The Flash Review: “Escape from Earth-2”

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Jim’s Thoughts

The second part of the Earth-2 expedition wasn’t as successful as the first. Some of that had to do with the show playing its doppleganger cards last week, but I’d say more of it was due to the Earth-1 subplots.

I continue to not really care about Iris, and her exchange with the new editor felt out of place, like the show wanted its own J. Jonah Jameson without any context. The Velocity-9 story was interesting enough, but it all happened pretty fast, and that undermines Jay and Harrison who’ve supposedly put a lot into the problem. I realize the show’s scientific aspects never offer more than some empty jargon, and I’m not saying they need to, but Velocity-6 was presented as Harrison’s baby, and Caitlyn has put out three successive versions of it in a matter of hours. That’s some one-up-manship right there.

Speaking of things that happened too easily, there’s just about everything that took place in Zoom’s lair. How long has our helmet-ed hero been tapping away at that glass, and two geniuses took that long to even consider there was a code to it? Barry phasing out of the cell was equally unsatisfying. Yes, he needed to know about Earth-2 having a different vibrational frequency, but it felt like a flimsy out.

Jay getting snagged by Zoom was a very telegraphed punch. He spent so long hanging around in front of the breach that I was waiting for them to start playing the theme from “Jaws.”

There’s clearly a lot to pick on this week, but it was a mostly entertaining episode. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of Jay or Zoom, and I hope not. Just closing the breach and leaving Earth-2 to Zoom is not only anti-climactic, it’s precisely what Barry swore he wouldn’t do before he went through the breach at the start of all this. Despite the gripes I’ve got here, I am optimistic. Cisco is really starting to shine as a character, and I can’t wait for him to tap into his potential and really become Vibe. Even in the way he spoke to Killer Caitlin, we’re seeing Cisco change, and that’s good storytelling.

Kyle’s Take

“Escape from Earth-2” captured the same fun of last week’s episode and it had a lot of eye candy, but the story fell flat.

I agree with Jim that Cisco’s transformation is good storytelling, and that’s an important component of good storytelling, but there are more components. This season The Flash isn’t set in the right location; one that is the right place and size. The characters must be placed in enough of a confined space in order to stoke the flames of conflict. The Flash has two different Earths that are part of an infinite number of Earths. That sounds like a small enough space with which to serve as the conflict’s crucible: all creation.

Case and point, I don’t question Earth-Prime Barry’s decision to abandon Earth-2. When a character has too many options, because there’s too much space, character goals get muddy. The Flash’s speed and the Wells family were Zoom’s two targets, and Barry deprived Zoom of both of them through his actions. It may not be the most heroic act, but Earth-2 can’t get any worse with Barry and the Wells family gone. This large of a stage also invites outside elements.

Jay Garrick is friends with someone from Atlantis, and Atlantis has come up multiple times these past two episodes. Who do we know who lives in Atlantis? Aquaman. Despite being the butt of a lot of jokes, Aquaman is one of the DC Universe’s most powerful characters. Since he knows his buddy lost his powers, why doesn’t Aquaman take ten minutes to stop Zoom? Last week The Flash teased that Earth-2 Barry knows Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman—nudge, nudge, wink, wink. If that’s the case, why doesn’t other Barry call them, and the Justice Society can stop Zoom in one second? Let’s not forget that Supergirl will have a crossover episode with The Flash and that opens the door to yet another potential Earth. The conflict is set on too large a stage that it doesn’t have the right setting.

I don’t care about anything that happened on Earth-Prime (A.K.A. Earth-One) this week. The Geomancer storyline was like Arrow’s Brick last season. Barry was away, so the gang has to fight random villain number 4-385. Iris’s boss is contrived. The development of Velocity-9 these past two weeks is faster than Zoom. And I won’t touch the Jay Garrick ending with a Sharknado, but Cisco’s development is wonderful and Flash kept a nice balance between light and dark tones.

“Escape from Earth-2” was easy on the eyes, but Flash needs to nail down some of its story elements as it approaches the season finale.

Want more Flash? Zoom to our Flash secrets page. Thanks for reading.

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