Tonight's episode of "The Flash" dealt with more issues than maybe any other episode has this season. Barry's return from the speedforce left him feeling optimistic, almost too optimistic according to Team Flash. Wally kept putting himself in the line of fire of metahumans, even dangerous ones like this week's guest star Black Siren -- "Arrow's" Katie Cassidy. Caitlin was back this week and her time spent with Zoom left her fearful and riddled with PTSD. Team Flash was forced to deal with thousands of Earth-2 metahumans in Zoom's metapocalpse, all the while Zoom was putting a secret plan into motion. Barry had to deal with the emotional fall out of his near-death experience and everyone was on edge as Central City suffered around them. Cisco and Caitlin got to play a little bit this week, as they donned their Earth-2 doppelganger outfits to stop Black Siren, but they weren't strong enough or smart enough to stop Zoom altogether. Unfortunately a very valuable member of Team Flash paid the ultimate price, which will effect Barry in next week's finale and the rest of his life.
Iris (Candice Patton) beautifully opened the episode with a voiceover, narrating the state of affairs in Central City, as Zoom had unleashed his metahumans everywhere. "It is only in the blackest of nights that we can truly see the light." Barry (Grant Gustin) returned from fighting metas to find Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) has been returned to S.T.A.R. Labs. According to her, Zoom (Teddy Sears) thought Barry was dead, since Zoom saw Barry's flash suit melted at the end of "Rupture." Caitlin expressed her fears to the team that they would never be able to stop Zoom. Barry's response to this was pure optimism -- he even assured the team that the universe was on their side. This optimism scared Cisco (Carlos Valdes), Harry Wells (Tom Cavanagh), Joe (Jesse L. Martin), Henry Allen (John Wesley Shipp), and Iris, and they considered it reckless of Barry to so blindly trust that everything was going to work out. Team Flash wrestled with this concept throughout the entire episode, as they had never seen Barry so full of hope. What they didn't understand was that this was the first time they had ever seen Barry fully past his mother's death. His dad even tried to warn him, which caused Barry to lash out as his dad for trying to take away the strength that he had found in the speedforce.
While Team Flash was trying to figure out Barry's new state of mind, one of Zoom's metahumans began tearing buildings down in Central City. The metahuman turned out to be guest star Katie Cassidy, "Arrow's" Laurel Lance, who was playing Laurel's Earth-2 doppelganger Black Siren. Black Siren's powerful vocal cry was strong enough to level entire buildings, including Tina McGee's (Amanda Pays) Mercury Labs. As Barry was looking for Mercury Labs' black box, he and Zoom had a small non-confrontational chat. Zoom, while surprised to see Barry alive, continued to push his psychopathic agenda on Barry. Zoom was convinced that he and Barry are the same person -- they both lost their mothers at a young age, they both suffered greatly growing up, and they both got hit by the speedforce. Zoom did say they were different in one way, Barry didn't watch his mother die, like he did. This conversation was great foreshadowing for Zoom's play at the end of the episode.
While Zoom was threatening Barry, Team Flash began working on a plan to disrupt the frequency of all the Earth-2 metahumans. This gave Barry some time to talk to Wally (Keiynan Lonsdale), who had started to fight crime on his own. Joe was worried sick about him, and asked Barry to counsel him, as The Flash. In the middle of their conversation, Black Siren called out Barry and almost killed him with her vocal cry. With bleeding ears, Barry lay on the ground almost dead. Black Siren was about to kill him when Wally drove in with his car and rescued The Flash. What a powerful moment to behold. Wally, with no badge, no gun, and no speed was so determined to be a hero he risked his life to save The Flash.
The episode concluded with Caitlin and Cisco pretending to be their Earth-2 doppelgangers to distract Black Siren. While she figured out that they were faking, all of the metahumans did become incapacitated by the frequency burst. Black Siren was put inside the pipeline (which means Katie Cassidy could guest star on future episodes of "The Flash.") Caitlin opened up that her PTSD was starting to subside, once she got in the field and was able to do some good. Iris and Barry decided to move forward in their romantic relationship, and everyone celebrated their win over dinner. Cisco saw a third vision of fallen birds, but this time he could also see Earth-2 splitting in half. Is that why Zoom had Black Siren destroy certain buildings in Central City? Unfortunately the dinner was interrupted as Zoom kidnapped Henry Allen and sped away with him. Barry chased after them, which revealed his true identity as The Flash to Wally. The finale scene in the episode was absolutely gut-wrenching, as Zoom killed Henry Allen in front of Barry, at his childhood home. Zoom gloated that now they really were the same person. Barry's scream was horrifying, and the episode ended right there. Barry had already lost his mother and losing his father is going put Barry in a scary state of mind. It's possible that because of the lessons he learned in the speedforce he will be able to somewhat recover, but now he's truly an orphan. With Henry Allen dead, this makes me think John Wesley Shipp really is the man under the mask, the true Earth-2 Jay Garrick. If that's the case (which will be revealed next week) it's possible that while Barry lost his father, he may gain a mentor in season three.
Next week's episode of "The Flash" is titled "The Race of His Life." It will wrap up season two in a powerful race between Zoom and Barry to finally determine who truly is the fastest man alive.
SEASON FINALE THE FLASH "The Race of His Life" - (8:00-9:00 p.m. ET) THE FLASH VS. ZOOM - After Zoom (guest star Teddy Sears) reveals his true plan, Barry (Grant Gustin) vows to do whatever it takes to stop him. Antonio Negret directed the episode written by Aaron Helbing & Todd Helbing (#223). Original airdate 5/24/2016.
"The Race of His Life" airs Tuesday, May 24 at 8 p.m. on The CW.