Tonight’s hour of The Flash was the second episode of the second season, which was a re-imagining of the classic comic book story “Flash of Two Worlds” and featured not just two Flashes, or even two Earths, but two newcomers to the show! All this double-talk is going to make tonight’s recap a bit unwieldy, but I’m not as confused as Joe West just yet. Much like the recap of the season premiere, I’ll be breaking the episode down into two parts (coincidence): one focusing on Barry the man, and the other focusing on his superhero side.
The Flash vs The Flash
When last we left Barry, a newcomer named Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears) had waltzed his way into S.T.A.R. Labs despite its new security system. Though Garrick soon reveals that he’s from another world where he’s a speedster known as The Flash, he also admits to the team that he’s lost his powers. So while he won’t be much use to this world’s Flash in terms of pure speed, he does bring a wealth of knowledge with him when it comes to Earth-Two’s metahumans that are trying to kill Barry on behalf of Zoom. (We’ll talk more about the demon speedster in the second half of the recap.)
Tonight’s hour was all about Barry learning to trust his teammates, most of all the newcomer Garrick. You can’t exactly blame him for being distrustful of a stranger who shows up out of nowhere claiming to be an otherworldly speedster who only wants to help Barry; we literally spent all of last season dealing with a similar circumstance. Barry’s misguided trust of Dr. Harrison Wells turned out to be disastrous for all of Central City, and they’re still cleaning up the pieces. Barry’s not eager to repeat that mistake so he has Jay locked up at S.T.A.R. Labs.
It takes quite a bit for Barry to come around to trusting Garrick, though the turnaround does seem to take place all in one episode. Everyone else seems okay with the guy though, especially Caitlin who quickly becomes smitten with Garrick after running a series of shirtless tests on him and bonding over their shared sense of loss. Barry needs something to take his mind off this whole situation.
Oh hey, Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten)! The show’s second newcomer certainly pops up around every corner in this episode. She first appears to ask Joe West to partner up with him on the department’s new Anti-Metahuman Task Force, a request which Joe denies time and time again despite Spivot repeatedly proving herself to be quite resourceful. More interesting for viewers, I’m sure, is the chemistry between Spivot and our hero, Barry. They nerd out over crime scenes, delight in some Monty Python humor, and, of course, have a shared history of violence and despair which involves metahumans behaving badly.
Getting back to Barry’s main problem, he still mistrusts Garrick even after the speedster has offered up intel on the Villain of the Week’s altered cellular structure and has devised a method to defeat him. It’s not until Iris steps in – purely as Barry’s friend at this point – to remind him that he needs to trust his teammates, old and new, if he doesn’t want to risk alienating them. As is usually the case when Iris has one of her talks with Barry, it does the trick. Once Barry clears the air with Garrick about Wells and the death of his mother, the Flash(es) of Two Worlds seem to have reached an accord, meaning they can now deal with the episode’s major threat.
A quick sidenote on Cisco’s development in this episode: It looks like he’s finally embracing his Vibe powers, but not in the most positive of ways. I was getting pretty frustrated with the fact that he wouldn’t share the knowledge of his visions with anyone. Cisco’s fear that the S.T.A.R. Labs team will treat him differently because of his powers is an unfounded one; equally so is his fear that he’ll turn evil like Wells. Unfortunately, the only person Cisco has trusted with his gift so far is, at the very least, currently unconscious. More on that soon.
Though the Wests played pivotal parts in this episode – giving Spivot the spot on the task force and getting Barry to trust Garrick – the most interesting thing that happened was the sudden arrival of Mrs. West (Vanessa Williams). Her introduction will certainly stir some things up for her (ex?) husband and daughter, but we don’t know much more about her at the moment.
The Flash vs Sand Demon
Alright, now we can get to the fun comic book shenanigans of this episode! As Earth-Two’s Flash reveals, he was busy fighting the “unstoppable demon Zoom” on his own world and was nearly defeated by the speedster with “the face of death.” The only thing that saved him was the singularity picking him up and throwing him into Barry’s world. Garrick’s only other intel on Zoom is that he showed up around the same time that Jay got his powers and managed to kill a lot of people. Garrick was always one step behind Zoom, who was as obsessed with killing Jay as he is now with killing Barry. And on that note, we soon see Zoom drag another man through a portal and task him with killing the Flash. (Apparently Zoom can open and close portals at will? Or at least travel through the current breaches?)
We get our first glimpse of Eddie Slick / Sand Demon (Kett Turton) when he starts a fire at the waterfront and battles The Flash when the hero shows up to put the fire out. The Flash nearly gets knocked out by a sand punch to the face and then promptly runs through a disintegrating Sand Demon, who disappears into thin air. Meanwhile, Joe brings in Eddie Slick, a known arsonist, for questioning, but it quickly becomes apparent that this is the Earth-One Eddie while Earth-Two Eddie is the sandblasted version. Joe soon finds out the hard way as the metahuman Sand Demon knocks him out and kidnaps Patty.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Cisco has been visiting with Dr. Stein to discuss parallel universes, doppelgangers, and a way to track the portals that opened between the worlds; the usual. Cisco also starts getting visions of past events when he comes into contact with Sand Demon’s particles. A good thing, too, since they lead both Flashes to Sand Demon’s hideout.
Despite his powered-down nature, Jay Garrick suits up (with his shiny helmet) to help The Flash carry out a diversion in order to trump Sand Demon’s plan. They surprise him by dropping Garrick in front of him instead of Barry, allowing Barry to zip in and save Patty from a concussion bomb hardwired to her chair. Garrick, however, is not so safe as Sand Demon starts to choke him to death, hoping to kill two Flashes. Barry, however, has been practicing his lightning throws – as trained by Garrick – and scores a direct hit on Sand Demon, turning the man to glass, which shatters. One of the better metahuman fights in the series so far.
With Sand Demon taken care of (or, well, straight-up killed), the team reconvenes. Dr. Stein, who keeps the knowledge of Cisco’s visions to himself, tells the team that although the main singularity was shut down, there were actually 52 breaches between the worlds that opened. One is a major opening within S.T.A.R. Labs, and beyond that … we don’t know, because Dr. Stein suffers a stroke or seizure and collapses to the floor! The only thing slightly more shocking than that was the otherworldly appearance of “the founder of S.T.A.R. Labs, the Savior of Central City … Dr. Harrison Wells!” Here’s hoping that Dr. Stein is okay, and that Earth-Two Wells is not a homicidal maniac.
This was an incredibly fun and fast-paced episode, which is nothing new for The Flash. What was new was the angle the show’s writers chose to take, bringing the 1961 comic book story “Flash of Two Worlds!” to life in spectacular fashion. They didn’t just take the story idea and run with it, they went so far as to recreate the comic’s classic cover. This attention to detail and obvious love of the source material is what makes the show such a gem to watch each and every week.
Rating: ★★★★ Very good
The inimitable Tony Todd provided the voice for Zoom in this episode. #CandymanComin
Barry shaking his head like, “Eh, another Flash isn’t really the most surprising thing in this world.”
Jay Garrick’s shirtlessness is distracting Caitlin and putting #SnowBarry in danger. #Caitlick? No…
DC’s Eddie Slick / Sand Demon vs Marvel’s William Baker / Sandman: Who wins?
Patty Spivot: “[Barry’s crime scene reports are] always so detailed! It’s almost as if you were there when someone was being brutally murdered!”
Cisco (to Garrick): “I know you’re new here, so let me just break it down for you. The whole naming the bad guys thing? That’s my jam. But I’ma let you have this one.”
Cisco (to Stein): “Hey, Beautiful Mind, I think you need to take a breather.”
So … is Spivot the most thorough stalker ever, or just meticulous and incredibly driven?
Nice to see that Green Arrow’s public address made the Central City news!
Caitlin: “Catchy.” Cisco: “I hate it when they put a color in their name.”
Jay Garrick “I never thought I’d see this helmet again. It was my father’s, in the War of the Americas.”
Patty Spivot: “Flash?” Barry/Jay: “Coming!”
Jay: “I hear they call you the Scarlet Speedster.” Barry: “Yeah, you?” Jay: “The Crimson Comet. What is it with alliteration and nicknames?”
Patty: “Two murderers got superpowers. That’s why I’m here, sir.” OK, I’m pro-Spivot now.
Cisco: “I get a vibe, and then a vision of something that’s already happened, and then it’s gone.”
52 breaches! (Why does that number sound so familiar…)
Dr. Harrison Wells: “Hello, kids.”
Who is Zoom??