Spoilers in the rear view mirror may appear closer than they are.
The Flash 2×02: Flash of Two Worlds introduces us to Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears). He’s Flash from a parallel world. Joe West plays the neophyte to the parallel worlds idea for the new viewers’ benefit. School’s in with Professor Stein, who for his example actually calls the other world Earth-2. Meanwhile, Barry insists on putting Jay through the ringer, making Caitlin run every test possible to see if they can find a trace of the Speed Force in him. I want to be clear about this. I see why for most of the audience it’s easy to say, “let’s trust Jay!” but I’m with Barry here. For all we know Jay Garrick is Zoom. For all we know this guy could be impersonating Jay Garrick. I know that’s not how it works for the TV show, but figuratively we have to be sure.
But we do get some scenes of Jay’s battle with Zoom. Zoom is scarier. His uniform is dark. His face is unseen, but there’s skull flashes here and there. And then we see Zoom opening up a breach to our world and throwing in a new meta called Sand Demon. You’re immediately going to draw parallels to Spidey’s villain Sandman. That’s exactly it. Sand Demon can throw a punch that hits the Flash like a wall of bricks.
Detective Joe West keeps finding newcomer Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten) everywhere. She’s an eager police cadet that wants to join the Meta Task Force. Which is not related to Gotham’s Strike Force. Or the Task Force from Agents of SHIELD. Or… you get the idea (everyone else did, popular solution these days). Patty is insistent, and also efficient, capturing the suspect – except that as it turns out, he’s just a regular criminal (Blackgate Prison gets name dropped here) because the real Sand Demon is from Earth-2.
When the real Sand Demon appears, he knocks out Joe and kidnaps Patty. The Flash wants to go after them, but while they figure out where they are, Barry caves in and decides to enlist Jay to help him. He starts by trying to teach Barry a way to generate lightning. Here’s where Cisco’s has another of his visions, this time intentionally and manages to see where Patty is, also noticing that the Sand Demon has a concussion bomb planted to stun the Flash. Without having managed to achieve the lightning move, Barry asks Jay to don his suit so he can distract the meta long enough until he frees Patty. He gets blasted by the concussion bomb anyway. I’m not sure how useful was the heads up from Cisco here.
Anyhow, Jay does have his moment to shine although he just gets pummelled. Barry manages to recover and goes for the lightning finishing move. This time he hits it and turns the Sand Demon into fragile glass that shatters as he hits the floor. Here’s where we get this scene taken from a comic book in which both Flash-1 and Flash-2 come to the assistance of Patty.
Then we get not one but three cliffhangers:
- Joe West receives a surprise visit of his estranged wife, who we’ve never seen. She’s come back to see him and Iris.
- Professor Stein, who becomes the only person who knows Cisco is having these visions, is trying to explain there’s a multitude of breaches including a large one right here in STAR Labs. Then he collapses.
- Biggest one. We actually get to see the retro-futuristic Central City of Earth-2. At STAR Labs, a cheerful guide is showing a group of kids around the facilities when an elevator door opens. She happily introduces the children to the founder of STAR Labs, Harrison Wells.
Good episode with a few lulls, but those cliffhangers… Let’s go to highs and lows.
- We might get the benefit of flashbacks from Earth-2 but Barry didn’t. I completely see why he doesn’t trust that easily after Harrison Wells mentored him with ulterior motives and lethal consequences.
- When Cisco explains his new unwanted skill to Professor Stein, he describes a vibe. Vibe is the name of a DC comics superhero, real name Paco Ramone. “Paco” is a nickname in Spanish for people named “Francisco”. From “Francisco” to “Cisco” there’s not much of a stretch.
- Professor Stein and Cisco tell Team Flash that there are 52 breaches/portals. A reference to the DC Comics’ New 52?
- Jay gets back his helmet, which you might remember appeared in STAR Labs after the Singularity. The fact that Iris is the one that puts it on his head was sweet.
- Please don’t force Caitlin into having a thing for Jay. She got married to Ronnie. She lost him. You don’t get over the death of your spouse in a few months. Yes, I couldn’t help but smile when Jay Garrett tells Barry, “I even agreed to a full body scan!” and Iris turns to stare at Caitlin.
- Caitlin and Iris have a moment to talk. They almost make the show pass the Bechdel-Wallace movie test (two female characters – talking to each other – about anything other than a man). And then, they fail when Iris tries to get Caitlin to talk about a possible attraction to Jay.
- Professor Stein’s collapse might start the storyline that takes him away to once again to become Firestorm again for Legends of Tomorrow.
- Welcome back, Tom Cavanaugh! It was such a rush to see that he still exists on Earth-2. Now, is he… Zoom?
That will do for now.