Welcome back to my weekly review and recap of “The Flash.” To catch up on previous coverage, click here.
I’m always struck by the ability The Flash possesses to accomplish so much in just one episode. More than the season two premiere last week, “Flash of Two Worlds” is an introductory course to the new canon of season two and all the bit players that will be populating it. We have Teddy Sears playing Jay Garrick, the speedster from another world where he is called the Flash and Patty Spivot (played with a disarming amount of charm by Shantel VanSanten) who is joining Joe’s task force as well as sharing some chemistry fueled flirtatious scenes with Barry. We learn more about Cisco’s powers, Zoom, and the multi-verse as well as being indirectly introduced to Earth 52 as we learn that the singularity opened up 52 breaches. Also, Barry can hurl lightning.
Do you hear how comic bookish that all sounds? Because I want to talk about that for a second because it’s great and it’s one of the shows greatest assets. I am of the mindset that for the most part, comic book adaptations work better in a serialized, television setting opposed to the big, spectator events that the movies are. Sure, currently, they work and Marvel is a prime example of that, I wouldn’t deny that mainly, because I’m often the first one in line for them. However, where the television shows excel (especially The Flash) is how they nail the tone of the origin story without ever feeling as if they’re simply pandering. Comic books are so popular a) because they provide such excellent escapism and b) because of their sheer longevity. Characters continue to grow and develop their powers, fight new foes and develop bonds with other heroes and the television landscape allows the characters room to breathe and the world to evolve. “Flash of Two Worlds” is yet another episode in the long list of them from this series so far that unabashedly embraces its origin and it’s all the better because of it.
And like I said, a lot happens.
Jay Garrick works as an addition to the team and as a counterpart to Barry’s character. Both have been the Flash of their worlds for a similar amount of time but Barry seems considerably younger and less experienced in the role which is punctuated with Jay’s continual use of “kid”. At first I couldn’t help but be irritated with how distrustful Barry was being with him, even if everything that Jay said checked out. Barry remained unconvinced because Jay’s vitals didn’t show any signs of having the speed force being him and Professor Stein couldn’t immediately find proof of the breaches to the other world. However, he had information on Zoom and he had tactics on how to stop the metahuman who had been sent to kill Barry by Zoom, Sand Demon.
I’m not as convinced as Cisco about that name.
That tactic by the way involves Barry HURLING LIGHTNING but I’ll get to that in a second…
While I was irritated by Barry’s reluctance to believe Jay, it felt justified due to just how royally screwed over he and everyone else was by Harrison Wells and their blind faith in him. It takes Iris to point out to him that not everyone is going to be Wells and that part of Barry’s best self was the fact that he trusted people.
Cisco similarly had a character beat this week that felt very justified if not equally frustrating. As a general rule of thumb, characters keeping secrets on TV shows annoys me because at this point there’s a general idea about how it’s all going to play out and that characters will feel betrayed, people will overcome and then more secrets will happen (look at Arrow if you don’t believe me.) Shows are better when characters know the truth, a prime example being the first season of The Flash where the only continuing flaw of the show was the refusal to let Iris in on everything.
That being said, Cisco not wanting anyone to know about him getting visions, typically of bad things going on, makes sense and it makes sense for the character. Stein is confused, believing that Cisco of all people would be thrilled but Cisco explains it perfectly by saying that he doesn’t want to see these visions. He didn’t get super speed, he can’t fly or control the weather, he’s seeing people being hurt or crime taking place in debilitating vision. This isn’t the awesome super power he would have hoped for.
Patty Spivot adds another interesting point of view on metahumans this week in her introduction. She believes that it is an injustice that criminals have gained these superpowers, including the Martin brothers, one of whom was responsible for the death of her father. She’s a welcome addition to the series and VanSanten has already proved in her short amount of screentime that she could be a secret weapon to the season.
Now to my favorite part of the episode-LIGHTNING. I’m not going to beat around the bush, the minute the possibility of this was introduced by Jay, my mind kind of clicked off for a moment as I went full fangirl. Seeing it happen created even more of a mindless fan because of just how cool it all looked. The special effects have always been impressive on the show but I think that this might be my favorite use of them so far. It’s a powerful, “hero” moment and I hope we get to see more of them.
The episode ends on a bit of a cliff hanger as Professor Stein collapses (after he nearly stole the episode due to his excitability over science) after the realization that Star Labs is the home of the largest, most powerful breach of the 52 created by the singularity. This is something that more well-versed comic fans will understand, but Stein collapsing is enough of a surprise to take away the other Earth’s revelation and makes me wonder if Ronnie is actually dead. Iris’s mother shows up at the precinct, much to Joe’s surprise and if this means more storylines just for Iris and Joe that don’t have anything to do with Barry I couldn’t be happier. The other big moment is that on another Earth, in Jay’s world, there’s another Harrison Wells as the head of their Star Labs and Tom Cavanagh walking out of the elevator was the second best moment of the episode.
A remarkably strong episode jam packed with character revelations and new insights into the world they inhabit, The Flash is already on quite a role. Check out the trailer for next week’s episode below and let me know what you thought in the comment section!
*Also, make sure you’re keeping up to date on Evan’s weekly coverage of this season of Arrow-check out last weeks review here as well as our weekly podcast which you can check out by following the link and make sure to subscribe https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/tyf-dc-debrief/id1046195249?mt=2&i=353895587.