Less than 5 – Skip it, 6 – OK, 7 – Good, 8 – Great, 9 – Phenomenal, 10 – You owe it to yourself to watch this episode!
Last weeks premiere, while a lot of fun, ultimately felt more like the close on last year’s chapter as opposed to the beginning of a new one. The Flash of Two Worlds makes up for that and then some with great action, major plot developments and solid character moments. The Flash is back!
Picking up the moment the last episode ended, we are quickly thrust into meaty exposition detailing whom and how Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears) is. With the introduction of Garrick comes the official introduction of the multiverse (you can’t hear it but imagine a high pitched fan squeal accompanying the word “multiverse”). When Barry and Reverse-Flash ripped open the wormhole they inadvertently tore a hole in space-time connecting their Earth with a mysterious mirror world.
There is a lot of science mumbo jumbo that most viewers will scratch their heads at and forget pretty quickly. The gist of it all is that Zoom (voiced by Tony Todd), the new big bad this season, is on a vendetta to rid the multiverse of speedsters and is sending meta-humans through the rip between dimensions to kill Barry Allen.
The season 2 premiere saw a drastic status quo shift for Barry. After losing both Eddie and Robbie during the battle, Barry feels solely responsible for all of the bad that has happened to Central City. No longer wanting to lose the people he cares about, he pushes his team away. This seems largely taken care of by episodes end and one of my major gripes with the opener was the forced and unnecessary nature of this shift in character. The Flash of Two Worlds goes a long way in making this new Barry feel more believable. Pushing his friends and family to the wayside seemed like a bonehead move from a logic standpoint and thematically it covered ground already tread in the previous season.
Having him resist accepting Jay Garrick’s wild story makes sense given Barry’s history with time travelers (and the fact that he is a random stranger that’s spouting nonsense).
Teddy Sear does a solid job as the Flash of Earth 2. He is largely kept to the background this episode but his moments with Caitlin were fun and could lead to some interesting romantic threads in the future. Garrick stepping into the mentor role is an interesting move. He doesn’t seem to have much more experience as a speedster than Barry but his world does seem a lot more “meta” than the Earth we’ve grown accustomed to. Oh, and he teaches Barry how to hurl thunderbolts like a badass (enough said).
Another thing to note with the intro of Jay Garrick is the disappearance of his powers. Just like Eobard Thawne when he entered this timeline, his powers were sapped. This could explain why Zoom won’t enter Barry’s Earth himself and instead chooses to send legions of thugs. Whatever the underlying cause may be, color me interested.
Building on the snippets of power we saw him demonstrate in season 1, Cisco begins to come into his own abilities. Whenever he touches a sample from Earth 2 he gets a vision of Sand Demon in this timeline, but from the future (confusion ensues). While his ability to see pieces of timelines yet to be is awesome, his resistance to them is way more interesting.
Cisco has always been the biggest superhero nerd of the bunch, coming up with names for everyone and geeking out at the multitude of abilities. When he finally gets his own, he is scared out of his mind. Instead of letting his team know what is going on with him he opts to keep it a secret from all but Dr. Stein (a conversation in which he mentions the word vibe, insert fan boy scream here). This is clearly a different take on the Cisco from the comics but a much more intriguing one. I can’t wait to see what comes of it.
The Flash of Two Worlds also brings us a potential new love interest for our Scarlet Speedster. Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten) is an energetic and determined rookie cop that will stop at nothing to join Joe’s Anti-Metahuman Task force (which is just Joe…). She makes a strong first impression, not coming off as annoying even though she is pretty talkative. Her chemistry with Grant Gustin is immediately apparent and should provide for some good on screen moments (his relationship with Linda was rushed through and his back and forth with Iris was more annoying than cute).
The villain of the week (or weak) fell in line with the majority of one off baddies the show is known for. Like Atom Smasher from last week, Sand Demon was killed off with little backstory and an ominous “Zoom is coming for you!” warning. Fans are more than likely used to this by now but it would be nice to have something more substantial (like Captain Cold and The Rogues coming next week).
At the very end of the episode we are witness to Dr. Stein collapsing and (presumably) Harrison Wells from the future (in a flash-forward… I think). This is most likely leading into Stein’s search for a new FIRESTORM partner, which could be interesting depending on who they choose to play the new guy. They will be hard pressed to get a more likeable actor than Robbie Amell.
As for the Harrison Wells bit, I have no idea what to think. It seemed kind of random given the context of the episode. Sure there was a lot of alternate dimension talk but cutting from Cisco freaking out and Stein collapsing to a group of kids on a tour seems off.
By the end of the episode we are left with a lot more information about what season 2 is going to be about and introduced to a number of interesting characters that will hopefully stick around for the foreseeable future. With Zoom an enigmatic but exciting threat looming over the rest of the season and Cisco’s battle with his own powers there is plenty to look forward to in the weeks to come.
Overall The Flash of Two Worlds gets an 8/10.