Warning: If you haven’t seen “Welcome to Earth-2,” beware that there spoilers below.
“You’re gonna see things that look and feel familiar, but they’re not. Do not let yourself get sucked in emotionally.” Jay Garrick’s sage advice to Barry and Cisco before heading to Earth-2.
Taking off immediately after last week’s episode ended, “The Flash” didn’t waste any time in getting started with Team Flash destroying the remaining breaches, leaving the one in S.T.A.R. Labs open so Barry, Cisco, and Harry could make their way over to Earth-2 on a rescue mission to save Harry’s daughter Jesse from Zoom. Sounds simple, right? But what’s an episode of “The Flash” if something (or in this case everything) doesn’t go wrong?
Harry, Barry, and Cisco go through the breach that leads them right to Earth-2, but since there’s on left it’s now unstable and Jay has to fix it so they can get back. The three have a 48-hour window to save Jesse and get back to Earth-1 before Zoom expects another speed dosage, courtesy of Harry, and before Jay, Caitlin, and Joe are instructed to close the breach for the safety of everyone.
Cisco and Barry take Earth-2 selfies and Cisco quickly realizes that his Vibe powers aren’t working because the frequency of Earth-2 is different from Earth-1. After seeing his doppelganger on TV, Barry speeds his Earth-2 self (who is adorkable) and knocks him out so that he can take his place and get some information. Cisco is then tasked to find Zoom. Barry quickly finds that there are distinct differences from his Earth. Captain Singh is a criminal, Joe is a lounge singer, Barry’s mom is still alive, Iris is a detective, and they are happily married. So that whole “don’t get sucked in emotionally” part is no longer on Barry Allen’s agenda.
Back on Earth-1, Jay has to find a way to get some speed after a meta-human called Geomancer tries to get the attention of The Flash by rocking the city with earthquake-style tremors. Joe argues that he can take Velocity-6, which he used to help save Harry when he was shot, but Jay knows its dangers… because he was the one to come up with the formula that ultimately sapped him of his speed and made him sick. Suspicions, suspicions.
In retrospect, “Welcome to Earth-2” could have completely bombed. Or stuck with just the fun element of having doppelgangers of all its characters, but writers (and brothers) Aaron and Todd Helbing didn’t allow for it to run amok. The episode remained grounded and didn’t dwell on differences for too long, because it still had a story to tell. And that’s what I’ve come to appreciate about this show. It can have bizarre and strange scenarios, gives us gobbledy-gook science explanations, but it has heart and character development and story. The episode had several things going on and the writers balanced it all so very well. It was a strong episode and a highly entertaining one filled with great villains and humor that didn’t lose sight of the overall plot.
The entire cast stepped up their game to play the beloved and recognizable characters we know, but with a twist. The show didn’t shy away from heartfelt moments, once again involving the Wests and particularly the scenes where Barry talks to his mother over the phone and Joe tells Iris that his songs are for her before dying are very emotional. Killerfrost and Deathstorm are exaggerated villains, but they’re so much fun and you can tell that everyone thoroughly enjoyed playing different versions of their characters. Zoom even makes an appearance, giving us more of his genuine evil and Jesse L. Martin sings!
The production department really had their work cut out for them and they didn’t disappoint. From the general aesthetic of Earth-2’s environment to the costumes, the episode definitely had a ’40s-style, Art Deco vibe going for it and it looked fantastic. The Jitterbugs lounge (an alternate CC Jitters but with no coffee) especially looked phenomenal.
“Welcome to Earth-2” had great pacing, plot, and fun character interaction and contained a lot of plotlines without making a mess of things. Glad the writers decided to make this a two-parter, otherwise it would have just ended up being too jam-packed and rushed. This episode has been a highly-anticipated one for a very long time and it’s safe to say that it definitely lived up to its hype.
- Jay Garrick is a LIAR! Zoom didn’t steal his speed, but his greed for it was his downfall. (Could it be that he is Zoom, after all?)
- Shockingly, Cisco’s doppelganger is evil. Didn’t see that coming.
- How cool was it that Barry and Iris had a phone with Bruce (Batman), Diana (Wonder Woman), and Hal (Green Lantern) on speed dial? Interestingly enough, Eddie (I assume Thawne, because who else would it be?) is on there as well. Hmm.
- Barry’s mom and dad are going to Atlantis for their anniversary. Aquaman, anyone?
- Leonard Snart is not Captain Cold. He’s mayor.
- Deadshot is a detective and Iris’ partner. And his aim is terrible.
- Supergirl appeared briefly in the vortex?, speed cannon? between Earth-1 and 2. A shout-out to the upcoming crossover between the two shows.
- The writers killed Earth-2 Joe. I would not forgive them if Earth-1 Joe ever had the same fate.
- The guy in the cell across from Barry’s in Zoom’s lair looks an awful lot like Diggle (the mask is extremely similar).
- Robert Queen is the Arrow on Earth-2. I wonder if he and Barry will ever meet.
- Detective Iris West-Allen is fierce and no-nonsense. Loved it.
- So. Many. Easter eggs. What was your favorite?
A strong and highly entertaining episode filled with great villains, shout-outs, and humor and a big bonus is that it doesn't lose sight of the overall plot. It's everything fans could hope for and the best episode of season 2 so far.