Earth Freaking Two.
In preparation for the Journey to the Central City of Earth-2, Team Flash closed down all of Earth Prime’s breaches except for the large one in S.T.A.R. Labs. It’s their Main Breach; the other 51 were all Side Breaches. (Sidenote: I do not condone the terms “main bitch” and “side bitch” for anything other than earth-to-earth time portals.) I can’t get over that Harry willing to sacrifice his Earth for “our” earth… because he is “distracted by its problems [and] it’s people,” according to his latest and last audio Dear Diary. He caught feelings; I think those feelings are called “friendship,” Harry.
“Go win, Barry. Then come home.” –Iris West
During Barry’s Bon Voyage Dinner at the West residence, Iris confronts Barry about how, well, batshit nuts this whole mission to Earth-2 is. Goddess Iris West wants to make sure the journey isn’t an escape from Barry Allen’s problems on his earth. Oh Barry. Always running towards danger. This is the moment when I knew bad shit was going to down, and coming home will not be as easy as Barry thinks.
“You’re going to see and feel things that look familiar, but they’re not. Up is down. Black is white. Do not let yourself get sucked in emotionally.” -Jay Garrick
Jay’s pre-portal pep talk to Barry foreshadows what we know is inevitable: puppy dog Barry Allen is going to get attached to Earth-2 doppelgangers and get into trouble. He also orders Team Flash to close the breach if they’re not back in 48 hours. “YEAH RIGHT LIKE I’M GONNA DO THAT,” replies Caitlin. Oh, Barry. Like Joe West isn’t gonna barrel through that breach himself to get you back.
So it’s Barry, Harry, and Cisco who will make the journey. Cisco is their secret weapon to find Zoom even though he hasn’t really made a suit yet, but he has a pocket full of red licorice. Harry offers Barry a final, passive out (“You don’t have to do this..”), but our hero is a man of steel-y determination.
They are the three best friends that anybody could have. Part of me wants this to end up like The Hangover.. and it kind of is for a little bit. Cisco and Barry keep taking inappropriate selfies.
And when they run into the non-evil doppelganger of Tokamak/ Henry Hewitt, Barry and Cisco do not even attempt to act like normal human beings:
Henry Hewitt is the first example in this episode of up being down and black being white. This Easrth-2 counterpart is a “nice normal, guy” according to Cisco. So far the only Earth-2 Good Guy/Bad Guy dichotomy we’ve been exposed to (besides Harrison Wells) is Linda Park as Doctor Light.. but even then there was good in the other Linda. Her alliances were off, but her alignment as “good” or bad” wasn’t completely clear. [More on this later when we get to Earth-2’s Central City Police Department.]
Earth-2 doesn’t necessarily imply Bizarro/Opposite World either. Barry’s counterpart is still a CSI and still adorkable. He may not have superpowers (that we know of), but he’s a good guy. When Cisco’s vibing doesn’t work due to Earth-2’s frequency, Barry kidnaps Barry-2 and sedates him… but not before he has to watch his doppel-self drool and fanboy over Harry Wells. It’s like watching an embarrassing video of yourself except worse.
So Barry steals Barry-2’s wardrobe to take a look at the new world through his bespectacled doppelganger’s eyes, Disney Cartoon glasses included. At the CCPD, we run into more flipped counterparts: most obviously is the flipped image of Floyd Lawton (aka Deadshot from Arrow) arresting Earth-1’s Captain, David Singh. At first glance, this seems like a real Good Guy v. Bad Guy parallel. However on Earth-1, we never really knew Deadshot’s true allegiance. If anything, he was depicted as a good guy who did bad things after awful things happened who was then blackmailed with his life to do more bad things for good guys who did bad things so they were actually bad guys…. Whoa, did that make any sense? It’s all dubious. Even criminal Earth-2 Singh seems more like a sleaze ball rather than a murderous villain.
And why introduce DETECTIVE IRIS WEST right afterwards if the show is trying to illustrate how backwards everything is on Earth-2? For me, Iris West being a badass Police Captain isn’t too far out of the realm of possibility; it feels more like unexplored possibilities. Iris-2 drags Barry-1 into an empty hallway and attacks his mouth the way we’ve always wanted her to. I love it. Earth-2 Iris West is ballsy as hell.
Speaking of good guys being bad guys, Caitlin-2 and Ronnie-2 have been deemed worthy enough by Zoom to enforce his ruling over Central City-2… because they villainous badasses: Killer Frost and Deathstorm. And they are sexy in love. Sexy SnowStorm.
Westallen-2’s home is the same West house from Earth-1. It’s picture perfect from the wedding photos right down to flawless Captain Iris West deblousing in their living room.
As Iris-2 continues to change out of her work clothes, Barry-1 snoops the rest of her/his/ their house. They have an old school phone with a very interesting speed dial menu:
- MOM & DAD
Or what I see when I read it:
- Joe West
- Nora & Henry Allen
- Marshmallow Eddie Thawne
- Freaking Batman
- Freaking Green Lantern
- Freaking Wonder Woman
Now, I have no idea if the Earth-2 alter egos of the Justice League are sans-superpowers like Earth-2 Barry, but it’s still thrilling to think that they’re all still a part of each other’s lives. What is Barry-2 up to? But I didn’t have time to think about it because our Barry sees “Mom & Dad” and fulfills a fantasy: he has a simple, sweet mother-son phone conversation with Nora Allen.
Earth-2’s hotspot isn’t a coffee place called Jitters, but a nightclub called Jitterbugs featuring the best crooner in the city, Joe West. Yessssssssssssss, Jesse L. Martin is finally singing on TheFlash, and apparently he hates Barry. He calls him Bartholomew and insists that his son-in-law calls him Joseph. It’s so great.
Back on Earth Prime, their Meta-of-the-Week, Adam Fells aka Geomancer, has caught on that The Flash is MIA from town. Joe and Caitlin suggest that Jay Garrick shoot himself up with the Velocity-6 serum that gave him temporary speed. Jay is not at all down with that idea; methinks he doth protest too much. Turns out, Jay became addicted to being fast and used his science brain to make V-6 and increase his speedstering skills. Caitlin gasps, “Zoom never stole your speed… this is what’s making you sick. Velocity-6 is killing you.” She vows to figure out a cure to save him. SnowJay flies on. She is in luuuuuuurve.
In an editing move that I really enjoyed, we cut from Caitlin-1 making a heroic promise to Caitlin-2 taunting Central citizens. Iris-2 reaches for her gun, but Barry tries to stop her. Uh oh, he’s already mistaking doppelgangers for his alterna-earth friends. As Iris-2 points her gun at Evil Sexy SnowStorm and orders the bystanders to evacuate Jitterbugs, Barry calls out, “Caitlin!” before his two best girl friends begin to brawl.
Caitlin-2/ Killer Frost pauses for a second to examine Barry, but then she gets pissed off and shoots icicles towards WestAllen. Barry still has his speed and manages to shield them with a coffee table, but then Ronnie-2/Deathstorm sends a fireball towards Iris-2. She’s almost hit until Joe-2 tackles her and takes the flaming hit.
Before Sexy Snowstorm could do anymore damage, Barry flashes them out into an open space. That’s when the evil couple realised that Barry is a breacher. And now it’s their turn to brawl. Like, in a Super Smash Bros. arena and everything.
Harry Wells is understandably pissed that Barry revealed his identity to Zoom’s cronies because now his daughter, Jesse Quick, is totally going to die. Barry argues that no matter what Earth he’s on, the Wests are his family. A Flash has gotta do what a Flash has gotta do.
At the Earth-2 hospital, Joe-2 says his final goodbye to Iris-2 and Barry. I really, really hope this isn’t awful foreshadowing that our Joe is going to die saving his kid, whether it be Iris, Barry, or Wally. Iris-2 is ready to take out the fire and ice duo, and she’s not letting her husband, Barry, or his “good friend” whom she just met (Cisco Ramon) come with her.
“I just lost my father. I can’t lose my husband too.” -Iris West
On our Earth, Caitlin has developed a new serum: Velocity-7. It seems to work out when Jay zooms in as the Crimson Comet. Also, the Geodude sounds a lot like Captain Cold. Leonard Snart is very influential… no wonder he’s the Mayor of Earth-2’s Central City. Geodude flees despite the V-7 wearing off and Jay returning back to normal speed.
Even on Earth-2, bad guys hide out in abandoned warehouses. Iris-2, Deadshot-2, and Cisco-1 come face-to-face with Killer Frost, Deathstorm, and their leader… Cisco-2. I did not see that coming. Apparently, Francisco Ramon is the direct liasion with Zoom and his bad guy name is Reverb. Reverb vs. Vibe. It’s some sci-fi opera drama, and Cisco-1 (being the meta character that he is) addresses it after Reverb tries to recruit him to their Zoom-y cause… in a much lower voice, I might add.
Cisco opts out and calls for The Flash. Barry speeds in and knocks out Reverb. in my favorite joke of the whole episode, Barry turns to Cisco-1 after knocking out Cisco-2 and asks, “That didn’t hurt you, did it?”
As Barry throws down with the Team Flash doppelgangers, Deathstorm and Reverb double-team him in a angry rage. Fireballs. Wave blasts. Fireballs. Wave blasts.
Killer Frosts screams at them to stop hurting him and disobeying Zoom’s orders. The two men do not.. until Zoom stops them.
Killer Frost is spared. She runs away crying when Zoom speeds away with Barry in tow. Barry wakes up in a cell. There is a masked man creepily knocking on the glass of his cell and a young woman. Jesse Quick nods to Barry-1. Zoom speeds in and tells him that the prison is the lastplace he’ll ever see, and I scream at my TV, “ARE YOU HUNTER ZOLOMON?”
- Barry seeing Barry nerd out over Wells and everything feeling all too real… it’s definitely one of the resons he started empathizing with everyone’s counterparts: he saw himself in himself.
- SnowStorm sails on every earth. And then sinks. Sigh. #FireAndIce
- No Clark on the phone list. I know Oliver-2 is dead… but why isn’t “CLARK” on Barry-2’s speed dial?
- I love that Nora and Henry are just chilling in Atlantis. For their anniversary.
- Two mentions of grandchildren in this episode: 1) when Cisco takes selfies with everything because he wants his grandchildren to see that they do cool things and 2) when Nora-2 is on the phone with Barry-1 and wants he and Iris-2 to make grandbabies already.
- Ronnie-2 doesn’t real say much this episode, does he? Is it just me, or was that the male version of fridging a character aka using his death as a plot device to further the development of Caitlin-2?
- Danielle Panabaker is so different in her Killer Frost garb. Reminds me of the way Courtney Cox completely transformed her personality whenever she wore the Fat-Monica suit in FRIENDS.
- “Those are some dope names though.” -Cisco Ramon about Killer Frost and Deathstorm
- I can’t believe Ronnie-2 has trapped Stein-2 in his body. That is some creepy, evil doppelganger shit.
- Yeah, Caitlin-2 is deflecting. She’s totally going to be on our team now.
- I’m excited for more Barry-2. He’s basically Milo from Disney’s Journey to Atlantis: