although they wait in ambush, Zoom doesn’t show up to collect. Just when everyone’s guard is down, Zoom kidnaps Linda to lure the Flash to a fight. Barry saves Linda and engages Zoom, but nearly dies in the fight. Cisco is able to shoot Zoom with a speed-dampening dart while he’s distracted with Barry, causing Zoom to retreat before striking the final blow. They are able to stabilize Barry, but when he awakes some time later he discovers that he can’t feel his legs.
It becomes pretty obvious based on Wells’s passion and determination during this episode that his plan to save his daughter Jessie is to take down Zoom, not only for Jessie, but for the entire multi-verse. Cisco vibes from Wells a scene of his daughter held captive in Zoom’s lair. When Wells discovers that Cisco could see Jessie, all pretense is dropped and his desperation to save her is revealed. He tells everyone about his Jessie and how he had hoped to be able to capture Zoom with Barry’s help to save her. Its clear to everyone then that Wells is a good guy who is trying to do what his right the only way he knows how.
For a character like Wells, his daughter is an important element in humanizing the hard-nosed, arrogant, slave-driving, genius scientific innovator. We know him as a bristly, alienating character, coldly brilliant, and decidedly unpersonable. But when we see him with Jessie, all that melts away and he becomes a fond and loving father. Jessie even talks about this transformation specifically, telling him that seeing him at work was so strange because he seemed to be a completely different person than who she knew at home. Wells says to himself that Jessie is his joy, and I think we can take that literally. And Tom Cavanagh strikes a compelling balance between that irascibility, his fatherly love, and the deeply restrained fear for the safety of his daughter.
Barry and Patty continue to be adorable. But one can’t help but feel badly for Patty who is being kept in the dark not only by Barry, but by her partner who is meant to treat her as an equal part of a team. Patty, of course, has an unusual directness to her manner. She doesn’t shy away from conflict or from trying to work through it. She sees a barrier between her and Joe and she addresses it with the expectation that Joe will participate in the process. Joe is predictably circumspect. But Patty isn’t one to let something slide, and when she approaches Joe again about the fugitive Dr. Light, Joe begs a few days to get it worked out before bringing her in on it. Patty tells it like it is, that she trusts Joe but that Joe doesn’t return the favor, which definitely strikes a nerve in Joe. And if Joe and Barry don’t bring her in on their secret soon, the terribly astute Patty will work it out before they have the chance.
Also, props to the writers for working in relevant bits of information as seemingly throwaway dialogue. Patty is hung up on the Dr. Light case and approaches Joe about a theory and some information before he cuts her off and shuts her down. It sounds like a lot of busy dialogue, a stream of excited text for the purposes being cut off short. However, she does happen to mention that she thinks Dr. Light might possess invisibility powers, which comes back later when Cisco finds Dr. Light’s cell seemingly empty with only her clothes left on the floor.
So we finally have our first real substantial encounter with Zoom and see what he’s all about. Everyone calls him a monster, and certainly his grotesque suit and strained, roaring voice leave one disquieted. His bulky frame is also imposing, a picture of invulnerability next to the small, ragdoll figure of Barry, which he lifts effortlessly from the neck as if grabbing a cat by its scruff. He seems unstoppable – certainly all attempts by both Jay and Wells have failed – and with Barry left paralyzed upon this first encounter they’ll obviously need to find a new approach if they are to defeat him. Considering he can catch a bolt of lightening and throw it back at Barry, I’d say they need to consider an approach that doesn’t rely on matching his speed. Although, what the effects of the speed-dampening dart might have on Zoom is yet to be determined. He could still speed away, but the dart strike seemed to affect him enough to prompt a retreat.
This was such an open ended episode through and through. Almost every issue brought up – from major plot points to relationships – was left unresolved. The structure of a television episode usually sets up a number of conflicts, some to be resolved during the course of the episode and others to be developed into larger conflicts to be resolved over time, but this episode really kind of left everything hanging in mid air and it’s left me feeling very uneasy – which I suppose was the desired effect.