Spoilers ahead for “Escape From Earth-2,” the latest episode of The CW’s Flash!
Last week’s easter-egg-filled romp through Earth-2 was one of the best episodes of the series, and sadly, the followup fell a bit short when compared to that high bar. But “Escape From Earth-2” still included its fair share of shocks and twists.
Long story short: The gang (a nice mix of Earth-1 and Earth-2 versions) tracks down Barry and Jessie in Zoom’s secret prison and gets them free, while Jay continues to experiment with Velocity-9 back on Earth to stop a rogue metahuman. But there’s a whole lot more than that …
Barry’s locked up
The Earth-1 version of Barry Allen we know and love spends most of this episode locked up in a little box, while Grant Gustin gets to flex his acting muscles as the dweeby Earth-2 version of Barry Allen. It was an interesting move to essentially take The Flash off the board for most of the run time, though it gave Barry some quiet moments to bond with Harry’s super-smart daughter, Jessie.
Though it begs the question — why did it take him until halfway through the episode to at least try and phase through the prison wall? I mean, wouldn’t that be the first idea? We’ve seen Barry phase through objects before. Which, yeah, he was having trouble getting through it once he finally thought to try. But he’s seriously looking for weak points in the cell — at that moment you don’t think “Hey, oh yeah, I’m The Flash and can at least attempt to phase through this.” A smallish qualm, but still annoying.
Hanging with the Earth-2 gang
But this episode wasn’t really all that much about Barry. It was about the motley crew of Harry, Cisco and the Earth-2 versions of Barry and Iris. Considering how dorky this version of Barry seems to be, it’s hard to believe the hardened cop version of Iris would ever fall for him. But hey, Iris and Barry are fated by the comic gods, so we’ll digress.
Seeing all these characters interact was a blast, and to be honest, Earth-2 Iris is way more fun than the Earth-1 version. While Earth-1 Iris is dealing with a poor man’s J. Jonah Jameson, Earth-2 Iris is on a half-cocked adventure to face off with Zoom. Cisco and Harry continue to be the perfect yin to one another’s yang, and Earth-2 Barry is the slapstick comedy relief. But, it’s when they pick up their guide to Zoom’s lair that things really started to get interesting.
Killer Frost’s heart finally thaws
Fresh off the murder of Deathstorm at the hand of Zoom, Killer Frost is very, very angry. So, Cisco thinks they can use her grief about Deathstorm’s death to turn her against Zoom and get her to help. It takes a bit of convincing, but she eventually does sign on to help Team Flash (minus the Flash) head to Zoom’s super-secret base hidden at the top of a mountain (which is quite brilliant, since it’s largely inaccessible to anyone expect a speedster).
Despite her wicked new look, Cisco can still see the good inside of her and fights to make that connection. Hey, she even helps Harry get Jessie loose from her chains. But, it turns out she was working with Zoom all along (maybe!), as Zoom shows up to wipe everyone out. It was a trap! (maybe!).
Zoom seems to think Killer Frost is working with him, until she turns the tables and starts blasting him with ice to help Barry and the gang escape to the last remaining breach. It was great to see the Earth-2 version of Caitlin come through, even if she really was just doing it for revenge in the wake of Evil Ronnie’s death.
What is up with Mystery Masked Guy?
Seriously, who is that guy? We learn the mysterious masked man has apparently been locked up in Zoom’s prison since before Jessie arrived. Oh, and that annoying knocking he was doing on the glass? It’s a code used by POWs, and he spells out the word “J-A-Y” for Barry and Jessie. Once they try to explain Jay isn’t there, he gets frustrated — and the interaction is interrupted when Zoom returns.
So, who is this guy? The Earth-2 version of Wally West seems like a possibility, though the fact that he knows the POW code indicates he could be someone with a military background. Earth-2 Diggle, maybe? Or some version of Jay, himself? That’s an option. Of course, he could also be a character we’ve never met — but if that were the case — why put the mask on him?
Jay hits Velocity 9, and definitely might be Zoom
Jay spent most of the episode trying to stabilize the breach (again) and fighting the super-lame Geomancer while Barry is away on Earth-2. But, the most interesting part about all of that is how he manages to temporarily regain his speed. Thanks to some research and development from Caitlin, Jay’s conception that apparently cost him his speed, the Velocity injections, reached the Velocity 9 iteration (a famed piece of The Flash’s comic lore).
Just as the Velocity 9 is working, and things are looking up for Jay, Zoom reaches through the near-closed breach to yank Jay back to Earth-2 just as the gateway closes. It was a shocking moment, to be sure, but it also raised some questions. Namely: What did Mystery Masked Guy mean when he spelled Jay? Is a version of Jay really Zoom? We know his (apparent) Earth-1 counterpart is named Hunter Zolomon (Zoom’s name in the comics), and Velocity 9 has famously led some speedsters to go a little loopy.
So, could Zoom be a future version of Jay? Or the Earth-1 version? Or, maybe even the version we already know (he did disappear to take a nap when Zoom was causing trouble, after all). This definitely seems the direction they’re teasing the story, and we can’t wait to see where they go with Zoom’s identity.
Weird rescue: Were there really just three people in that entire hospital Geomancer took down? Great to see Jay get some action, but that was the weirdest rescue ever.
Jessie’s teenage whininess seemed super-random: She’s just been rescued from a supervillain’s prison for several months, and as her dad gets ready to take her away from that psycho via the breach, she complains about leaving her life behind. And her friends, daaaaad! Which, sure, nobody wants to leave their entire world behind — but if it means you can escape the monster that kept you in a cage? You’d think she’d be a little more gung ho, right?
Up next: We’re gonna need a bigger boat! King Shark returns! Oh, and Diggle comes to help Team Flash!