Tuesday, October 13, 2015

REVIEW: 'The Flash' - Barry and the Team Learn About the Multiverse from Jay Garrick in 'Flash of Two Worlds'

The CW's The Flash - Episode 2.02 "Flash of Two Worlds"

Jay Garrick, a mysterious man from Earth-2, appears at STAR Labs with a dire warning about an evil speedster named Zoom, who is set on destroying The Flash. Barry and the tam must decide if they can trust this stranger even as they face yet another powerful meta-human. Joe must deal with a determined officer named Patty Spivot who wants to join his meta-human task force.

Jay Garrick showed up at STAR Labs at the end of the second season premiere of The Flash to issue a vague but stern warning that Barry's world was in danger. He has a lot of explaining to do at the start of "Flash of Two Worlds." He tells this elaborate tale about coming from another world where he did battle with the season's new big bad Zoom and was sucked into the singularity that created a bridge between the two worlds. He has been in Central City for six months without his powers and studying the team. And now that Zoom has made his presence known by exploiting the 52 bridges between the worlds still in Central City, he feels the need to help Barry stop him.

It's very understandable of Barry to be skeptical of Jay's story. The lingering feelings of Harrison Wells betraying his trust as his mentor and becoming the man who killed his mother are still strong. He doesn't want to just take Jay at his word - especially when his story is very difficult to prove. The rest of the team wants to believe Jay. They may not understand all of the science. Joe's reaction to the whole thing is priceless - and Cisco's reaction to Joe's reaction is even better. Plus, they were all betrayed by Wells too. But they've seen the impossible and are more open to listen to what Jay has to say. It does take Barry a moment longer than everyone else because the betrayal was so personal to him. He doesn't want another mentor to hurt him like before.

Jay is very different from Harrison though. He is doing his best to understand this situation just like everyone else. He has only been the Flash in his world for two years. And yet, he does give off the aura of authority and heroism. It's a great role for Teddy Sears. Once Barry does begin to let Jay in, he proves his worth in battle. The meta-human of the week is another one sent over to this world by Zoom. In fact, the confusion created by having two of the same person in the same world is dealt with by Joe. But Barry also has to learn how to defeat this new enemy by allowing Jay to teach him a new skill that comes from his super speed: Harnessing lightning that can then be directed towards the enemy.

The Sand Demon isn't a particular memorable villain. He serves as an obstacle that the Flash needs to deal with for a number of reasons. His presence forces Barry to listen to Jay and take his advice. It also puts new character, Officer Patty Spivot, in danger as quickly as possible. Patty is introduced as wanting to join Joe's meta-human task force more than anything else in the world. She's also a scientist and respects the work that Barry does for the force. She and Barry quickly develop a fun banter. But the presence of said banter doesn't inherently make them a good match should the show push them into being a couple while Iris is still grieving Eddie. She is placed in danger in order to build up her importance. She is in peril so Barry and Jay have to team up to defeat the Sand Demon. They are victorious and no harm comes to Patty - who is finally allowed to join Joe's team after she just wears him down. Jay also proves his worth to the team in a time where Barry needs to prepare himself for this next crucial threat.

The episode ends with a big glimpse at life on Earth-2 where a suave Harrison Wells is still the founder of STAR Labs. That's not unimportant. When Dr. Stein is giving his big demonstration to the rest of the team about the multiverse, he speculates on how all of the characters' lives could be drastically different there. In Earth-1, Barry is the Flash. But in Earth-2, Jay is the Flash. All of the characters can have different lives in this other world. And yet, Harrison Wells is still the man behind STAR Labs. It sure does explain why Tom Cavanagh is still listed as a series regular on the show. The 52 portals between the two worlds can lead to some fun trips in the future as well. But right now, it's just intriguing to see how much the world is changing for both the characters and the audience.

Some more thoughts:
  • "Flash of Two Worlds" was written by Aaron Helbing & Todd Helbing and directed by Jesse Warn.
  • It's impressive how much story the show has introduced in terms of superpowers. The first season dealt with time travel and the speed force. And now, the multiverse is a part of the regular conversation. That is very cool.
  • This episode gets its name from the comic book that first introduced the multiverse. The episode even pays homage to the cover of said issue in the scene where Barry and Jay both run over to Patty to make sure she's okay.
  • So now that doppelgangers have been introduced into the narrative, which regular character is going to pop up in the future as a villain? Caitlin seems like the easy answer considering that glimpse of Killer Frost Barry saw from the future in the finale. But would that be too predictable? A bad guy version of Joe would be way too heartbreaking.
  • Cisco refers to his still developing powers as a "vibe" that he gets followed by a glimpse into a moment of time he has never experienced. However, his desire to keep it a secret from the rest of the team is very concerning. This show doesn't work well when secrets are kept from one another - just look at how much better Iris is this year because she knows the truth about Barry.
  • It sure seems like Caitlin has gotten over Ronnie simply by the way she was looking at and interacting with Jay. That could be interesting.
  • Dr. Stein also collapses in a way that kinda resembles a stroke. That's likely a side effect of losing the other half of Firestorm.
  • Iris' mom pops up unexpectedly at the precinct. That's a mystery that was presented but never needed to be dealt with any time soon. It could create some interesting character dynamics soon. Though it's mostly just a tease here.
  • I thought this show was done locking people up in the containment cells located in STAR Labs? Didn't everyone realize just how morally wrong it all was? Plus, did they really have to do that with Jay even though they didn't know if they could trust him?