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The Race of His Life Plot Summary:

After Zoom (guest star Teddy Sears) reveals his true plan, Barry (Grant Gustin) vows to do whatever it takes to stop him. 

Last week I lamented that every superhero doesn’t have to be Batman. It was aimed specifically at the fact that after finally seeming to get over the death of his mother and gaining a positive attitude, Barry was beset with more tragedy and given another reason to pointlessly brood. And while tragedy isn’t a bad thing, it really isn’t Barry’s thing. Not that he hasn’t experienced it, but it doesn’t define him the same way it defines characters like Batman and Superman. Well, the show did manage to get one thing very right about the difference between Batman and the Flash this week. Barry is kind of an idiot.

This week Barry was a complete moron and it only worked out in the end because everyone else on the show is also a moron. First off, Barry raced Zoom and wagered the fate of the entire multiverse on said race. Let’s say Barry won. Did he really think Zoom would keep his promise? Was the compulsively lying psychopath planning to give up and leave everyone in peace if he gets embarrassed in a race? Of course not? And why would Barry even kind of think he could handle Zoom in a race? If he could catch him in a normal setting, this wouldn’t be an issue. Come on, Barry.

Photo Credit: The CW
Photo Credit: The CW

The S.T.A.R. team was also incredibly boneheaded this week. Their plan may have been the dumbest plan I’ve ever seen on the show. To trap Zoom they plan to trick him with that hologram technology that I guess someone just invented at some point and then shoot him with two things he can easily dodge and push him through a breach. Nevermind the fact that he can just open breaches up anyway whenever he wants and come back anyway. And thinking you can sneak up on him in the first place doesn’t make sense either.

And then there was Zoom. Zoom may have had the dumbest plan of all. He kills Barry’s dad to get him angry and tells Barry what time remnants are and demonstrates how they are used. Then he challenges Barry to a race around this weird stargate thing that he made (?) so that he can destroy the multiverse. Regardless of the fact that Zoom is always prepared with time remnants, he doesn’t make one of those to either hang around in case things go south or power the multiverse bomb with him and he doesn’t even consider that Barry may utilize this new power that he explained to Barry. Also he tells Joe who the man in the mask is so that they can break him out whenever they need to. He also doesn’t plan for the possible return of the time wraiths even though the S.T.A.R. team was able to build a device that neutralized them.

Race
Photo Credit: The CW

And all of the plans failed but Barry’s failed the least so the day (and the multiverse) is saved. The group is able to let the time wraiths turn Zoom into the Black Flash and drag him to hell or whatever they do. And the gang is able to rescue the man in the mask who turns out to be the real Jay Garrick AKA Earth-3’s Henry Allen, so John Wesley Shipp is the Flash again…kind of. Even though almost nothing else in the latter half of this season made sense or really got us anywhere, the Jay reveal was pretty cool and it pivoted JWS’s role in the series toward something far more fun.

The Flash -- "The Race of His Life" -- Image: FLA223a_0096b.jpg -- Pictured: John Wesley Shipp as Henry Allen -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Flash — “The Race of His Life” — Image: FLA223a_0096b.jpg — Pictured: John Wesley Shipp as Henry Allen — Photo: Katie Yu/The CW — © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

As the episode ends, everything is looking pretty good. The Wells and Jay go back through a breach that Cisco can open now at will due to his magic sunglasses and the episode ends with everyone having dinner. I don’t know why every other episode this season has ended with some sort of celebration dinner and I don’t know how I am only just noticing it now, but it really is a symptom of how strange this season has become. Not just because King Shark ripped the roof off of the house months before but because of general laziness. How do we end every episode? Have a dinner at the West house. Why don’t Zoom’s motivations make any sense? Because he’s super craaaAAazy. What are we gonna do with Patty? Who’s Patty?

And then after a Spidermanesque “I can’t be with you even though I obviously should be” speech, Barry goes and does it. The stupidest thing in the episode. He goes back in time to the night of his mother’s murder and beats up Reverse Flash to save her which will no doubt set in motion events similar to those of DC comics event, Flashpoint.

If you aren’t familiar, in Flashpoint Barry travels back in time to stop his mom’s killer and RUINS EVERYTHING! There is a war between Aquaman and Wonder Woman that nearly destroys Earth. Bruce Wayne gets murdered and his dad becomes a gun toting lunatic version of Batman (so basically the DC Cinematic Universe version). Superman gets locked in a vault and looks like a Kryptonian version of Machinist Christian Bale. It’s crazy. And that leaves me with one big question.

Image Credit: DC Comics
Image Credit: DC Comics

All of the heroes that play a big part in Flashpoint besides maybe Captains Atom and Marvel have big movies coming out in the next few years. Because the universes don’t cross over, that shouldn’t be an issue but the DC team has been very careful of keeping characters from big movies out of the shows, even going to such lengths as killing Arrow‘s Deadshot to make room for Suicide Squad‘s Deadshot. If those are the lengths they will go to in order to protect Floyd Lawton, there is not chance we are getting any of the DC big guns. I doubt we will even get the little guns. Cyborg is a big part of Flashpoint. Can Justice League manage to spare him? Hell, Captain Cold is a hero in that universe but will he even be able to join Flash is he is busy messing around with the Legends of Tomorrow?

Like most of the cool things introduced in this season that didn’t pay off, I have my doubts. Good riddance, Zoom and Earth-2. Let’s give this another shot in Season 3.


Matthew Nando Kelly is an incredibly cool and handsome Senior Staff Writer for Pop-Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Besides weekly Flash recaps, he focuses on film, television, music, and video games. Matthew also has a podcast called Mad Bracket Status where he discusses pop culture related brackets with fellow Pop-Break writer DJ Chapman. He has an unshakable love for U2, cats, and the New Orleans Saints. His twitter handle is @NationofNando. Did we mention how handsome he was?

Matthew Nando Kelly is a cool and tough Senior Staff Writer for Pop-Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Besides weekly Flash recaps, he has a podcast called Mad Bracket Status where he makes pop culture brackets with fellow writer DJ Chapman.