THE FLASH: Barry Suffers a Heartbreaking Loss in “Invincible”
By Justin Carter
Okay, let’s be real: we all totally called Henry’s death, right?
Everyone else was out of the question, and the only one who could hit Barry within the same emotional area is Joe, but that would be too much of a stretch. No, Henry was the one that made the most sense and would’ve felt the most right. Certainly not helping was that the show was all but declaring he’d be the one to get the axe in nearly every scene he’s in. He got to meet a woman in his age range and have meaningful conversations with his son about needing to be afraid. And, like Zoom said, Harry was the one thing that kept the two speedsters from being completely similar. So it wasn’t very surprising that Zoom would do his vibrating death hand on the elder Allen.
While the ending was pretty predictable, everything leading up to it was entertaining enough to mask that. Unfortunately, the ending to last week’s episode, where Zoom summoned a whole horde of Earth-2 villains, doesn’t really get its due here. For something called the “Metapocalypse” it certainly doesn’t feel that way; much like with Zoom saying that he’s more or less conquered the other Earth, it doesn’t feel like Central City is in any real danger for the brief time that we see all manner of hell break loose. If anything, this would’ve been the best way to close out the season by stretching this plot out over three to four episodes. But as disappointing as it is that this doesn’t get to play out in full, it’s a nice way to bring forward Barry’s overconfidence and the Black Siren.
Black Siren is the Earth-2 version of Black Canary, something that the show thankfully just establishes as a thing very quickly before moving on with the plot. Katie Cassidy had a lot more going on on this show last year than on Arrow, and the same holds true here. It’s nice to see her let her mean streak fly, and her interactions with Caitlin and Cisco pretending to be Killer Frost and Reverb allow for some fun interplay. She’s still kicking around by the end of the episode, and she didn’t look all too jazzed with whatever Zoom has planned (he wants to shake Earth-2 apart, or something along those lines). Maybe she’ll get a change of heart and become a part of Team Flash? She could teach Cisco how to use his new wave blasts.
After getting a pep talk from the Speed Force last week, Barry is more or less walking on air. It’s nice to see our hero be upbeat after some mopey weeks in the past, but his faith in the Speed Force and being so sure that everything will work out in his favor is worrying. The show does a good job of making this view endearing and hopeful instead of irritatingly arrogant of him, and the new lease on life has made him more proactive in taking down the Earth-2 metas by coming up with a way to neutralize them all at once with Harry and Cisco. It also unfortunately means that he’s ripe to be taken down a couple of pegs, which is what we get when Zoom kidnaps Henry and murders him in the home where Barry grew up. Ouch.
It hurts seeing Barry’s hopes get dashed so soon after they were just raised, but with everything in place for what looks like a cool finale, I’ll take it. “Invincible” appropriately doesn’t live up to its down title, but its flaws don’t make enough of a dent to bring down the fun ride.
C’mon show, just let Wally be Kid Flash. You know you want to, just do it.
Siren figures out Cisco and Caitlin are lying by revealing that Reverb is left handed, but that seems like some flimsy logic. People don’t always catch things with their dominant hand.
Harry is more insistent than ever that Earth-2 is superior to our Earth. Time and place, sir.
Dr. McGee found out that Barry is the Flash by using common sense, so at least she has a leg up on Iris and Wally in that regard.
Next week: a race to save both Earths!