The Flash: “Welcome to Earth-2” Season 2 Episode 13 Review

Photo Credit:http://www.comingsoon.net/tv/news/654233-welcome-to-earth-2-in-new-photos-from-the-flash#/slide/1

What a grand opportunity The Flash has here. We finally get most of a full episode set on Earth-2, where we got a fun and surprising look at an alternate universe of this series. It largely paid off, but with so much being perfect, the flaws of it all standout a bit more than they would in a less ambitious episode.

First off, the overall look of this other dimension was very cool. With World War II era cars and superior technology to what we have today, Earth-2 was like an old school Philip K. Dick novel come to life, much like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and, to a lesser degree, Captain America: The First Avenger. Even the fashion of Earth-2 had barely evolved out of the 1940s, making for an immersive trip to this other side.

But the big talking point of this episode was easily the various doppelgängers to the cast of The Flash on this other world. Actually, the only character we didn’t see was Eddie, which seems a bit like a missed opportunity. But the differences in the lives of Earth-1 Barry and Earth-2 Barry, as well as the rest of the cast, made for some excellent drama. Actually, Barry is pretty much the same on both worlds, but then we got that emotional conversation between Earth-1 Barry and the Earth-2 version of his mother, who’s alive and well. It shows the different build-up to who this man is, and the small differences that makes him the Flash on one world and just an ordinary guy on the other.

Not that Barry sees his doppelgänger’s life as ordinary. On Earth-2, he’s married to Iris, who’s also chief of police instead of her father. Frankly, this is the best version of Iris we’ve gotten yet. Here’s to hoping the Earth-1 version can become as strong as her Earth-2 counterpart. As for her father, he’s a singer who also hates his son-in-law. Considering the Barry/Joe relationship is a huge part of the emotional core of the series, tearing it to pieces on Earth-2 only to build it back up was oddly rewarding to watch.

Then there was Caitlin, with Danielle Panabaker finally sporting the Killer Frost look. She’s even got Ronnie on her side, now calling himself Deathstorm. As the episode’s villains, it was immediately fun to have two characters we’ve come to know be so different on this second world. It was also awesome to see Panabaker absolutely nail Killer Frost. Sadly, the duo’s fights with Barry put Deathstorm ahead of her. It was actually incredibly disappointing to finally deliver Killer Frost and have her barely use her powers. Here’s to hoping for some serious icy carnage in next week’s episode.

But it turned out that the true big bad of “Welcome to Earth-2” was none other than Cisco Ramon. Earth-2’s version has mastered his powers, giving us a glimpse of what our Cisco may eventually be able to do. Before we see too much, Zoom speeds in and kills him and Ronnie, leaving Killer Frost alive to continue doing his bidding. Zoom takes Barry and the episode ends on one hell of a cliffhanger.

Unfortunately though, The Flash didn’t quite have the courage to keep the story centered on Earth-2 this week. Back on Earth-1, the writers shoehorned in a villain and Caitlin quickly found a way to give Jay his speed back. It half works, with the obvious end result next week being that it does work. I just wish Earth-1 had been left behind to give more room to everything that made this episode so exciting and ambitious.

Still, even a crappy subplot wasn’t enough to steal the episode’s thunder. The visit to Earth-2 was a rousing success, aside from the major downplaying of Killer Frost. But the general aesthetic mixed with the heavy drama made this a trip well worth taking. Grade: A-

Some Other Notes:

  • There were a lot of great uses of side characters in this episode, including Leonard Snart being an offscreen mayor. But the best had to be Floyd Lawton, a.k.a. Deadshot from Arrow, being a clumsy cop.
  • Barry’s parents are going to Atlantis for vacation. These CW shows a seriously starting to push the envelopes of where in the DC universe they are allowed to go.
  • Killer Frost needs to be around forever.

By Matt Dougherty

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