Flash of Two Worlds Recap:
Jay Garrick (guest star Teddy Sears), a mysterious man from Earth-2, appears at S.T.A.R. Labs with a dire warning about an evil speedster named Zoom, who is set on destroying The Flash. Barry (Grant Gustin) and the team must decide if they can trust this stranger even as they face yet another powerful meta-human. Meanwhile, Joe (Jesse L. Martin) must deal with a determined officer named Patty Spivot (guest star Shantel VanSanten) who wants to join his meta-human task force. Jesse Warn directed the episode written by Aaron Helbing & Todd Helbing (#202).
I understand why the producers did things the way they did, but this should have been the season premier. ‘Flash of Two Worlds’ was equal parts fun, fan service, and (as Martin Stein would say) forward. It was everything a Flash episode should be.
Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears) is a very strong addition to the team. Stein (Victor Garber) can fill the science explanation void left by Wells (Ton Cavanagh) just fine but he isn’t quite the mentor ol’ wheels used to be. Jay has got that covered. He’s teaching Barry new powers. He’s yet another father figure to add to the expanding Team Flash. It’s very positive. His costume looks excellent and his heroic delivery is solid. My only gripe is, I don’t how I feel about Jay’s budding relationship with Caitlyn Snow (Danielle Panabaker) considering there is no chance in hell that Ronnie (Robbie Amell) is gone for good but I am willing to let it go for now.
Patty Spivot is delightful. She is exactly what the series needs right now. She has energy. She has a tragic backstory but she isn’t cynical. She is a big nerd. Her chemistry with Barry is strong. She is currently the only main character that doesn’t know Barry’s secret identity. She is currently also the only main character who has some room to move around. We know how Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Caitlin and Joe are going to react in most episodes. Their characters have been very well established over the first season but that leads to a certain amount of predictability. Patty will be the wild card keeping things interesting this season.
All that nice stuff being said, I did have on issue with Spivot’s first episode. I’m not in love with how quickly the show is introducing a new character and tying her to a chair as bait. The episode really didn’t earn it. Sand Demon (Kett Turton) didn’t know that Flash cared about her. If she’s gonna get held hostage, at least give it some emotional weight. However, almost every other character on the show has been kidnapped by this point, so maybe it has become more of a right of passage.
The continuing adventures of Stein and Ramon are also great. From this day forth I will refer to their characters collectively as CiscoStorm. It is really encouraging to finally have a character who Cisco can talk science with that is able to have a little fun with it. Cisco’s flashback moments are fine but I really hope he gets to develop more physical powers in the future. I want a full Vibe costume. And what a great decision to have Cisco refer to his flashbacks as “vibes”. Speaking of that…
Oh, the fanservice! And make no mistake, I’m not talking about the dumb skimpy outfit fanservice. I’m talking about nods to things that only long time Flash nerds will appreciate. This episode was chocked full of them.
For example, Martin Stein’s explanation of the Many Different Worlds Theory was both a necessary explanation and the writers flexing their nerd muscles. Sure, Stein needed to explain the whole idea of a multiverse to an audience who probably wasn’t familiar with the concept but what other than pure fan service can explain him drawing a circle on the glass with the E-1 and E-2 in it? It did nothing extra to illustrate the point besides giving us a reason to call Jay’s homeworld Earth-2 and that’s awesome.
There was also an excellent bit of fanservice during the Sand Demon interrogation scene. When Joe asks Sand Demon where we was during the particle accelerator explosion, he answers “Blackgate Penitentiary” which comic fans will recognize as Gotham’s second most famous place to hold supervillains. People who watch Flash and Arrow have always wanted more acknowledgements of bigger DC characters and this is one of the first direct references to Batman that either show has been able to pull off. Bravo.
Another great one came from Cisco Ramon, the human fanservice, during the Multiverse conversation. When he is attempting to explain the parallel universe that Jay is from, he uses the term “Mirror World”. It’s an easy one to miss but that is a direct reference to the classic Flash villain Mirror Master and it isn’t the first allusion to that character this season. I can’t believe I forgot to mention it last week, but in the set up for Flash Day there is a man inexplicably setting up a stand with nothing but hanging mirrors. It is never mentioned or explained beyond that one shot. The Flash writers are too deliberate to mention mirrors twice in two episodes and not have something in mind.
Obviously, the biggest piece of fanservice in this episode, and possibly in the history of television, was the recreation of a classic Flash cover near the end of the episode. Flash #123 from 1969 featured on it’s cover Barry Allen’s Flash and Jay Garrick’s Flash running on opposite sides of a wall towards a man in distress. That comic was the first in the history of comics to introduce the multiverse theory and it established Earth-2 in the greater DC continuity. That cover was lovingly recreated in the shot immediately following the defeat of Sand Demon with both Flashes in costume running around a pillar (that kind of looks like the wall) towards the injured Patty Spivot. They both even say “I’m coming” at the same time. It doesn’t get much better than that.
So much forward! First of all we have so much more information about Zoom thanks to Jay’s explanation. Zoom is a demon who may be the fastest man alive who is intent on killing Flashes for some reason. He seems to have taken Jay’s speed during their altercation which not only severely damages Jays potential usefulness but may make Zoom more dangerous than any other speedster in existence. (I love how much The Flash is using words like “Speedster” and “Speedforce”. It’s great.) Also Zoom looks a lot like Barry and has a Flash symbol on his costume but let’s forget about that for now.
We were also treated to the revelation that there are (guess how many) 52 other portals to Earth-2 in Central City. Considering we will probably get 23 episodes of Flash this season, either one episode is going to be a montage of Barry killing 20 super villains or this one a week formula is going to leave a lot of meta-humans to deal with next year. Maybe if a particularly interesting one comes along, Barry can go ahead and imprison him instead of straight up killing them all but you know what they say about hindsight being 20/20.
And on top of all of that, Iris’ mom is back, Martin Stein had a stroke, and Wells is still alive in Earth-2 and he is the greatest hero of all time! The hype train is rolling down the tracks at near nuclear levels! And what’s the on the horizon? Another Captain Cold episode! Full speed ahead!
Matthew Nando Kelly is an incredibly cool and handsome staff writer for Pop-Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Besides weekly Flash recaps, he focuses on film, television, music, and video games. Matthew also has a podcast called Mad Bracket Status where he discusses pop culture related brackets with fellow Pop-Break writer DJ Chapman. He has an unshakable love for U2, cats, and the New Orleans Saints. His twitter handle is @NationofNando. Did we mention how handsome he was?