We have been counting down the days until The Flash returns. Next Tuesday will bring answers to the questions weighing on us over the break, and, likely, will leave us with even more in the end.
When Villainy begets Villainy
The Midseason Finale of The Flash was packed with twists and set ups for the rest of the season. The episode centered on an alliance between Weather Wizard and The Trickster (and to a much lesser extent Captain Cold – he’s been busy slowly becoming less villainous so it’s ok for him to join the cast of Legends of Tomorrow) as they try to take over Central City just in time for Christmas. Team Flash devised a plan to stop the villains but an unexpected twist got in the way of their success.
Patty Spivot, who lost her father in Weather Wizard’s original superpowered crime spree, took the opportunity The Flash opened up by stopping the villains to exact her revenge on Weather Wizard. She trapped the Flash in a high-tech fetter only to point her gun at the Wizard with the intent to kill him. The Flash then did his best to talk Patty out of taking the villain’s life. Patty’s emotions take over and The Flash is able to bond with her and talk her out of making the dire choice. The moment was especially impactful because Patty chose to open up to The Flash rather than Barry himself (not knowing, of course, that they are the same person).
While all of this was happening, Harrison Wells was dealing with his own demons. We had recently learned that the Big Bad Zoom has Wells’s daughter Jesse locked away, and this episode we learned why. Zoom is now blackmailing Wells to help him conquer Barry. The Evil Speedster’s ultimate plan is to help Barry reach his ultimate potential in order to steal all of his power in the end, and now he has recruited Barry’s friend to help him in this cause.
The last moments of the episode held the biggest cliffhanger. As the Flash Family Christmas party was just getting underway, a knock at the door brought an unexpected guest: Wally West. Joe West had only recently learned that he had a son now looking to reconnect with his family, but the young man’s arrival brought the meeting much sooner than anyone (especially us fans) assumed.
The Flash has numerous threads waiting to be followed up on from the first half of the season, which will make its second half premiere a rather pulse pounding event. As Showrunner Andrew Kreisberg stated earlier this month, The Flash will be leaning full force into Zoom and the mysteries of Earth 2 with the rest of season 2. And the plot description for next week’s episode certainly confirms that: “Zooms returns to Earth 1 to target the one Barry loves. Barry faces a difficult choice of whether Patty should learn the truth.”
We know now that Harrison Wells will be helping Zoom on his vendetta against Barry Allen. Considering the fact that Wells created Zoom (though the details on that are murky) and considering how helpful Wells has been for Team Flash, this alliance is very bad news for the good guys. Since Zoom’s goals are to actually encourage Barry’s development as a hero, it makes sense that the villain would target one of his loved ones so that The Flash will feel the need to push himself beyond his limits.
Love and Consequences
But all the synopsis had told us is that Zoom will target “the one Barry loves.” That could mean almost anyone. The biggest draw of this series is how much love Barry has for his friends and family and the people of the world. The most obvious answer is Patty, since their love is romantic and that would be the most traditional way for a villain to hurt a superhero.
But just as likely, Zoom could go after Iris, whom Barry has loved as a sister, a friend, and as a romantic interest. Or Zoom could target either of Barry’s fathers. Henry hasn’t been in the show much lately, so maybe this will be another chance for him to show up. Admittedly, Joe will already be dealing with his feelings about Wally’s arrival, therefore logistically it would likely disrupt the episode story-wise for Zoom to target him. Even Cisco and Caitlin aren’t safe from Zoom under the description “the one Barry loves.” Pretty sneaky Flash writers… the mystery is alive.
Finally, the synopsis implies Barry must decide if he will tell Patty his secret (an especially tough decision after she opened up to the hero last episode). Rather than asking “Will he or won’t he?” I’ll simply theorize on the “What if?” How will Patty react?
Obviously, Patty is a fan of The Flash, especially in the emotional scene between the characters in the last episode. So, unlike many superhero shows, the issue probably won’t be, “How can you be The Flash, he’s a criminal vigilante?” and will instead lean towards, “How could you not tell me?” The bonds between Barry and Patty and The Flash and Patty have been interestingly separate and different. If Barry were to reveal that he was both men, Patty would likely have a hard time coping with that deceit.