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Barry struggles to reopen the Earth-2 breach and stop Zoom’s reign of terror

Among the shows taking place in the so-called “Arrowverse,” Arrow is generally considered the darkest. The premiere episode of DC’s Legends of Tomorrow though, topped every episode of Arrow with a scene of child murder within the first two minutes. With this week’s episode, “Versus Zoom,” The Flash came close to beating that unsettling record.

The episode opens with a young Hunter Zolomon, who is forced to watch his abusive father murder his mother right in front of him. It’s shocking, but unfortunately the rest of the episode doesn’t exactly keep up that level of intrigue.

The trailer and synopsis led us to believe we would learn the origins of Zoom this week; technically we did, but all of the revelations were IN the trailer. So what did we learn? Hunter Zolomon was a serial killer who received electroshock therapy and became a speedster when the particle accelerator interrupted one of his sessions. Other than a few other minor details, we’ve known all of that since the “next time” teaser aired at the end of the previous episode.

Most of the story focuses on Barry’s attempts to reopen the breach to Earth-2, garnering help from Cisco and Dr. Wells. There are some highlights along the way, including the much-teased moment when Barry accidentally crossed over to Supergirl (though he was oddly silent on details upon his return). Iris and Caitlin also get a great scene where Iris reveals the conflicted feelings she has for Barry. “Do you believe in destiny, Caitlin?” she asks. “Maybe for you,” Caitlin answers. Ouch.

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Wally ends up having a large part of the story, as well. He reveals he’s having money problems and eventually accepts Joe’s offer of help by moving into the Wells home. When the team finally open the breach, Zoom is waiting and crosses over immediately. After a long footrace with Barry, and what seems like imprisonment, Zoom escapes and takes Wally hostage. Barry agrees to give up his speed in order to secure Wally’s return.

In the end, Dr. Wells helps Barry remove his speed force and Zoom injects it into his arm. Filled with power and rage, he attempts to kill Barry but is talked down by Caitlin. In the end, he flees — taking Caitlin with him.

That ending was a bit of a shock, as it seemed obvious that Wells or Barry would devise a way to trick Zoom and not actually give him Barry’s speed force, but it didn’t happen that way. In fact, the preview for next week’s episode, “Back to Normal,” shows Barry is still without his powers.

All said, “Versus Zoom” had some interesting story development, but was hampered by the weak Zoom backstory. Hopefully, we’ll get more details on Hunter Zolomon’s motivations as the season continues to wind down.

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