Beyond making DC fans squeal with delight over a slew of comic Easter Eggs, tonight’s episode laid some very important groundwork for this season’s big villain and the potential for some major events in the overall DC TV landscape.
Following right up on last week’s cliffhanger, Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears) introduces himself detailing a nearly similar origin to Barry’s albeit with hard water instead of a mix of chemicals. And nice of the writers to stick to Jay’s comic book origin.
As he reveals he knows all of Team Flash, Jay explains how a breach opened just as his archenemy Zoom nearly killed him. The breach pulled him in and brought Jay to their world and apart from the Speed Force, which gives him his powers and would help him return to his Earth.
At least in the flashback, Zoom’s black and grey blurred appearance resembles more of a Black Lantern take on Flash than Wally West’s version of Reverse Flash. I’m not the biggest fan of the visual. Jay’s costume looks fairly comic accurate, but hopefully Cisco will add some yellow to that lighting bolt for some much needed color.
If I had one quibble with this season set up thus far, it’s going back to the villain speedster well already. Flash has a number of other foes that could fill the Season Villain role just fine.
Cisco and Stein nearly have puppies with somewhat viable evidence of a multiverse and start theorizing about Earth 1 and Earth 2 as thousands of DC fanboys/fangirls pass out over hearing those phrases talked about on a TV show in 2015.
After all the heartache with Wells, Barry has some major trust issues and chides the rest of the team for so readily buying in to Jay’s story. Iris eventually calls him out for being the cynical, jaded one all because of Wells’ betrayal.
While they figure out Jay’s allegiance, Barry places him in the STAR Labs prison for safekeeping. At police HQ, Joe meets Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten), an officer who desperately wants to join his Anti-Metahuman Task Force despite Joe’s adamant stance against taking on another partner.
Similar to Barnes on last night’s “Gotham,” Patty immediately asserts herself as a strong and likable new addition to the cast. In the new DC 52, Patty is Barry’s love interest in the comics so it’s very likely she’ll fill the same role on the show. VanSanten certainly had some major chemistry with Grant Gustin in a “forget Iris, Barry and Patty need to get together ASAP” kinda way.
I really enjoyed the quick glimpse in on “Arrow,” as the gang watches Arrow declare his heroic intentions for Star City as The Green Arrow. Cisco hates adding the color in front of the name. Sorry Cisco, gotta stick with the classics.
This week’s villain is Eddie Slick aka Sand Demon, another in a surprisingly long line of Firestorm foes brought in to battle The Flash. For throwaway villains that’s fine, but when do we get Dr. Alchemy, Abra Kadabra, The Top and Mirror Master?!?
Sand Demon, despite Stein’s science explanation, is essentially Spider-Man foe Sandman. Their first encounter is a draw so SD won’t be able to return to his Earth just yet. It’s a small thing, but the white circle on Flash’s uniform is such an improvement and gives the viewer a focal point in the typically dark fight scenes.
Despite Jay immediately realizing this is the Sand Demon from his Earth, Team Flash is much slower to reach this conclusion. Joe and Patty arrest Earth 1’s Slick, but the E2 version kidnaps Patty as bait to lure in The Flash.
Confident Jay is an ally, Barry is willing to take his advice and learn another use of his powers — lightning tossing. Sounds awesome!
Through some hard to follow logic, Cisco uses his still-developing powers to locate Sand Demon and Patty at Woodrue Labs. This was a sly nod to Jason Woodrue, who would eventually become The Floronic Man in DC Comics. Ironically, he was played by John Glover of ‘Smallville’ fame.
Cisco warns Barry of Sand Demon’s trap and Team Flash figures the best way to beat SD’s two-pronged attack is with their own double team. And since it wouldn’t be a superhero show without one, Cisco pleads with Stein to keep his powers a secret.
While Jay doesn’t have his powers, he still has the costume and now that he mentions it, Team Flash actually has his helmet. I got a kick out of Barry saying Jay mentioning that would have saved a lot of trouble. Could have been worse. They could have done the cliche hero vs. hero initial fight before teaming up to stop the real villain.
Sand Demon isn’t much of a threat for two Flashes, even if one is just a distraction and Barry finishes him off with a lighting toss. In another great nod to the original encounter of Flashes, Barry and Jay find a small brick wall to walk between to help Patty to re-enact the cover. Caitlin seems ready to make Jay her rebound fling as Jay and Barry compare their alliterative nicknames of the Crimson Comet and Scarlet Speedster.
Joe confronts Patty about her desperation to join his special task force and she shares that the Mardon Twins (Weather Wizard and his brother before they got powers) killed her father. She wants to stop any of the undeserving criminals who were granted special powers. Solid motivation and now I’m already anticipating Weather Wizard’s next appearance.
After telling Patty she’s on the team, Joe gets another surprise as his ex-wife (Vanessa Williams, not not that one, the Melrose Place one) arrives saying she’s here to check on their daughter, Iris.
Team Flash assembles to learn the full extent of the breaches — 52 of them to be exact — and the biggest one is concentrated at STAR Labs. The team can’t break that down further as Stein collapses. I’m hoping he won’t be incapacitated until “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” starts up as I’ve enjoyed his presence on Team Flash.
In the post-credit scene, we see a group of children on tour through STAR Labs when the guide is astonished and proud to be able to introduce them to Earth’s savior Dr. Harrison Wells? I’m kinda hoping we get a twist and this is the Earth-3 Harrison Wells.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
I loved the Flash team-up despite Jay’s lack of powers and Patty already seems like she could vie for the show’s favorite female. I didn’t like Team Flash suddenly being so reluctant to believe in Jay’s story and yet another Zoom drop-off villain. Hopefully that doesn’t become an overused plot device this season.