TV Review: The Flash - Season 2 Episode 2 "Flash of Two Worlds"
EPISODE 2: "Flash of Two Worlds"
SYNOPSIS: Jay Garrick, a mysterious man from Earth-2, appears at S.T.A.R. Labs with a dire warning about an evil speedster named Zoom, who is set on destroying The Flash. Barry and the team must decide if they can trust this stranger even as they face yet another powerful meta-human. Meanwhile, Joe must deal with a determined officer named Patty Spivot who wants to join his meta-human task force.
REVIEW: (Beware of spoilers!):
This season, The Flash is introducing a concept that is very familiar to readers of DC and Marvel comics and yet has not been truly tackled in any of the big screen or small screen adaptations of their superheroes. Tonight, The Flash introduced the concept of the Multiverse, a tricky concept that not only could derail the entire series but it could also undermine everything dramatic that Barry Allen and his friends endured last year as well as everything that has happened on the four seasons of Arrow. But, if tonight's roller coaster introduction to the Multiverse is any indication, the showrunners have done a good job of making it palatable for rookies to the idea.
At the conclusion of last week's season premiere, we met Jay Garrick who we quickly learn is The Flash in an alternate universe. Just like in the comics, this alternate universe is giving a numerical designation, Earth-2, with the Barry Allen version of The Flash existing in Earth-1. During the massive wormhole from the season finale, the rift Barry helped close did not seal but instead left 52 openings between the two worlds (nice reference to DC's The New 52) which gives us a new way for meta-human foes to come to Central City. Last week's enemy, Atom Smasher, also turned out to be from Earth-2. We soon learn that the villain who sent him, Zoom, is actually from Jay Garrick's universe but is sending through foes to try and kill both versions of The Flash.
Barry Allen learned his lesson last year when his mentor Harrison Wells turned out to be the Reverse-Flash. Trusting Jay Garrick is no easy pill for Barry to swallow which is why this week the two team up to defeat a foe together. The enemy, Sand Demon, is another throwaway foe that we have come to expect from The Flash writers, but his purpose is served. Jay, who has been The Flash for two years in his universe, has only a bit more experience than Barry, but seeing the two join forces is much cooler than I expected it to be. I thought having two Flash characters would be confusing, but it works thanks to their very different personalities and approach to using their powers. We even get to see another use of the Flash powers as Barry creates lightning and throws it at Sand Demon to defeat him.
There is also a new addition to Central City this week in the form of Patty Spivot. Patty is introduced almost as quickly as the Multiverse concept but we immediately know she is meant to be a love interest for Barry. Barry and Iris West have had a chemistry since the series debuted, but giving a third wheel to their courtship will add the complexity and drama that Eddie Thawne did last year. In fact, it makes one wonder if we may get to see Eddie return thanks to the introduction of Earth-2. After all, the episode does conclude with a look at the return of Harrison Wells in the alternate dimension. Is that Wells the Earth-2 Zoom or is he the real Wells? That remains to be seen but it looks good that there is so much introduced here and we have a whole season left to watch.
In the world of subplots, our supporting team of heroes still have their stories developing but they are not taking over the main segments of each hour. Cisco is still having his visions like last season, but the showrunners seem to just be sticking these reminders in for a bigger purpose later in the season. My one concern this episode was Caitlyn's reaction to seeing Jay Garrick. She looked lovestruck and Ronnie has only been gone for a short time. Sure, she has mourned Robbie before and has had months to get over his second passing, but it seemed a bit forced to try and make Jay her new love interest this soon. I could be reading too much into it, but I am cautious that the showrunners don't force that plot thread.
This episode was much better than last week, in my opinion, and one of the strongest hours of The Flash to date. I am a bit worried at the amount of Flash history that the series has already introduced and explored and whether they will run out of plots in the next season or two, but there is no questioning that they are taking more risks with this series compared to Arrow. That series just introduced the concept of Green Arrow after over 70 hours of programming while The Flash has already given us two versions of the hero and introduced the biggest concept in comics. I am in awe that this show is working as well as it has and I hope it doesn't slow down one bit.
NEXT ON THE FLASH: "Family of Rogues" airs on October 20th: When Barry and the team find out Captain Cold has been kidnapped, they form an uneasy alliance with his sister, Lisa. However, Barry feels double-crossed when he finds out Leonard is working with his father,Lewis Snart on a heist. Meanwhile, Joe is faced with a difficult decision.