Guest Review The Flash

The Flash 2×14 – Escape From Earth-2

“I’m just Barry Allen. You’re The Flash.”

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I don’t know why, but this has surely been a lackluster season of The Flash, made all the more underwhelming by this mediocre episode.

This whole Earth-2 arc seemed like it was filled with potential when first teased in the season finale last year, but sadly the storytelling has been uninspiring and mediocre. It certainly didn’t help that this episode was built and written as any other damsel-in-distress episode (yes, Earth-1 Barry being the damsel) and the good guys chasing after the bad guys and letting more good guys out of locked cages, fairytale-style.

The biggest problem, obviously, is that Zoom has zero personality. Look, I know the show wants to convince us that he’s scary with that frightening voice and creepy mask, but that’s not enough to build a Big Bad. Part of what made Reverse Flash so threatening last season is his interpersonal relations with Barry and the STAR Labs team (I still get the chills when I remember him pulling out Cisco’s heart before Barry altered with time), whereas Zoom is simply a villain who can’t get a hint. No one knows who he is yet, and dragging this mystery out for so long is a terrible decision. I can personally say that not only do I seriously not care about Zoom’s identity at this point, I also believe that I won’t be shocked by the reveal. How disappointing.

Equally disappointing is the material given to Killer Frost this week. It was a nice change of pace to find these characters in the woods for once, but I figured out Frost was double-crossing the team way before it happened. It’s just too predictable for 2016, and the fact that she ends up actually helping them escape after all is all the more worse, to be honest. It was such a random move by Caitlin 2.0, it was literally hard to watch. What a messy way to go.

Luckily, there was one subplot that almost salvaged this hour from completely flopping, and it’s the mystery concerning the Man in the Iron Mask. Barry and Harry’s daughter figuring out that their imprisoned neighbor is spelling out Jay Garrick for them totally caught me off guard. It was an intriguing, albeit too mysterious, subplot that I really want to learn more about. Let’s hope they at least do something right this season (if this guy is Jay from Earth-3, I’m going to cry).

Speedy Bits

– Didn’t Earth-2 Iris just lose her dad last week? How can she be so cool about this? Does death mean nothing over there?

– Sadly, Earth-2 Barry was underwhelming too and his nerdy personality was not as hilarious as the show wanted it to be.

– Still have absolutely no clue what’s been happening at Earth-1. Geomancer is still there? And he can just walk into STAR Labs like everyone else? COME ON, show!

– Earth-2 Barry giving Earth-1 Barry a pep-talk was not bad, but I’m sorry I just cannot keep rooting for a superhero that always needs people to tell him he can believe in himself before he actually “saves the day”. ESPECIALLY when saving the day seems to always (literally, always) require Barry to just run faster. This has been the show’s structure for the past season and a half and it’s exhausting.

– Jay standing up there next to the anomaly, smiling like a doofus, was huge foreshadowing for his upcoming death. I can’t say I’ll miss him.

– Cisco calling Killer Frost Elsa: hilarious!

– Harry reuniting with his daughter did not have the emotional impact it probably should have had. Again because we’ve seen his daughter about how many times?

Red Blurs and One-Liners

Cisco: I’ve seen Heat like 50 times, okay? I know how to shake a tail.

Earth-2 Barry: He got frisky with you? Okay, I’m gonna have to find [Earth-1 Barry] and give him a piece of my mind!
Harry: Don’t give him too much.

Cisco: He’s a bad guy; I’m calling it a lair.

Killer Frost: You really don’t know how to use your abilities, do you, breacher?
Cisco: It’s a work in progress, Elsa.

Conclusion
A weak follow-up to the previous installment with a typical structure and an underwhelming villain. What is happening to this show?

Chris Rating
C+

4 comments

  1. I agree, Part 2 of the Earth-2 two-parter wasn't as good as Part 1 but I enjoyed the Earth-2 storyline more than the Earth-1 storyline which felt like a nightmare of boredom that I was begging to wake up from. I did like Caitlin taking down the bad guy herself though.

    I was a bit disappointed that they still haven't revealed who Zoom is. I think dragging out his reveal is a big mistake. Season 1 had the good sense to reveal who the Reverse Flash is earlier last season and used it to make Harrison Wells even more of an interesting presence on the show.

    I have realized three things from the episode:

    1) The episode confirmed Earth-2 Barry is not Zoom so I was wrong about it. Still it was entertaining to watch that version of Barry.

    2) I think the Man in the Iron Mask is Jay Garrick from Earth-2 which makes the Jay Garrick Barry and the others have been working with from the beginning of the season an impersonator, maybe a shapeshifter like Hannibal Bates, who was most likely working for Zoom as some kind of inside man, to learn of Team Flash's strengths and weaknesses for Zoom to use against them. Not sure whether Fake Jay's feelings for Caitlin was part of the deception, a genuine development, or something that started out as a ploy only to turn into something that was real on Jay's part. I do have a feeling that the Jay impersonator is still alive and has not been killed by Zoom. I think Zoom just extracted him from Earth-1 back to Earth-2, maybe a part of some backup plan since he lost Wells's daughter as leverage and his access to Wells who he needed to steal Barry's speed.

    3) I think I now know who Zoom is. It's Wally West from Earth-2, driven by the anger of abandonment that has consumed and twisted him into the ruthless Speedster we all love to hate. It explains how he seems so personally fixated on Barry beyond just him being a rival speedster. He sees Barry as the bastard who got to have the life that was denied him, a life with Joe and Iris. I suspect this Wally never got to reconnect with them on Earth-2 and maybe had a rougher go at life than Earth-1 Wally West. The more I talk about this, the more it makes sense. This gives the storyline with Wally and Iris's mother more weight than it did before. It was meant to be, among other things, a window into pre-Zoom Wally, into what may have drove his alternate self into becoming Zoom. We've seen flashes of his anger which his reunion with Joe and West got to somewhat soften and there was that scene when Wally explained how much he love to speed. It all seems to connect.

  2. I love this season. but you're right, pales in comparison with the first.Personally I don't care if he's faster, but I liked Reverse Flash last season WAAAAAAY more than Zoom. Dunno, probably because of the writing or how Tom Cavanaugh portrayed him.

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