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[TV Review] ‘The Flash’ Episode 2.13 – “Welcome to Earth-2”

Team Flash (at least part of it, anyway) plunged through the last remaining portal to Earth-2 this week.  What strange things did they see on their journey?  All kinds o’ craziness came flying our way, along with all kinds of fun.  The journey through the portal itself was filled with teases, hints, and Easter eggs…

A glimpse of the ’90s-era “Flash” series with John Wesley Shipp (the actor who plays Barry’s father on this show) in the titular role.  A tease of Barry’s upcoming crossover on “Supergirl” by showing a shot of Kara flying.  Potential teases of upcoming appearances of Jonah Hex and future Green Arrow on “Legends of Tomorrow“.  A Legion of Superheroes membership ring.

Not only did this little portal montage work as a multiverse middle finger to WB’s film division, but it also brought an ever-widening smile to my face.  Nothing is being cast aside here.  All of the old DC movies and TV shows you love?  As far as this series (and its sister shows) are concerned, they all happened.  They’re ALL canon.  Most of them may never have direct references on these shows, at least not beyond cute nods, but due to the multiverse concept, it’s all valid.  Instead of making fans choose sides about which versions of which characters and stories are the best, Berlanti & Co. are embracing it all as a whole.

This episode is filled with a warm and fuzzy feeling when it comes to the multiverse and alternate realities.  In Earth-1, we don’t have any of the big Justice League heroes outside of Flash himself.  In Earth-2?  Whether they are heroes in that world or not, Hal Jordan, Diana Prince, and Bruce Wayne are on speed dial on Earth-2 Barry’s home phone.  So is an alive Eddie Thawne.

In Earth-1, Deadshot is dead; sacrificed last season to save Diggle narratively on “Arrow” and to appease WB film division behind-the-scenes.  On Earth-2, we get to see Floyd Lawton (Michael Rowe) alive and well…as a bumbling Central City detective!  Here, Iris is a cop and Joe is a lounge singer.  Barry is a (potentially self-centered) nerd and Captain Cold is the mayor.  Nora Allen is alive and well and currently on a trip to Atlantis with Henry that Barry paid for.

It shouldn’t be all roses and smiles, however, and it isn’t.  In this reality, a good chunk of Team Flash is actually Team Zoom.  Instead of Cisco (aka Vibe), Caitlin, and Ronnie (aka Firestorm), we have Reverb (Carlos Valdes), Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker), and Deathstorm (Robbie Amell).  All three actors relish every minute of their villainous alternate Earth screentime, particularly Reverb and Killer Frost.  Valdes and Panabaker are the highlights here for sure, although Barry-hating lounge singer Joseph West (Jesse L. Martin) comes close to stealing it away from them.

Barry (and later Cisco) is dumbfounded and awestruck by all of this, which unfortunately sidelines the mission at hand.  Instead of using their allotted time to hunt down Zoom and rescue Harry’s daughter, Jesse, Barry is too concerned with mixing it up in Earth-2.  This ultimately costs everyone dearly.  Earth-2 Iris loses her father, Lawton sacrifices himself once more, Zoom kills a betraying Reverb & Deathstorm, and Barry is captured by Zoom.

Meanwhile, back on Earth-1, things are not going well either.  The portal stabilizer has been damaged, leaving Barry, Harry, and Cisco stranded on Earth-2.  Worst yet, a new malicious metahuman named Geomancer (Adam Stafford) is wrecking havoc in Central City.  He demands that The Flash face him, which is a problem since Barry is off-world.  As a result, Jay is forced to take the experimental Velocity-7 serum and the outcome isn’t exactly what they were hoping for.  Now Jay must fix the portal opening while Caitlin finds a way to perfect the Velocity serum so that Geomancer can be stopped…

And that’s the end!  We won’t see the endgame for any of these plots until next week’s episode, appropriately-titled “Escape from Earth-2”.  From the looks of the preview we were given, we’ll see a ragtag team of Harry, Cisco, Earth-2 Barry, and Killer Frost(!) attempting to save The Flash and Jesse from Zoom.  Will we also encounter more Earth-2 doppelgangers of other favorite characters? Will we finally learn (or at least narrow down) Zoom’s true identity?

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