Season Two, Episode Twenty — “Rupture”

© 2016 The CW Network. All rights reserved.

© 2016 The CW Network. All rights reserved.

By Jarrod Jones. If you’ve felt a sinking feeling ever since The Flash returned from its midseason hiatus, know that you’re perfectly fine and totally healthy. That unmistakable sensation that the ground has been removed from under your feet isn’t a bout with vertigo, nor are you suffering the early stages of some form of dementia. It’s The Flash, not you, that is experiencing a case of the sads. It’s a common phenomenon. Only, none of us thought a show as vibrant and spry as The Flash would ever succumb to such a malady. But such is life.

With a mere three episodes to go, The Flash has decided to push through to its season finale by making do with what it’s got. Thing is, its ambitions are vastly outweighed by its scale: Zoom’s decided that Earth-1 is ripe for the plundering, but his campaign of terror only serves to reveal the limited scope of network television. (CCPD is taken? Fall back to CC Jitters!) The show is still operating without its resident Speedster, though Harrison Wells of Earth-2 looks to recapture lightning in a bottle (or a wizard’s wand) with another destructive particle collider explosion. (The results look to have sparked something in Jesse Quick and Wally West, in more ways than one.) It’s a messy turn of events for such a streamlined show, but hey. Whatever works.

WHAT WORKED: Henry Allen has moved back to Central City, just as Zoom decides to take it over. That means a lot of heartfelt back-and-forth between John Wesley Shipp (you remember! the Nineties Flash!), Grant Gustin, Jesse L. Martin and yes — Tom Cavanagh. The Flash is never without its mush, but for some reason Shipp navigates the melodrama with an iron-jawed zeal. Henry Allen’s moments with Detective Joe and Wells-2 had a musculature that’s been long missing from this show (now that most of The Rogues have been written out of it). And Shipp’s moments with his television son made this episode’s ending — ridiculous and unnecessary as it is — land with a grave severity.

Turns out Cisco’s brother Dante (Nicholas Gonzalez) is still a raging asshole. (No shock there, considering Dante’s character generally borders on the comically absurd.) But his Earth-2 counterpart was a ding-dang revelation. As Rupture, Gonzalez’s Earth-2 answer to Cisco’s jerkface brother decimated everything that came his way, both literally (with the help of a killer-looking scythe) and figuratively (through Gonzalez’s menacing performance). As a force to be reckoned with, Rupture was definitely one of the better conceived villains for The Flash. Though there was one minor gripe that came with him…

WHAT DIDN’T: …Zoom and Rupture share more than a zeal for mayhem — their voices (one provided by the Candyman himself, Tony Todd) were damn-near identical, making moments where the two villains colluded with each other look and sound completely ridiculous. (“GRRaaahh, I’m angry.” “GRRaaahh, so’m I.“) I love that The Flash embraces its superhero trappings, but there is definitely room for this show to put a little more care and consideration into their execution.

Det. Joe has a few words with his son Wally that certainly telegraphs the Wee West’s ultimate fate. Even if you’re not a DC die-hard, you’ve likely had the feeling that Wally’s been hanging around to contribute more to the show than just deepening the lines on his father’s face. Joe’s encouragement of Wally’s more civic-minded tendencies may as well have been hand-delivered in the form of a Waid-written issue of The Flash. “I’m sure there’s something out there that will satisfy your need for speed and helping people,” Joe tells his son. Hey, while you’re at it, Detective, why don’t you just hand Wally his bright red boots too. Yeesh.


I can’t help but wonder why a speedster needs a car.” – Henry Allen.

BEST MOMENT: Barry’s Three Dads. It’s a veritable showdown at S.T.A.R. Labs this week, as Henry Allen, Det. Joe and Wells-2 argue over the merits of putting Barry in imminent danger. The world is quickly closing in around them as Zoom lurks just outside their doors, and Central City damn sure needs its hero. Questions of inevitability and altruism are peppered throughout this all-too brief sequence. It’s the most thoughtful The Flash has been in weeks.

EPISODE’S MVP: Henry Allen. It’s always a pleasure to see the original television Flash hanging around this show. His chemistry with Jesse Martin, Grant Gustin and damn near everybody else on The Flash always makes me smile.

© 2016 The CW Network. All rights reserved.

© 2016 The CW Network. All rights reserved.


– Henry Allen dropped an intriguing little piece of information on us this week. “Garrick? That’s my mother’s maiden name.” Now, that’s not the case in the comics, but The Flash has gone out of its way to make Henry matter in this world. (As a matter of fact, Henry Allen has died in both pre and post-Crisis incarnations, and there’s not much to work on in terms of his own history.) Will this Garrick/Allen connection matter in the limited time this season has left? I think so, especially if it turns out that the Man in the Iron Mask is the real Jay Garrick of Earth-2.

– Joe sets up a task force… at CC Jitters. So there’s only four places in Central City? Five?

– While Rupture is Cisco’s brother in the comics, he’s not Dante, nor is he from Earth-2. Rupture is Armando Ramon, created by Gerry Conway and Chuck Patton (he first appeared in Justice League of America #233 in December of 1984). Seems he survived both Crisis on Infinite Earths and Flashpoint to appear in the New 52, in Justice League of America’s Vibe #1 (April of 2013).

– I’m actively ignoring any and all pop culture references on this show and on Legends of Tomorrow until next year. They’re just exhausting me anymore.

– Next week’s episode features guest-director Kevin Smith. *sighs* We’ll see how it goes. But if I hadn’t seen this promo, I’d be pretty distraught about Barry’s apparent death at the end of this episode. So there’s some relief that comes with… “The Runaway Dinosaur”. *sighs again*

6.5 out of 10

Next: “The Runaway Dinosaur”, soon.

Before: “Back to Normal”, here.