The Flash: The Flash of Two Worlds
October 14, 2015 8:10 AM - Season 2, Episode 2 - Subscribe

Team Flash investigates Jay Garrick's claim that villains from his parallel Earth are crossing the border between worlds, including a new threat who Jay calls the "Sand Demon." Joe has an applicant for his anti-metahuman task force, and there's a whole lot of DC Comics in-jokes.

Shockingly, nobody seems to jump from the singularity being a portal between worlds to what that means for Ronnie's "death," although Dr. Stein's seizure at the end of the episode might force the issue. Also, we see Barry again having no compunctions whatsoever about killing an Earth-2 bad guy to death, this time with Speed Force lightning.

Meanwhile, in the future....
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish (31 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
I guess there's some speculation that Sand Demon isn't actually dead,* because Jay Garrick sounded like he'd pulled this trick on him before, but I'm not really satisfied with that. One thing you need to do to if you're doing a superhero show is figure out what makes it means for your character to be heroic and part of that means figuring out killing. That isn't to say that no "hero" can ever kill, but you have to decide if your hero does or doesn't and why, and just having Barry kill bad guys without reflection isn't doing that.

At the end of this comment we flash forward to October 2016, when I'm writing the exact same comment about Supergirl.

*Obviously this is comics, no one is actually dead.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:23 AM on October 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


Was that supposed to be in the future? For some reason, I assumed it was just a parallel earth, with a Harrison Wells who had never been murdered (What Star Labs would have been, without the interference?)

I do not have a good feel for what Cisco's meta ability is supposed to be, at all. He can see... the past? His own past, even if it's in an alternate time line? Someone else's past, that just happened, even though it isn't really connected to him, except for his tie to Barry? That's a very nebulous sort of ability and I think it's going to present him with serious difficulties when he has to come up with a meta-name for himself.
posted by instead of three wishes at 8:29 AM on October 14, 2015


Was that supposed to be in the future? For some reason, I assumed it was just a parallel earth, with a Harrison Wells who had never been murdered (What Star Labs would have been, without the interference?)

Yeah, pretty sure that's supposed to be Earth-2. As for Wells, I dig how they put it over at io9: "[I]t seems very unlikely that anyone who says “Hello, kids” that sinisterly could possibly not be evil."
posted by zombieflanders at 8:32 AM on October 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah that's definitely Earth-2; things were literally golden.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:34 AM on October 14, 2015 [4 favorites]


Huh, I assumed it was the future just from the look of things and the clothes, but I guess I should have paid more attention to the "the future today" catchphrase. In my defense, by that point I was very annoyed at the Hulu stream constantly dropping out.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:35 AM on October 14, 2015


Husband paused for a sec last night on the shot of Jay and Barry running to pick up the lady cop at the same time to show me this.

Really enjoying having two Flashes on the show, and I'm excited to see where the Earth-2 storyline goes!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:54 AM on October 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


This was an official promo for the second season.

Also, 52 gateways into parallel Earths, you say?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:01 AM on October 14, 2015 [3 favorites]


oh wow, hadn't seen that before -- thanks HZSF!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:02 AM on October 14, 2015


That isn't to say that no "hero" can ever kill, but you have to decide if your hero does or doesn't and why, and just having Barry kill bad guys without reflection isn't doing that.

That was my biggest takeaway from the episode as well.

Even if Sand Demon survived, Atom Smasher didn't. That's a downer - for me, a lot of the appeal of The Flash is that Barry is an upbeat, decent human being most of the time. I don't mind if he causes some deaths sometimes in self-defense or the defense of others, but I'd like to see him broken up about it. The casual way he's been ending lives for a couple episodes is troubling. (I don't watch Arrow, and a lot of it has to do with Oliver apparently being a pro-torture, murder happy monster whenever there's a crossover.)

Him going back to embracing their illegal, bathroom-free super prison due to personal issues was also not cool.

I do not have a good feel for what Cisco's meta ability is supposed to be, at all.

I'm not entirely sure - in the comics, (and a couple appearances in the background in JLU), Vibe is a breakdancing shock wave generator. It *looks* like Cisco has a couple of different psychic-ish powers instead: he could sense stuff from an invalidated timeline (a trick most resembling Guinan's weird time sense in Yesterday's Enterprise), and this episode he seemed to be using psychometry on the vial of Sand Demon's vial of recovered tissue. All of his insights about it happened when he was in proximity to the vial.

I'm concerned he's basically just developing Plot Sense - the ability to handily receive information about what the writers would like the heroes to know without the trouble of legwork. (The last time I saw someone openly admit to having that, it was on The Messengers, and I just stopped watching the show after that episode. It was like an open admission the writers had no idea how to do anything right.)

Other stuff I noticed:
* I kept expecting Spivot to be a plant from Zoom. I'm still sort of hoping for that: between how perfect she is, how persistent she was about joining them and the convenience of her timing, she just feels like one. (A quick Googling suggests that in the comics, she is a love interest of the Flash. On the other hand, the show did make Iris almost his sister and Vibe is doing who-knows-what, so I don't know how tied they are to comics canon.)

* I'm glad about the return of Tom Cavanaugh. He was always my favorite part of the show.
posted by mordax at 9:26 AM on October 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


I kept expecting Spivot to be a plant from Zoom

Or even Zoom him(?)self. You don't think they're gonna give a villain a full-face mask and not have a crazy identity reveal, do you?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:27 AM on October 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm not entirely sure - in the comics, (and a couple appearances in the background in JLU), Vibe is a breakdancing shock wave generator.

DC's New 523 reboot of a few years back reimagined Vibe's powers as something to do with "dimensional harmonics" or whatever, and the show is following the comics' lead.
posted by kewb at 10:36 AM on October 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


The absolute worst possible reveal would be that in Earth-2's universe, Henry Allen is Zoom.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:46 AM on October 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Worse than if the reveal was that the wormhole also sent Robbie back in time and gave him superspeed and a black outfit?
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:04 AM on October 14, 2015


There were a lot of 52's in this episode: Garrick's cell, the fire truck, the number of gateways . Anything else ?
posted by Pendragon at 12:00 PM on October 14, 2015


One of the first things Spivot said to Barry was about kismet, so I'm expecting some sort of Dr. Fate thing, even though I thought Dr. Fate was in Legends of Tomorrow or whatever.

Of all the people sent through the wormhole to become Zoom, isn't it mostly likely to be Eddie somehow?

Cisco's powers are absolutely being used for Plot Sense but I'm hoping they'll do something more interesting with them in the future, since the vibrations/parallel universes thing is one of the few Flash canon/bizarre science things I find interesting. And at least his visions are of things that already happened and not premonitions.
posted by automatic cabinet at 12:17 PM on October 14, 2015


Yeah, Zarquon, worse than Robbie because then Flash has to kill his dad in the Earth-2 'verse. Besides, Robbie's not a good enough actor to be Zoom.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 12:29 PM on October 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Vibe is a breakdancing shock wave generator

They had Cisco drop the word 'vibe' at least once too, speaking of insider references.

The absolute worst possible reveal would be that in Earth-2's universe, Henry Allen is Zoom.

That would be dumb but I still hold out hope that Henry Allen will be revealed to have actually been the person who killed his wife all along. Him not missing the chance to get out of town quick would support that nicely and there's no reason to think WellsThawne wouldn't lie there too... particularly if he felt like it pushed Barry in a direction he wants. I don't see any reason to think he wouldn't want to do that from beyond the grave.

Love the actor they got for Jay Garrick. They really found a look and feel that seems right for the golden age hero.
posted by phearlez at 12:58 PM on October 14, 2015


I just want the Floronic Man to show up and be all pissed that Flash busted up his greenhouse lab.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:04 PM on October 14, 2015 [2 favorites]


How much fun was that? A real improvement from last week's ep, which had all sorts of odd pacing with the Henry Allen weirdness. I was a little irritated by the typical 'Barry doesn't trust X, gets a talking to, trusts X just in time to save the day' but the call-back to Wells made it sufficiently original for me to give it a pass this time.

Glad that Spivot wasn't trying to join the task force in order to capture The Flash, or some such (e.g. "The Flash killed my dad when he was saving the fire on seventh street").

And the Wells stinger? Icing on the cake.
posted by adrianhon at 4:05 PM on October 14, 2015


Love the actor they got for Jay Garrick. They really found a look and feel that seems right for the golden age hero.

I first noticed Teddy Sears as Dr. Austin Langham in "Masters of Sex", though I know from his imdb page I saw him in other roles before then. (I highly recommend the first season of Masters of Sex if you become a fan of Sears as Garrick. Can't recommend sticking with it for later seasons, I still have the last 4 episodes of S3 sitting unwatched on my Tivo as the writing took a severe turn into WTF-land. But that first season is gold, and Sears has some terrific scenes.)
posted by oh yeah! at 6:34 PM on October 14, 2015


One thing stood out to me during Spivot's speech about how these supervillains are not that special, how they just happened to be in the right place at the right time: the superhero origin trope of a massive event that affected a bunch of people always seem to include the superhero themselves, and a bunch of villains. I've always been skeptical that there aren't more superheroes created in the same event. Either these writers think we don't see the weird convenience, or they really have a cynical attitude about what most people would do with superpowers.
posted by numaner at 6:58 PM on October 14, 2015


I know if I got superpowers, depending on ability, I'd turn to a life of crime pretty quickly. I'd like to imagine I'd be more subtle than the jumped up thugs that seem to get them, but who knows.

One side effect of this Earth-2 plot is that we'll probably get Killer Frost sooner rather than later.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 3:56 AM on October 15, 2015


Yeah I was amazed that Caitlin went for flirting with Jay and not for "my husband might have fallen through to Earth-2" when that was my first thought when I figured out about the deal with the singularity.
posted by immlass at 2:04 PM on October 15, 2015


Of all the people sent through the wormhole to become Zoom, isn't it mostly likely to be Eddie somehow?

I'm hoping for this, if only because I assumed he was our Hunter Zolomon equivalent since day one and I would really like to be right.
posted by darchildre at 3:53 PM on October 15, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just kinda presumed Zoom was Wells.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 5:28 PM on October 15, 2015


Oh no, yeah, I presumed Zoom is Wells too, Because Comics, but of the dropkicked-into-extradimensional-portal options, Eddie over Robbie, right? But actually, yeah, darchildre, I'm kinda getting convinced over to Eddie, now, because the Wells stinger has come so early that maybe it's misdirection, and --

Fffffff how dare this show make me speculate wildly all the time.
posted by automatic cabinet at 6:45 PM on October 15, 2015


I thought Barry was acting really weird with his "sorry Jay I cannot trust you because the previous person who gave me advice who I really trusted turned out to be a villain" and then when they made the helmet connection, and thus "proving" Jay was a speedster indeed, all trust issues were resolved. But why? Wells was a speedster too, so whether or not Jay is/was a speedster doesn't say anything about whether he's evil or not.
posted by blub at 3:52 AM on October 16, 2015 [1 favorite]


I wondered about the helmet thing, too, and the best I can come up with is their reaction is based on Wells' reaction to seeing the helmet at the end of season one. Something like, anyone that Wells is that afraid of must be a decent guy.

It is also interesting to think about the implications of the fact that Wells is aware of Earth-Jay. Is it just because in the future they would have already had many crossover adventures? Or is there a more intimate tie?
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 5:28 AM on October 16, 2015


I thought the significance of the helmet was that none of them had mentioned it to him, so its existence served as independent verification of his story.
posted by bettafish at 10:09 AM on October 16, 2015


All it verifies, in that sense, is that he came through the portal, not that he is trustworthy.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 10:35 AM on October 16, 2015


>It is also interesting to think about the implications of the fact that Wells is aware of Earth-Jay. Is it just because in the future they would have already had many crossover adventures? Or is there a more intimate tie?

What if Wells/Thawne was from Earth-2 all along, and the Wells from the stinger is just an earlier version of him from earlier in his timeline?

Of course, I thought he was supposed to be from fairly far in the future, ... and he was erased from history by Eddie's death, ... but if Eddie just fell through the portal... Agh, this makes my head hurt.
posted by insert.witticism.here at 4:43 PM on October 16, 2015


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