In what seems to be a recurring trend for the Arrowverse, the latter half of the two-parter surpasses the former by a hefty margin. With The Flash locked up in Zoom’s lair with the mysterious masked man and Jesse, it’s up to Harry and Cisco to assemble a team to overcome the odds and get back to their home.
Zoom’s dominance over Earth-2 is nothing if not ever-present. Even when he’s on another world terrorizing people, he still has half of Central City fearing his wrath. With how he handed out those pamphlets telling the police to bring him Wells, it was actually rather odd to not see a squadron of police go rogue and assault STAR Labs in an attempt to pacify Zoom. They seemed to be there for a brief period at the start in an effort to protect Wells, but it would have been cool to see them hunted by not only Zoom but the police as well. Seeing Cisco and Harry scramble to come up with some sort of plan to not only avoid Zoom but also rescue Barry was great. Showing Harry the goggles he swiped from Reverb before having them flung across the room in desperation was a nice touch. Eventually coming up with the idea of working with Killer Frost was neat, and fit with what we know of Caitlin. Even if she’s been a villain on this Earth for a few years, she’s still a foil to the Caitlin we know and love. While it’s understandable that she betrayed the group to Zoom, it was predictable that she counter-betrayed him so they could escape. Given that the portals to Earth-2 have been shut down, it’s unlikely we’ll ever see this particular incarnation of Killer Frost again, if she even managed to survive from Zoom here.
Initially it seemed that this episode seemed to be one that would focus almost entirely on the supporting cast, what with The Flash locked up and all. Instead, Grant Gustin still maintained a large amount of screentime due to his performance as the Earth-2 Barry Allen, which was all but forgotten in the first half. His panicked misunderstanding when being pushed around STAR Labs at the start of the episode was fantastic, and given how frantic he was to begin with it was a bit startling how easily he adapted to the concept of parallel universes and its effect on his life. Same with that world’s Iris. That’s not to say it would be fun to see yet another character freaking out over the idea of other worlds but it just felt odd that the understanding of the concept was left off-screen. Iris also seemed to accept the idea that her dad was dead just like that, but hey, the plot’s gotta keep moving man. Earth-2 Barry’s goofiness will be missed. Part of the appeal of Barry Allen’s depiction in this show is that he’s just some dork who got powers, and having matured and grown into the role of The Flash over the past couple years, there’s been slightly less of that. Seeing what is essentially a throwback to what Barry was like way back when we saw him in Arrow what seems like forever ago is a welcome breath of fresh air, especially with the more serious Iris of that world.
Seeing Barry and Jesse work together to try and come up with any attempt to escape from Zoom’s lair was a nice way to give the characters history, considering that she will now be making her home in Earth-1. It also began the important job of shedding more light on Zoom’s mysterious identity. The masked man tapping out Jay’s name, Jay’s doppelganger of Hunter Zolomon on Earth-1, and Zoom all seem to be connected in some convoluted way that likely doesn’t make a whole lot of sense yet considering we more likely than not don’t have all of the pieces yet. This is further complicated by Jay’s apparent “death” at the end of this episode. Perhaps Zoom is a far-future version of Jay, who has been driven mad for a hunger for speed due to Velocity 9, and the masked man is his past self or Jay Garrick after being “killed” here? It would explain why Zoom can’t kill the man, as he is the man, but it wouldn’t explain why he would even bother having him around at that point. Why “kill” Jay Garrick and pull him backwards in time to sit in a cage? Then how is Hunter Zolomon connected? The answer no doubt lies in some wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey shit, but seeing the pieces start to connect is amazing, and theory-crafting possible answers to the age old question of “whodunit” is always a good time.
Jay’s battles with Geomancer left much to be desired, and in the end the villain didn’t serve much other than provide a reason for Jay to continue pursuing the Velocity drug (which he didn’t need to while the Barry Allen Flash was still around.) Considering it was Caitlin who took him down in the end, he clearly did a fat lot of good playing Flash.
For my review of last week’s episode, “Welcome to Earth-2,” click here.