Monday, 15 February 2016

The Flash 'Welcome To Earth-2' Review

This review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS for the episode to be discussed, if you do not want certain plot points or story spoilt for you, please do not read further.

'Welcome to Earth-2' is the type of episode that shows just how amazing The Flash can be.  The writers have been waiting to give us this episode all season since they told us that another earth existed.  Every fun thing and neat twist that they've been wanting to give us is all thrown into this episode, and it makes it one of the best episodes of this season, and possibly the whole of the CW's Arrowverse.

When Barry, Cisco and Harry travel through the last remaining breach to Earth-2 with the mission to hunt down Zoom on his own turf a save Harry's daughter Jessie the audience knew that things were not going to go to plan for the characters, after all, when do their plans actually work that flawlessly.

The first hurdle comes when the trio arrive on Earth-2 and realise that because of that earths vibrational frequency Cisco can't use his vibe powers to locate Jessie or Zoom.  Barry improvises as grabs his Earth-2 counterpart, a geekier bow tie wearing forensic scientist version of himself, and attempts to impersonate him in order to gain access to the police files on Zoom.

In typical alternate reality style Barry just cant seem to stay on mission though and gets distracted when he discovers that the Earth-2 Detective West is actually Iris instead of Joe, and that his counterpart is married to her.  From here we get to not only see this universes version of Barry's life, but a whole host of nods and Easter eggs for fans hidden around the place too, such as Barry's home phone having speed dial settings for Hal, Bruce and Diana.

Luckily we can always rely on the villains to bring things back on track and Barry, Iris and lounge singer version of Joe come under attack from Killer Frost and Deathstorm, this universes versions of Caitlin and Ronnie.  When the team later try and track down Killer Frost and Deathstorm, hoping that they will lead them to Zoom, they discover that they are working for a middleman, the Earth-2 Cisco, a meta human calling himself Reverb.

Facing off against three meta human villains proves too much for Barry and he's incapacitated long enough for Zoom to appear, kill Deathstorm and Reverb, and kidnap Barry, leaving us on a cliffhanger ending for next weeks episode.

'Welcome To Earth-2' is one of those absolutely brilliant episodes of The Flash, that marries together great action scenes, brilliant character moments, drama, massive story and top notch effects work.

We get to see most of our actors getting to play someone completely different from their regular characters and revelling in it, whether it's the members of Team Flash as super villains or Iris as a strong action woman, they all feel very real and not overly arch or forced.  Even Deadshot as the bumbling but kindhearted partner for Iris is a brilliant edition, and one that I'm hoping we see again now that the Earth-1 version of the character has been killed off.

The emotional heart of the episode comes from the parent characters though, from Harrison Wells as he starts to become more desperate now that he's back on Earth-2 and so close to finding his daughter, to Barry watching an alternate version of Joe dying in front of him and Iris, and the most heard hitting scene of Barry talking to the Earth-2 version of his mother.

Yes, 'Welcome To Earth-2' is full of spectacle and humour, but these emotional moments help to keep the episode grounded and real, and means that they'll have an impact on our characters, especially Barry.

As a little side note, it would also appear that this episode has very quickly and neatly explained just how the Flash is going to be crossing over with the Supergirl tv show, as announced this week.  As the team travel between Earth-1 and Earth-2 they see flashes of other universes and times, including the 90's Flash, starring John Wesley Shipp, another version of Green Arrow and Jonah Hex (who will both be appearing in Legends of Tomorrow) and Supergirl.  This would mean that Supergirl will be in another parallel universe, allowing the Flash to easily crossover into her show but allowing the two of them to remain separate entities.

As far as the overall season arc goes it's great work too, it feels like we're building to a big moment, though with almost half the season still left to go I'm hoping that we're not going to see them beat Zoom next week in order to introduce another big bad for the end of the year.  Hopefully this episode, and next weeks 'Escape From Earth-2' will set the stage for an even bigger showdown with the demonic speedster.


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