Review: ‘Flash’ Drops Killer DC Easter Eggs in Series High ‘Welcome to Earth-2’
There’s really no two ways (Earths?) about it: The Flash’s “Welcome to Earth-2” was always going to be tremendous fun. Arrow can take a break from brooding with the occasional field trip, and Legends hasn’t quite found its voice just yet, but The Flash embraces its comic absurdity with an “alternate-Earth selfie” style that’s pure joy, televised. The hour overall split some pacing issues as the first half of a two-part journey, making a few questionable choices here and there, but let it never be said that The Flash fails to absolutely delight its fans.
Its many DC easter eggs aside, the strongest aspect of “Earth-2” saw the second season finally shifting into gear in its battle against Zoom, closing all but the one major breaches around Central City, taking the fight to Zoom’s home, as well as dropping some suspicious new details of Jay’s history. Little touches early on helped create some of that urgency as well, between Barry sharing a “final” dinner of sorts with Joe and Iris, and Cisco leaving a letter to his family with Caitlin just in case.
The only times “Welcome to Earth-2” seemed to stumble were in falling for the exact trap Jay warned Barry to avoid, losing sight of the mission at hand by getting lost in the allure of another world. It’s one thing that every one of our main cast should have some kind of doppelganger, despite every other massive difference of this world’s history, but another that the hour seemed to go out of its way to introduce them happenstance. Other Barry (get it?) randomly pops up on TV, while
Caitlin Killer Frost, Ronnie Deathstorm and Cisco Reverb all happen to work for Zoom, and everyone from mirror-image Captain Singh to an incompetent Deadshot crops up in a manner that while cute, feels notably contrived.
The reveal of Cisco’s doppelganger worked best (the surprise factor helped), not solely for Carlos Valdes turning in the least hammy EVIL! Performance, but also its impact on Cisco’s abilities and arc going forward. Obviously, the character’s death at Zoom’s hand suggests the benefit largely for our Cisco, rather than to explore the mirror image any further, but it was still a neat little turn.
Strangest of all was Barry allowing himself to be drawn into his Earth-2 self’s life with Iris, even going so far as their home, considering the urgent work locating Zoom at the precinct, and how easily Barry could have presented excuse to stay. Understandably, the story wanted Barry to contemplate a larger lesson of what his life could be under different circumstances, as well to tug at some of those parental strings between Joe and Barry’s still-living mother. In context, however, it didn’t present a compelling argument for Barry to abandon the mission to rescue Jessie so quick, or refute Harry’s suggestion that Barry /knew nothing of these doppelganger’s real selves.
If there’s any series worth forgiving the odd contrivance, it’s The Flash, and we are only seeing half the story this week. No doubt “Escape from Earth-2” will bring more to the Earth-1 battle with Geomancer, as well the suspicious revelation that Jay lied about Zoom stealing his powers, and whatever was going on with that masked figure in Zoom’s lair. Even so, the glee pervading “Welcome to Earth-2” was palpable, even in its weakest points.
AND ANOTHER THING …
- Whatever the prevailing theory on Zoom’s identity this week, hard not to take note of Barry referencing his absentee father, John Wesley Shipp’s Flash-y appearance in the portal, and the character’s conspicuous absence from Earth-2.
- Presumably, the Supergirl appearance also confirm that Kara belongs to another Earth, even if it remains unclear which Barry she’ll meet in March.
- I would presume Leonard, but which Snart do we think was Mayor?
- Was … there a reason Wally showed up for that brief scene?
- Sure, Iris, ignore the metahuman detector going off on your husband, despite the numerous shapeshifters running about the city.
- I will forgive the art-deco design to Earth-2, but NOT the prevalence of portrait-angled TVs and monitors. Monsters.
- Anyone else think Michael Rowe was doing his best George McFly impression?
- Neat helmet trick, Jay.
The Flash Season 2 will return February 16 with “Escape From Earth-2”, airing at 8:00 P.M. on The CW.
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