The Flash, Episode 2.16 “Trajectory”.
Joey: This week’s The Flash was one of those “Just Say No To Drugs” after school specials from the ’80’s. Barry is still pushing to get faster so that he has some chance at stopping Zoom the next time they meet. Which they can’t, because all the breaches are closed and can never be opened again. But they will be, because… reasons. Plot reasons. In the meantime, Cait’s former co-worker at Mercury Labs has engineered he own version of V-9 to use like cocaine and help her get caught up on six months of research. But, the V-9 creates a Jekyll & Hyde effect, splitting the lady speedster into Eliza the scientist and Trajectory the villain. Barry tries to talk Eliza out of taking the V-9, but you can’t reason with a junkie. She injects the V-9, her lightning turns blue (like Zooms!) and she disintegrates.
Corrina: Darn, the only female speedster so far and she goes ‘poof.’
Will: I’m hopeful Jesse will be a female speedster in the near future, but it does really suck that they had to kill her off. She could have had some blue lightning without disintegrating and still led to the a-ha moment about Zoom. They could have actually worked on a cure and maybe even gained a new ally in the fight against Zoom!
Joey: This is the episode that confirms for us that Jay is Zoom. We know that Jay took V-6 on Earth-2 and that it made him sick. The blue lightning is a sign of cellular degeneration, according to Cait. Cisco’s been vibing Zoom every time he’s around Jay’s helmet. Wells concludes that Jay isn’t just sick, he’s dying, and that’s why Zoom needs Barry’s speed. It’s the only way to heal Jay/Zoom.
Corrina: I kinda think that the “Jay” who came over lied and his real name is Hunter Zolomon of Earth-2, and that the real Jay of Earth-2 is either dead or the prisoner that Barry couldn’t free. Yes, that’s confusing. But I’m going to believe that otherwise this is an incredible waste of Jay Garrick.
Joey: Barry’s pissed. Last season, his mentor turned out to be his speedster enemy. Because of that, Barry didn’t immediately trust Jay when he came strolling into the “more secure” Star Labs at the start of this season, even though everyone else was yelling, “Trust him! Trust him!” So, Barry gave in and let Jay train him on how to defeat Zoom, only to discover that the tricks Jay was teaching him didn’t phase Zoom at all. (Exhibit A: Zoom catches the lightning bolt and chucks it back at Barry.) Oh, the sudden but inevitable betrayal!
Will: And don’t forget Wells’ little pep talk to Barry to not be like him but to be like Jay! He’s really bad at picking role models.
Joey: That’s swell and all, but there are still two things bugging me. First, Zoom was carrying the body of someone who we thought was Jay after Zoom “killed Jay” at the closing of the last breach. There were also times where Jay is accounted for AND Zoom is accounted for, on two different earths at the same time while the one remaining breach is closed. After Geomancer’s attack on Star Labs destabilizes and closes the breach, we have scenes where Cait and Jay are on the Earth-1 side of the breach and Zoom is threatening the away team on the Earth-2 side of the breach. What does all that mean? Well, I think it means that we are still dealing with dopplegangers. Whether that’s Earth-1 Hunter Zolomon, Jay, the Man in the Iron Mask, and/or more dopplegangers from more earths remains to be seen. Unless the writers just hope we forget the plot holes and that those holes mysteriously fade away on their own.
Corrina: Yeah, two Hunters is my guess. Why Barry can manage to stumble around and accidentally get Earth-2 Joe killed but not manage to tackle the real problem, I’m not sure.
Will: It does seem like we have at least three physcial manifestations of “Jay”–Zoom, the dead Jay, and the man in the iron mask. And Earth-1 Hunter Zolomon. Is it possible that Zoom is actually the Jay Garrick of Earth-1 and the man in the iron mask is the Hunter Zolomon of Earth-2? Maybe he went to Earth-2 thinking he was capturing Jay and actually captured Hunter. Brain hurts…too confusing!
Joey: The second is that the team hasn’t considered the Jekyll & Hyde effects of V-9. The Eliza/Trajectory split has to be a deliberate attempt to show us that it’s possible that Jay and Zoom have compartmentalized one another, right? It seems possible to me that Jay is still a good guy and that Zoom is a total villain. Could it be that the two sides have shut one another out entirely? When Jay went to take a nap in the wake of stopping Geomancer’s attack on on Central City, could he have laid down and entered a fugue state where he really doesn’t remember acting as Zoom any more than Zoom remembers stopping Geomancer as Jay?
Or, am I doing the opposite of what Iris’s new editor at the newspaper does? Where he sees a potential villain in every hero, am I trying to see a hero (Jay) where there’s only a villain?
Corrina: Aside, have we stuck Iris into another romantic triangle again? Please no.
Will: Seriously! Why does Iris need a romantic interest? Although I don’t care if Barry and Iris get back together, their scenes talking about their married doppelgangers was much more enjoyable than trying to force another romance with Iris and her boss. That’s just bad news all around (especially considering what happened to her last boss).
Joey: As for Jesse, are there still traces of V-9 as she heads for Opal City? Couldn’t Wells just track her from that, since Cait added trackers into the batch of V-9 they whipped up for Trajectory? Wouldn’t she want to know when Barry’s defeated Zoom and given the “all clear” to head back to her home on Earth-2? Also, was it a coincidence that her meta-human sniffing watch started going off like crazy as soon as Wally arrived at the club? I know, she was there with Barry and Cisco, so either one of them could have been setting it off, but it wasn’t going off around them. Except for whenever Jesse got within six to nine inches away from Barry… which makes me wonder what good such a device is with so limited a range.
Will: I’m really hoping the V-9 has changed Jesse and we’ll be seeing more of her as a speedster in the future. Maybe they’ll pick her up for the next season of Legends of Tomorrow. And I thought the watch was going off specifically for Wally as well. Could be he’s a metahuman and doesn’t know it just yet, but it seems likely we’ll have yet another speedster in the near future. And again, why can’t Jesse and Wally be friends? Does everyone have to have a love interest for their to be story?
(Aside: How is the municipality of Metropolis incorporated? Is it a city? I always thought it was a city, but it seems that in the DC multiverse, once the population of a city reaches a certain threshold, then “City” is tacked onto the city’s name. Gotham City. Star(ling) City. Central City. Coast City. Midwest City. Opal City. National City. Based on that, I’m now referring to Metropolis as a town, borough, township, commune, or village. Definitely not a city.)
Next page: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (page 6)