The Flash “Welcome to Earth 2” Review
By Lex Lutz
“The Flash” delivers its best episode yet this season as Barry, Cisco, and Harrison Wells venture to Earth 2!
Earth 2 & The Speed Force
This week, Barry follows through on his promise to E2 Harrison Wells to go to Earth 2 and save his daughter, Jesse Quick, from Zoom. Barry ends up taking Wells and Cisco with him through the looking glass, resulting in the best episode of the season and arguably one of the best episodes of the series thus far.
Barry, Cisco, and Wells travel through the speed force, seeing a large array of easter eggs that include a Legion ring, CBS’s Supergirl, a future look for the Flash, and what appeared to be a different Green Arrow. Just when you struggle to catch your breath from that awesomeness, we arrive in Earth 2 and find pretty much everything is different. Leonard Snart is mayor? Deadshot is Iris’ partner at the CCPD and a horrible shot? Barry is a sexier nerd? Joe is a singer?!
It does feel like a completely different world in the most fun way possible. Everyone is playing a very different role and you can tell they’re having a hell of a time doing so. Barry ends up taking E2 Barry’s life for a while to integrate into this world, leading to the most dangerous element of finding a new world…
The Pleasantville Dream
Barry Allen has had a rough go for a while. Patty and his father both left town, his mother is still gone, and his love life with Iris unrequited as usual. In Earth 2, everything is different. Barry is married to Iris, has his PhD, and his mother is still alive. (The most heart-wrenching scene of the episode comes when Barry has a brief conversation on the phone with his mother) He’s drawn into this world where things seem simpler and as a result, he screws everything up.
Barry’s presence leads Killer Frost and Deathstorm to show up and kill E2 Joe West. He learns that all of his E2 Team Flash friends are super villains (albeit amazingly cool villains) hell bent on bringing him to their Zoom overlord. His integration into this world leaves a massive dent, not to mention the creep factor of making out with E2 Iris…
Still, the Pleasantville dream was nice for a little while. Who wouldn’t want to live in this weirdly advanced world that also feels like the 1920’s?
Jay Garrick Is The Flash (And A Drug Addict)
Jay and Caitlin are faced with a tight timeline to fix the looking glass after it breaks post Barry, Cisco, and Wells’ departure to Earth 2. While they work on that, metahumans around Central City begin to notice the Flash’s absence, so they take advantage. It’s revealed that Jay has used the speed drug in the past to become faster and that is the thing that is killing him, but that’s okay because Caitlin is going to save him. (With her science love?)
I think I would have more sympathy for Jay’s position if I liked the character more. He hasn’t been that particularly interesting so far, and adding the drug element just seem to come out of left field in a bad way. He’s not horrible, but he’s not anything special, so when he does “rise above” and decide to fight the illness and also take the drug that’s killing him to be the Flash, I just don’t feel anything.
Zoom Squad: Killer Frost, Deathstorm, & Reverb
Let’s talk about the villains of Earth 2 for a second. Caitlin gets credit for being a major badass villain, and to be honest, I just want her to be Killer Frost. She’s been a dreadful character on Earth 1 and in a steady decline since season one, as if they don’t know what to do with her character. Killer Frost is fantastic, and I love the nice personal touch that even villain Caitlin always loses the ones she loves. RIP Deathstorm. We hardly knew ye, but you looked like a badass.
Reverb, the E2 Cisco equivalent, is a menacing super villain that dies way too soon. I can understand killing Deathstorm for the dramatic effect/ constant need to screw over Caitlin, but Reverb has so much room to grow! I was sad to see him die off so quickly.