This is it, this is the episode of “The Flash” we have been waiting for since Jay Garrick first showed up, or maybe since we first saw his helmet last season – Barry and Team Flash are going to Earth-Two! Meet me after the super speed and extradimensional jump for my thoughts on “Welcome to Earth-2!”
As we open, the Flash is using the tech that he and Harry built to close all of the fifty-two breaches to Earth-Two (save the one at S.T.A.R. Labs). Harry especially, as well as everyone else, is prepping to make the trip to the other Earth to save his daughter Jesse from Zoom. There’s a weird sense of dread, as if it’s not just Zoom they’re facing, but a whole world of danger.
And perhaps they are. It’s been established, at least in flashback, that this television version of Earth-Two is more advanced, cleaner, and brighter – although other depictions suggest that Zoom has ruined that. We’ll soon see. I do have an objection to the team going through the final breach. There’s Barry, Cisco, Harry – what, no Jay? Wouldn’t two natives be better tour guides than just one, especially one who betrayed you?
Our heroes are warned not to let anything they see distract them as they enter the breach. This journey isn’t just the extradimensional jump or the speed force, it’s fanboy heaven. Right off the bat, we see Supergirl (on whose series the Flash will appear next month) and John Wesley Shipp in his Flash costume from the 1990s CBS series. There’s also a goateed Oliver Queen (or is it?) as Green Arrow as a bonus.
Just to ramp up the suspense, the gateway on our side shorts out, trapping Barry, Cisco, and Harry on Earth-Two. As they finish their magical mystery tour between Earths, they/we also see an angry Grodd, Jonah Hex (who will soon be appearing on “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow“), and a Legion of Super-Heroes Flight Ring! Yep, fanboy and fangirl heaven.
Strangers in a Strange Land
Barry and Cisco’s first taste of Earth-Two is one of wonder. The world is more advanced, in a rayguns and rocket ships, Tomorrowland as imagined by Walt Disney, almost sepia tone kind of vibe. So yeah, like us, they too are in fanboy heaven. The first person they run into is a colleague of Harry’s named Henry Hewitt. Sound familiar? Yep, he’s Tokamak from “The Fury of Firestorm,” but a good guy here on Earth-Two. Did everyone else hear Mayor Snart mentioned on the news?
And then it gets weird. After seeing his nerdy doppelgänger on the news, Barry kidnaps him so he can be him undercover at CCPD and possibly get some clues on the whereabouts of Zoom. Starting with the golden mural that depicts military rather than a mythological Justice League, there’s also Captain Singh as a pimp, Deadshot (who Barry recognizes, but have they actually ever met?) as a detective, and Iris as a detective who’s married to Barry.
It almost seems as if this is the Earth-Three from the comics as opposed to any other version of Earth-Two. On Earth-Three, the heroes were villains and vice-versa. Columbus discovered Europe and actor Abraham Lincoln shot President John Wilkes Booth just as two for instances. And the Crime Syndicate of Amerika, resembling the Justice League, murdered all the heroes (and other villains), and took dominion of the planet.
One of the Crime Syndicate’s members was called Deathstorm, an evil version of Firestorm that Robbie Amell is back here on the series to play with glee. Accompanying him is the villainess we’ve waited for since the very beginning of this show – Caitlin Snow in her comics identity of Killer Frost finally! They drop in on Barry and Iris, out for an evening at Jitterbugs (Jitters as a jazz lounge) to see Joe sing. Although Jesse L. Martin has a fabulous voice, this Joe hates Barry. Good thing Barry has Killer Frost and Deathstorm as distractions, and they both serve Zoom.
Fire and Ice and…
After Barry tries to reason with Killer Frost (why would anyone think that would work?) and Deathstorm toasts Joe, Barry leads the two villains outside where the real fight starts. I absolutely love that Barry uses the helmet from a statue of the Earth-Two Flash as a defensive weapon, awesome.
When Detective Iris gets a clue as to the two villains whereabouts, she and her partner Floyd Lawton (an inept and cowardly version of Deadshot), and Cisco with a way to stop Killer Frost, go to confront them. It’s not the dumbest thing any of them have done to be sure, but what awaits them is truly sinister. Deathstorm and Killer Frost don’t work directly for Zoom, but through Reverb… Cisco’s doppelgänger.
Meanwhile Back on Earth-One…
Meanwhile back on Earth-One there’s a new super-villain in Central City gunning for the Flash called Geomancer. In the comics, Adam Fells, also known as Geomancer, was a foe of Sand from the Geoff Johns era of JSA and later was a member of Johnny Sorrow’s Injustice Society who regularly battled the Justice Society. I was amused that this notably Earth-Two background villain with earth elemental powers was the one attacking Earth-One while our heroes were trapped on the opposite Earth.
To save Central City, Caitlin concocts a new version of Velocity-6 (originally conceived by Vandal Savage in the comics) to grant Jay the speed to fight the villain, but it doesn’t quite cut it. We learn the new info that it was the use of this drug that was killing Jay. Slowly the showrunners are darkening the Jay character and I don’t like it. It seems to have started with that bad haircut. I was more than a little disappointed in this choice of villain also – too similar in power set to both Sand Demon and this episode’s Reverb. The only thing I did like about Geomancer was the fact he was smart enough to realize the Flash was AWOL, and that Jay uses his helmet as an offensive weapon. Helmets are cool (said with Matt Smith flair).
To Be Continued…
While it’s back to the drawing board on Earth-One for both the breach and a new Velocity formula, things are much grimmer on Earth-Two. After Reverb (who in the comics was actually Vibe’s similarly powered brother) tries to recruit Cisco with a plan to usurp Zoom and take over Central City. It’s such an obvious call back to join the dark side that even Cisco makes a Star Wars joke. When Deathstorm and Reverb gang up on the Flash, the party ends quickly as Zoom shows up to deal with them. Is there any Earth where Robbie Amell lives?
Zoom takes Barry away and puts him in a cell where he can see Jesse, and there’s also another inmate with an iron mask tapping on the walls. Who could that be? And I’m also staying with my guess of the Earth-Two Henry Allen as Zoom. The offhanded mention of Henry earlier in this episode made me wonder, and the glimpse of the otherworldly 1990s Flash proves that someone who looks like him has experience with speed. Or could it be the Earth-Two Barry? He could be just as evil as our Barry is good…
This was probably the best episode of “The Flash” in quite a long time. Was there a dry eye anywhere when Barry talked to his mom? That this show can still produce this kind of emotion while delivering the type of superhero fantasy action it does, to me, is amazing. And we got another Atlantis reference, could we be seeing something or someone else special before we leave Earth-Two? And was I the one who saw the speed dials on Barry’s Earth-Two phone? Yep, Bruce (Batman), Hal (Green Lantern), Diana (Wonder Woman), and… Eddie… Thawne?
Next: Escape from Earth-Two!