Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Flash 2x13 "Welcome to Earth-2" (SPOILERS)

I think Cisco's face sums up my feelings about this episode pretty well.

Because holy cow, that was one hell of an episode! As the title suggests, this was the ep where Barry, Harrison Wells, and Cisco travel to Earth-2 in order to rescue Wells's daughter, Jesse and stop Zoom. If you like easter eggs, then "Welcome to Earth-2" is going to put you on cloud nine. We get several when the three while traveling through the Speed Cannon to Earth-2:

  • John Wesley Shipps's Flash from the 90s TV show
  • A certain Kara Danvers, whom Barry will be meeting next month
  • Connor Hawke, who is set to appear in a future episode of Legends of Tomorrow
  • Jonah Hex, who I think is also set to pop into LoT
  • A Legion of Super-Heroes flight ring
  • Grodd

None of those are in order of appearance and unfortunately, I missed seeing the last three, but fortunately the internet didn't. I love that they included Shipp's Flash, which was a nice tip of the hat to the actor who went from playing Barry Allen to playing Barry Allen's dad, which is another thing I love about this show. Supergirl's brief cameo is a no-brainer, given the impending crossover. A number of fans on Tumblr said that news of the crossover should have been held back until after this episode aired, since that the news would be that much bigger. The flight ring is the most intriguing out of all of the cameos because of the possibilities it presents. Is the Legion slated to make an appearance on one of the shows? Legends of Tomorrow seems the most logical because of the time travel element. On the other hand, Supergirl has connections to the superhero team in the comics and the Justice League Unlimited cartoon, so that's an option. Could a Legion of Super-Heroes spin-off be on the horizon? Granted, it could have just been nothing more than a tease, but the mind wonders.

So anyways, Barry, Wells, and Cisco arrive on Earth-2 and naturally the Earth-1ers are mindblown by everything they see. Earth-2 is interesting as it's a blend of the 21st century and the 1940s. They have the tech of the former (for the most part), but things like telephones look like they came from the '40s. It's strange, given that they have things like apps and smart watches. The biggest difference between the two Earths are the "dopplegangers", what Cisco calls their Earth-2 counterparts. We know that from the promo materials that Caitlin Snow and Ronnie Raymond are Killer Frost and Deathstorm on Earth-2, but what of Barry, Iris, Joe, and Cisco himself? Well...

Barry is still a CSI, but he's a total dork. He's doesn't appear to be a speedster, but he's still on my forthcoming list of people who might be Zoom. Oh, and he's married to Iris, so there's that. Earth-1 Barry switches places with him after Wells knocks him out.

Iris is a police detective with the Central City Police Department. She dabbled in journalism, but decided to follow in her grandfather's footsteps.

I said Iris followed in her grandfather's footsteps, rather than her dad, because on Joe isn't a cop on Earth-2, he's a jazz club singer. Another departure is that he doesn't like Barry's doppleganger and the feeling is mutual. He blames E2 Barry for Iris being a cop, because he thinks she only did it to help put Barry through school.

Another huge difference between the Earths is that Barry's mom is still alive on Earth-2, which leads to an emotional scene where E1 Barry gets to talk to his mom's E2 counterpart. Barry got to talk to his mom again and Grant Gustin played it so well.

I want to stop for a second to talk about some more easter eggs, because like I said, this episode was rich in them:

  • The Central City PD HQ has a wall mural that says "A Free and Just Society for All". Possibly a reference to the Justice Society of America, Jay Garrick's team in the comics?
  • Earth-2 Barry has Bruce, Hal, and Diana on his speed dial. Those of course are the secret identities of Batman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman
  • Atlantis exists, which means Aquaman might too

Back on Earth-1, Caitlyn creates a new version of Velocity 6 called Velocity 7. The former was a drug created by Jay to boost his speed, but in fact caused him to lose them. Yeah, turns out he lied about Zoom stealing his speed. Jay uses Velocity 7 to try and help stop a metahuman from his Earth called Geomancer, but the drug is only partially successful and Caitlyn later mentions that she'll start working on Velocity 8 next. Now what I didn't know is that in the comics, there's a drug called Velocity 9 that was created by Vandal Savage, so this is another easter egg.

Jumping back to Earth-2, Killer Frost and Deathstorm are introduced and decide to hunt down the breachers from Earth-1. Can I just say that these two look awesome as dicks?

Danielle Panabaker was really good at playing a supervillain and I'm glad we got to see Killer Frost finally show up. One gripe though is that I wish her outfit had featured an ice motif of some kind, like blue and white coloring or something. Oh well. Killer Frost and Deathstorm both live up their names, as both show in this episode that they have zero qualms about taking lives, with the former murdering some crooks and the latter mortally wounding E2 Joe. Meanwhile, Cisco creates a device to neutralize the two until he can figure out how to activate his "vibe" powers on Earth-2. This leads to a showdown between Killer Frost and Deathstorm on one side, and Iris, her partner Floyd Lawton (yes, her partner is Deadshot, but amusingly on this Earth, he can't hit the broad side of a barn), and Cisco on the other.

And thaaat's when Cisco finally comes face to face with his doppelganger and surprise, surprise, he's a supervillain too. Here, he's called Reverb and not only is he Zoom's right hand man, but he's also developed his powers beyond just precognition.

Arrowverse Wiki.
He's basically has powers similar to Cisco's comic book counterpart and apparently Reverb was a name he used in the comics too. The interaction between the two Ciscos was interesting because Reverb tries to lure Cisco over to the dark side, or as he puts it, trying to "Cloud City Vader" him. A Star Wars ref out of nowhere. I like it. Unfortunately for Reverb and Deathstorm, they both screw up royally. Naturally The Flash intervenes to save Iris, Lawton (who honest to god fires at Reverb point blank and misses), and Cisco, only to be whammied by the two villains. Killer Frost tries to warn them away from killing Barry, but ignore her and incur Zoom's wrath as a result. Deathstorm dies pretty easily given his powers and so does Reverb, for all of his bravado about killing Zoom and taking over Central City himself. Killer Frost is spared and flees distraught at the death of her love, Ronnie. Zoom then kidnaps Barry and takes him to wherever he's holding Wells's daughter, Jesse.

So yeah, things are looking pretty bleak by episodes end. Barry is the prisoner of Zoom, who wants Barry's speed for his own. At the same time, Caitlin and Jay are supposed to close the last rupture to Earth-2 if Barry and Cisco don't return in X amount of time and the clock is ticking closer and closer to that. The promo for the next episode, "Escape from Earth-2" shows Cisco and Earth-2's Barry, Iris, Wells, and Killer Frost coming together to rescue them.

"Welcome to Earth-2" is just such an amazing episode and this post honestly doesn't even do it justice. I'm hyped for "Escape from Earth-2" and I cannot wait until we finally learn Zoom's identity this season.

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