The Flash: Season 2, Episode 20 - "Rupture"

Gregory L. Reece

The Flash may not have his speed back yet, but this episode takes things full speed ahead.

The Flash

Airtime: Tuesdays, 8 pm
Cast: Grant Gustin, Teddy Sears, Keiynan Lonsdale, Danielle Panabaker, Carlos Valdes, Nicholas Gonzalez, Tom Cavanagh, Jesse L. Martin, John Wesley Shipp, Violett Beane
Subtitle: Season 2, Episode 20 - "Rupture"
Network: CW
Air date: 2016-05-03

For the second week in a row, Barry (Grant Gustin) remains powerless, his speed powers traded to Zoom (Teddy Sears) in exchange for Wally's (Keinynan Lonsdale) freedom. The deal ended poorly for the Flash. The hero’s now powerless to save Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) from Zoom's clutches and can offer no defense against the villain's assault on Central City.

While last week's episode felt a bit like filler, "Rupture" returns to the full-on battle against Zoom (Teddy Sears) that has made this season so exciting. There is a villain-of-the week in the form of Rupture, an energized-scythe wielding menace from Earth-2, but Rupture has deep connections to this season's long-arc storyline. Rupture is the alternate Earth doppelganger of Cisco's (Carlos Valdes) brother Dante (Nicholas Gonzalez). Convinced by Zoom that Cisco is responsible for the death of his brother on Earth-2, Rupture's mission is personal.

Team Flash, in an attempt to keep the hero's powerlessness a secret from the villains of Central City, employs a holographic projection of the Scarlet Speedster. It proves pretty effective against regular baddies, but is no defense against Zoom. Harry (Tom Cavanagh) thinks that the solution is to expose Barry to the same conditions that produced his powers in the first place. This, of course, is an idea that comes with a great deal of risks.

From the very beginning, The Flash has been a series about the importance of family. It has especially focused, as superhero stories are wont to do, on issues of fathers and sons. Super speed, as it turns out, isn’t the most important factor in what makes Barry the hero he is. Instead, as this show keeps pointing out, Barry's heroic character has been shaped by the father figures in his life: Joe (Jesse L. Martin), Harrison Wells, and his birth-father Henry (John Wesley Shipp). With the decision of whether or not to follow through with Harry's plan hanging over his head, Barry makes sure that all three of these men are at his side when he’s thinking things through, and at his back when the time comes for action.

The return of Henry Allen brings a big clue to the identity of the man in the mask, a captive in Zoom's prison whose secret has viewers speculating. When Henry learns that Zoom had been pretending to be the Flash from Earth 2, whose secret identity is Jay Garrick, he’s surprised by the name. Garrick was Henry's mother's maiden name.

Does this mean that the real Jay Garrick is the Earth-2 doppelganger of Henry Allen, which also means that Henry could be the Earth-2 Flash? To be honest, this seems so obvious to me now that it makes me suspect that the hint dropped this week is just an attempt to throw us off track. Henry would be an incredibly appropriate Jay Garrick, however. DC's Flash has long been a character stepped in tradition and legacy. After all, it was the meeting of the Silver Age Flash/Barry Allen with the Golden Age Flash/Jay Garrick that opened up the DC multiverse and set the stage for the decades of storytelling that followed. I was originally bothered by Teddy Sears' casting as Jay Garrick, because it removed this generational component from the relationship between the two heroes. Putting the helmet on Henry Allen would remedy that misstep, and further emphasize the father/son story that’s at the core of this series. The fact that Shipp played the Flash in the 1990 TV series makes this seem even more appropriate.

But, as I said, it all seems so obvious that I'm tempted to think we're being misled.

The generational nature of the Flash character was on display in another important way in this episode. When Barry does decide to take the risk and go through with Harry's plan to recharge his powers, Wally and Jesse (Violett Beane) are collateral damage. We don't know much about what happened, but we do see the two of them impacted by the energy from Harry's device. Comic book fans know that these characters are themselves super speedsters: Wally was originally the Flash's kid sidekick, Kid Flash, and went on to assume the identity of the Flash himself. Jesse's the super-fast character known as Jesse Quick.

I don't know whether or not their exposure to the speed force in this episode means that they're soon to come into their own as super heroes. Perhaps this is just a tease for comics' fans. The Flash seldom teases without following through, however, and I suspect that this time will be no different.

"Rupture" is an improvement over last week's slow-moving episode and it ends on a real cliffhanger. The Flash may not have his speed back yet, but this episode takes things full speed ahead.







'Bigger Than History: Why Archaeology Matters'

On everything from climate change to gender identity, archaeologists offer vital insight into contemporary issues.


DYLYN Dares to "Find Myself" by Facing Fears and Life's Dark Forces (premiere + interview)

Shifting gears from aspiring electropop princess to rock 'n' rule dream queen, Toronto's DYLYN is re-examining her life while searching for truth with a new song and a very scary-good music video.


'Avengers: Endgame' Culminates 2010's Pop Culture Phenomenon

Avengers: Endgame features all the expected trappings of a superhero blockbuster alongside surprisingly rich character resolutions to become the most crowd-pleasing finalés to a long-running pop culture series ever made.


Max Richter's 'VOICES' Is an Awe-Inspiring and Heartfelt Soundscape

Choral singing, piano, synths, and an "upside-down" orchestra complement crowd-sourced voices from across the globe on Max Richter's VOICES. It rewards deep listening, and acts as a global rebuke against bigotry, extremism and authoritarianism.


JOBS Make Bizarre and Exhilarating Noise with 'endless birthdays'

Brooklyn experimental quartet JOBS don't have a conventional musical bone in their body, resulting in a thrilling, typically off-kilter new album, endless birthdays.


​Nnamdï' Creates a Lively Home for Himself in His Mind on 'BRAT'

Nnamdï's BRAT is a labyrinth detailing the insular journey of a young, eclectic DIY artist who takes on the weighty responsibility of reaching a point where he can do what he loves for a living.


Monte Warden and the Dangerous Few Play It Cool​

Austin's Monte Warden and the Dangerous Few perform sophisticatedly unsophisticated jazz/Americana that's perfect for these times


Eleanor Underhill Takes Us to the 'Land of the Living' (album stream)

Eleanor Underhill's Land of the Living is a diverse album drawing on folk, pop, R&B, and Americana. It's an emotionally powerful collection that inspires repeated listens.


How Hawkwind's First Voyage Helped Spearhead Space Rock 50 Years Ago

Hawkwind's 1970 debut opened the door to rock's collective sonic possibilities, something that connected them tenuously to punk, dance, metal, and noise.


Graphic Novel 'Cuisine Chinoise' Is a Feast for the Eyes and the Mind

Lush art and dark, cryptic fables permeate Zao Dao's stunning graphic novel, Cuisine Chinoise.


Alanis Morissette's 'Such Pretty Forks in the Road' Is a Quest for Validation

Alanis Morissette's Such Pretty Forks in the Road is an exposition of dolorous truths, revelatory in its unmasking of imperfection.


Hip-Hop's Raashan Ahmad Talks About His Place in 'The Sun'

On his latest work,The Sun, rapper Raashan Ahmad brings his irrepressible charisma to this set of Afrobeat-influenced hip-hop.


Between the Buried and Me's Baby Pictures Star in 'The Silent Circus'

The Silent Circus shows Between the Buried and Me developing towards the progressive metal titans they would eventually become.


The Chad Taylor Trio Get Funky and Fiery on 'The Daily Biological'

A nimble jazz power trio of drums, tenor sax, and piano, the Chad Taylor Trio is free and fun, funky and fiery on The Daily Biological.


Vistas' 'Everything Changes in the End' Is Catchy and Fun Guitar Rock

Vistas' debut, Everything Changes in the End, features bright rock music that pulls influences from power-pop and indie rock.


In Amy Seimetz's 'She Dies Tomorrow', Death Is Neither Delusion Nor Denial

Amy Seimetz's She Dies Tomorrow makes one wonder, is it possible for cinema to authentically convey a dream, or like death, is it something beyond our control?


Maestro Gamin and Aeks' Latest EP Delivers LA Hip-Hop Cool (premiere + interview)

MaestroAeks' Sapodigo is a collection of blunted hip-hop tunes, sometimes nudging a fulsome boom-bap and other times trading on laid-back, mellow grooves.


Soul Blues' Sugaray Rayford Delivers a "Homemade Disaster" (premiere + Q&A)

What was going to be a year of touring and building Sugaray Rayford's fanbase has turned into a year of staying home and reaching out to fans from his Arizona home.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.