Major spoilers below for The Flash.
The Flash TV series has been incredibly faithful to the comics by portraying just how important the concept of family is to Barry Allen, proven in full as recently as last week’s episode, when Barry regained his speed after reading a children’s story book with the Speed Force personification of his mother. Now it looks like the Speed Force will be the only way he’ll be able to talk to his father again, as big poppa Henry Allen is now dead, having been murdered by the misery-provoking Zoom, that whiny little son of a bitch.
And yes, Zoom did it right in front of Barry, who’d spent an earlier part of the episode talking to Henry about how much of a changed person he was after powering back up, and how his optimism wasn’t just some fluke. I mean, all of this set-up was obviously written by people specifically aiming to undercut those words with an event so dramatic that even HE might not be able to recover, but it was still a hell of a well-orchestrated shocker. I’ll admit that I kept waiting for Wally – who now realizes that The Flash and Barry are one and the same – to realize he had powers and thwart Zoom’s efforts, but he was too busy in his eureka moment.
It’s a damned shame to see Henry Allen (at least the Earth-1 version of him) bite the dust like this, for several different reasons. After spending all of Season 1 behind bars, Henry emerged this season and then immediately left for a while, which was weird. He popped up a couple of times before showing up a few episodes back in what was now obviously a way to give audiences more time with him before taking him away for good. I mean, unless Barry does some time travel to reverse things, but I don’t think that’s how the finale will go this time around.
As well, it’s sad to see actor John Wesley Shipp leave the series, barring exceptions of future Earth-2 appearances, of course. He was the original small screen Flash, adding an extra layer of TV history to his part and The Flash as a whole. The obvious fix for that problem is just to make Mark Hamill’s The Trickster a regular. I could get giddy just thinking about it, and this is no time to be giddy.
While we thought that Zoom’s metahuman army was the bulk of his intended plan, his ulterior motives were made quite obvious in that tragic moment that interrupted a family dinner. It’s true that I don’t quite understand why Zoom didn’t find a way to do this at any other point when Henry and Barry were together, but he really seems like the kind of villain who hangs around and puts things off until the last second, and then takes care of it really quickly.
In any case, at least Henry got to share thatJay Garrick connection to his family’s lineage, so that Barry’s loss of his father doesn’t mean that his time with his blood relatives has to be over when Season 3 gets here. Now to start thinking about whether this helps or hurts theories that Earth-2 Henry Allen is the Man in the Iron Mask, and whether or not Hunter Zolomon’s insistence that he and Barry are similar has anything to do with it.
The Flash will wrap up this wild season with its Season 2 finale on The CW on Tuesday, May 24. R.I.P. Henry Allen.