When it comes to emotionally crippling its audience, The Flash has still got it. In an ending that was reminiscent of a season one cliffhanger that was paralyzing in itself, the final moment of “Rupture” proved to be something that we weren’t expecting as Barry Allen “died” as Team Flash attempted to infuse the speed force back into him.
Now we all know that Barry isn’t dead, but the emotional toll of that moment – as Iris, Joe, Henry, Cisco, and Harrison reacted to Barry’s shocking death was something that was so impactful and left us emotionally vulnerable.
As The Flash winds down its second season as the final confrontation with Zoom approaches, “Rupture” was the perfect episode to lay the groundwork for what comes next. While next week’s episode will likely be about getting Barry back from wherever he went, the penultimate episode the final week will no doubt be about tackling Zoom head-on.
There was so much that happened in this episode, from Barry’s big decision and the final outcome to Barry and Iris taking an important step in their relationship to Cisco healing his relationship with his brother to Jesse and Wally being hit with the speed force to the many Harry Potter references that brought some much-needed levity. It’s hard to believe there are only three episodes left this season!
Let’s break this down:
Barry Contemplates a Huge Decision
As Zoom descended upon a Flash-less Central City, Barry Allen was confronted with a difficult decision – continue on as a powerless Barry Allen or agree to Harrison Wells recreating the Particle Accelerator explosion to give him his speed back and risking not only Barry’s life but the lives of everyone in the city. While you might’ve thought that the choice would be an easy one for Barry, it was far from that. Barry’s concern was for the rest of the citizens of Central City as there was no way to ensure that the explosion could be contained, as we saw what happened the last time the Particle Accelerator was unleashed on our world.
Each of the parental figures in Barry’s life had something to say on the matter, whether it was Harry’s insistence that Barry do this, Joe’s indecision, or Henry’s ultimate persistence to expose his son to danger. But this was never their decision. This was always Barry’s decision, and he struggled with it. Initially he opted against it as he didn’t want to risk exposing the city to another Particle Accelerator explosion, but witnessing how vulnerable he left the city to Zoom’s control, Barry felt like he had no choice. Barry realized that he was failing his city by not doing any means necessary to protect those people. So that’s when he agreed to go forward with Wells’ experiment. While Barry was in ten different kinds of pain during the process, things appeared to be going well. That is until he began to disintegrate into pieces and completely vanished.
Which led us to the shocker of the night…
Whatever I was expecting to happen after Barry got struck by that lightning under the same conditions as the last time, him “dying” or disintegrating into nothingness was nowhere on my radar. But whatever went wrong this time it wasn’t a coma that Barry found himself in – it was somewhere. But where? Being as Barry is the central hero of our show there’s never been a doubt in my mind that he’ll find a way to prevail over Zoom and protect his city. But what I’ve been less certain of is how arduous that journey will ultimately prove to be for him.
(P.S.: Once again this timeline doesn’t coincide with Arrow’s timeline, which continues to bother me to no end. Is next week the week that finally changes?)
Jesse and Wally Get Their Speed
For most of the episode, Jesse and Wally were locked away inside that mystery white room as their parents wanted them – two people that Zoom had already kidnapped – ripe for the taking. While initially it might’ve appeared as if they wouldn’t have a significant part to play in this episode, the end of the episode indicated that they’re about to be significant players in this world.
As Harrison Wells set off the Particle Accelerator explosion and Barry disintegrated into nothingness that carried out of the contained space and through STAR Labs to some unknown place, it passed through both Wally and Jesse knocking them unconscious. Well, I think we all know what happened here. They’ve been infused with speed force. Now the question becomes: how long until they regain consciousness? Will it be near instantaneous or will we find them in a coma as we did Barry in the beginning? Perhaps they’ll be factors that also contribute to Zoom’s demise working alongside The Flash – once he returns to us, that is. Given that both Wally (Kid Flash) and Jesse (Jesse Quick) are speedsters in the comics, this was bound to happen.
Cisco and Dante Mend Fences
The last time that the Ramon brothers saw each other they’d both been kidnapped by Captain Cold and were being held at ransom. While they’ve never had a close relationship you’d have thought that an experience like that would bond the two in a significant way. Well, turns out we were wrong, as we saw when Cisco paid his brother a visit after he got a “vibe” that he was in trouble. It wasn’t long after that Dante followed Cisco and found himself immersed in metahuman troubles.
It was evident that there’s still so much we don’t know about the Ramon brothers’ growing up as we saw the animosity between them in every interaction. But something significantly changed after Zoom killed Rupture, the evil metahuman that was Dante’s doppleganger. His death shook Cisco to the bone because it was as if he watched his brother murdered.
If there was one good thing to come out of the events that happened in this episode it was that it allowed Cisco and Dante to heal. Watching Rupture die was like a wake-up call to Cisco as he realized he didn’t want to leave things broken with Dante. In one of the hours most touching scenes, Cisco strode into the room and embraced his brother and told him, “I want things to change.” That is, he doesn’t want them to be distant anymore. He wants them to be brothers something that was lost long ago. And Dante wanted the same, as we watched the two brothers’ emotional embrace in an hour of harsh reality.
Barry and Iris Take a Step Forward
When it comes to romance one of the things that thrives on television is the slowburn – where two people grow into their relationship over a period of time. When it comes to WestAllen, it’s been a slowburn from the start as we’ve seen different romantic obstacles on both sides but most notably emotional availability obstacles. While Barry has always been open to being with Iris – including when he told her as much last season – Iris just hasn’t been in the right state of mind to open herself up to what that would entail. But after she finally got closure from Eddie’s death and began opening herself up to the idea of being with Barry in that way, she’s finally ready. And in “Rupture,” with everything on the line, she finally let Barry know.
Barry’s reaction was what you could describe as surprised as it appeared as if something he’d been hoping of for quite some time was finally coming to fruition. Here was Iris West, the woman he loves, coming to him and telling him that she wants to be in a relationship with him. She wants to explore what they could have. She was finally opening up to him like he’d hoped for so long. But that conversation, which sadly ended without a kiss, was only the beginning for them. While these final three episodes will focus heavily on defeating Zoom, I have no doubt that we’ll see some development between Barry and Iris in these final hours of season two, but we should see a greater focus on their relationship come season three, which should be quite exciting.
Caitlin and Zoom
When it comes to Zoom and his “love” for Caitlin it’s something that has been intriguing over these past couple of episodes. Does Zoom truly “love” her? Is someone like Zoom even capable of something like love? As we continued to see just how much of a monster Zoom truly is with his actions in this episode, we also learned why Zoom has taken to Caitlin the way he has in these past two episodes. Zoom doesn’t so much love Caitlin as he just doesn’t want to be alone.
But something else that was intriguing was that Zoom pointed out that they’re both “alike” – in what way I’ll never know. Caitlin is pure goodness while Zoom is complete darkness. But Zoom tried to appeal to a “dark side” he saw within Caitlin, which is his own delusion. Zoom saw the darkness within Killer Frost, Caitlin’s doppleganger, but as we’ve seen with dopplegangers they’re not equals. In most cases they’re opposites. So that darkness that Zoom apparently attracts him to Caitlin was apparently him being attracted to Killer Frost, who he killed in the previous episode. But regardless there’s still a part of me that believes that Zoom cares about Caitlin in his own sick way. If anything she reminds Zoom of his mother, a kind, caring soul who was snuffed out by darkness in his father. Zoom is so adamant about not being a “monster” like his father that it’s almost as if Zoom wants to prove that he’s not his father, that he wouldn’t hurt Caitlin.
NEXT TIME ON ‘THE FLASH’
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on The CW.
What were your thoughts on “Rupture?”