It's Evil Twin Week On 'The Flash'
Death, Ice, and Reverb
So, guys and girls, tonight was The Flash's visit to Earth-2, and holy shit was it a great episode! It was easily in the top 5 episodes of the series, so let's dive into what made the episode so good.
What are we gonna see? Everything.
The crew, comprised of Wells, Barry, and Cisco, finally went to Earth-2 to defeat Zoom and save Wells's daughter. As they went through the portal, we saw a series of images flow by.
We saw Grodd, what looks to me like Jonah Hex (if I am wrong let me know in the comments), and the biggest one of all, Supergirl. We’ve known there was going to be a Supergirl/Flash crossover for a few weeks now but we were all wondering how they were going to pull this off. Superman exists in the Supergirl universe as a well established hero. Having Flash and Arrow in the same world, without even a mention of Superman, would be hard to pull off, without some kind of Justice League being expected. Setting them in different universes is a unique way to combine the worlds without them bleeding too much into one another.
Ze Doppelgänger Episode Ist Gut, Ja?
Where 'Welcome To Earth-2' really excelled was in the cool way it chose to portray the characters' doppelgängers. Iris is a detective, Caitlyn is villainess Killer Frost, Ronnie Raymond is Deathstorm (and tiny Tom Cruise), and Cisco is Reverb.
That all pales in comparison to Joe, the lounge singer. It’s easy to see Jesse L. Martin as a singer, and not just because he has a great voice, but because he’s smooth as hell. It was also cool getting to hear him flex the golden pipes. I haven’t heard him sing since Rent.
On Earth-2, Barry is married to Iris, which is a cool way for our Earth-1 Barry to avoid his comic book destiny. All comic book movies and shows have to find some way to separate themselves from the comic books so that their characters' fates aren’t sealed. This episode was a brilliant way to do that, by separating the comic books and the show into two separate dimensions, it frees up the show to follow its own path. Earth-2 is where all the comic book tropes exist. Caitlyn is Killer Frost and Iris is Barry’s wife — and watching nerdy, bumbling Barry was pretty funny, especially when he goes nuts over Harrison Wells and has to be tasered.
The focus of the episode was Flash’s battle with Killer Frost and Deathstorm. They come after him upon finding out he has come through the portal to Earth-2. This fight showcased how the characters on Earth-2 are different. We even had Floyd Lawton/Deadshot return as a CCPD cop who just so happens to be a terrible shot. Hence the nickname, given to him in mockery.
A lot happened on Earth-2, but the most powerful moment was watching Barry speak to his mother again. Grant Gustin sold the hell out of the scene. It was particularly potent due to the fact that he only got to hear his mother over the phone. She didn’t make an appearance in person, but it was powerful nonetheless.
Cisco, fucking Cisco
Cisco was the best part of this episode in my opinion. It is no secret that Cisco is a constant source of levity and comedy on this show, and this episode was no different. He had some of the best lines and moments on this show, and watching him confront his Earth-2 self was awesome and truly unexpected.
I had no idea that Earth-2 Cisco had fully realized his super powers and become the evil Reverb, and was pulling Killer Frost and Deathstorm’s strings the whole time! Cisco is so often portrayed as a geeky tech wiz who rarely participates in the action, but to see him as a villain (and a ringleader) here — who is powerful enough to intimidate both Killer Frost and Deathstorm, simply for talking back to him — is huge.
It’s a shame that Reverb was killed by Zoom before we could have a few more scenes between him and Cisco, but I imagine filming the face to face stuff with one actor in two roles, must get expensive. Judging by what Cisco saw, I have to believe that it won’t be long before Cisco fully grows into his Vibe persona. It was truly awesome watching Cisco react to seeing himself as not just a villain but a villain in full control of all of his powers. Carlos Valdes did a great job, you could see every brain cell blowing the second he saw himself as Reverb.
Now, my friend and co-author Mark brought up a funny comparison: that Earth-2 looks like pre-war Fallout with its futuristic yet retro/vintage look. I certainly agree with his assessment, and one of the most interesting parts of this episode was seeing Barry pick up his retro, one-touch call phone to call his mom; and seeing the names on that phone (Hal, Bruce, Diana) was perhaps just another cute little nod to the Justice League’s Hal Jordan, Bruce Wayne, and Diana Prince. I say 'probably,' since Earth-2 Barry is not Flash so he has no reason to have the personal numbers of the Justice League, or is there something else at play in Earth-2’s Barry Allen? Or Iris?
Back on Earth Zzzz
Unfortunately the episode did not spend the entire hour in Earth-2. It had a side plot on Earth-1; an uninteresting side plot involving Jay and Caitlyn trying to get Jay’s speed back. During this side plot we learned that Zoom did not take Jay’s speed, but Jay lost his speed due to taking too much Velocity 6. This is also what is killing him. Naturally, we got a quick fix for this with Caitlyn coming up with Velocity 7 in under five minutes, but it only worked on Jay for a short time.
Mighty Dale's Judgement - 9.5/10
This might have been the strongest episode of The Flash to date, and definitely the strongest of Season 2. The episode wasted no time in getting us to Earth-2 and didn’t waste any time throwing the quirks of Earth-2 right at us. It had everything, decent action, a weird setting, comic relief, and deep emotional drama. The show was firing on all cylinders tonight and I truly hope next week’s episode is just as good, considering Barry and the boys are stuck on Earth-2 for another day. We’ll see you guys next week.
See our review of the previous episode here.