‘The Flash’ 2×20 Roundtable: ‘Rupture’

Every week, Fangirlish writers will be discussing new episodes of The Flash and sharing their thoughts, feelings, and speculation about the hour’s hot topics in a little something we like to call Fangirlish Roundtables.

Today, we’re breaking down episode 20 of The Flash, “Rupture,” where we discuss Barry’s difficult decision, that shocking cliffhanger, the future of WestAllen, and more.

What were your overall thoughts on “Rupture?”

ALYSSA

Wow how a season can change. While The Flash’s second season has been far from the success and hype of its freshman run, there’s no denying that The Flash found life after its Earth-2 arc. “Rupture” was another one of those phenomenal episodes ranking only behind those Earth-2 episodes that redefined the show this season. “Rupture” had that signature emotionally-crippling finale (with Barry “dying”) that was a trend during its sensational first season. Everything from the character dynamics to the tough decision that Barry had to make for the good of the people of Central City. This is what The Flash is capable of doing: delivering exquisite performances and compelling storylines that leave you glued to the screen. This has me excited and scared for the final three episodes, which is exactly how it should make me feel.

LIZZIE

What a good episode. Well plotted, extremely well-acted and very, very emotional, this is The Flash at its very best. All the character moments worked: Barry as he struggled with the decision, Wells and his desire to stop Zoom, Henry and his need to protect his son, Joe and his pragmatism. Even Barry and Iris, who have never truly convinced me, were on point this episode. I’m excited for what’s coming next, I really am.




And that’s without even getting into Zoom. I’ll be the first to admit that Teddy Sears’s portrayal of Jay Garrick never did anything for me. Maybe that’s just because Garrick was boring, because with Zoom, Sears finally gets to show how good an actor he can really be. He plays Zoom with a kind of manic desperation that makes him truly creepy, even without the mask, and that’s just …well, the kind of villain we deserve, isn’t it?

LYRA

Loved it. No one was acting stupid and they were doing what needed to be done for Barry’s powers and the destruction of Zoom. While we’re on that crazy speedster, let me say that he’s lost his damn mind. I love it. He sees a darkness in Caitlin that he’s ready to cultivate. And then the finale? Hot damn. I’ve never been more excited for an episode of The Flash!

P.S. I really don’t like Barry’s biological dad. He’s always such a ‘dud’ when it comes to any of his scenes. ‘Ugh; is my general reaction when I see him.

The Flash -- "Rupture" -- Image: FLA220b_0145b2.jpg -- Pictured: Grant Gustin as Barry Allen -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Barry faced a tough decision when it came to deciding whether or not to go along with Wells’ recreating the Particle Accelerator explosion to give Barry his speed back. What were your thoughts on how Barry handled the situation?

ALYSSA

This was a storyline that I was actually quite pleased with because it showed that while something might be an obvious decision – getting your super speed back – it’s not as easy as it sounds. While Barry certainly wanted his speed back he took good care to weigh the pros and cons of what Harrison Wells was asking of him here. Sure, Barry had the chance to get his speed back. But then there was the risk that Barry could wind up in a coma for nine months again or die from this. But what I liked most of all was how Barry’s primary concern was about the people of Central City, including those people in that same room as him. Their safety was of utmost importance to him. He was willing to take the chance to get his speed back, but he wasn’t willing to do it at the expense of the citizens of that city getting hurt with another Particle Accelerator explosion. It shows you how much Barry has evolved as a hero. Being a hero isn’t easy. It’s about making sacrifices, sure, but it’s also about knowing what’s right. And Barry put this city’s protection first until Zoom put it in even greater danger, which ultimately forced Barry to go along with Wells’ plan.

LIZZIE

I really enjoyed that, this time, it wasn’t all about Barry. Our favorite speedster has a tendency to be so self-centered at times that I’m surprised he can see beyond his own nose. And yet, this time, Barry made this decision for the right reasons. He considered the collateral damage. He relied on the people who loved him, and yet, he didn’t let himself be influenced by them. For a moment there, Barry was a fully functional adult. It was heartwarming.

Now, I don’t anticipate this’ll last, but it was still nice to see a glimpse of the man Barry can and will be one day.

LYRA

Barry handled the particle accelerator with great strength and understanding. They were all caught in between a rock and a hard place. And if there was anything that Barry could do to save his family, friends, and city then he was going to do it. He did what needed to be done.

Of course the huge cliffhanger we were dealt was watching Barry “die” as he disintegrated into nothingness. What were your thoughts on that shocker and what do you think happens next?

ALYSSA

One of the things I loved about The Flash last season was its ability to emotionally cripple me instantly with these cliffhangers and shocking moments in the middle of the season. This – Barry’s “dying” – was reminiscent of those moments. Now, we know Barry isn’t “dead,” but the emotion that came from that scene – from the actors and from the audience – was very real. It was absolutely shocking. Here we thought that Barry would get his speed back and come back to save the day. Oh were we wrong. But obviously when Barry disintegrated into nothingness he went somewhere, and from the looks of next week’s promo it’s going to be literal hell on Earth. So somehow Team Flash is going to have to locate him and find a way to get him out of that alternate reality. And hopefully he has his speed when they get him back or wow was this useless.

LIZZIE

I almost felt like it was a response to Arrow, sort of like: You killed YOUR main character, well, we’re gonna vaporize ours! Which, again, is just a gimmick, because we live in the real world and we understand that there’s no way this show is really going to kill the main character. That just doesn’t happen on TV.

This still worked, and it worked because the other characters sold it. We might know there’s no way Barry is dead, but Iris’s scream of pain and horror still tore at our heartstrings. We still gasped at Joe’s tears, at Henry’s collapse. And…if possible, we were all Harrison Wells, because we, like him, were sure this was going to work, and we, like him, were horrified by what happened.

Obviously, Barry’s not gone. Obviously next episode is going to be all about getting him back. But, hopefully, when he comes back at the end of next episode, it’ll be with his speed, and then …well, then they can all take on Zoom. I have a feeling Barry will have some help in that regard, too.

LYRA

I thought it was unexpectedly brilliant. I expected everything to work out perfectly. The Flash has always been a lighter show in comparison to Arrow or Legends of Tomorrow. So when everything went to hell…I LOVED IT! Yes! Go for it The Flash. Give me catastrophe. Give me angst. Give me things that they might not be able to come back from.

What happens next is the 5 Stages of Grief. They’ve all seen incredible things happen but they’ve never seen their loved one torn apart like that. Here’s hoping that they keep hope alive and that we don’t get a time jump. All we need is Barry coming back, finding out it’s been a year, and Iris has moved on. That would be a hot mess. As for Barry, I have absolutely no idea where he is. None.

In this episode we saw the Ramon brothers tackle their issues. What were your thoughts on their relationship and how the two took a significant step in mending fences?

ALYSSA

The Flash, while the origin story of one Barry Allen, has always been about family. Whether that’s the Allens or the Wests or the Ramons, this show has thrived when it comes to exploring the aspects of everyday life that make this superhero show a little more relatable. I was pleasantly surprised with the return of Cisco’s brother Dante and how this was approached. Seeing as the last time we saw these two they had issues and were then put through a chilling situation with Captain Cold and Heatwave, you’d have thought they’d put their differences together. But they didn’t, which they both addressed.

But the beauty of this episode and what it did with Rupture being Dante’s doppleganger was that it forced Cisco to consider a reality without his brother; a reality where he never got a chance to make things right with his brother. So as the two embraced, Cisco told him that he wanted things to change. So did Dante. But the difference this time is that both of them will hopefully try.

LIZZIE

I expected this side-story to remain a side story, and more than that, I didn’t expect it to get me emotional. It’s easy to find that you’ve grown apart with someone in your family, and yet, that kind of love doesn’t usually fade, even when sometimes you’d wish for it to disappear. And though Cisco and Dante are two fundamentally different people who are probably never going to see eye to eye, it was nice to see that, at least for a moment, they could put their differences behind and just focus on the good things – on their bond.

All the feels, I tell you. This episode of The Flash hit on all the feels.

LYRA

The Ramon brother drama was the realest part of the episode. Sometimes families drift apart. And it’s not because they hate each other. No. It’s because they don’t see eye to eye and instead of hurting the other, they part ways. It’s a separation born out of love. The Ramon brothers got a chance to see that chasm between them and decided to cross it. They decided that they wanted more from their relationship than scathing words and hurt feelings. Trying to mend fences will give them a chance to grow as people and fill that hole inside of them that they’ve been ignoring; the one for family.

The Flash -- "Rupture" -- Image: FLA220b_0143b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Candice Patton as Iris West and Grant Gustin as Barry Allen -- Photo: Bettina Strauss/The CW -- © 2016 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Iris finally told Barry that she’s ready to explore a future with him. What are your thoughts on Barry and Iris taking that step?

ALYSSA

For the first time I actually feel confident about where Barry and Iris are heading. For so long I’ve been afraid that the relationship was riding on more of the comic canon of “they’re meant to be” than them actually being meant to be on this show. But this episode showed me that both Barry and Iris – finally! – are ready to take that next step. We’ve known how Barry’s felt for so long about Iris, but now Iris is not only aware of these feelings she’s having but she wants to take that step with Barry and see if they have a future. I’m so ready for WestAllen. Bring it!

LIZZIE

I’ve never been exactly anti-WestAllen. In fact, I could be considered pro-WestAllen in that I wasn’t against it, but they didn’t really tug at my heartstrings. Yeah, I thought it’d be cute, and I really liked their friendship, but they weren’t giving me OTP vibes – not till this episode.

Amazing what one heartfelt, mature and adult conversation can do to convince a person. This was the Barry and Iris that I wanted to see, two people who’ve known each other for ages, two people who care about each other, two people who don’t resort to emotional blackmail. Two people who are friends first. And this is a ship I can finally, finally, not only get behind, but actively root for.

LYRA

I think it’s about damn time. Iris has had a chance to grieve Eddie’s death and acclimate herself to Barry’s life. They’ve become friends once more and Iris is part of Team Flash. (Did you see her out in the field looking for Wells? Go girl!) What’s happening between them now, isn’t because Iris found out that they were together in another world. It’s been a long time coming on it’s own. Their feelings didn’t just fizzle out because they couldn’t be with each other or because of grief. They were waiting on the sidelines, just begging to be tended to. It’s time.

On the Caitlin and Zoom front we got some clarification on Zoom’s part as to why he took Caitlin – he doesn’t what to be alone anymore, but he also sees a darkness within her. What are your thoughts on that?

ALYSSA

When it comes to the human spirit, I believe that there’s both good and bad inside all of us – the Yin and the Yang. But it’s how we choose to respond to adversity that dictates the rise of one over the other. For Caitlin Snow – our Caitlin – she’s seen her share of adverse situations. But she hasn’t let that break her. In fact, it’s made her even stronger. So when Zoom talked about seeing a darkness within Caitlin I just didn’t believe it. He’s seeing what he wants to see; what he saw in her doppleganger Killer Frost.

As far as the reason Zoom took her, I agree with him that he’s tired of being alone. He might be a monster, but there’s still a small part of him that’s human and yearns for that connection. In his own sick way he might love her because he sees his mother in her – that kindness, that love. And while Zoom might have you thinking he’s invincible, he’s far from it. He has his weakness. And I continue to believe Caitlin is that weakness.

LIZZIE

I think Zoom is probably much more on point that we’d want to admit, which makes me think that maybe, just maybe, it might be Caitlin who delivers the killing blow. I think she does have some darkness within her, and part of that has to do with the fact that she just internalizes everything. But I don’t think that means Caitlin is like Zoom, nor anything of the sort. We all have darkness within ourselves, and it’s not really about that darkness, it’s about what you choose to do with it. And I think Caitlin will, ultimately, make the right choice. Just probably not the right choice for Zoom.

LYRA

It makes sense. No one likes being alone. And even the craziest psycho wants companionship and understanding. Zoom sees that for the first time with Caitlin. What makes it even better is that he knows that the potential for darkness lays somewhere in her. He just needs to cultivate it and then they can become one. Then they can reign over Central City with an iron fist. Personally…I want it to happen.

What are your thoughts on “Rupture?” Sound off in the comments to keep the discussion going!

Join us for another The Flash roundtable next Monday.

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.

 

 



 

Teacher by day, writer by every other free moment | Obsessed with sports, TV, books, movies, and superheroes | Proud shipper and supporter of strong female characters | Co-executive Editor, TV Editor and Sports Editor for Fangirlish | Contributor for Bears Wire at USA Today SMG | Contact: alyssa@fangirlish.com.