TV Review: The Flash - Season 2 Episode 5 "The Darkness and The Light"
EPISODE 5: "The Darkness and The Light"
SYNOPSIS: Barry learns a new breacher, Dr. Light, has come through the portal and sets off to capture her. Jay tells Barry that Dr. Light was not a threat onEarth-2 and that Barry can reason with her. However, during a fight with The Flash, she blinds him and drops some shocking news about Zoom. Meanwhile, Barry and Patty go out on a date.
REVIEW: (Beware of spoilers!):
With Captain Cold and Firestorm out of the way, this week's episode manages to tell a wholly Flash-centric story that further develops the Earth Two plot arc as well as set the stage for the on screen debut of Zoom. But, in order to do so, we must first reintroduce the team to Harrison Wells. While this wells is not the same man embodied by Eobard Thawne last year, his reappearance definitely stirs a lot of emotion in the Earth One characters. Plus, we get a first date, the naming of a new hero, and the intro of another Legend of Tomorrow. For an episode full of reveals and narrative progress, this hour of The Flash never feels overstuffed and may be one of the most balanced episodes of the year.
This week's main plot involves Harrison Wells becoming acclimated to Earth One and trying to convince Barry to confront Zoom. A brief flashback to Earth Two shows that their Flash, Jay Garrick, and Wells do not get along. Earth Two Wells is more of a smarmy tech billionaire than the character we met last year but his motivations are not exactly pure. Garrick, afraid to push Barry to a confrontation with Zoom, ends up in a fist fight with Wells who calls him a coward. Both men want to stop Zoom but have very different methods of getting there. This also puts Barry in an awkward position in choosing whom to listen to as they have to confront the latest breacher, a villain named Doctor Light. Light, able to harness the heat and lumens of a star, is a minor thief on Earth Two but happens to also be the doppelganger of Barry's ex-girlfriend Linda Park.
Linda, forced to work for Zoom, learns of her twin and tries to kill her, accidentally murdering Linda and Iris' editor at the newspaper. This reveals to Linda that she has a twin and also forces Barry to make a decision and listens to Wells. Using a cool speed mirage, Barry is able to stop Doctor Light, which also cements the team's trust in the new Dr. Wells. All of this also comes on the reveal by Wells to the team that Cisco is in fact a meta-human. Afraid to tell his friends, Cisco embraces his visions and his new moniker of Vibe while also getting a date with the hot barista at Jitters, Kendra Saunders. Kendra, while not yet revealed, is also Hawkgirl and one of the Legends of Tomorrow. This also marks the (temporary?) departure of Jay Garrick who does not approve of Barry and Wells deciding to confront Zoom. Despite getting close and cosy with Caitlin Snow during a stakeout where he reveals the existence of Atlantis on Earth Two and his friendship with Aquaman, Jay cannot condone the danger in fighting Zoom.
This episode also features the first date between Barry and Patty Spivot which comes after The Flash's first confrontation with Doctor Light. The baddie renders Barry temporarily blind which results in the goofy need for Cisco to help Barry on his date via a pair of sunglasses embedded with a video camera. Barry and Patty clearly have a chemistry even if the date scene comes across as very cliche and a bit goofy. It is nice to see more of Barry's non-Flash life as well as his getting over Iris. I was expecting there to be a bit more tension between Barry, Iris, Patty, and Linda Park, something that is never mentioned or used by the writers. It does seem that Iris is happy for Barry finding some romance with Patty but I wonder how long that will work.
Between all of the developments this hour and the new glimpses of Earth Two, the biggest reveal comes in the closing minutes as we finally get a clear look at Zoom. Like the Reverse-Flash, Zoom wears a uniform similar to Barry's but this time is entirely black. It also seems that his face is organically linked to the costume mask with his eyes black and his mouth slits reminiscent of a skull. While Reverse-Flash's voice was a manipulated recording of actor Tom Cavanaugh, producers decided to protect the true identity of who Zoom is by hiring an actor with a distinct and creepy voice and they couldn't do better than the great Tony Todd. We also learn Wells' true reason for helping Barry: Zoom has his daughter captive back on Earth Two.
This is one of my favorite hours of The Flash this season if only because it balanced the over-arching plot of the season wtih some great smaller reveals, including the least obtrusive Legends of Tomorrow introductions. I liked how the writers incorporated Linda Park to the plot again even if Doctor Light feels like she should have gotten less screen time than last week's awesome cameo from KingShark. Trailers for next week's episode show that Linda Park will have a larger role to play, but we will have to stay tuned to see how significant that will be. Zoom definitely made a statement this week and I hope this ends up being the beginning of a great run of episodes.
NEXT ON THE FLASH: "Enter Zoom" airs on November 10th: After recent events, Barry decides it's time to confront Zoom and comes up with a dangerous plan. Caitlin sides with Jay and deems it too dangerous for Barry to engage with the speed demon. However, Iris shows her support and brings forth a surprising ally. We see what Earth-2 Harrison Wells' life was like before coming through the breach.