Warning: this review contains spoilers. You can find my all of my reviews of The Flash here.
“Escape from Earth-2”, the second half of the parallel universe two-parter, couldn’t quite reach the bar set by last week’s stellar episode, which was to be expected. But it was a very strong installment of The Flash nonetheless.
Grant Gustin cranked up the goofy charm as Earth-2 Barry Allen, who was somehow even more dorky than his Earth-1 counterpart. He often acted as the comic relief, but he also got his own small character arc, as he overcame his anxieties and joined the group on their quest to save Earth-1 Barry from Zoom’s clutches. This culminated in a great scene between both versions of Barry, as Barry-2 gave Barry-1 the pep talk and motivation he needed to escape Zoom’s prison. I liked that even though everyone discouraged Barry-2 from going on this dangerous mission, he proved essential to the task. Even the person you least expect can be a hero.
The same is true for Killer Frost, whose sorrow over Ronnie’s death caused her to reluctantly shift allegiances and help Wells, Cisco, and Iris find Zoom’s lair. Once again, Danielle Panabaker did a great job, displaying even more range than she did last week as Killer Frost wrestled with emotions she had long buried. It’s a testament to how successfully The Flash made us all attached to its characters that we were rooting for Killer Frost to have some of Caitlin’s goodness within her, despite effectively being a different character.
Meanwhile, even though our Barry spent the episode trapped in a cell, that subplot still held our attention, mostly thanks to the mysterious masked prisoner. Why did Zoom keep him there, and in a mask? Why was he spelling out Jay Garrick’s name, and why did he appear frustrated when he found out Jay was alive and well? As if the question of Zoom’s identity wasn’t enough, the show has now introduced another mysterious piece of the puzzle.
Zoom himself remains a very intimidating villain. The opening scene demonstrated just how tightly Earth-2 was in his grip. His uncanny ability to appear out of nowhere at any moment kept me on edge the entire episode, especially in the last few scenes. “Escape from Earth-2” handled him like a horror movie villain, which is exactly how a monstrous character like Zoom should be portrayed. And let’s not forget that he beat up Barry with ease yet again.
My only gripe with the character remains his desire to steal Barry’s speed. It’s a plot device that forces him to keep Barry and Wells alive, thus reducing the urgency of his threat. I hope there’s more to his motivation than that, and with many episodes to go and a mystery still unfolding, I’m confident that will be the case.
The main part of the episode that didn’t work was Earth-1. I was okay with it last week because it complemented the Earth-2 material nicely and brought Jay back into superheroism. But with that out of the way, this week was basically a retread, with the Geomancer reappearing, the speed cannon getting broken yet again, and Velocity 7 replaced with Velocity 9. Plus, the subplot with Iris’s new editor felt very out of place.
“Escape from Earth-2” ended on a great cliffhanger. What is it with Caitlin’s romantic interests all getting killed? Of course, I’m pretty sure Jay isn’t dead. The scene was too quick, and he’s been too underutilized as a character. Plus, it can’t be a coincidence that the masked prisoner was spelling out Jay’s name the very same episode in which Jay was supposedly killed, or at least swept back to Earth-2. Still, it’s a good open ending that deepens the mystery and ensures that the battle against Zoom is far from over.
Rating: 4/5 (Great)
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