Son of a bitch, just tell me who is behind the god damn mask, I don’t need another mystery in my life. Thus we talk about “Escape From Earth-2” a mystery bonanza that aims to add way more questions to this season than we had to. Now we are left to wonder exactly what is going to happen since we know that Zoom is nowhere close to being done with Barry and the team, let alone whatever sick game he has planned for Jay. This felt like a build up, one that could easily backfire if The Flash does not pay off any of the plot lines very soon as we are approaching Arrow levels of hiding secrets for secrets sake it appears. I really shouldn’t grip too much on this fact as overall if you look at this two parter it definitely managed to live up to the hype in a big way.
So let’s talk about Zoom being utterly terrifying again as this week we once again got to see exactly the type of force our big bad truly is. It was a nice change of pace having Zoom do the opening monologue as he raced around the city looking for Wells and trying to make his point. It is not often we get to hear the villain brag about how dangerous they are and it was super reminiscent of the first time we see present day Slade talk about his promise to Oliver. At this point Zoom seems like he is getting fed up playing with his food and has now moved onto just messing with Barry anyway he can. I especially loved the beat down of Barry as you can feel Zoom seething with rage at the fact he has to put up with all of this in order to get faster. Hopefully the next time we see Zoom all of the restrictions on how brutal he can be will be taken off as this was the first real time he has experienced a loss this season. That can’t be good for a psychopaths ego.
Another standout moment from this episode was watching Grant Gustin play the two Different Barrys. I loved the idea that Earth-2 Barry is a gigantic coward who is finally aiming to prove himself to the world now that he has met his doppleganger. I do wish we had gotten to see him develop a little more retailer than having the episode rely so heavily on Cisco for its’ emotional core. This was Earth-2 Barry’s moment to shine and make his wife proud and all he managed to get was a pump up speech to our Barry. It felt like a waste of a character building moment where Earth-2 Barry should have been the one to save our Barry, rather than Barry finally figuring out the speed he needed to vibrate. Regardless it was incredibly fun watching Grant play the two separate Barry’s and I hope at some point we will get to see him play some type of other Barry again.
At the same time the Earth-1 plot kind of went off the rails this week as Jay finally got Velocity-9 and managed to be a competent Flash. Despite all of the relatively solid Jay material, it was shocking to see how bad of a villain Geomancer was. I really somehow expected way more from him as a foil and yet his powers were not truly interesting, his acting was atrocious, and he was taken down like a punk. It also manages to raise the question where the hell Jay went and how the hell Geomancer managed to figure out to go to Star labs. There were way to many plot holes on the Earth-1 side of the story that I ended up feeling really underwhelmed by the entire affair.
The last aspect of the episode that managed to work surprisingly well until it didn’t was the Cisco and Killer Frost dynamic. I love that Cisco is actually shaken by everything he learned from watching Reverb and is now hesitant to even use his powers in some capacity and I truly appreciated that Killer Frost had more in common with our Caitlin than we were originally led to believe. However, everything started going off the rails when Cisco’s big move became talking only about Ronnie and how there must be good in Killer Frost because she is a Caitlin. There are a ton of other ways Cisco could have played her and convinced her to work with the team, and this just seemed like the simplest route. Hopefully Zoom didn’t murder Killer Frost like everyone of his other minions, but I would easily say outlook is not looking good for her.
Overall it was a satisfying conclusion to last week, but really this episode should have been so much more.
Final Grade B
+Zoom being utterly terrifying
+Grant Gustin’s performance as the two Barrys
+Cisco and Killer Frost dynamic…
-Till they overused the “do it for Ronnie” bit
-Earth-1 plot really fizzled out
-Earth-2 Barry missing that big heroic moment
-So did no one think to yell for Jay to get away from the portal? That seemed like really poor planning for the team.
-Also going to throw it out there, the man in the iron mask is the “real” Jay and the guy we have known is either Earth-2 Hunter Zolomon or The Rival.
-Diggle shows up next week with Lyla to hunt King Shark. Maybe Star labs will actually get some real security next week as well.
-Random question not related to this episode at all but in “Rogue Time” Snart says he has a timer set to release Barry’s identity to the world if he doesn’t check in regularly. Who is checking that now that Snart is traveling through time with the legends? Golden Glider?