The Flash season 2 episode 18 had a retcon, a continuity error, and an epic disconnect. This episode would have been a great one if not for these three that pulled it down.
A fair warning, this post contains major spoilers if you have yet to watch this episode.
Reframing past events to serve a current plot need. The ideal retcon clarifies a question alluded to without adding excessive new questions. In its most basic form, this is any plot point that was not intended from the beginning. The most preferred use is where it contradicts nothing, even though it was changed later on.
In episode 15, Zoom was seen dropping the body of Jay in his lair, and he said,
Well this… is a complication. The guy in an iron mask also reacted, he was scared and wide-eyed. But in this week’s episode, Zoom explained to The Flash’s team that Jay’s death was planned. That he had a hard time convincing Jay to agree for his murder in Zoom’s hands.
Zoom told The Flash’s team that he went back in time and met another version of himself. In other words, he took his past self forward in time–to the present. It explains why in episode 15 he said
this is a complication because if one’s past self was killed, it would mean Zoom’s sudden erasure from existence.
Yet, Zoom still exists. He was not erased from time. This was because the past-Jay was killed on a different time period, effectively making a split in the timeline. In simpler terms, the moment Zoom pulled past-Jay into the present, a new timeline was created. The original past-Jay who never had a contact from future Zoom still exist on the original timeline, and this timeline is where Zoom’s continued existence was anchored.
Thus, there was no complication at all because the past-Jay Zoom brought with him to the present was a timeline remnant. Whatever happens to this time remnant will not affect the original timeline. Hence, the retcon. There was no complication at all because past-Jay was no longer the same past-Jay Zoom originated from. He actually must die if the timeline must remain intact. It is too dangerous for a timeline remnant to live.
For this one, it has to do with Barry’s accidental travel to Supergirl’s universe. In episode 18, it was obvious–even without knowledge of his Supergirl-earth travel–that he was able to open a gateway to another universe. He even said,
I’m back. How long was I gone?
Barry was aware. Yet, in the whole episode, Barry never mentioned once how he was able to open a gateway to another earth. To Supergirl’s earth. This was a big continuity error, and I will mention it again, even without knowledge of the Supergirl-Flash crossover episode.
He could have travelled in time
True, he could have. It will probably be one of the theories around if The Flash episode 18 was aired before Supergirl episode 18. Regardless if it was so, we will still end up knowing that there was a continuity error in The Flash ep18, because it was clear that was where Barry ended up at.
The epic disconnect
Related to the previous one, when Barry arrived back at the S.T.A.R. Labs, he said
I’m back. How long was I gone? He did not ask, “How long did it take me?” Yet no one noticed his weird question? Yes, maybe they were so excited about the result of the experiment they ignored it, but this was not inline with the characters of Vibe and Caitlin. These two would notice and ask Barry about it.
Likewise, as I already mentioned above, Barry in this episode does not match at all the Barry that we know him to be–an excited, child-like, guy to have discovered and travelled to another earth, with an alien girl as a superhero.
Someone is having a hard time tracking all the crossover, parallel universes, and time travel details. Yes, it is not easy to do, I agree, but knowing that, one should already prepared a tracker of sort to keep one sane. Continuity is continuity. The success of a series lies on how much the fans are loving it.
The Flash’s season 1 itself was full of time travel problems but I let it go that time. It’s season 1, fresh series, something to learn. But we’re already at the end of season 2 and there are still these continuity errors. Although, I applaud how they did a retcon–by explaining it in-universe. So a plus on that one.
They need another retcon. Zoom telling the team that even he was not fast enough to create a speed mirage was a clear lack of a DCTV bible like what the Star Trek franchise have. Flash himself was able to create a speed mirage earlier in season 2 when he battled earth-2’s Doctor Light.
If the ever slow Barry can do a speed mirage and earth-2 Zoom can not, then does it mean Barry is way faster than Zoom? Also, in season 1, earth-1 Reverse-Flash also did a speed mirage, which would mean that earth-1 Reverse-Flash is way faster than earth-2 Zoom.
Ranking it all then, the fastest of the three was earth-1 Reverse-Flash, followed by earth-1 Flash (Barry), and then earth-2 Zoom. They also have to pick which one they will retcon, Reverse-Flash and Barry’s speed mirage, or Zoom’s statement?
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