This week’s episode of The Flash was packed full of Easter eggs, cameos, and super alter-egos thanks to our hero’s trip to the parallel world of Earth-2, but the show isn’t ready to leave that world behind just yet. There’s so much more to explore, whether it’s how Earth-1 Barry and Cisco will respond to the things they’ve seen and the people they’ve met, what’s going on back on Earth-1, or the fallout from the previous episode’s final moments.
With that in mind, THR talked to The Flash executive producers Aaron and Todd Helbing, who dug into each of these questions and more. They looked back on “Welcome to Earth-2” before teasing what’s about to befall Barry Allen and his friends in the upcoming episode, “Escape from Earth-2.” If you need a refresher on the last hour of The Flash be sure to read over my recap before seeing what the Helbings had to say. If you haven’t caught up with The Flash, you should probably avoid the following conversation due to spoilers.
As a primer, here’s the promo for the upcoming episode, “Escape from Earth-2”:
Before we dig into the plot points from this two-part episode, let’s take a moment to appreciate the Easter eggs on display. The EPs briefly talk about the process of getting those Easter eggs on screen:
There were so many DC Comics nods sprinkled in throughout the hour, like Hal and Diana’s names on Barry’s speed dial to Mayor Snart and so much more. How did you decide what easter eggs to include in the episode?
Aaron: We had a giant board of probably 50 ideas and we had to whittle them down to the bare bones.
Todd: You try to make them as organic as possible. We would tell you [the easter eggs that didn’t make the cut] but they’ll probably end up in other episodes.
Those Easter eggs included glimpses of other heroes and villains from either a shared universe or a linked multi-verse, showing such characters as a very different Green Arrow, The Flash, Jonah Hex, Supergirl, Gorilla Grodd, and even teases for the Justice Society of America, the futuristic Legion of Superheroes, and maybe even Booster Gold. Time will tell how many of these remain simply Easter eggs and how many will be developed further.
One such Easter egg that doubled as a doppelganger comic book cameo came by way of Cisco’s Earth-2 twin, a villain calling himself Reverb. Here’s what the Helbings had to say about the character and his impact:
After seeing what Reverb can do, will Cisco try to learn more about his powers despite Reverb’s death?
Aaron: Once you’re exposed to something that’s possible, once Cisco saw the magnitude of the powers that he’s capable of, anything is possible now. We may explore that. Getting anyone to play a doppelganger that’s evil is in some ways the most fun you can have.
Zoom killed Reverb, but is there a chance we might see Cisco’s evil doppelganger again?
Todd: It’s Flash so they may show up again in some form or another. But for the purpose of where we want to take Cisco, having him die there was the best way to get what we want out of this character.
Speaking of Zoom, his screentime was short but very powerful on this last episode. The final scenes leave audiences wondering what’s about to happen to Barry now that he’s fallen into the clutches of the demon speedster:
Has Zoom already stolen Barry’s speed, or is that still to come?
Todd: [Zoom] hasn’t taken his speed yet. That is his plan, to take his speed, so now that he has him, he has 50 percent of what he needs.
Aaron: He doesn’t have all the ingredients, per se. We established earlier in the season that he needed other aspects or other people to help with that process.
Are there other prisoners locked up in Zoom’s lair with Barry and Harry’s daughter Jesse (Violett Beane)?
Todd: There aren’t any other prisoners, but the man in the mask is there for a reason. This is really the first time that [Jesse and Barry] meet. They’re in Zoom’s lair and you’ll see in the next episode how this relationship starts and forms and where it leads them to.
I don’t know about you, but I’m far more interested in the masked man than Barry and Jessie’s Stockholm Syndrome. (Is it Henry Allen??) The EPs tease more about what’s going to happen while The Flash & Co. are trapped on Earth-2:
What’s coming up in the second part of the Earth-2 storyline, airing next Tuesday?
Todd: The central story is Barry is trapped by Zoom, how do we deal with that? And back on Earth-1, Geomancer is out there. The Flash is locked up in a cell, so they really don’t have a way to deal with him now that they’re Flash-less. They have to come up with a new plan and we get to see somebody step up to the plate. Caitlin’s been working on the Velocity drug and Jay is adamant against taking it, but with no other choice, we’ll see Earth-2 Jay Garrick be the hero we know he can be. Cisco and Wells are trying to come up with a plan on how to get Barry out of the predicament he’s in. They seek out help from somebody that you would never expect and they do their best to set up this rescue mission.
Earth-1 Barry knocked Earth-2 Barry out pretty quickly and he was out for the entire first part of the Earth-2 storyline. Will he return in the next episode?
Todd: You will, in the next episode, see a lot more of Earth-2 Barry. He’s quite a bit different than Earth-1 Barry. From Joe’s point of view, he’s pretty selfish. That plays into what happens with him in the next episode. He’s very entertaining. He’s hilarious.
Back on Earth-1, Caitlin is trying to help Jay get his speed back by supplying him with a series of drugs, like the EPs mentioned. They also hinted that we’ll soon get to see the drug Velocity-9 and all the comic book drama that comes with it. But what else will have changed if/when Barry, Cisco, and Harry get back to Earth-1?
Now that Barry and Cisco know about all these Earth-2 doppelgangers, how will that affect them when they return to Earth-1?
Todd: All these experiences of everyone meeting these doppelgangers — a lot of that information they now have. So they’re able to bring that back if they get back. It affects [Barry] quite a bit. The relationship with Iris really sits with him quite a bit and that’s going to be on his mind in upcoming episodes.
However “Escape from Earth-2” shakes out, neither world will ever be the same. Make sure to catch The Flash next Tuesday at 8 p.m. on The CW.