‘The Flash’: Is Barry Ready to Face Zoom?

When The Flash returns following a grueling three-week hiatus, Barry Allen will be preparing to face off against this season’s sinister big bad Zoom. The last time we saw Barry and Team Flash they were dealing with the revelation of Zoom’s true identity: Jay Garrick, the man they believe was living among them as a friend – and as Barry’s mentor – that had betrayed their trust and was a literal monster.

All season long we’ve watched as Barry has dedicated himself to getting fast enough to be able to take on and successfully defeat Zoom. And all season long we’ve watched as Barry struggled as he let Zoom get inside of his head. But with “Versus Zoom” (airing Tuesday) Barry believes that he is finally ready to face Zoom, which leads him to create a breach to bring him back to Earth-1.

But is Barry actually ready to face Zoom?

There’s a difference between being confident and being overconfident, which is something that plagues our young Barry at present. After being emotionally affected by yet another mentor’s betrayal, Barry is cruising off that vengeance and using it to fuel him.

Also now that he has achieved the equation – with some help from his old nemesis, Reverse Flash – Barry is feeling pretty cocky right now. Cocky is not confident. Cocky is overconfident. And you can’t expect to go into a fight against someone cunning and vicious like Zoom like that and expect to emerge victorious yet alone still breathing.

If nothing else, the reason that Barry isn’t ready to face Zoom is because we’ve still got six episodes remaining this season. That alone should be a clear indicator that Barry isn’t ready and that when he does go up against Zoom in this episode, as it appears he will, that it won’t be the intended result. But it will indeed serve another lesson for Barry.

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This entire season has been a learning lesson for Barry in the art of how to take on an opponent that significantly outmatches you. Barry experienced it in a brutal way in their first meeting, in which Zoom beat the crap out of Barry and then proceeded to parade his body around Central City. We saw it again during Barry’s time on Earth-2, when Zoom held him captive and tempted his inevitable destruction and death in front of him. I fear this third time that Barry will once again find himself on the losing end wondering what went wrong and feeling more hopeless than ever. But that’s when he needs to take a stand.

The thing is there is something that Barry can learn from each of those encounters that will ultimately help him defeat Zoom. There is something that Barry can learn from everyone – Team Flash, Oliver Queen, Zoom himself. The key to defeating Zoom isn’t being the fastest – it’s about being the smartest. Zoom has presented himself as being intelligent, but he’s also been prone to being overconfident when it comes to ultimately defeating Barry. And that’s where Barry can strike him down.

So while Barry might not ultimately be ready to face Zoom at present, that doesn’t mean that Barry will never be ready. But it takes more than just the component of leveling the playing field in order to defeat him. It’s about what you’re fighting for. Why are you fighting? Why is your opponent fighting? What drives you? What drives your opponent? What makes you different? Once Barry is mentally prepared, I have no doubt that Barry will battle and defeat Zoom and save his world – and all worlds – as we know it.

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

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