Flash: Welcome To Earth 2

welcomeE2

Sort of Familiar Faces

Things get really weird when Flash finally visits Earth 2 in the appropriately named “Welcome to Earth 2.” They do a great job with turning things in unexpected directions with the doppelgangers of people we’ve seen a lot to some who haven’t been around in a while. I suspect the writers and casting directors had a lot of fun with this one. I know I did. 

The introduction is the regular voiceover Barry has been doing. After that, there’s another voiceover that, instead of Barry musing about what’s happening, is Wells. Wells is kind of dictating a letter to his missing daughter Jessie, and promising that he’s coming for her, but not alone this time.

Barry is excited about making this trip, but not everyone shares that. There’s a sort of good luck dinner for him at the West home. Joe is worried, and Iris even more so. Iris gives him not quite a pep talk, but more an “Are you sure you know what you’re doing?” talk. It’s a touching scene that has some interesting overtones for what’s coming on Earth 2.

The team going is Barry, Cisco, and Wells. Jay warns Cisco and Barry that nothing will be what they expect on the other Earth, and he was understating things. Even the trip there is weird, and they see images of strange things including gunfighter Jonah Hex, Supergirl, the Flash from the ‘90s tv show, and a flight ring from the Legion of Super Heroes.

They land in the other world’s STAR, which seems to be in the past, as it has odd sepia tones, although it has better tech than the “main” Earth. Barry and Cisco stop to take a selfie in front of the sign, much to Wells’ annoyance. The weird dopplegangers start almost at once, as an old foe shows up as a fairly mild lab assistant, which freaks out the Earth 1 boys.  Barry sees his Earth 1 counterpart and immediately comes up with a (bad) plan.

When Barry goes to this CCPD, he gets several more surprises. Detective West isn’t what (or who) he expected. West’s partner is Floyd Lawton, but here “Deadshot” is a derogatory name for a man who can’t shoot straight. Singh pops up, but he’s not exactly a police captain here.

We also see someone the comic fans have been waiting for since the series started- Killer Frost. She’s definitely a bad girl, as is her lover, Deathstorm, another cast member we haven’t seen in a while. They jump at the chance to hunt down some “breechers,” the term in the defunct Vibe comic for someone from an alternate Earth.

Barry gets a lot more surprises about how “his” personal relationships work on this world. Some are things that are blessings for him, while others are bitter surprises. Even some of the names aren’t quite what Barry is used to. There’s an interesting passing mention of Atlantis as well.

Back home, Caitlin, Jay, and Joe have more than enough to keep them busy. The speed cannon collapsed as soon as the “away team” went through, and they need to fix it so their friends can get back. This is also when the villain Geo-Mancer decides to show up. Jay makes some revelations about his past before (finally) suiting up again as Flash. His powers and their plan don’t quite work right.  There’s an odd sort of cameo by Wally that I’m not quite sure what the purpose was.

On Earth 2, their visit turns into a huge fight when Killer Frost and Deathstorm show up. There are some serious consequences to the fight, and the other Barry is going to have a hard time explaining things. Eventually, we learn who Zoom’s right hand man is- Cisco, under the name Reverb. Reverb is the codename used by Vibe’s brother in the comics after Vibe’s death. Evil Cisco is a jerk, but they have some amusing exchanges. Reverb shows he can do some things Cisco can’t yet, not everyone makes it through the fight, and then Zoom shows up. This helps set up a really nasty cliffhanger for next time.

What I liked: The Earth 2 differences were nicely done. The different spins on familiar characters were good touches that didn’t overwhelm the story. Reverb was a really creepy version of Cisco, but acted well with some nice touches. It was great seeing Jay in action again. The images during the transition were interesting hints of things to come. Wells being cranky about Barry and Cisco “sightseeing” was amusing and perfect for the character. And it was great to see Killer Frost without losing the good character Caitlin has become.

What I didn’t: Not a lot, really. It was a great episode. I’m not clear about the Wally pop-up, aside from maybe trying to keep the character in fans’ minds.

I’m giving this a 4.5 out of 5. It was a really nicely executed episode with great action and some good character work. I can’t wait for part two.

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