This review contains spoilers.
2.14 Escape From Earth-2
The Flash has a tendency to hide its big reveals in plain sight. Last year, Wells’ identity had its surprises, sure, but it was by and large there in front of us the whole time. He appeared to be a bad guy working against Barry and the rest of STAR Labs, and most of our theories turned out to be correct in the end.
This year, it’s switched things around on us. Zoom is a complete mystery and, before this episode, there were no obviously suspicious people hanging around. Yet, with the introduction of Earth-2, suddenly the writers had a whole load of other characters to play with. Who is Zoom? I still have no clue, but this episode also introduced us to another masked man, not to mention the implication that Jay is not to be trusted.
I’m getting to that first just because it’s so darn intriguing. Can we trust that the Jay Garrick who has been hiding out at STAR Labs all this time is actually who he claims to be? He’s not Zoom, because both of his ‘versions’ are accounted for, but could he be the guy locked up with Barry and Jessie? Or is that someone else, someone who just happens to know that Jay isn’t the good guy he’s masquerading as.
Now we think of it, his behaviour has been pretty suspicious. He arrived on Earth-1 without his powers, claiming to have lost them by abusing Velocity-7. That’s dodgy secret number one. But by getting into Caitlin’s good books early on, he’s come out of the situation with a brand new drug that’s mending said damage to his cells, getting his speed back in the process. Is he Jay, and just not a particularly stand-up guy, or is he someone else entirely?
Either way, it appears that Zoom wanted him dead, and succeeded. The breach is closed and, with a fist through the chest, Jay’s dead body is on Earth-2.
Reluctantly, I’ll admit I wasn’t a huge fan of Jessie this week. It’s the first time we’ve really spent any time with her and, while understandable given that she has been locked up alone for months, her defeatist attitude brushing up against Barry’s eternal optimism came off as annoying. In general, the rescue mission wasn’t my favorite part of the episode, with the resolution seemingly just a little bit convenient.
Not only do we have to watch the wholly inferior version of Barry give our own heroic Mr Allen a pep talk, but there’s also the Killer Frost problem. Does Caitlin’s only motivation really have to come from the guys she’s loved and lost? It’s been her only arc since day one and, if the show was going to make her a ruthless bad guy for two episodes, the least they could have done was remove the Ronnie factor.
The episode redeemed itself slightly when our own Caitlin managed to save her and Iris from certain death (I truly expected Jay to run in at the last minute), but her character still feels like the show’s biggest wasted opportunity. I fear that will get worse now that she’s also lost Jay.
And can we marvel for the moment at the idea of this confident, bad-ass Iris of Earth-2 actually marrying her earth’s version of Barry? Aside from the nifty bow tie and metahuman database, he’s all the worst parts of himself and, if it’s at all possible, he and Iris actually make less sense as a couple than our own versions of the characters. Can we swap journalist Iris for detective Iris and maybe give them both a shot?
Earth-2 has been a lot of fun but, the novelty of seeing topsy turvy versions of our favourite characters aside, it’s really the fallout from these two episodes that’ll be most important. We’re over half way through the season now and, with Zoom remaining a complete mystery, it was about time we got some movement. All that said, I’m very excited for a comedy episode next week, Jaws references and all.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, Welcome To Earth-2, here.