Ever since The Flash introduced the concept of the multiverse and more specifically Earth-2, there has been an explanation for the show to explore this alternate reality where there are different versions of these characters we know and love. And where they couldn’t be more different.
When it was announced that The Flash would be heading to Earth-2 I was cautiously optimistic. It’s something that the show has building to in a season that has been pretty subpar thus far, and I wanted the very best for this concept and show. Thankfully The Flash didn’t disappoint.
In “Welcome to Earth-2,” Barry, Cisco, and Wells head to Earth-2 to track down Zoom and save Wells’ daughter. When they arrive things quickly go from weird to weirder to bad to worse. Meanwhile back on Earth-1, Joe, Caitlin, and Jay are entrusted with protecting their Central City from a metahuman without the help of The Flash.
Here’s the rundown…
Barry, Cisco and Wells Head to Earth-2
We wanted Earth-2? We’ve got Earth-2. And man was it glorious. When we last left Team Flash, Harrison Wells of Earth-2 had just admitted that he was working with Zoom in order to save his daughter. After the team forgave Wells — due to the family of it all — Barry told Wells that since he’s a part of their team that he’d accompany him to Earth-2 and save his daughter.
With Barry, Cisco, and Wells headed to Earth-2 to track down Zoom, we find Barry and Cisco tying up loose ends should anything happen to them when they’re over there. We see Barry having dinner with Joe and Iris and Cisco giving a letter for his brother to Caitlin should anything happen. Suddenly this trip to Earth-2 that seemed fun for the audience seems incredibly terrifying with the odds at stake.
Barry, Cisco, and Wells travel through the last remaining breach via speed cannon, where they glimpse Earth-2 sights like an alternate Green Arrow, John Wesley Shipp’s Flash, and Supergirl. When they arrive to Earth-2, Barry and Cisco are greeted by a futuristic sight when they glimpse Earth-2’s Central City in its entirety, which has a very retro feel to it.
Back in Wells’ office we learn that things have gotten much worse in Central City in Zoom’s reign — which we hear from none other than Earth-2 Barry Allen, who is still a CSI. So our Barry races to retrieve his doppleganger — who begins to geek out — and knocks him unconscious to assume his identity on this Earth and try to find some answers.
At CCPD, Barry encounters Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot, who is a no-shot on this Earth, oh, and alive. He also encounters a very different Iris West, who is the detective of the West family. Oh, and she’s very much the wife of one Barry Allen, which Barry discovers when she throws him against a wall and starts making out with him. God that scene was beautiful.
Meanwhile back at Wells’ office, Cisco is focused on finding his doppleganger instead of Zoom, which irritates Wells to no end. But don’t worry Cisco, you’ll find your doppleganger later.
Back in the world of Earth-2, Barry and Iris head to Jitters (which is caused Jitterbug on Earth-2), where they find Joe West who is a singer on this Earth. Following his performance, he greets his daughter warmly and Barry — his son-in-law — rather coldly. Joe blames Barry for Iris becoming a cop. Turns out these two are not fond of each other on this Earth (he insists on Barry calling him Joseph and calls Barry Bartholomew). I’m sorry, but I don’t want to live in a world where Barry and Joe don’t love each other.
It’s not long before Killer Frost and Deathstorm bust inside Jitterbug mid-song to cause a stir. Turns out they’re looking for a breach jumper (sounds like Zoom knows that Barry and co. have made the jump somehow). Just as Killer Frost shifts her attention on Barry, Iris pulls her gun on Killer Frost and Deathstorm as the civilians run out of there. Barry tries to reason with this version of Caitlin, but Killer Frost hates the name Caitlin and then her and her beau attack. Joe takes a hit from Deathstorm’s blaze trying to protect Iris, which sends him to the hospital. Barry speeds Killer Frost and Deathstorm outside and the battle is on. Barry dodges Killer Frost’s icicles and Deathstorm’s fire, and uses Jay Garrick’s helmet as a shield to hit Killer Frost with one of Deathstorm’s fireballs injuring her. Then the two flee promising it’s not over.
Back at Wells’ office, Barry gets into a heated argument with Wells over his place on this Earth. Wells wants Barry to focus on finding Zoom and not these people — these are not Barry’s Iris and Joe. But to Barry, Iris and Joe will always be his family no matter what Earth they are on. So Barry goes to Joe’s bedside at the hospital.
At the hospital it’s clear that something isn’t good with Joe. He takes this time to tell Iris that every time he sings a song he says the same thing: “This one is for Iris. My baby girl. Every song is for you.” He tells Barry to take care of Iris. This is clearly a goodbye. So when Joe’s heart gives out — and Iris’ shrieks fill the room — all of our hearts break. But we have to remind ourselves that the Earth-1 Joe West is very much alive.
Killer Frost (and Villains) Come to Play
One of the amazing things about exploring Earth-2 is that there are dopplegangers for our beloved characters — well, the ones that are still alive. While some remain somewhat similar to their Earth-1 counterpart, there are a few that are vastly different, including our main villainous pairing of Killer Frost (Caitlin Snow) and Deathstorm (Ronnie Raymond), as well as a few other familiar faces.
Following Joe’s death, Iris is determined to get revenge on the people that killed her father. Her and her partner Floyd Lawton track down Killer Frost and Deathstorm to a warehouse, and our Cisco comes along for the ride as he has a weapon that can incapacitate these metahumans. Killer Frost and Deathstorm are there waiting and they force them to lower their guns, which they do (except Cisco, who hides it in his pocket). Cisco asks Ronnie about Martin Stein, which he reveals that Stein has been trapped inside of him for years.
Suddenly someone appears out of the shadows claiming that Killer Frost and Deathstorm work for him, and he works for Zoom. We see that this mystery person is none other than Cisco’s double, who goes by Reverb. Reverb has the same abilities as Vibe only with much more control and ability. Reverb tempts Cisco to the dark side saying they could be Gods if they ruled together. Instead, Cisco calls on The Flash for help.
The Flash arrives and uses Reverb’s weapon to injure Killer Frost while Cisco and Reverb continue to face off. Lawton shoots at Reverb and misses every one before Reverb hits him with a shock wave that sends him flying backward. Reverb and Deathstorm both use their powers on The Flash repeatedly as Killer Frost yells for them to stop — Zoom didn’t want him harmed. But then Zoom shows up and kills Deathstorm and Reverb as punishment for disobeying him. He catches Killer Frost in a choke hold but spares her life as she was the only one that listened. Zoom then steals Barry and speeds off.
In the end credits scene, Barry wakes up in Zoom’s prison where we see Wells’ daughter Jessie, as well as someone in a silver helmet that looks a lot like Arrow‘s Diggle. Barry tries to reassure Jessie, but then Zoom appears at the glass and taunts Barry.
Easter Eggs Galore
One of the things heading into this episode that we were teased about was that there would be Easter Eggs galore in this episode, which is saying a lot considering there are always an Easter Egg or two sprinkled throughout episodes. And man they weren’t wrong.
Right from the start as Barry, Cisco, and Wells traveled to Earth-2 we got a peek of what appears to exist in Earth-2, which included a look at a Green Arrow that was not Oliver Queen (is this Robert Queen or perhaps Connor Hawk?), John Wesley Shipp’s The Flash (from the ’90s), Gorilla Grodd, and most notably Supergirl, with whom Barry’s The Flash will interact with in National City — which apparently is on Earth-2.
Perhaps one of the most exciting Easter Eggs came courtesy of the West-Allen family phone, where we saw the names Bruce (Wayne), Hal (Jordan), and Diana (Prince) all on speed dial. So Earth-2 is a world where not only Supergirl exists but Batman, Green Lantern, and Wonder Woman. The Justice League is a thing on Earth-2. Good God what a time to be alive!
There were also appearances from other DC characters previously seen on Arrow and The Flash, including Floyd Lawton’s Deadshot (who is a non-shot), a mention that Leonard Snart is mayor of Central City (say what?!), and what appeared to be Earth-2 John Diggle being held captive by Zoom (I swear it’s him!)
Back on Earth-1
While Barry, Cisco, and Wells have one hell of a time on Earth-2 — which is sarcasm at its finest — things aren’t much better back on Earth-1, where Joe, Caitlin, and Jay have to handle a couple of massive problems that are stressful even to hear about.
The first problem is a pretty big problem. Since Barry had closed every breach on their Earth except for the one in STAR Labs, when he, Cisco, and Wells travel through the speed cannon a part of it breaks off and Jay realizes that this one might be unstable. Which means that our Barry and Cisco (and Earth-2 Wells) might be stuck in Earth-2 forever unless they can fix this.
But that’s not the only thing that Joe, Caitlin, and Jay have to deal with. A metahuman named X is causing mayhem in search of The Flash, who — sorry can’t come to the phone right now but you can leave a message. He goes by Adam Fells on Earth-2 only this is his Earth-1 doppleganger that goes by the name of Geomancer. Joe suggests that Jay take some of that Velocity-6 because this Earth could really use a Flash right now. But Jay is adamantly against it.
We soon learn that there’s more to Jay’s story than he originally told. It turns out that the last time wasn’t Jay’s first experience with the Velocity-6. Back on Earth-2, Jay was obsessed with getting faster than he already was so he used the Velocity-6 to increase his speed. Only the side effect was much worse. So for those playing at home, it wasn’t Zoom that stole Garrick’s speed. It was Garrick’s poor decision-making that cost him his speed. And caused the disease that is killing him. But Caitlin vows to help him.
Joe tracks down Geomancer and the two fight, with our metahuman convinced The Flash is gone. But then we see a flash of red and Jay Garrick speeds onto the scene — courtesy of the Velocity-7 that Caitlin created — dressed in his Flash costume. The two battle until the Velocity-7 wears off, and Geomancer looks to move in for the kill. But Joe shoots at Geomancer and forces him to flee. Back at STAR Labs, Caitlin tends to Jay’s wounds and vows that her Velocity-8 will be even better.
EPISODE MVP: Grant Gustin
I feel like every week this could go to Grant. While Grant showed his versatility with portraying two versions of himself — and in the same scene, no matter, there was one scene that sealed the deal for me. Once again Grant Gustin shows how easily he can make me cry. In an emotional scene on Earth-2 — where Barry is posing as his doppleganger — Iris mentions that Barry’s mother called him. Instantly you can see how the mere knowledge that his mother is alive on this Earth-2 emotionally impacts him. But when he calls his mother — and speaks to her in such a casual yet loving manner — that’s when Grant did his best work. We saw Barry keeping up a conversation with his Earth-2 mother choking back tears and overwhelming emotion the entire time. And when he hung up he had to take a moment to collect himself, as did I.