The first season of The Flash was spectacular right out of the gate and that was a huge yet pleasant surprise. Therefore, there were plenty of doubts if the second season would be able to keep up with it. The bar was set pretty high, but it doesn’t seem that there is going to be a problem. The 13th episode of the new season titled ‘Welcome to Earth-2’ is proof of it as it is by far the best episode of possibly the whole show. It managed to make the most of the entire Earth-2 concept without forgetting to provide us the classic blend of tragedy and comedy that we have come to expect from it.
In fact, the show could have spent the entire episode dedicated to exploring the bizarre nature of the alternate reality that is Earth-2 and it would still been a hit. Every time we got to see the major and minor differences between Earth-1 and Earth-2, it came as a surprise, even though we were told to expect it. Perhaps the best possible twist was watching the Earth-2 Joe play the role of a lounge singer and one who hates Barry, which he did spectacularly. The whole world was just great to experience.
We meet the hotshot detective in the West family and that’s actually Iris and there is Singh, who is not only not the captain, but is actually a fedora-wearing and flamboyant master criminal. We also got to see the evil versions of our Ronnie and Caitlyn. After the show has spent more than a year and a half in allowing users to fall in love with the city and its characters, there was plenty of potential for the writers to simply subvert these relationships and just have some fun with the idea of a parallel universe.
Even though traveling to a different universe was a surreal experience, Barry managed to keep us anchored because he was no less befuddled and lost as the viewers when he attempted to imitate his doppelgangers. It was extremely hilarious watching Barry reacting to one strange and goofy twist after another. In addition, the writers didn’t just stop at exploiting the humorous element of the episode; they also mined it for what it was worth in the dramatic aspect and there was plenty. There was another gut-wrenching and heartbreaking scene where Barry talked to his mother on the phone, which was quite similar to what we saw in the Season 1 finale.
The show made the trip from funny to somber quickly, which was unexpected, but worked out really well. This was perhaps the most emotionally charged scene of the whole episode, but it wasn’t the only one where Grant Gustin got the opportunity to show us his dramatic flair. As the episode unfolded, it was great to see Barry’s relationship with Earth-2’s Joe and Iris adjust and evolve and it finally came to an end in the form of a tearful goodbye to a dying Joe. Another powerful moment was when Barry declared that Joe and Iris were his family, regardless of the universe.
This gives rise to the worry as to how next week episode is going to top the drama in this one. Nonetheless, Deathstorm and Killer Frost worked out quite well for the episode’s big villains and were quite entertaining in that regard. It was kind of obvious that Danielle Panbaker was enjoying playing the role of a supervillain for a change as she got to play a role that was Caitlin’s polar opposite. Yes, there was some room for improvement in her and Robbie Amell’s performances, but a subtle over-the-top approach works well for the heightened reality setting we saw in Earth-2 along with its serene lighting, retro fashion and Art-Deco furniture. Eventually, just like Earth-1’s Cisco, Earth-2’s Cisco showed up to steal the show and leave his minions behind.
The episode did well in building up the question of who, what and where Cisco’s Earth-2 version was and he made a terrific entrance in the form of Reverb. Carlos Valdes was amazing throughout the confrontation as we saw him trying to come to terms with the top know-adorned, leather-clad villain version of himself who was fully in control of his powers. Even though he had to play two different versions of the same character, Carlos Valdes didn’t stumble at all as he managed to show us Cisco’s confusion and inner turmoil accurately. Therefore, it was such a disappointment when Zoom showed up and killed Cisco. What a waste! He could have been an interesting and fascinating villain.
With that said, Zoom’s appearance was also a great twist as they could have simply kept him off screen for this one. He gave quite a cliffhanger for next week’s installment when he captured Barry and took him away. Also, there were also some Earth-1 scenes where Jay attempted to take over Barry’s role and we got some additional insight into what happened to him on Earth-2. He triumphed for a short while before the Velocity-7 gave out and he came crashing down. In this subplot, we were introduced to Adam Stafford as Geomancer. Since he didn’t have much screen time, failed to make much of an impression.
Essentially, he was just a way to get Jay back in his costume. There were some additional tidbits and cameos that we saw in this episode. It was a welcome surprise to see Deadshot make an appearance, even though the Suicide Squad was buried by the Arrow. It was even better to see him as a CCPD detective who has the worst possible aim ever. We got to hear about Mayor Snart (Woah!!); let’s hope we get to see him next episode. Amongst glimpses of other worlds, we saw Supergirl, which is a confirmation of Supergirl/Flash crossover. Early glimpses of the metal armed and older Green Arrow and Jonah Hex, who are scheduled to appear on Legends of Tomorrow were also shown.
All in all, the episode was a perfect mix of comedy and drama and we are eagerly waiting for the second half of this two-part episode.