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NOC Recaps The Flash: Nurture vs. Nature

The Flash -- "Versus Zoom" -- Image: FLA218b_0101b2.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Grant Gustin as Barry Allen, Zoom and Keiynan Lonsdale as Wally West -- Photo: Diyah Pera/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved

One of the best things about Barry Allen is how he recognizes and appreciates his support system. From the beginning, he’s been a team player: willing to ask for help, seek guidance, and collaborate. It’s one of his greatest strengths, which probably stems from the roots of the home he was raised in with Joe and Iris West. Barry knows that their support is what shaped him into the man he has become despite the tremendous, life-defining tragedy that struck him — like lightning — as a ten-year old.

“Sometimes terrible things happen to us when we are children—things that can define who we become whether we want them to or not.”

Barry knows he is “one of the lucky ones”, but Jay Garrick/Hunter Zolomon aka Zoom is an “unlucky one.” When Jay-HZ was a Baby Zoom on Earth-2, Zoom’s father (who suffered from extreme PTSD), murdered his Zoom Mother in front of his eyes. He was sent to Central City Orphanage filled with rude caretakers who say things like “HE IS ALONE” and “NO ONE WANTED HIM” right in front of this kid’s face! Baby Zoom hugs his father’s military helmet as he climbs up twelve fights of orphanage stairs. Yeah, I doubt he’s going to make friends with the other orphans and start singing about the hard knock life.

In Wally West’s old hometown of Keystone City, Barry attaches the newly created Tachyon Enhancer to his supersuit for the first test drive. Caitlin explains that the tachyon Device is basically an external batter that charges up the Speed Force cells in Barry. I still love that we get to watch Barry & Co. test-run (literally) new Flash-y ideas… they are such scientists. Barry feels the power immediately and begins his light jog. He achieves a nice, brisk pace and disappears for a millisecond.

This is the part where you pause this episode and rewatch the Supergirl “World’s Finest” episode. You have my permission to fast forward through all of the non-Barry scenes.

Alright, are you back?! Because Barry’s back. The rest of Team Flash remains clueless about his ice cream friendship with the Girl of Steel because that’s as much as he mentions about his trip to Earth-CBS. No  mention of inter-earth travel or donuts or blonde aliens.. . I sigh in disappointment. First his nonchalance about time travel, and now inter-earth travel?

Whatever contracts were drawn between CBS and The CW to selfishly keep Supergirl in its own universe has destroyed my Cisco-fanboying-over-Kara hopes like a burning bra on a bespectacled blonde.

But I get that it would be a long story to tell, and they’ve got a supervillainous speedster to eff up, so I’ll let this one slide. CONSTANT VIGILANCE.

Barry can run four times fast than he’s ever ran before! “Faster than Zoom,” remarks Harry Wells quietly from the corner. He loves them all and doesn’t want to admit it. He loves Barry so hard that he refuses to help open the breaches to Earth-2. Harry spiels that he doesn’t want to give Zoom another chance to hurt his daughter, but we all know that he doesn’t want his Barry Bear and the other members of Team Flash to get hurt either. He wuvs them.

“We all have people we care about.” -Harry Softie Wells

Barry doesn’t want to turn his back on the other earth. He is determined to find a way to re-open the breaches… And the key is Cisco. Yes! Our favorite Nerd of Color is more powerful than he knows, according to his now-deceased doppelgänger, Reverb. More later.

WestAllen Update: Iris has a ethically ambiguous date with her editor, Hot Scott. She cancels after her extra-polite/awkward-ish conversation with Barry when she realizes that, OH MAN DO I LOVE HIM THAT WAY?

At the West house, Joe and Barry reap the pizza benefits of super speed as they inhale Keystone City pizza. Wally arrives and strongly hints that he wishes he had a place to live and a dad to live with and a washing machine just like the one Joe has.

“I can’t figure that kid out sometimes. I wonder if his doppelgänger is that complicated.” -Detective Joe West

If Barry ever needs a solution to whatever super conundrum is plaguing him, all he needs to do is hang out with the Wests. Lately, West family dinners have been the scene of all of his eureka moments.

In the lab, Barry encourages Cisco to vibe open the closed breaches, but we learn that Cisco is unabridged of his untapped power. Hey, remember a couple of weeks ago when Cisco was majorly concerned about Caitlin becoming Killer Frost? Yeah, he was projecting his own feelings of potential Darth Vader-ing. Yay! A Cisco storyline!

Harry Wells, after being convinced by none other than Dad-of-the-Year Joe West, decides to work with Barry because he realizes that the best way to make sure Barry doesn’t get killed is with Harry’s help.

He luuuurves Barry. He luuuurves Cisco. He loves them both so much that he invented powerful Vibe Goggles for Cisco to reopen the Earth-2 breach doors.

Team Flash has a major breakthrough when Caitlin says the real name of Zoom: Hunter Zolomon. Harry knows the name because, apparently, HZ is infamous on Earth-2. Earth-2 is weird and has podcasts about serial killers. And he was CRAZY and killed 23 people.

With this newfound knowledge of the enemy, the team formulates a mouse trap plan that involves cardboard cutouts of Jay-HZ’s murdered mother and murdering father. The plan works for a little bit. Until Barry makes the rookie mistake of monologue-ing his plans.

Jay-HZ power supply and escapes. Actually, not only does he escape, he kidnaps Wally West who has recently moved in with Barry and Joe.

Everyone asks the same question: is this when Wally gets his powers??

The answer is NOPE. Zoom agrees to return Wally if and only if Barry gives him his speed. Of course, Barry agrees. Wally is now his family. I cry.

Of course, being the careless, shitty scum that he is, Zoom attempts to kill a powerless Barry. Caitlin calls him a monster and pleads with him to not kill Barry if any feelings that he had for her were real. Apparently, Jay-HZ feels something for Caitlin Snow because he releases normal!Barry and kidnaps Caitlin. CAITLIN GETS TAKEN AGAIN. UGHHHHHH. I’M OVER THIS.

Super-quick Things

What a freaking tease:

I thought it was originally the REAL Jay Garrick. And then I thought it was Barry’s dad, Henry Allen. But now it’s been not-so-subtly hinted that the man in the mask is Wally West-2 because why else would the show bring up Wally’s doppelganger at least 25 times?

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