With Zoom off presumably recovering from the shot of speed reducing serum he took to the neck last week, The Flash gets back into monster-of-the-week mode, focusing on the return of Central City’s telepathic gorilla gone wild, Grodd.
That also means we don’t have any more information than we had last week to confirm or deny who is under the black mask. In last week’s recap, I posited the theory that Zoom is Earth-2 Barry Allen. Another name that has frequently popped up here at GeekDad and across the internet is that Zoom is Earth-2 Henry Allen, and that the actor in black is the same who plays Barry’s father on Earth-1, John Wesley Shipp, who starred in the 1990 version of The Flash series.
The predominant reason that folks are jumping on the virtual Zoom is Earth-2 Henry Allen bandwagon is that Zoom appears more physically similar to Shipp than Gustin. Good call. However, I am going to lay out one more piece of evidence supporting my theory that Zoom is Earth-2 Barry Allen, then jump into this week’s Groddy goodness.
The voice of Zoom belongs to veteran actor Tony Todd, who goes uncredited for the role. No actor is credited with portraying Zoom. If Shipp was the man in the Zoom outfit, wouldn’t he be credited in the episodes that involve Zoom? Thus far, Shipp has only received credit in the episodes he has appeared as Henry Allen. This season, that includes the season premier and last night’s episode.
Are the producers excluding the credit for Zoom? Can they do that? I mean, even Rick Cosnett and Robbie Amell were credited as Eddie Thawne and Ronnie Raymond for their small amount of screen time in the season premier. Surely the actor suiting up as Zoom and getting that much play would be credited, right? Isn’t there some actors’ guild or union rule about that?
What if the actor in the Zoom role has been credited every week? What if it’s been hidden in plain sight all along? The credits that roll in the show’s open list the actors in a particular episode, but not the actor’s role. For example, last season we knew that Tom Cavanagh was credited in every episode because Dr. Wells was in every episode. So, the actor who played the Reverse Flash was credited in those episodes that gave the Reverse Flash screen time. We just thought the credit Cavanagh received was for one role (Wells) when it was really for two, in a way. (Aside: Maybe Reverse Flash was a bad example to draw upon, since there were two different actors in that role at different times… or maybe it illustrates my point exactly. I’m unsure which.)
I still believe that Grant Gustin, who is credited in every episode, is both Earth-1 Barry Allen/The Flash and Earth-2 Barry Allen/Zoom. I believe the official credits with each episode that give Zoom even the smallest amount of screen time support the idea that one of the regularly credited and recurring cast members must be the speedster in black.
Enough about Zoom. This week, the team is dealing with a different set of issues. Barry is physically recovering from the broken state Zoom left The Flash in last week, but the mental wounds are taking a little longer to scar over. Earth-2 Harrison Wells is in a hurry to take advantage of Zoom’s weakened state and pop back through the breach in order to finish off the villain and save Jesse. Cisco has a hot date lined up with Kendra from the coffee shop.
As if all that wasn’t distracting enough, someone has been forcing scientists throughout the city to steal chemicals that can be used to enhance intelligence, killing said scientists with a tremendous amount of blunt force trauma, and leaving behind traces of gorilla hair.
The last of these scientists to fall under Grodd’s mind control is Caitlin. Instead of having her steal anything, Grodd needs her to figure out a way to replicate the event that gave Grodd his enhanced intelligence and telepathic abilities. Cait says she doesn’t know how to do that. Grodd growls at her and tells her to figure it out, quick. Grodd is tired of being the only one of his kind. Cait dives into the work, and comes up with a possible way to repeat the effects of the STAR Labs explosion without actually exploding STAR Labs. While the idea of tampering with nature and creating more Grodds horrifies her on one level, Cait seems to relish the figuring out the science of whether or not it is even possible to do so.
Wells is ready to blow this pop stand that is Earth-1, and would have by now if not for Caitlin. Was it just me or does she seem almost desperate to keep Wells around. I know she justified it by saying that the whole team–including Wells–needs to work together if they are going to have a chance of stopping Zoom, but there seemed to me that Cait ain’t shootin’ us straight. It seems to me that she has some secret motive for keeping Wells around.
What the team does have is a new plan. Close all of the breaches except for the one at STAR Labs, then lure Zoom through that breach into their as-yet non-existent trap. But, with Cait in Grodd’s clutches, closing the breaches has to take a back seat. Rescuing Cait comes first, even if that means Wells has to don the spare Reverse Flash suit that just happened to be laying around STAR Labs and partnering up with Cisco to hunt down Grodd.
The exchange between Cisco and Wells, with Wells trying to get just enough menace in his Earth-1 Wells imitation, is great. The only problem is that Grodd didn’t buy it. Not at first. Wells kicks it up to the next level of psychopath, getting Grodd to lower his guard long enough for Wells to put Grodd down long enough for the crew to escape with Cait.
Meanwhile, all Barry can do is watch. His body might be able to fire on all cylinders (I say “might” because he took a pretty spectacular tumble on the treadmill), but he has lost his edge. Joe can’t talk it back into Barry. In what has become a new role for Iris this season, she comes up with the idea of bringing in the one man who can get Barry’s head back on straight. Henry Allen, credited to John Wesley Shipp, who was not credited as Zoom last episode.
Barry’s problem wasn’t that he failed this city. It’s that The Flash’s good name got dragged through the mud when Zoom was dragging him through town and showing off Barry’s limp and unconscious rag of a body. In other words, he was embarrassed. Henry can empathize. It wasn’t all that long ago that the good name of Dr. Henry Allen was torn down. Barry got embarrassed because he was beaten in a fight. Henry lost his good name when he was tried and found guilty for the murder of his wife in front of his young son, which Henry did not commit.
So, yeah, suck it up, Buttercup.
With the team working together again and Barry back in red, they decide to trick Grodd into one of the breaches, this one leading to a sanctuary on Earth-2 for gorillas like Grodd who were subjected to experimentation. Barry lures Grodd to the breach, but Grodd reminds Barry about the time that Zoom embarrassed The Flash. Grodd gets the upper hand and is about to pound Barry into a Flashcake when Cait gets her moment as the hero, talking Grodd off of Barry and to his mark so that Cisco and Wells and blast Grodd with the speed cannon and into Earth-2.
The breach opens, but Grodd is too strong for whatever force is tugging him toward the wormhole. It’s up to Barry to wind up a super punch and knock Grodd through, making sure that The Flash gets the last word when it comes to being the hero and depriving Caitlin of her fifteen minutes of heroism.
Woo hoo! Time for Henry Allen to leave until the plot says we need him again. Time for Barry to make up another lame half-truth to tell Patty while claiming he only wants to be honest with her. Time for Cisco to make good on that date…
Yeah, about that.
Cisco met up with Kendra earlier in the episode, but beat a quick exit after vibing off of her outside the movie house. What did Cisco see? What he later described as an angel. I call it Hawkgirl in pleather, but whatever. It’s cool. And so is Cisco. In fact, he so cool with it that he ends the episode trying to recover from the disastrous first non-date with Kendra by trying for a second attempt. He’s so cool with it that he keeps the date after a second vibe of Kendra in all her reincarnated Hawkgirl glory.
Lines of the night:
1. “Grodd’s a big-ass gorilla.” — Joe West
2. Grodd “upgraded to a penthouse like a baller.” — Cisco
No new The Flash next week, due to the Thanksgiving holiday. Next time we get together, it will be over the two-night The Flash/Arrow crossover that sets up Legends of Tomorrow (because they haven’t done enough of that yet, right?)
Catch up with The Flash on Same Geek Channel:
Episode 2.01: The Man Who Saved Central City
Episode 2.02: Flash of Two Worlds
Episode 2.03: Family of Rogues
Episode 2.04: The Fury of Firestorm
Episode 2.05: The Darkness and the Light
Episode 2.06: Enter Zoom