Season Two, Episode Two — “Flash of Two Worlds”
By Jarrod Jones. If you had any lingering doubt that The Flash didn’t have your DC Comics-lovin’ interests at heart, let “Flash of Two Worlds” put those fears to rest. This week’s introduction of Jay Garrick (and yes, Earth-2) signifies this series’ confident leap into the heady realm of convoluted comic book continuity. You have got to admire this show’s chutzpah: with another, older speedster around, Barry’s world has literally just doubled in size. But with this new introduction comes another one, only it’s far more sinister.
There’s a lot to unpack with “Flash of Two Worlds”, and it’s here that the show’s often precarious juggling act of supporting characters mostly succeeds. Not only do we have a silver-capped speedster strutting about S.T.A.R., we have our first look at this season’s arch-nemesis: Zoom. What this black-suited baddie has in store for Barry, who can say — but this is only Episode Two, after all, and Harrison Wells was just as much a question mark at this point last year. So let’s focus on the positives: Jay’s Pa Kent-ian charm! Cisco’s burgeoning powers! And an Earth-2 cameo! Holy moley, let’s get to it!
WHAT WORKED: Looks like the show’s writers have found a pretty slick way to foist an all-new batch of villains on The Flash without relying on the tried-and-true S.T.A.R. particle collider accident. (It’s so last season, anyway.) A parallel Earth has been affixed onto our own, and all sorts of people — not all of them as benevolent as Teddy Sears’ dreamy Jay Garrick — are hopping over. Well. Count me in.
Even though the show seems to have an allergy to depicting Iris doing any real journalistic work — of any kind — she can spit that nurturing hot fire her pops seems have in abundance. Iris may just be hanging around in the background, but when it comes time to pluck at the heartstrings, Candace Patton still has it.
With “Flash of Two Worlds” we get our first look at this season’s big-time villain. Zoom’s the stuff of Johns-ian nightmares: with a jet-black bodysuit, a muted skull face, and a pants-crappingly severe voiceover by the Candyman himself, Mr. Tony Todd, Zoom looks like he has the right stuff to actually eclipse Tom Cavanagh’s Reverse-Flash faster than we anticipated. However…
WHAT DIDN’T: … Without any real connection to Barry and his chummy group — like Reverse-Flash’s involvement with S.T.A.R. and Nora Allen’s death — if we’re going to actually fear this guy beyond his spooky appearance, Zoom will definitely need to let his intentions known, but quick. And lobbing Villain of the Weeks at us ain’t exactly the best place to start.
Seriously, show? Ronnie Raymond’s disembodied essence ain’t even has time to get cold and you’re letting Caitlin make doe eyes at Jay? I mean, the man does look good without a shirt — I’m not saying he doesn’t look good without a shirt, people! — but it’s been one episode (ONE!) since we saw Caitlin losing her husband. Have a heart.
Since Patty Spivot and Barry Allen are havin’ thangs over in DC Comics, I’m guessing it was only inevitable that she show up on the series. And while it’s a recognizable trope for The Flash that Barry finds new love interests to stir the “will they? won’t they?” romantic intrigue between Barry and Iris, because this show is so busy juggling its top-heavy supporting cast, Shantel VanSanten’s Spivot rolls through this episode like a hurricane. Whether she’s getting pushy with Detective Joe about joining the Metahuman Special Crimes Unit (which would bring its ranks to the tremendous number of “two”) or she’s dazzling Barry with her spunky, can-do spirit (and her knack to drop a Monty Python reference here and there), the show is working overtime to make us accept Patty, a character that literally just came out of nowhere. It better give her room to breathe.
And speaking of Patty, what’s the point of making it abundantly clear that we have another awesome female character, one with plenty of agency, wit, and verve, if you’re just gonna have this week’s heavy tie her up and use her for a hostage? You’re better than the “Damsel in Distress” trope, show. (Ugh, they even have her tell this week’s baddie, “The Flash is coming for you.” Pee-yew.)
“This world is in danger.” – Jay. “What… other worlds are there?” – Cisco.
“I know you’re new here, so I’m just gonna break it down for you: the whole ‘naming the bad guys thing’? That’s my jam.” – Cisco.
“He’s, like, the Permission Sphinx.” – Patty. I think I like Patty.
“Flash?” – Patty. “Coming!” – Barry & Jay.
BEST MOMENT: Superhero team-up. Everything about this episode — from the point where Jay is reunited with his wing-tipped helmet to the Flashes running to Patty’s rescue — was pure four-colored bliss. I ain’t forgiving the episode’s ultimate use for Patty (see WHAT DIDN’T), but for a fella who’s been reading these funny books the majority of his life, seeing Barry and Jay team-up for the very first time sent chills right through me. Spectacular.
EPISODE’S MVP: Jay Garrick. While the show fully introduces two recurring characters this week, it was Teddy Sears’ Flash from Earth-2 that made me swoon the most. His kind eyes and his clenched jaw are the superficial hallmarks of a television superhero, but it’s his warmth (and his penchant to call Barry “kid”) that makes Sears The Flash‘s next great thing. And I can’t wait to see him run again.
– So… if Jay’s helmet was the first thing to ever come through a wormhole to our Earth, then how come Eobard Thawne was all shook up once it came skittering onto S.T.A.R.’s polished floors last season? What did Thawne know that everyone else didn’t?
– Guys. Tony Todd’s voice for Zoom is everything I ever wanted it to be. Like some kinda thundering mix between Harrison Wells and Immortan Joe. Into. It.
– Poor Jay. He’s been wandering our Earth — literally — for six months. He finally works up the courage to confront the kids at S.T.A.R., and what does he get for his trouble? His own cell in the particle accelerator. *tsk* That ain’t right.
– Patty Spivot has had a rather complicated relationship with Barry Allen as DC has shifted its multiversal focus over the years. She first appeared in the Pre-Crisis timeline with DC Special Series #1, as Barry’s lab assistant, and in the New 52 with The Flash #1, as Barry’s girlfriend. (Iris! Noooo!)
– Jay looks good in a S.T.A.R. sweatshirt, too.
– Don’t know how I feel about Cisco’s “vibe face”.
– Eddie Slick’s a Firestorm villain, and made his first appearance on Firestorm #51. And did I just hear him say he was locked up in Blackgate Penitentiary? On Earth-1? Who, exactly, put him there?
– And since we’re talking about Sand Demon, if he’s gonna run around with a name like “Sand Demon”, someone give this guy a costume. Because “Sand Demon” doesn’t scream “dude with curly hair and chinos”.
– An abandoned botanical warehouse with boxes marked “Woodrue”? Is the Floronic Man far behind? Or Swamp Thing, for that matter?
– 52 breaches? Really? Come on.
– Harrison, Harrison, Harrison. You’re not evil on Earth-2 (I think), so maybe quit giving those kids the creepy eye, huh?