Jumpin’ jiggawatts! This week’s masterful episode of The Flash didn’t exactly go back to the future, and yet the action-packed adventure to a parallel universe had the captivating swagger of a big-screen sci-fi odyssey. With the versatile cast playing shocking versions of themselves, "Welcome To Earth-2" is a fan-friendly treasure stuffed with gif-able gems.
Here are the best moments from one of the best episodes in Flash’s history...
Earth-2, itself | This season has dropped a few breadcrumbs about Earth-2 from information mined from its natives, Jay and Harrison. But seeing is believing. Earth-2 is a mix of 1940s-era glamour—sleek hair, art deco designs and zoot suits—and yet their advances in science are far beyond that of Earth-1. It’s a fully-fledged and otherworldly without being too much. I love the little touches, down to the "Rhythm Nation" inspired bulletproof vest Iris rocks in the last third of the episode.
West-Allen is canon! | I am prone to fits of fangirl violence when I reach DEFCON levels of excitement, and I nearly flip my laptop like an angry Housewife when a brash, holster-wearing Detective Iris West drags Barry into a hallway for a make-out session. “Where is your ring? People should know you’re a taken man,” she croons. Not only are Barry and Iris dating on Earth-2, they are married!
The lovely thing about it is that Barry pretending to be his Earth-2 double is that he doesn't want to take advantage of an unwitting Iris, but soon gives into the charade, leaning in for kisses and holding her hand as if it’s second nature. Before Barry left for Earth-2, Iris asked if he was helping Harrison as a knee-jerk reaction to his break-up with Patty. Of course Barry denied it. I liked Patty. She was strong, capable, and as adorkable as Barry himself until the writers decided to destroy her before she left Central City. Barry fell for her so sincerely that I wondered if he had feelings for Iris beyond the platonic, best friend variety. And it's palpably obvious that he does. The endgame has always been Barry and Iris. My ship is finally coming in. If only for a few minutes in an alternate universe while pretending to be someone else.
Grant Gustin | Even Earth-2's dazzling glamour can’t dull the shine of Grant Gustin's talents. Not only does he play Barry Allen in an alternate universe. He also plays Earth-2 Bartholomew, who even outdorks his Earth-1 counterpart, and nails every nuance of emotion in both of them. When he’s not playing the stoked fanboy with Cisco, he’s fighting back tears as he talks to his very much alive Earth-2 mother or playing the The Flash who gets double-teamed by Reverb and Zoom. Barry Allen’s superpower may be his impossible speed, but Grant Gustin’s is his dynamic talent.
The Dopplegangers | It’s not only Gustin whose stretching his acting muscles; all of Team Flash gets a workout. And it’s always great fun when a cast on a television show gets the opportunity to break out of their characters, put on a costume and gnaw on the scenery as a completely different person. Danielle Panabaker steps out of her inexplicably dressy work attire and into some shimmery blue lipstick and platinum lacefront as Killer Frost. She is an arctic breath-of-fresh air as a Elsa's homicidal cousin. What’s better? Her boyfriend is no other than the human flamethrower Ronnie Raymond AKA Deathstorm (Robbie Amell). Joe West is a Barry-hatin’ lounge singer, which is nothing more than an excuse to finally showcase Jesse Martin’s golden pipes in the three minutes before he dies, and we're all okay with that. Did anyone bust out their Rent soundtrack after this episode to bask in the carmel-y glory of Jesse’s voice?
Finally and deliciously, Cisco thrills as the all-powerful, gothy Reverb. He’s chillingly and bizarrely even-keeled, thanks to creative styling and a great choices by Cisco’s real-life doppelganger Carlos Valdes. Reverb also gives fans a great preview of Vibe’s coming powers, and they are epic.
The Action | It doesn’t matter what universe we are in, The Flash’s action and fight scenes are the winning combination of comic book camp and with badassery. This episode’s climax deftly mixes exposition with action as Reverb, Killer Frost and Deathstorm battle Detective West, Floyd, Cisco, and The Flash. Fireballs are thrown, Reverb gets tackled and Iris shoots Killer Frost. Eventually, Zoom kills Reverb (Will Cisco be killed by every evil speedster?) and Deathstorm for double-teaming Barry.
As much as I want to stay in Earth-2 forever-ever, their world is Joe West-less and dangerous since Barry is now Zoom's captive. Back home, Team Flash is dealing with their own meta-human and the breech between Earths is broken. How will Barry save himself and the day?
Thankfully, we get one more dose of Earth-2 in next week's "Escape From Earth-2."
Small Screen Girl
I am an unabashed pop culture and TV-aholic with no plans to ever seek treatment. Explore this blog and see just how deep my obsession goes.