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Flash has three dads now, and last night they all failed him

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The table is set for Kevin Smith's directorial magic next week

After the show bottomed out a few weeks ago, I had to step away from The Flash for a while. No, it wasn't because of how disgusted I was with the myriad plot holes and generally uninspired writing. It was because I had to travel to New York for business. Turns out, I didn't miss all that much.

Last week Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) was left without his powers, but the monster of the week — a super strong and rapidly-aging teen named Griffin Grey (Haig Sutherland) — had to be dealt with regardless. So the team at STAR Labs rigged up Flash's suit with a bit of dwarf star alloy, courtesy of the cast of Arrow, so that he could at least take a punch. That punch pushed Grey into his 80s, whereupon he had a grabber and died.

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Meanwhile, Zoom (Teddy Sears) decided he wanted to conquer Earth 1, and that's where we start off this week. The black-clad speedster heads straight to the Central City Police Department, hoping to intimidate the entire populace by proving he's the one in control.

At this point Dr. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) regales the team at STAR Labs with how Zoom put on his show of force on Earth 2.

"First thing he did was murder people," Wells said, starting with police officers. With all of Central City's cops milling around outside the police station, they'll be easy targets for Zoom who's holed up inside. Barry suggests they hunker down in the safety of the coffee shop across the street.

"That's a great idea!" says Joe, ignoring the fact that this is very clearly not a great idea. Later in the episode Zoom snaps about a dozen officers necks just a few steps from the espresso machine. But I digress.

Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) vibes early on, catching a glimpse of his estranged brother Dante (Nicholas Gonzalez). The two meet at a bar to hash things out, and don't get very far. When they leave they're jumped by a new metahuman, named Rupture. It's Dante's doppelgänger from Earth 2, brought over by Zoom, and he's out for vengeance.

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"You're Princess Briding me right now!" Cisco said in his most hilarious joke of the episode, which also included a few dated World of Warcraft references. For the most amusing character in the series it was a pretty poor showing.

Rupture wasn't a terribly inspiring villain. So far as I can figure, he has a powerful scythe that he uses to cut things in half. It's no great loss when Zoom kills him later in the episode.

In last night's conclusion the team at STAR Labs reasons that the only way to stop Zoom — who still has Dr. Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) chained up at the police station, mind you — is to get Allen his powers back. The only way to do that, Wells says, is to cause another explosion in the particle accelerator.

Against the objections of just about everyone, including his actual father Henry (John Wesley Shipp) and his adopted father Joe West, Allen's pseudo-father Wells flips the switch. The accelerator's powerful energies smash into Allen, pass entirely through him and ... blast him to smithereens.

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He's gone, and there's nothing left but a steaming chunk of red leather inlaid with dwarf star alloy.

Unfortunately, the blast also hits everyone at STAR Labs square in the face. Those most affected, however, are Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale) and Jesse Wells (Violett Beane). This sets the table nicely for next week's episode, directed by none other than Kevin Smith (​Clerks, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back).

With just a few episodes to go, the team at CW is handing over the reigns to Smith for what could be a foundational episode, and one that may introduce Kid Flash and/or Jesse Quick. Hopefully his loving touch can help pull this season out of the narrative nose dive it's been in for the past few months.