The Flash: Escape from Earth-2

"Stop, or you're never going to make another icicle again."

With the team split, our players hunt desperately for outside help in the form of Killer Frost so they can rescue Barry and hopefully Jesse; meanwhile, back on Earth-One, Caitlin and Jay are fighting to keep the door open so Barry, Cisco and Wells-2 can return.

I want to open this post with a little monologue on ethics, the Flash, and Barry. Last post, I pointed out one of two huge ethical issues arising from this two-parter: the glass cages without toilets or visible food in which they've trapped metahumans. The ends aren't supposed to justify the means, and it's always bothered me that there's no due process for metahumans on this show (ditto Supergirl, lately.) I know they're insanely powerful, but so is Cisco.

Now, Barry's trapped in the same type of cage, which is a neat bit of karma, but I was hoping he'd say, wow, these cages suck. That's not the only ethical inconsistency: when the team arrived on Earth-2, I was shocked by how Barry treated Barry, and Barry-Two makes the point almost from the beginning of this episode: you can't just knock out people and tie them up whenever it's convenient for you. Not in our world, anyway.

But, if you accept that, and you want there to be any kind of consistency, then Barry's behavior becomes puzzling. Last episode, Barry also ran around yelling to Wells about how real Iris-Two is, how real Joe-Two is. Given that, he has to believe Barry-Two is just as real as the rest of the world. In my head it's worked out this way. Barry's not tied up Barry. Barry's tied up himself. Barry knows who he is and assumes, deep down, that like himself, Barry-Two is the kind of guy who's sacrificing for the greater good. It's because Barry believes in B2's reality that he's able to, ironically, tie up Barry-Two. And I don't know about you, but to me, that's an inspiring level of faith.

I love shows that make me philosophical. It also helps that the guy that they tie up is the one who ended up saving them. Lesson learned?

Let's get to the action. Team One is on Earth-Two. Barry's been captured by Zoom, but the rest of the team is going, and Cisco again gets the chance to lead, after a fashion, as they hunt for Zoom's lair. Barry-2 and his amazing bowtie (which is apparently another comic book homage!) looked initially as if they'd just be played for laughs, but his particular story arc surprised me, and I liked the place he ended up: giving strength to Barry and the team. Iris-2 reminded me so strongly of Fauxlivia from Fringe–they had the same strength and confidence peeking out from the shell. The hunt for and capture of Frost in the woods weirded me out and gave me flashbacks to Angel and Buffy (why exactly is she just wandering around out in the woods? In those clothes?), but hers was another story arc that surprised me; I thought she would be a meaningless one-off, a cool look at a villain with neat special effects, but no. She turned into Cisco's biggest win of the episode in a triple cross with a line I won't forget: "You were right. He killed Ronnie." If I'm right about Barry, then Cisco's actions with Killer Frost make a nice parallel; he, like Barry, shows an inspiring level of faith in knowing people at their core. I'm hoping we see Killer Frost again, but I fear she's shards by now.

Back in the lair, Barry and Jesse are developing a friendship. They're both geniuses, and they figure out their fellow prisoner, the Man in the Iron Mask, is trying to communicate... the name Jay Garrick. Barry thinks it's something about Jay. I think it's something about Zoom: that Jay holds the key to defeating Zoom.

I'm sorry I made fun of Geomancer. He didn't get a lot of character depth today (I kept waiting for him to say Geomancer smash!) but his power back on Earth-1 is fairly formidable. Caitlin gets to be the superhero today, for both Iris and Jay: she immobilizes Geomancer and moves up a few numbers to Velocity-9. Jay's faith in Caitlin is unshakable, which makes me horrified by the Vibrating Fist death scene. I'm fairly certain it IS a death scene, although there's always ways to bring someone back in a universe with multiple realities (let's not forget Hunter Zolomon is still out there in Earth-1.) When Jay returns, though, will we see him as a good guy, or bad?

One note about the Iris-needs-a-story thing back on Earth-1: her editor's totally correct. She shouldn't be letting her judgement get clouded just because she likes the Flash. The city needs backup plans for when the superheroes aren't available.


I called it that Patty Spivot would appear in this episode; apparently she became full-on Monster Hunter Freedom Unite in Earth-2.

Barry's escape was well-thought out. My husband and I were wondering why he couldn't phase out; the whole vibration thing and specific key solution made sense for me.

The military 5 by 5 code is cool but, I think, fictional; I found one here at Wikipedia. Does anyone have the complete code used here?

If they use Velocity-9 on Barry, will he be fast enough to beat Zoom?


Iris: Nice shot!
Caitlin: I was aiming for his leg.


This was a great follow up to the previous episode, which isn't easy when they raise the bar that high. I can't wait to find out who Zoom is. Five out of five Velocity-9s.


Sol said...

Hi, great review!

I had a completely different take on the Man in the Iron Mask and his elaborate Morse code... I thought he meant to say HE was Jay Garrick, the fact that his face was covered only convinced me even more.... and I kept expecting Jay on Earth 2 to do something evil.

Sol said...

meant to say Jay on Earth 1