Welcome back to Up To Speed, in which Flash TV show veteran Dylan Todd and newbie Ziah Grace break down the latest episode of The Flash, dispense some Flash Facts, and talk about what works, what doesn’t, and where the series might be headed.

This week, Barry is still powerless, Zoom is still on a murder rager, the dad gang assembles, and Cisco has to deal with not one, but two sullen brothers (even though he only has one). "Rupture" was directed by Armen V. Kevorkian and written by Kai Yu Wu & Lauren Certo.

Dylan: So that episode sure did end with a bang, huh? Haha, but seriously, this week's Flash was pretty much bananas, with cross-dimensional sibling rivalries, Zoom being a hardcore savage and a daring plan to get Barry’s speed back. Oh, and also Henry Allen and his distractingly-white choppers make a rare appearance. After the last two less-than-stellar episodes, I feel like this one really nailed the landing and (finally) got me excited for the finale. What did you think, Ziah?

Ziah: Boy, were his teeth white. Distractingly white is putting it mildly, it was like a tiny searchlight shooting out of his mouth every time he smiled. But yeah, there were some really good things going on in this episode, although I don’t think I liked it quite as much as you did. I did love Barry acknowledging that his dads all love him in different and occasionally terrible ways, though.

Dylan: I'm not saying it's perfect, but after last week’s snooze and the whiff of the week before that, I'm glad we’re moving forward. But let's break this down, shall we?

Ziah: Moving forward like the Flash? Or breaking down like the Flash does?

Dylan: Yes to both. So we start off with Barry, who is powerless, but he's making the most of it by pretending he's still got it. Much like me. Cisco’s worked up a hologram thingy that makes crooks think they're getting Flash-ed when they're just Flash-ing themselves. I'm never gonna get tired of this joke, by the way.



Ziah: I think it’s a flash in the pan, but that’s fine. But this part was pretty singularly fantastic. The hologram’s imperfect flickering implying that the Flash is just moving that fast was really clever, and Cisco and Barry doing things to not leave Central City in the lurch was good. This hologram plot was a holo-lot of fun if you know what I mean.

Dylan: I missed this, Ziah.

Of course, Twells is all, “Please just let me blow up Barry, please.” Because he's Twells, which means Barry has to remember he has a dad and heads off to Papa Allen’s cabin to ask permission to get blown up. They have their usual, “Go get ‘em, Slugger,” chat while Barry tries to explain what the heck has been going on in Central City this season, but it all sounds insane because it's insane. Barry should've just pulled up our recaps and filled him in that way, TBH.

Ziah: “So does he like being called Twells every episode, or…?” No, but for real, this was hilarious, this entire scene. Every time Henry Allen reacts to new developments as if Barry’s been filling him in every week offscreen. Man, beyond the accidental comedy, I just don’t really care for Henry Allen. Barry’s already got Cop Dad and Jerk Scientist Dad and Evil Future Murder Dad, he’s good on dads for a while.

Dylan: Oh, the record will show that I have no fondness for Henry Allen. He's a BS character and a rotten dad who they try and prop up with Leave It To Beaver-era horsecrap.

Ziah: Beloved Side character?

Dylan: Sure. Yeah. That's what I meant.



Ziah: Meanwhile during all this dad talk, Henry Allen drops another Jay Garrick, Man of Mystery (the mystery being what the show will do with this weird plotline) hint, mentioning that his mother’s maiden name was Garrick. So, new guesses on who the Man in the Iron Mask is? Mine is Barry now. He’s Barry from the future, or something. That’s why he tapped out J-A-Y in a code Barry could recognize way back when we honestly thought there were enough clues to figure it out.

Dylan: Or he's Earth-2 Henry Allen, which I had some people telling me was a possibility on Twitter last week, but I laughed off because Iron Man never tapped out “Slugger,” but maybe. Who really knows at this point, right?

Ziah: True. I’m just hoping they go for the really weird twist. Give us Mayor Snart or Barry from an earth where everyone wears metal masks all the time.

But let’s talk about a different affectation: Zoom’s penchant for letting Caitlin screw up his plans and talking in a spooky voice. How’d you feel about the ol’ Snowball messing with the Zoomerang by using a police evidence cell phone?

Dylan: The whole Caitlin/Zoom stuff this episode was dumb. I get that he's in love with her and lonely, but it strained credibility that he'd kill a Jitters full of cops but with Caitlin, he just growls at her a little?



Ziah: They’re Beauty and the Beasting it all up in here. Does that make Rupture the Candlestick? Let’s talk about Rupture. Rupture and his dumb Grim Reaper costume where he hunts his more successful brother Wonder Ma- er, Cisco.

Dylan: So, yeah, Cisco vibes that his douche brother might be in trouble, so he tries to reconnect with him. Which goes terribly, because his brother is a douche.

Ziah: That is true, but Cisco leaving because his brother asked to put on sports on a bar TV was weird as hell. What happened the last time these two guys got together that made Cisco hate sports so much, Dylan?

Dylan: Sports killed their family, Ziah. But anyway, so the unfortunately-named Rupture shows up and guess what?! He's Earth-2 Jerk-Bro! And he's gonna kill Cisco for killing his Bro, Earth-2 Reverb! Something tells me this is going to help Cisco and his brother learn to appreciate each other. How'd you like Rupture, Z?

Ziah: Man, I feel like any other week I would’ve loved Rupture, but he just did nothing for me. For a guy so closely connected to Cisco and his family issues, I didn’t really care that he was around or when he died. He really just made me miss Reverb.

Dylan: Yeah, he was not especially wonderful, but after last week’s villain and after rewatching some season one episodes with my daughter, it's kind of refreshing to see a supervillains who looks like a dang supervillain, complete with weirdo scythe. And Rupture does what he needs to do: brings Cisco and his brother closer while also serving as a threat for the episode and then dying like a chump at the hands of Zoom in a legitimately badass scene.



Ziah: Yeah, that whole coffee jitters scene with Zoom was pretty genuinely unnerving. For a moment, I thought he was gonna kill Singh or Joe, but he stuck to the unnamed extras in a pretty well shot scene! Zoom continues to be pretty spooky, even if the “we’ve gotta keep putting off the final confrontation” stuff is starting to wear on me now that Zoom’s on the same earth and knows exactly where everyone is.

Dylan: I don't disagree. But we solved that problem this episode! Barry finally relented to letting Twells explode him and the results were hilarious.

Ziah: Amazing. Don’t forget Twells literally injecting Barry with drugs first! Kids, stay away from drugs or you’ll literally explode.

Dylan: So yeah, Barry gets hooked up to a machine, pumped full of stuff, and then zapped, and Ziah, he completely blew up. I did not see that one coming.

Ziah: Me neither! This was a good twist! We’re trained as superhero fans to think that of course the right move is for Barry to go through this crazy dangerous procedure, and then it totally goes wrong! This was pretty rad. So, Barry’s totally the time wraith from a few episodes now, right?



Dylan: Probably! And Jesse and Wally totally vaped Barry’s particles, so they're gonna get speed powers, right?

Ziah: Oh definitely, and it’s about time. Those kids have been… running in place for ages now, so I’m glad that their storyline is speeding up as season 2 races towards the finish line.

Dylan: So much crazy stuff coming out of this. Like, it was a legitimately exciting last act of an episode. I haven't been this curious about where this show’s going since we jaunted to Earth-2.

Ziah: Yeah! We’ve got two possible speedsters, Cisco having to be more and more central (city) to the plots, Twells dealing with possibly killing Barry, and Barry stuck as a time bandit, I assume or whatever.

Dylan: Who knew that all this show needed was to obliterate Barry Allen?

Ziah: Speaking of obliterated things that came back anyway, Iris is in love with Barry now I guess. That’s cool. That one date with her anti-Flash boss went south real quick, huh

Dylan: It's the ‘ship that wouldn't die, Ziah. I give up at this point. Just let it happen already because I'm so sick of them moping and sighing at each other. Barry and Iris. Sure. Whatever.

Ziah: That’s a good ship name for them, “Sure, whatever.”

Dylan: I tried coming up with something, but “Biris”? “Irry”? Ugh. I mean, it's academic at this point, because Barry is atomized, right?

Ziah: I ship Barry and the void. Varry.

Dylan: There's a fandom we can all get with.