This show is having so much fun with its source material, it’s absolutely thrilling to watch.
The addition of Jay Garrick (played by Teddy Sears) is already a great change of pace for the show and the characters themselves. With Harrison Wells gone from Barry’s life (at least for now), I was worried The Flash would slow down and not live up to the kind of excitement we had started to expect after the final streak of episodes last season. Luckily, the writers seem to know what they’re doing as Jay seems to be a perfect addition to the STAR Labs team. He’s not the new villain of the season (but Barry sure had his doubts) and I’m glad because as much as I liked Sears, I can’t see anyone topping Tom Cavanagh’s bone-chilling performance on this show.
Instead of hitting us hard and heavy with exposition and mumbo-jumbo, the show gave us breadcrumbs about the whole multiverse thing, and that’s a great way at tackling such a complex idea. It also helps that Joe was voicing all of the audience’s thoughts by constantly saying that it’s hard to understand or keep up with whatever science-y thing the team was talking about. It should be fun to see how the rest of the season continues to map out the two worlds storyline into an effective and thrilling matter. And add to that the welcome addition of Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten) as the clever, determined cop (also possibly Barry’s new love interest) who was extremely loveable right from the start, and we have ourselves a very solid episode.
If there’s one minor concern I have here, and it’s not the fact that the freak of the week was kind of a dud, it’s the supporting characters. There appears to be an abundant number of people working at STAR Labs right now, and at one point it wasn’t even clear what they do. Caitlin is still one of my favorites, but she needs a storyline that doesn’t involve moving on after Ronnie’s death. And Iris, while not NEARLY as useless as she was last year, still feels like she’s “just there”, particularly during Barry’s fight with the Sand Demon where she just says “Barry, do something” in an attempt to come off as slightly handy. The writing sure needs a bit tweaking when it comes to this character, or maybe they should just show us what Iris from Earth 2 is like. She can’t be any worse than this one.
However, the excitement luckily never wears out as there’s literally not a chance to feel bored or tired. That’s such an achievement for a show that’s moving relatively fast and is already in its second season. Plus, the CGI has always been one of the most impressive and marvelous things (DC-ous things?) on this show but I must also really applaud the sound editing for delivering just exactly the perfect dose of “flash” tunes whenever Barry is on the run, mixed with the quietness during the slow-mo sequences. I can never get sick of watching The Flash running in circles to put out an enemy. But to watch him do that with the help of another Flash? That’s just a whole new level of exciting.
– How fun was it to see Jay as the Flash in his world, speeding across the city and fighting Zoom? I didn’t expect to love this whole two Earths thing this much.
– I really liked the chemistry between Barry and Patty. I just hope they don’t force this pairing on us too soon. Let it gradually develop over time, writers.
– It was refreshing to see Barry give orders and ask the team to perform tests on Jay. The things he’s learned from Harrison, while slightly traumatizing, all helped make him a stronger, more confident leader.
– What was up with Caitlin’s hair? So, so distracting!
– Of course, taking Patty as hostage wasn’t nearly as dramatic or intense as the show wanted it to be because we just met this person and there’s no way they would’ve killed her off so quickly. But still, points for trying.
– I loved Patty’s speech to the Sand Demon when he’s holding her captive (found below).
– I’m shocked the writers are pushing Cisco’s new powers front and center so quickly. Now with Martin in the know, it can’t be too long before the rest of the team finds out as well. Also, Cisco said “vibe”! I see what you’re doing, show.
– So, Iris’ mother is in town again? I wanna say “hmm, interesting” but I’ll wait to see what they do with her next week.
– Jay’s suit and helmet are kind of hilarious, but seriously Teddy Sears totally sells this role.
– Talk about a chilling ending! First, I loved how the palette changed in the final teaser to visually point towards Earth 2 (or any other earth). And I didn’t know who to expect when that lady was introducing the kids to the founder of STAR Labs, but boy am I glad to see Harrison Wells on this show again! Come on, evil maniac, create some chaos!
Red Blurs & One-Liners
Jay: They belong to a metahuman I fought before named Sand Demon.
Cisco: I know you’re new here, so I’m just gonna break it down for you. The whole naming the bad guys thing? That’s my jam. But you know what, I’m gonna let you have that one because I actually kinda like it.
Barry: I wish you would have just told us you lost your helmet. It would have saved us all a headache.
Patty: You know you got lucky, right? You think you were chosen, the rest of us don’t mean anything. But it’s not true. You were just at the right place at the right time. Getting those powers didn’t change who you are. They only highlighted the worst parts of who you already were.
Jay: So I hear they call you the Scarlet Speedster.
Barry: Yeah, what about you?
Jay: Crimson Comet. What is it about alliteration and nicknames?
Despite a disappointing weekly case and some lackluster supporting characters, there’s no denying how entertaining and exciting this hour of television was.