The Flash, Episode 43, “Rupture” Broadcast on May 3, 2016
Written by Kai Yu Wu & Lauren Certo
Directed by Armen V. Kevorkian
“Previously on The Flash,” Cisco’s brother Dante is introduced and treats him badly, Zoom swaps Wally in exchange for the Flash’s Speed Force, Caitlin is kidnapped by the evil speedster after he injects himself with the S.F., and Harrison Wells tells Barry he’s going to help him regain his speed by building another particle accelerator.
A night time car chase has the Flash make an appearance: Cisco has created a hologram of the hero to have criminals believe the Flash is still patrolling the city. The villains are stopped, thanks to some quick thinking from Barry and Cisco’s countless hours playing video games. Cue opening title sequence.
Harrison appears, not to congratulate them on their night’s work, but to tell Barry, Cisco, and Iris that someone will eventually discover the Flash is a hologram and that their time would be better spent rebuilding the particle accelerator. The trio reminds him of all that’s gone wrong each time they’ve tried to recreate it, but he says he can control the explosion. “Your subterfuge…won’t save Snow.” He storms out of the room. Barry drives out to the woods to see his father. He brings his dad up to speed with his loss of powers and Jay’s true identity. Learning about the particle accelerator, Henry Allen wonders if Barry should go through the process again. Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Wells and Cisco get into a shouting match, causing the young man to vibe and see his brother Dante. Cisco leaves hurriedly, just before Barry and his father enter. The elder Allen tells everyone he’s thinking of staying around. At CCPD Headquarters, Wally tells Joe that ever since the Flash saved him he’s felt the need to help people. Joe tells him he’d better off sticking to engineering. Zoom appears in the station and everyone pulls their guns. Caitlin, who’s suddenly on the second floor’s balcony, pleads, “No! Don’t hurt them! Let them go, please.” After a moment’s consideration, Zoom states to the police, “Tell everyone that this city is mine. Anyone who disobeys me will meet their end.” Cue first commercial break.
This is the “Will he or won’t he?” moral dilemma for Barry. Should he allow the use of Harrison’s new accelerator or try to stop Zoom without the abilities of the Flash? Everyone knows what’s going to happen, eventually, but writers Wu and Certo nicely put Barry though all the appropriate paces before he makes his decision. This episode has three physical manifestations of Barry’s possible choices, and they’re all arguing: Harrison, Joe, and Henry. These three each have a correct, moral choice, but it’s ultimate up to Barry as to what he’ll do. He respects all three men and their opinions, but only one decision can be made. Big kudos to the writers for having Henry play the “my only child” card to Harrison: that was a great way to get under the scientist’s skin. Jesse L. Martin, John Wesley Shipp, and Tom Cavanagh really hit high marks in this episode, with Cavanagh playing frustrated better than anybody else. Teddy Sears and Danielle Panabaker get a pair of good scenes; it was like watching Palpatine talk to Anakin. Also good to see Snow acting so “smart” again. Carlos Valdes gets a big chunk of the show with Cisco trying to reach out to his brother. Nicholas Gonzalez did a good job playing a jerk, but — finally! — Dante got to grow beyond that one note role. It’s been a while since I’ve screamed at the television, but I sure did tonight because of what happens in the hallway at S.T.A.R. Labs: I’ve been waiting for this to happen, and it has at last!
The good: The story by Wu and Certo, John Wesley Shipp (Always happy to see!), Tom Cavanagh (chewing up the scenery), Grant Gustin making the climax exciting (It’s got to be a bear trying to make his final scene believable), Carlos Valdes having the best funny lines — and being allowed to have some drama, slick direction by Kervorkian (Love the scenes in the CCPD with that pair and what goes down in Jitters), and what occurs in the hallway.
Fun lines: “LEROY!”, “My mom’s maiden name,” “Do you really need powers in order to be that person?”, “There’s not!”, “Guys…,” “Hello, Vibe,” “You’re Princess Bride-ing me right now!”, “You know what you need to do,” “I want things to change,” and “Well done…”
The bad: Iris’s timing. Yes, it was going to be said at some point, but now? This was the only aspect of the story that seemed really forced; almost as if the writing staff realized there were only three episodes left and this had to be addressed now. It didn’t add any weight to Barry’s decision.
The final line: If you’re a long time fan, you’ll know where this is going, but the ending delivers. Overall grade: B+