Sure, we'll just explore another Earth, and take the initiative against Zoom on his own turf. Nothing could possibly go wrong with that plan... could it? Well, maybe!
Last episode the team finally fully came together, Wells included. They figured out how to close or manage the open breaches between worlds, and seemed to have a plan to take down Zoom or at least take the initiative in this game of chess they're playing.
Tonight's episode threw that all to hell in the best possible way. Jay gave Barry a silly warning before they left on their quest - "Up is down. Left is right." In the moment, I rolled my eyes, but no. He was totally correct.
Let's talk about the alternafamilies. In Earth-2, Barry's a married CSI geek with a totally different life. His wife is Detective Iris West, and Joe, in this world, is a rather good lounge singer. Barry's parents are still alive. Upshot - same people, completely different configuration. Just imagining how Barry met Iris in this world, in itself, is a mental puzzle to keep you busy for weeks. This new family allows for several highly emotional moments. The conversation Barry had with his mom - I bet thousands were in tears. Can you imagine what I'd pay to talk to my mother again? Just an ordinary conversation? Wells tries to convince Barry that none of these are real people, that the 'real' Joe was back in Earth-1. Wells doesn't believe this - we know he's just as firmly convinced HIS Earth is Earth-1, and Wells himself is certainly real. No; Wells is just desperately trying to make sure his daughter Jesse is alright. I'm with Barry: they're all real, and if Barry's going to stay sane, he has to remember that. I was kind of surprised; I think Wells already learned that lesson with Barry, Cisco, Caitlin and Joe. But as we know, Wells will do anything for his daughter.
I like this world's Iris better than our own. Capable, confident, and slightly more butch. She reminded me of Olivia Dunham from Fringe, and maybe the alternate universe theme had something to do with that. Like Dunham, the other world's Iris is more sexually aggressive and self-assured. She's so badass she's the boss of Deadshot (who, in this universe, is more like Rubber Bullet.) She has no problem defending her career choice to her father, or attacking Barry for kisses... or fighting two of the most powerful superbaddies we've seen.
What about the second alternafamily, Barry's STAR team? The entire group was doppelgangered! Tonight went some way towards saving Cisco's character for me. Yes, he's mostly written as the funny pun guy, but he's also the moral compass of the team, the one who's still innocently trying to save the, well, innocent. He may be played for jokes and come across as goofy at times, but when Vibe confronts Reverb, we see the mettle come out. Reverb is the go-between who mediates between Zoom and his henchmen, Killer Frost and Deathstorm. Deathstorm was played as a typical villain; I liked Killer Frost more, as she seemed to have a lot more depth to her character (the whole can-only-kiss-one-man thing had echoes of Rogue from the X-Men too, which didn't hurt.) The two are a formidable partnership and nearly manage to kill Barry before being defeated by their own pride and sentenced to death by Zoom. Whatever world Cisco is in, however, he seems predestined towards having vibrating hands thrust through his heart. Will our Cisco ever learn the powers Reverb hinted at?
While all this fighting is going on, to the chagrin of Wells, who hoped to invade Earth-2 without drawing attention, Caitlin and Jay are fighting metahumans back in Earth-1. Jay hasn't excited me that much so far, but tonight, when he revealed how many lies he's told, Jay became much more human. This opened a huge box for me. 1) Jay stole his own speed. 2) Does this mean Zoom can't steal speed at all? 3) Does this mean Wells just gave Zoom power he wouldn't have had otherwise with the speed delivery? Circles within circles.... Oh yeah, and there was a bad guy called Geomancer because the episode wasn't busy enough.
Now, Barry's trapped by Zoom in a box not too different from those he and the rest of the team kept metahumans in. Part of me thinks this is great karma - now we can discuss how BARRY eats and goes to the bathroom! Can he and Jesse figure out a way to escape? And will we finally figure out more about the enigma which is Zoom?
Love the gym class grade comparison.
When Cisco, Barry and Wells are going through the breach, we see a ton of easter-egg images. What will these hold for the future?
- Some cowboy shooting guns
- Something that looks very like the comic book Green Lantern symbol?
- Other things I missed?
Barry and Cisco taking Earth-2 selfies. Love it!
"A free and just society." I kept thinking Justice League when reading this. Combined with those images from the portal...
Tokamak. Just a guy.
Oh, and Barry-2 sent his parents to Atlantis. Another Justice League connection? And did you see the names on the phone? DID YOU SEE THE NAMES ON HIS PHONE?
Evil Singh-2. How they managed the beards I'll never be able to figure, but he looked AWESOME in both worlds.
When Cisco shouted BARRY! as Zoom sped away, didn't Iris-2 hear him?
Wells: Not a sightseeing tour.
Cisco: Speak for yourself. We want our grandkids to know we did cool stuff.
Tonight's Flash was a stunning entry in the series and easily ranks among the top three episodes for me. Five out of five easer-eggy breaches.
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