Tonight’s episode was a perfect illustration of how much fun and exciting The Flash can be when it’s not serving a larger agenda beyond entertaining viewers.
From the Dr. Light twist, the reveal of a new hero and the most obnoxious addition to Team Flash yet, this was a pretty spectacular episode.
My biggest problem with both The Flash and Arrow this season has been so much time being devoted to laying the groundwork for DC’s Legends of Tomorrow instead of the main issues confronting the titular characters. This episode kept the spin-off attention to a minimum, which worked beautifully in introducing a new character without losing sight of The Flash.
We get another glimpse of Earth 2 with Harrison Wells, in full Steve Jobs mode, introducing basically an iWatch that identifies a meta human. Ironically, this tech locating super-powered folks actually was covered a couple weeks ago on Heroes Reborn.
Jay Garrick zooms in as The Flash accusing Wells of causing the particle accelerator incident that led to the birth of all these meta humans. Wells challenges Flash to actually stop Zoom, but it’s clear to Wells’ daughter the encounter left him somewhat rattled.
This sets the stage for the Earth 2 Wells to be introduced to Team Flash. Barry explains how Earth 2 Wells, or Harry, as Cisco refers to him, saved him from King Shark. I appreciated Cisco and Caitlin’s caution around him almost as much as I did Joe shooting the second he saw Wells. Joe gives Iris the heads up and a gun in case Wells goes heel again. Side note: I’m enjoying these brief moments with Iris and Linda hanging at work. Let’s get more of that too please.
Harry came to E1 to help Barry defeat Zoom suggesting he’s got enough speed to actually defeat his Earth’s most sinister villain. Besides resembling the worst foe they’ve faced, Harry’s not so sparkling personality quickly rubs everyone the wrong way.
Harry isn’t the humble, nurturing mentor of the Earth 1 version and his prickly demeanor made for some fascinating interactions. Considering everyone is so shook up by his appearance you’d figure he’d be walking on eggshells, but he’s condescending, rude and unapologetic. Harry is almost too much of a jerk to be as evil as his E1 counterpart and he’s going to continue proving to be an explosive element in the friendly family environment of Team Flash.
I was very skeptical when the show runners revealed Tom Cavanagh would remain a series regular after Wells’ death last season. Death isn’t something that should be so casually regarded on these shows otherwise it diminishes the consequences from any action, but this Earth 2 gimmick has been a godsend for intriguing character twists.
Jay and Harry’s E2 feud reignites when E2 villain Dr. Light shows up robbing banks and the two have wildly different suggestions how Barry should handle her. Harry says she’s a serious threat under Zoom’s influence and wants to use her as bait for Zoom. Jay knows she’s not the hardcore killer like previous E2 villains Flash has faced.
Flash goes for Jay’s approach, which backfires after he confronts Dr. Light and learns she’s the E2 version of his ex-Linda Park. Stunned by the revelation she has a counterpart, Dr. Light blinds Flash to escape.
While temporarily blinded, that doesn’t stop Barry from finally having that much-anticipated first date with Patty thanks to Cisco playing visual wingman courtesy of a special pair of glasses. Patty even a cute line about how both of them cheated death, in a sly nod to VanSanten’s earlier role in The Final Destination 3D. This was silly fun in a way that only this show can pull off, but I was glad Patty quickly figured out Barry was blind.
Caitlin and Jay are staking out the E1 Linda Park in case Dr. Light comes for her. During this exchange, Jay shares that Atlantis is above ground on E2 and one of his best friends is from there. I’d love to see Aquaman eventually show up considering Flash helped name Aquaman in the comics.
While I hated that the newspaper editor got killed trying to protect Linda, it was cool seeing Iris actually save the day by shooting Dr. Light’s helmet and running her off.
Harry doesn’t have time to play nice and outs Cisco’s powers to the team revealing that he can find Dr. Light before more innocents are killed. This was a real jerk move by Harry, but it brought a welcome quick end to Cisco’s secret as that made little sense.
Flash tracks Dr. Light to the train station and Harry helps Barry tap into his speed mirage power. That’s where Flash moves so fast he creates multiple images buying him enough time to take Dr. Light down. It’s one of Flash’s cooler powers and it gives him another trick from the Reverse Flash playbook that will definitely come in handy.
Encouraged by their success, Barry is ready to go after Zoom, but Jay won’t be a part of willingly leading Barry to his doom. Jay comes off pretty cowardly here, but like Barry, I’m pretty sure he’ll be back when he’s really needed.
We’d known Kendra Saunders was in Central City since she was shown in last season’s finale and this was a solid way to bring her into the fold. Cisco may not have a love interest for long, but Barry and Caitlin quickly figure out a code name for him — Vibe.
In the closing sequence, we get a potential hint of the real reason for Harry’s sudden stopover to Earth 1. Zoom has his daughter captive, which may lead to Barry getting betrayed once again by a man with Harrison Wells’ face.
Rating: 9.5 out of 10
This was Flash at its best. The perfect blend of character interplay, action, humor and mystery with the reveal of a new power. There was more plot development to the overall season arc in this episode than the previous four episodes leading to a tremendous outing.