The Flash 2×16 Trajectory

Addictions and Lies

There has been an interesting theme running through this season about different addictions and what people will do to feed them. Francine was introduced as an ex-drug addict and died early due to it. Jay was portrayed as a Velocity user, and as a result he was dying. Zoom was clearly shown as an addict in need of a fix when Harry gave him some of Barry’s speed several episodes ago. Wally loves speed, though I wouldn’t call him an addict. Harry is not officially addicted to his daughter but his love for her is so all-consuming that he will go to any length to protect her, even harming other people. Trajectory reverse engineered Velocity 9 so she could get more done and get ahead, and became addicted.

Welcome to the next episode of The Flash, where things are turned on their head. Again.

We open on a familiar scene. Barry is attempting to get faster in order to take on the faster big bad (Zoom this time), and today it involves leaping a huge canyon and going fast enough to make it to the other side. He fails, (You looked down, Barry!) and Cisco’s forward thinking keeps him from falling to a grisly death. Excellent use of drones, Cisco.

Barry’s obsessed drive to get faster has worn everyone out so they decide to actually go out and be young adults for a change. They head for a club, and Jesse convinces Harry to let her go too, though he insists she take “protection” in the form of his metahuman detecting watch. That was a funny moment, since Jesse thought he was talking about an entirely different form of protection.

The club scene was a gift in so many ways. The group reminisced about Jay, Barry went all father mode on Jesse by not letting her drink since she is underage, and Cisco’s dancing was GOLD. Solid Gold!

I also appreciated the small exchange between Barry and Wally. Wally called the club interesting with a touch of censure, and Barry initially tried to pin it on Cisco but then admitted that he doesn’t get out much and relied on a yelp rating to choose. Wally accepted the honesty and softened his approach. Both men are circling each other and trying to figure out their relationship, but both are finding that honesty and communication can go a long way. Barry and Wally will be a slower progression to mutual respect and caring about each other, and I am here for the journey. Also of note is the fact that after bumbling through several confusing ideas of how he and Wally are actually related, Barry settles for his “new friend”. I really love this, because however he and Wally are ever related, the most important thing right now is that Barry wants to view Wally as a friend more than anything else. I  think this will go a long way in helping Wally feel accepted by Barry and in turn view Barry as his friend too and not just the odd usurper who got everything he should have had.

Wally and Jesse are introduced and it’s clear they are both interested in each other. I’m here for it. But Jesse’s metahuman watch goes off multiple times and she excuses herself to permanently silence it. She accidentally triggers a replay ofone of Harry’s journal recordings instead. In a touching gesture, Cisco offers to escort Caitlin onto the dance floor and proceeds to dance like a maniac. (I love it! Go Cisco!)

And THEN we got the scene that I wish had been much longer. Iris asks that they never never dance like Cisco at their wedding should it ever happen, and Barry agrees but quickly amends his reply to include the dancing, not the wedding. Iris brings up the fact that they are married in the future and on Earth 2. Barry wonders what their married doppelgangers are doing right now and Iris responds with the E2 equivalent of “netflix and chill”.

WHOA! WAIT!

This is the first time Iris has actually said things and made overtures to Barry that make it clear she is starting to recognize her stronger than best friend feelings for Barry and entertain the notion of them actually being together. It was a beautiful moment and as always so well portrayed by Grant Gustin and Candice Patton. Their body language, the shy glances and smiles, everything points to their relationship subtly changing from platonic best friends to something more. Now we just sit back and watch. Bring it. I’m ready!

But for now, sadly we are interrupted by a speedster thief who robs the club and many patrons. Barry pursues but is quickly left behind.

The problem is that the picture one of the patrons managed to take looks a lot like the Flash, and Iris’s new boss is quick to believe that the Flash has turned into a thief. Iris is assigned the story, which puts her in a bit of a tough place considering she knows very well the Flash is not the perpetrator.

Meanwhile Jesse confronts her father about his voice journal in which he confesses to killing a man to save her. He admits that it’s true. Jesse’s heroic childlike vision of her dad has been eroding away for a while, and now it is completely broken. A nice parallel to what comes at the end of the ep regarding another heroic figure.

As the team tries to figure out where another speedster came from and how they got speed, Caitlin pulls out the Velocity 9. Barry is really disturbed by the idea that everyone around him is faster than him because they are basically cheating, and he might have lost people because he didn’t know about it. Cisco touches Caitlin, who is touching Jay’s memorial case holding his hat, and vibes. He sees Zoom. But before he can tell the others what he saw, the “bad Flash” reappears and Barry races to intercept her. She is still much faster than him and basically humiliates him then disappears again.

Once Barry gets patched up and answers Cisco’s comments about an actual lady speedster “for science” the discussion turns to the suit she was wearing. It was well constructed, suited for the needs of a speedster, and would require access to both a lab and tech. Caitlin has a thought.

As she was working to develop it she had some troubles and conferred with a friend who worked at Mercury Labs. Eliza Harmon. Caitlin didn’t fully share the V-9 recipe of course, but they realize it is possible that her friend has reverse engineered the formula. Barry lifts the final vial of V-9 and leaves to “train.”

Caitlin and Joe go to Mercury Labs and visit with Eliza Harmon, who is cute as a button and very sweet. For now they decide to believe her. For now.

At CCPN Iris attempts to convince her boss that she has proof of the Flash’s innocence, but without being able to reveal her source she doesn’t get very far. She invites him to coffee to further dicuss the article in the hopes that she can stall long enough for something to break in the case and give her something to work with.

The scene shifts back to Eliza at her lab, in conversation with herself. Her reasons for making the Velocity 9 were fairly harmless, wanting to get ahead in her career and her research. But now she’s an addict, and the speedster that she is when she takes the drug is echoing in her head, urging her to take it again, and that she knows where they can find more. Eliza gives in and injects herself with her last vial of V-9, then sees the reflection of Trajectory in the mirror.

Sci-fi aspects aside, this is actually an insightful depiction of addiction. Addiction is a powerful thing, and once it takes hold you become two different people: The person you typically are, and the one who will do anything to get that next fix you need so badly. Addiction can make people do things they never thought they would. Suddenly they’ll lie, steal, hurt people, and even kill to make sure that next fix is there. They’ll compromise values and morals they always felt were important because the desire for the next fix is that strong. It’s the only thing that matters. It’s very telling that Eliza argues with Trajectory and is aware that Trajectory is using manipulative methods to get her way, but in the end she still buckles under the pressure of the addiction. It’s also really interesting that Trajectory is quick to blame Caitlin for their problems and choices. Classic addiction behavior. Trajectory is much more in love with chaos and “blowing off steam” than her brilliant counterpart Eliza, further underscoring the change that happens when someone becomes addicted.

Immediately following this scene we find Barry, still holding his vial of V-9 and struggling with the decision on whether or not to take it. Harry follows Barry and tells him not to. Barry is frustrated that he has lost people because he’s not fast enough and wants to level the playing field. He wants to protect the people he loves. It’s a legitimate desire. But Harry tells him that taking a shortcut will make him compromise his values, and doing that will make him lose a chunk of humanity every time he does it. They are wise words, but coming from the man who was willing to go to any lengths to save his daughter causes Barry to doubt them and he says as much. Harry admits he is not a good role model and instead encourages Barry to follow in Jay’s footsteps. Barry considers his words and drops the vial on the floor, where it shatters.

It may seem a bit trite to some but I was really happy to see this point made. Not only is it dangerous and addicting to take this shortcut, it’s also not what a hero should do. Way back when season 2 started the producers said that now that Barry has decided to be a hero this season would be an exploration of what kind of hero he wanted to be. It’s nice to see this starting to pay off finally. Barry needs to be the sort of hero others can look up to, and that hero wouldn’t take a harmful shortcut to win. That is not the Barry I watch this show to see, and it was nice to see it displayed so clearly. Barry has spent a lot of this season feeling down and discouraged, and I am happy to see him begin to move out of that and take control of himself and his journey.

The group gathered in the main cortex is taken by surprise when Trajectory arrives and locks Barry in the pipeline before he can do anything. (Woohoo I called it!) She knocks poor Joe through a window and takes him out, then demands more V-9 from Caitlin at gunpoint. When the group is reluctant to comply she fires a shot at Cisco, who was attempting to let Barry out of his cell. Cisco ducks behind the glass case holding Jay’s helmet and vibes Zoom again. When Trajectory threatens Jesse next, Harry offers to make more with Caitlin. Once they do, she tests some on Jesse to make sure it’s not contaminated and leaves her convulsing on the floor. Harry quickly volunteers to give Jesse a blood transfusion in order to save her.

At Jitters, Iris questions her boss and he tells her about the mayor everyone loved that he investigated and found to be dirty. It was a bit helpful to see his perspective and why he is so quick to turn on a hero, but it still shows him as quite jaded. The course of their conversation shows that Scott thought this was a date and Iris clearly did not mean it to be. Cringe! Second hand embarrassment. He leaves quickly. Run Scott, run. Bet you wish you had superspeed now, right? I really love how much Iris defends Barry and calls him a hero. Scott raises a legitimate point that even heroes need to be held accountable for their actions, and this is something I wish was shown a bit more on the show. But Iris knows Barry and she knows his heart. I love how far she is willing to go to defend him.

When Jesse regains consciousness she and Harry have a difficult conversation about the dark things he will do to protect her. Jesse is very bothered by the the fact that Harry will do these dark things with such a single minded purpose that excludes thought about anyone else and how they might be affected. Jesse’s safety is the drug her father craves, and when he needs that fix he is an entirely different person. She doesn’t recognize that man.

Caitlin had put a microtracker in the drug they gave Trajectory, and now they can find out where she is. (Plus they also could track Jesse for a short time! Score.) They  find her on a bridge, racing back and forth to create friction and collapse it. Apparently Caitlin makes a purer form of V-9 and Eliza is not handling her high well at all. Barry rushes to the bridge and saves all the civilians. (Of course, because that’s what a hero does.) Trajectory hits him hard and makes it to the other side of the bridge as a large section falls.

Dun dun dun! Hero moment! The only way Barry can apprehend the other speedster is to leap the gap, which I’m sure is really close to the same as the canyon he failed to leap in the beginning of the ep. Because, set up and pay off. So Barry leaps, and he makes it. He takes down Trajectory, and she whips out another vial of V-9. Barry does what Barry does best and appeals to her better nature, telling her that he knows what it’s like to want to be the best, that the drug is making her do bad things and the addiction is killing her. Eliza rejects his words and takes the V-9. For a moment, she feels better.

Pause for a moment, before we hit the really big reveal. I appreciate that Barry appealed to Eliza on a personal level, and that he tried to help her. That’s what you do with a person in the grips of addiction. But I also found it very realistic that Eliza, however much she may or may not have recognized the truth in his words, still took the drug. Sometimes the addiction is so great that interventions don’t help, and no one can help the addict steer off their path of destruction. It’s a sad reality. If Eliza had listened to Barry and suddenly decided not to inject I would have called trite shenanigans. Because real addiction doesn’t work that way. And if Eliza had, shortly later from her cell she would have been screaming for a fix. Addiction is a harsh and unmerciful thing. It’s not easy to overcome.

Eliza flaunts her faster speed and races away, and as she does her lightning turns blue. We all gasp! Blue lightning! Trajectory goes faster and faster until she turns into dust and leaves nothing but her empty suit behind.Whoa. Cautionary tale!

Iris writes her article clearing the Flash, complete with photographic eveidence, and it got the front page. She shows it to Scott, and he admits she was right. She tells him that not all heroes are frauds. (Go Iris!) Then she admits that even brilliant journalists can misread a situation. She apologizes for the night before, and tells him that being anti-the Flash is not a deal breaker for her.

I’m not going to go on and on about this, but I will say that I find it a bit out of character for Iris to actually say this. I find it impossible that if anyone were against the Flash Iris would be okay with entering a relationship with them. She’s pro her best friend and pro the Flash and always will be. I’m perfectly aware that Scott is a stepping stone to Iris moving on from Eddie and embracing a future with Barry, but the line itself struck me as odd. Maybe it’s just me. I guess she’s not viewing Scott as anything serious by saying that, because there’s no way it would stick. I’m also not going to rant about the writers continually having to introduce a third romantic interest to get things going. Repetitive, much? Moving on…

Harry looks for Jesse and finds her recording, explaining that she is leaving. (Maybe she’s just sick of being threatened constantly. Really, being Harry’s daughter and in his vicinity seems to be the major reason she’s always in danger. But…) She boards a bus going to Opal City. Jesse come back soon I like you! I wonder how Harry will handle this in coming eps. This could be an opportunity for growth for him.

Discussion of Eliza’s blue lightning and the V-9 leads the group to realize that Zoom has acquired his speed through Velocity and that he must be dying. Like Jay. The group is disturbed by this idea, but Cisco finally offers up that he has vibed Zoom and that it’s always when he is in the vicinity of Jay’s helmet. And the next scene is true symbolism poetry.

The group is upset by the idea, but none of them move to do anything. It’s Barry who moves to the glass case that he built in Jay’s memory and shatters it.

Let’s analyze this!

Barry was the first one to bring up the similarity and cast doubt on Jay’s name. Then Cisco shares his vibe and the rest of them doubt and worry. But they do nothing about it. Barry, who has already dealt with this once and suffered deeply for it, is now past the point of wanting to deny it and at a place where he wants to know what the truth is no matter how much it hurts. (Not that the others didn’t suffer too, but Caitlin would not make this move because she would never want it to be true and Cisco is still in denial mode. It’s telling that Barry does the action. He still has a lot of anger over the past and he is not in the mood for any more lies.) He takes the cylinder he’s holding and shatters the case. The case that he built as a shrine to keep Jay’s memory alive as the heroic mentor that they all thought he was. He shatters that glass just like his faith in Jay has been shattered. Then he picks up the hat out of the broken shards of glass/faith and hands it to Cisco. Cisco is reluctant because I think he knows exactly what he’ll find out, but he agrees with Barry. They need to know. He vibes with it. He sees Zoom remove his mask and reveal Jay’s face. And when Cisco sees this, he drops the hat. It lands upside down on the floor, a symbol of broken faith and the disillusionment in Jay as a hero.

That’s just good symbolism baby! With that revelation, the group is stunned and horrified. Barry fittingly races away, back to the canyon he couldn’t leap (always a failure when it comes to Zoom) and screams his frustration.

I’d like the next episode right now, please.

Possibilities:

  • The splitting of Trajectory’s identity into two separate personalities might be an artistic choice to show addiction, but it also gives birth the the idea that Zoom may have possibly managed to physically split into two people through his Velocity experiments, and could explain how Jay and the man behind Zoom’s mask have the same face. Just a thought.
  • I still think there is more to the Jay is Zoom reveal than they are telling us. I stick to my conclusion that the man in the metal mask is the real E2 Jay Garrick/Flash, and that Zoom is his twin Hunter Zoloman. The Jay the team knew could be E1 Jay per my earlier theory or a split from Hunter Zoloman at this point. I await further plot developments to enlighten us more.
  • I understand that Jesse Quick is from Opal City in the comics, but it’s also interesting that the metahuman the Arrow fought in Starling City on Arrow season 3 was in Opal City the night of the accelerator explosion and still ended up a metahuman. It might mean nothing, or it could tie in to Jesse eventually getting her speed powers. We shall see.
  • Really interesting to see that Barry’s initial instinct not to trust Jay was verified, but his almost immediate trust in Harry was also correct. I  called shenanigans at the time. Trust your instincts, Luke Barry!
  • WestAllen is on the way and I AM HERE FOR IT.

Tidbits:

  • Barry falls to his death. Harry: “Oh damn.” LOL Harry you have a talent for understatement.
  • Jesse catching up on Earth 1 history and eating popcorn like a classic 16 year-old is really adorable. Senator Knowles?
  • Harry’s idea of protection vs Jesse’s was hilarious.
  • “Bad flash? I’m losing my touch.” “Help, Caitlin I can’t stop!” All the Cisco moments! Carlos adds so much to this show every week. I’d pay Carlos money to come dance like that at my wedding. Plus, that cat shirt rocks.
  • All the Cisco/Caitlin development the last several episodes has been really lovely. I feel like it was ignored for a long time.
  • The club! Wally and Barry, Wally and Jesse, IRIS AND BARRY!!!, Cisco’s dancing. I’d take a whole episode of the crew at the club without a single complaint.
  • Nice with touch the watch going off between Barry and Wally so you get a nod to Wally’s future speed powers. Slick!
  • As I’ve already said, really nice depiction of addiction.
  • “How very Law and Order of you, Caitlin.” LOL Since that is where I know Jesse L. Martin from best, that got a legit snorting laugh out of me.
  • Symbolism!!!!!!

 

 

 

The Life and Death of “Jay Garrick”

Theories are flying everywhere about Zoom and Jay Garrick and who is really who. Everyone is Jay Garrick! At this point I think my neighbor is, and I’m really starting to side-eye my mail man. Here’s my preferred theory, until the next episodes come out and completely decimate it. I was hoping to write a fic about this, but I have no time and it’s not gonna happen so I’m just going to put it out here.

It’s clear from Jay pointing out Hunter Zolomon (who is Zoom in the comics) to Caitlin that Hunter is going to be somehow involved in the plot, and most fans are going with the idea that Zoom is E2 Hunter Zolomon and the man in the metal mask is E2 Jay Garrick, and the real E2 Flash. I’m thinking this is very possible, and that’s what I’m going with as well. Many of us have decided that the writers took the twins separated at birth plot device used in other Flash comics (originally Barry and Malcolm Thawne/Cobalt Blue) and gave it their own twist with Zoom and Jay Garrick.

But this begs the question: Who is the Jay who came to S.T.A.R. Labs and befriended the team? Some were speculating that he was Zoom pulling double duty, right until Zoom killed him with a hand through his heart and dumped his body on E2. Okay, clearly not Zoom. So who was he?

I think it was E1 Jay.

Wait wait I can explain! Yes, I know Jay said there was no E1 Jay Garrick and that there was only a Hunter Zoloman. But if there are twins in one world it’s highly likely there are twins in both. With the exception of Wally, just about everyone has had a counterpart represented on E2. So if Hunter grew up in foster care and was eventually adopted by the Zoloman family, it’s possible that twin boys were separated at a young age and grew up independent of each other and with different last names. So E1 Jay wouldn’t have the last name Garrick and no one would know about him. I’m going to call him Jay Peters, because Jay Garrick’s middle name is Peter and that works for me. Thanks for the suggestion D! 😀

It’s possible I’m wrong, but I’m thinking that Hunter Zoloman knows nothing about any of this. He’s probably unaware that he had a twin who is now dead. It will be interesting to see if he ever comes into play again as the season concludes.

Jay Peters would have grown up and become a scientist, I don’t think he was faking those skills. He wasn’t affiliated with S.T.A.R. Labs, might have been with Mercury Labs or was working independently. He’s aware of the Flash’s activities and the metahumans but has never really been affected by them. He’s living his life.

Then the singularity happens. Chaos. The Flash and some fiery guy close it, the city is reeling, but Jay Peters came through okay and everything is going to be fine for him.

He thinks. Zoom comes through the now open portals between worlds. What’s the first thing other breachers have done? Find their doppelganger. Zoom was looking for his. Zoom is aware he’s a twin, he’s already got his brother locked up. He wants his doppelganger for a reason. He finds no record of a Jay or Hunter Garrick (I’m assuming this is their last name on E2) and starts searching scientific places that scientists work at. He hits the jackpot and finds Jay. Jay is promptly kidnapped and taken back to Earth 2, probably days after the singularity.

This is when Jay finds out what’s been happening in the other world. When the accelerator accident happened on Earth 2, Jay Garrick became a speedster. Hunter did not. Jay got to work helping citizens and becoming Central City’s hero. Hunter became jealous. Being a scientist too, Hunter began working to replicate the process, wanting to have speed himself. As is typical for villainous scientists wanting to replicate something for their own power and gain, it goes wrong. Hunter gets speed, but not the same kind as his brother. This comes with blue lightning and the ability to manipulate time around him more than travel fast. He ends up faster than Jay. But it’s not enough. He wants more. He wants to be bigger and better than his twin, and bigger and better than anyone else with speed. He wants complete domination and control. He’s your basic super villain. He starts using his newfound powers to take whatever he wants and to inspire fear in the city so he can control it. Jay of course disagrees, and they become opposing forces battling for the fate of Central City. Zoom starts to collect other metas as followers and his threat grows.

Zoom and E2 Flash clash multiple times. Jay has several close calls, but around the time of the singularity Jay Garrick loses spectacularly. This may be where he lost his hat. He ends up locked in a glass case he can’t phase out of. The city only knows he’s disappeared. The singularity provides Zoom with a doorway to Earth 1 and he finds Jay Peters.

It’s possible Hunter is looking for a way to steal speed from Jay, it’s possible he has already tried, or maybe he has just enough soul left to shy away from actually torturing his own brother.  But that doesn’t extend to a doppleganger of his brother he found on E1. And one thing we do know is that Hunter wants more speed for himself.

So Jay Peters becomes the guinea pig for Velocity 1-6. He has the right DNA and genetic makeup to limit problems and difficulties, and Zoom can safely experiment on him without endangering himself. By the time Zoom is done, Jay Peters has had speed in his system but is not a speedster, and he’s a Velocity junkie constantly in need of a fix. He is also dying because of it.

By now Zoom has become aware that there is another speedster in E1 Central City. He’s pretty fast, and he has a connection to the speed force, something Zoom deeply wants and has been trying to replicate through Velocity without success. Now that Jay is useless for experimentation, Zoom has a new target and a new plan. Jay Peters is a dying man, so he has nothing to lose when he reluctantly agrees to return to Earth 1 and be a deep cover spy for Zoom. I think Zoom probably promised him a cure in exchange. And he’s got the perfect cover. Jay takes on E2 Jay Garrick’s identity.

Jay Peters returns to Earth 1 and starts tracking down the Flash’s true identity. Eventually he figures out it’s Barry Allen behind the mask and that he works out of S.T.A.R. Labs. He spies on the former members of Barry’s team and his family. All of this information is fed back to Zoom. But unbeknownst to Zoom, Jay Peters has also been quietly looking for his long-lost twin brother. He never even knew he had one until Zoom attempted to torture information out of him hoping to find another guinea pig, and he also realized the man in the other cell was Zoom’s twin brother. The mask went on shortly after that, to stop the two from talking to each other. Jay Peters was hoping to do exactly what he told Caitlin. He was hoping to find his twin and borrow healthy cells to replace his dying ones and thus stop his terminal disease. But his cells had been changed through Velocity treatments, and it doesn’t matter once Jay actually finds Zolomon. Jay continues to spy on Barry and when Zoom directs him to, presents himself to the team under the guise of Jay Garrick from Earth 2, and “your world is in danger.” Zoom has been and continues to send in other breachers to prime Barry for faster speed.

Having secured the team’s trust by teaching Barry to throw lightning (a skill Jay developed while on Velocity) and taking a major beating, he continued to spy for Zoom and is in turn fed information to make it sound as if he really was from Earth 2 instead of native to Earth 1.

What Jay didn’t plan on, and what no one ever seems to, is that he would grow to care about the members of the team, who are just good people trying to do good. Much like him before Zoom kidnapped him and his world became a “nightmare you can’t wake up from.” He used these very words about Zoom when he told Barry not to go up against him. Jay Peters didn’t plan on getting to know or caring about Caitlin, a fellow scientist that he was feeling very attracted to and who in turn was attracted to him. Nevertheless, he stays the course. Right now he either goes against Zoom’s wishes and dies, or he continues on hoping that somehow he’ll find a cure before he succumbs to his illness. He’s basically stuck.

A major wrench in the plan occurs when Harry Wells shows up from Earth 2. Harry and the actual Jay Garrick have a contentious history, Jay is sure Harry has ulterior motives, and Jay Peters is very afraid he’s going to be outed as a fraud. He probably also has some underlying anger about Harry’s irresponsibility in allowing the accelerator accident at all, creating metas and by extension Zoom and all the terrible events that have followed. Jay easily doesn’t trust Harry and lets his anger show, encouraging the others not to trust him either. But he does report back to Zoom. Zoom questions Jesse on why her father is now on Earth 2.

Then Harry says he wants to help take out Zoom and they should lay a trap. Jay objects because first of all he knows Barry isn’t fast enough to actually beat Zoom, nor is he fast enough for Zoom to be happy taking his speed yet. All Barry is in for is a world of pain, which Jay Peters has already experienced firsthand. After disagreements and a fist fight, he disavows helping at all and leaves. He’s already told Zoom a trap is being laid. Not that it was hard to figure out. Barry goes up against Zoom and loses. Badly. Jay is reminded of his own precarious position.

During the time before they try to trap Zoom Harry makes it clear that Barry is much faster than Jay is or was, and that Barry should be teaching Jay. I think this supports the idea that Jay has had speedster episodes due to Velocity but hasn’t ever actually been a true speedster.

Harry starts pushing for Velocity formulas, which Jay Peters is addicted to but has been off of for a while. He doesn’t want that poison anywhere near him as temptation, and the last thing he wants is for Barry to become like him. Plus Zoom is going to be really ticked if his prize is ruined before he can steal his speed. Jay is very outspoken against any Velocity at all.

However, when Patty shoots Harry and Caitlin begs him to take it, he does. He removes the bullet and swears he is done with it and tells them to keep that stuff away from Barry.

By now Zoom has decided Harry is a perfect way to get Barry’s speed, and since he already has Jesse captive he now has the perfect leverage. Harry agrees to steal Barry’s speed in exchange for his daughter. Zoom leaves Jay in place for extra information. Jay is actually not aware of this, but he still doesn’t trust Harry at all. Besides, if one of them is going to be distrusted, he’d rather it be Harry. He gets closer to Caitlin. She discovers his fatal disease. Jay sees all the good the team tries to do. By the time Harry confesses to stealing speed off Barry and they decide to help him save Jesse, Jay starts to wonder if maybe it would work. Then they could seal the portals for good and Jay and this world will be safe from Zoom. (Jay was trying to figure out how to close the portals back in episode 10, and while he spent the first two episodes attempting to stabilize the portal, it’s possible he was doing it at Zoom’s direction or to keep his cover. He also “said” he was going home but was convinced to change his mind very easily.

Harry, Cisco and Barry go through to Earth 2. The portal breaks. Jay is honestly torn. If he leaves it closed, he is safe from Zoom but he’s left the others trapped at Zoom’s mercy on the other side. If he opens it again, he runs the chance that Zoom will come through it. Geomancer shows up in Central City, Joe pressures Jay into helping. Jay caves and takes more Velocity. He defends Joe and almost gets killed, but the look in Caitlin’s eyes is  worth it. He’s feeling like a good person. He commits to reopening the portal. He gets it working again, but he’s also twitchy for another fix and a dose of feeling like a hero for once, which is just as addictive as Velocity it seems. Caitlin finishes Velocity 9 just in time for Jay to save people at the hospital and feel like a true hero for the first time. He goes down to “take a nap.”

Jay was gone for Geomancer’s arrival at S.T.A.R. Labs and it was mentioned afterward. There is a reason. He’s either reporting to Zoom and giving him any new information, having a serious attack after taking Velocity 9, standing by the portal trying to decide if he should break it or not, or telling Zoom he’s done being the double agent and he doesn’t care what happens to him. Something went down while he was absent.

Caitlin informs him that she has found a lead on curing him. For the first time, he is not doomed. He’s back on Earth 1, he feels like a hero, he cares for Caitlin and she cares for him. If only he could make sure Zoom never made it back to Earth 1 again.

Perfect timing, Geomancer broke the portal again. Jay Peters becomes the hero he always wanted to be for Caitlin when he commits to opening it again knowing full well Zoom could use it too. He and Joe work together to open it. The others show up. When Barry finally comes through with Harry and they close the breach, Jay must have been feeling pretty optimistic about his future.

But that was his downfall. He stood too close to the still closing portal, smiling at Caitlin. Really Jay? I’d be on the other side of the room. Zoom is ticked by now and aware that Jay has turned against him. Jay never said a word about the other portals being closed and now they are sealing off the last one. Zoom kills him and yanks him back to Earth 2. And thus Caitlin loses yet another man she cared about and Jay Peters ends on a heroic note after really enduring what was probably a year of absolute hell. If this really is the case I feel sorry for the guy. Maybe his twin can help the team avenge him.

What do you think? Feel free to hit the comments! 😀

 

 

The Flash 2×15: King Shark

Or: Once you sink your teeth in it’s hard to let go

 

Barry and King Shark have two things in common this episode: They can’t let go of their Earth 2 experience, and they are obsessing over a speedster’s death.

Time for Trauma

The ep picks up in the moments immediately following “Jay’s” sudden death and removal back to Earth 2. (Yes, the quote tags are here to stay. I don’t know if he’s the real Jay Garrick and until I do, he’s an impostor.)

Caitlin is understandably shaken up and traumatized, and at this point she’s probably trying to decide who put the curse on her and why. (Psst Caitlin, it was the warlocks called writers.) Cisco, bless his beautiful heart, steps in and helps Caitlin out of the room. Cisco is an amazing friend in every episode, but it’s nice to see it shown in such a prominent way. I can only hope that Cisco receives similar help and support when his hard times hit, because sometimes he is left to deal with life on his own while others are riddled with angst. A good friend deserves a good friend. But I digress…

Barry is also understandably upset, and demands that the portal be opened again. Harry drops the bomb: The portals are closed permanently and there is no opening them again, Earth 2 is unreachable now. Judging by Jesse’s reaction, he hadn’t shared that tidbit with his daughter either.

Cisco proves to be extremely capable in helping traumatized friends and stays with Caitlin until she falls asleep. He’s worried about how this latest tragedy will shape her and is already clearly thinking Killer Frost direction. Harry advises both Barry and Cisco not to talk about their Earth 2 experiences in order to avoid “influencing reality” in a way similar to Barry’s time travel.

*RECORD SCRATCH SOUND*

WAIT UP, HOLD THE PHONE! IS THIS JUST A PLOT DEVICE TO MAKE SURE THE DRAMATIC CONFESSIONS HAPPEN AT THE RIGHT TIME OR IS THIS REALLY GOING TO BE A THING?! THINK ABOUT IT! Could telling Caitlin about Killer Frost make her actually start down that path somehow? Will Joe somehow fulfill a prophecy and die because he heard his double died on Earth 2, or will he just become a really amazing jazz singer in his spare time? How do you know which one? Do you play the 50/50 odds, or let it go because Joe dying isn’t worth hearing his beautiful singing voice? Would Iris drop reporting and become a cop? The mind boggles with possibilities you guys!

Ok, back to review, sorry. Harry also makes the point that the people on Earth 2 are not the people on Earth 1 and their lives are never going to be the same. Translation: Barry get over the fact that you and Iris are married on Earth 2 and accept that you and Iris are never going to be there on this one. Forget it. Move on. I’ve been here only for this season and the writers have forgotten about season 1 so I know what I’m talking about. Ok Harry, sure. Do you know Barry at all?

Barry and Cisco agree. (Barry’s reluctant though, surprise.) Life moves on, they don’t talk about Earth 2. But Barry clearly can’t forget it.  He spends time running and remembering. Jesse is dealing with the fact that her life is forever changed and there is now a distance between her and Harry, Caitlin shuts down completely and goes to work. Cisco hovers and worries.

Bruce! Guards are friends, not food!

And now we get to the big bad for the ep, currently pretending to be dead on the bottom of his fish tank. Sigh. Every guard needs a training session on not falling for that trick. If you think the prisoner might be dead, LEAVE THEM THERE FOR SEVERAL HOURS. If they’re dead now, they’ll still be dead later too. But instead these guards took the trick training session: How To Cover Yourself in Sauce and Be a Tasty Morsel. I did giggle when one called King Shark Bruce, though.

Enter one of my fave couples: John Diggle and his wife Lyla, fresh from Arrow. Lyla is now in charge of ARGUS and is busy checking on the many secret sites her predecessor left behind. (RIP Amanda Waller, you were a force to be reckoned with.) They arrive just in time to see King Shark freshly escaped. Diggle has always been grounded in reality and it’s honestly so much fun to see him deal with crap like this, lol. He and Wally need to compare notes.

The cups are red and it’s a speed game. The Flash is not subtle.

Speaking of Wally, we cut to family game night at the West house. Wally is the reigning champ of the cups game. (I smile every time he talks about how much he enjoys speed. Wally you are going to be so happy sometime in the future.) But Barry is too checked out to really engage.

It’s clear in the the first few minutes that Wally has finally established a rapport with both Iris and Joe, but Barry and he have spent less time around each other and are still feeling each other out. That’s only fair, Barry’s been busy lately and Wally’s focus has been on his father and his sister. But the awkwardness is building.

I’ve seen anger towards both Barry and Wally for how things went this ep, but really I can see both sides. Wally is really threatened and jealous of Barry and his place in the family, especially since Wally was cheated out of that very same place. Barry is still scarred by the events that just went down and is nowhere near able to be friendly or extroverted. It all just goes downhill from there. Kudos to both Grant Gustin and Keiynan Lonsdale for the subtext and emotional vibes that flowed in this ep. Excellent acting.

Once Wally leaves it becomes obvious that Barry hasn’t shared anything about Earth 2 with Iris or Joe, and they both notice. Barry is encouraged to spend more time with Wally, and he agrees.

Cold Vibes and Visitors

Meanwhile at STAR Labs, Cisco is concerned about Caitlin’s all-business no emotion behavior and is worried Caitlin is starting to go evil. His conversation with Barry is interrupted by Lyla and John, who deliver even better news. King Shark is alive and kicking swimming, and he’s obsessed with one thing: His original directive from Zoom to kill the Flash. I wonder if this guy has a shark brain or a human brain, because he seems pretty one-track minded. They advise Barry to let ARGUS handle it, but Barry is too frustrated and fed up with Zoom’s henchmen to sit this one out. Besides, giant shark! Harry is assigned to try locating King Shark, Caitlin and Cisco go to visit the King Shark Earth 1 doppelganger’s widow, and Barry agrees to find room in his busy schedule to help Wally with an engineering project as an attempt at bonding.

Caitlin is so flat Cisco has to smooth over their chat with the widow, and scientist who studies sharks (of course!) and he’s becoming certain that she’s on her way to icy cold villain territory. John, Lyla, Barry and many Argus agents set up a perimeter and hope to catch King Shark by surprise when he comes up for air. (I can’t stop, sorry. LOL)

John Diggle has long been the moral compass and excellent advice dispenser for Oliver Queen, and he can easily recognize when a hero is beginning to take on burdens that are too much and perhaps not their own. He advises Barry against that move. Unfortunately their therapy session is cut off when two guards (oh look they took the trick training course too!) run into King Shark and become tasty morsels. Now they have lost the element of surprise and King Shark’s location again. For a giant shark, that guy can move pretty well and avoid detection.

Barry vs. Wally OR Barry and Wally? Nevermind, SHARK.

The Barry/Wally awkwardness hits an all time high when Wally presents his engineering project to Barry and the latter digs into it without thinking about how to do it in a more friendly way. This is actually interesting to me because both Barry and Caitlin are showing that behavior in this ep, and it’s not something that is usually focused on. Traumatic events can actually sometimes produce this phenomenon, plus when you add in brain power many times the person gets rolling on the logistics and forgets about tact or including another person. Sometimes it’s difficult to lead another person along and not leave them in the dust, but it is a necessary and useful skill to learn especially when it’s not originally your project. I’d be annoyed too if someone jumped on my baby project and went nuts without including me. Wally definitely has a right to be annoyed, but the underlying resentment that is the real issue emerges when Wally points out that Barry is perfect according to Iris and Joe, and every picture in that house has Barry in it.

The simmering underlying emotions of Wally are simply masterfully played by Keiynan Lonsdale, I will sing his praises until I die. We have some really amazing actors in this show. Barry is having major issues connecting with Wally, and much of it is because he’s too wrapped up in his own traumas to really put himself out there. In addition he can tell Wally doesn’t like him and so he’s busy trying to finish up and leave because who likes hanging around a person you know doesn’t like you?  Unfortunately, it just makes things worse.

So things end badly and Wally prepares to leave, but then they get crazy as King Shark breaks into the house. No like literally breaks through it! I admit the first time I jumped a mile. The drama of the scene had me and I wasn’t expecting a thing. King Shark can smell the Flash and he knows he’s there somewhere. Too bad he’s never seen Barry without his suit on. Barry can’t do much without giving his identity away to Wally and King Shark, but when Joe and Iris make it down the stairs Joe opens fire and gives Barry a chance for a quick exit and wardrobe change. Barry takes on King Shark in the street and gets thrown against a car for his efforts, but John and Lyla arrive and King Shark is headed to the water once more.

Secrets and Bonding Moments

Wally is understandably freaked out about the whole incident (Wally, I feel you buddy) and how calm Joe and Iris are about it. When Barry reappears Wally calls him a coward and leaves, ushering in the emotional heart of this entire episode and unwittingly providing Barry with the truth he has been avoiding. I am loving how Wally is instrumental in growth for Barry even while he is unaware of Barry’s hero status. Wally West is here to stay and I am so excited.

Barry finally tells Iris and Joe about his Earth 2 adventures. Iris is shocked to hear they were married but very happy that she was the Earth 2 cop of the family. Joe seems happy about being a singer, right up until Barry tells them how he got Joe killed on Earth 2 because he showed up as a breacher. Barry finally admits that he got emotionally sucked in and that his guilt is well deserved. He also feels incredibly guilty for leaving Earth 2 at Zoom’s mercy. Barry has always taken on a lot of responsibility, but he’s seeing all the consequences of his decision last season come to light and it’s a heavy weight. He is drowning in guilt. It’s a beautiful and heartfelt scene, and as usual Grant, Candice and Jesse are all on point.

Meanwhile, Cisco finally says too much to Caitlin and she drags the truth out of him. Watching her middle name him was pretty hilarious. Cisco shares his fear with her and Caitlin helps him understand why she is like she is right now, and that this is the only way she can cope with things at the moment.

Harry is deep in equations trying to find King Shark and is interrupted by Jesse. After a bit of science speak that goes way over my head, we see a nice father daughter moment as Harry opens up to the idea of Jesse helping out. Jesse is what, 16? Gotta say, she’s pretty smart. I think at 16 I could help my dad dig a ditch or put on makeup…just sayin’. So hopefully Jesse’s brains will be helpful to the team in the future. I enjoy the father/daughter relationship with these two.

Just when you think it’s safe to have a little hope…

The team finally finds a way to track King Shark and lays a trap for him, compete with a tranquilizer-stuffed dummy of the Flash. Of course that doesn’t work, so instead Barry runs on water, pursued by a giant shark-man (the only time I’ll ever be able to say that) complete with some nice special effects and wow King Shark looks great. Barry runs in circles and electrifies the water and then, in a fitting move that he learned from “Jay”, hurls a lightning bolt to knock out the last of Zoom’s henchmen. A fitting tribute to “Jay” and his legacy, whatever that actually is.

Joe has a wonderful chat with Wally and tries to help Wally understand why Barry is even part of the family. But the best part is when he says that Barry is not perfect, nor is he favored over Iris or Wally. Joe loves his kids, each one of them. I want all the West family interactions! Now! ALL WEST FAMILY ALL THE TIME! (Ok, but I do still need some Henry Allen his lack is making me angry.)

Caitlin proves she can pull a trick on Cisco by faking him out that she’s going all Killer Frost and then telling him he deserved it for ever thinking that in the first place. LOL. This whole scene is hilarious because of how Carlos plays it. I love him, and I love Cisco.

Barry gathers all of the team at STAR Labs and starts with an apology for the choice he made in saving his mother. He acknowledges that it has affected all of them. I appreciate that he went all the way back to this event because it is truly what triggered everything else this season, minus the Legends of Tomorrow set up. And Patty but really, the writers need to apologize for that. Barry needs to find a way to work through his guilt, but he has earned it. It all comes back to that decision.

Barry has taken John’s advice to heart and has decided that they aren’t done with Earth 2, and that Zoom needs to be dealt with. He uncovers a glass case containing “Jay’s” helmet as a memorial of sorts. It’s a lovely scene and gives me hope that while Barry has rightfully been traumatized by all that has happened, maybe he can now work through it and give us back some of the happy and optimistic Barry we knew in season 1. I have missed him. A hero can only mope so long before it becomes wearing. Time to get busy, Barry. The team leaves off on a hopeful note for the future…

…which is quickly bashed to pieces as the scene shifts to Zoom, returning to his lair on Earth 2. He drops dead “Jay” on the ground, and metal-mask prisoner is rightfully horrified. Then Zoom removes his mask. And I yelled “CALLED IT!” at the screen.

The face of Jay Garrick looks down at his dead double and pronounces this development “a complication.”  Ah crap, I smell lots of betrayal angst in the wind. So much for happy and optimistic…

Possibilities:

  • I could talk about Wally and Barry all day, because I find their dynamic fascinating. I am so here for watching their relationship slowly evolve and change, and one day these two will be willing to die for each other. I am here for the ride. Grant and Keiynan’s acting just makes it so enjoyable.
  • Iris was thinking really hard when she heard Barry and Iris were married on Earth 2. We have been told that this, the future article with her married name, and a few other factors will start moving Iris into acknowledging her feelings for Barry. And I for one am SO HERE FOR IT. Bring on the WestAllen!
  • I have serious Zoom theories formulating, but I’ll wait before I start putting them out here. (Fic possibilities!) But yes, I called that Teddy Sears was under the mask, as have many others. (After I was done thinking it might be Henry, lol.) I am also in agreement with many that the real Jay Garrick is under that metal mask, and that Zoom is his twin Hunter Zoloman. We’ll see how this goes.
  • Cisco is seen messing with his doppelganger’s glasses TWICE in this ep. They will come into play somehow.
  • At this point I can’t decide if there will ever be a Killer Frost on Earth 1 or not. The jury is still out.

Tidbits:

  • “He’s fast, John. Get over it.” “Never!” John Diggle will never get over how fast Barry is, and I love it.
  • “Jaws busts through your house like the Kool-Aid man, the Flash shows up, and ya’ll just act like it’s no big deal.” “Weirder than a talking shark wearing pants?” HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Wally got the best lines of this ep. Wally, you rock.
  • “Oh for real? Ok we’re going to play a little game. It’s called if you’re from earth 2, you’re going to be quiet.” Watching Harry and Cisco’s relationship is loads of fun, and now Jesse following her dad’s lead makes it even better. Harry looked so proud of his kid. Poor Cisco, lol.
  • “Got to watch you run on water. It was biblical.” John Diggle, I love you.
  • I loved John’s advice to Barry, and it was exceptionally fitting that he be the one to give it, considering his military background. No one else regularly on the show could have given such counsel to Barry and come off as believably. John Diggle is wonderful.
  • “Yeah. Ok, that’s kinda freaky.” “Yeah, See, see! I told you!” Have I mentioned I love the Diggles? Because I really do. Come back anytime, guys.
  • I thought it was a nice touch to have Lyla mention that she would rather try to figure out ways to help metahumans than weaponize their powers. Lyla has always had a human touch even as she kicks serious butt, and it’s nice to see that continue.
  • “He’s my son, just like you are.” Nice to see Joe’s scenes with Wally can reduce me to tears as much as his scenes with Barry. Wally’s tiny smile at the end makes me need to feed him cookies and give him hugs. He is so afraid of rejection, it hurts me.

Feel free to hit the comments with your thoughts!

The Flash 2×14: Escape From Earth 2

Or: The Honeymoon is Over

 Sorry this review is late. Too many irons in the fire!

After the previous episode expectations were high for the conclusion. I’ll be honest, I was a bit let down. But it was still mostly good. In many ways it felt that too much was included, which resulted in several aspects set up in the previous episode not receiving proper focus. It felt like many threads were left hanging that could and should have been explored and/or tied up this ep. Maybe they were left hanging for future episodes, but it still left me disappointed with this one. However, there were still some good points.

City on Fire

Zoom gets a voice-over in the opening this time, and a nice montage that shows the depth of his power on the city as he flexes his fear-inducing muscles on populace, demanding that Wells be brought to him. He even writes Surrender Dorothy I mean Bring Me Wells on a building. Zoom is on the hunt, and I think he wants to roast marshmallows too because he does quite a bit with fire. The special effects were really nice there. This would have been a great episode to see Wells and Cisco on the run through the city in a thrilling chase story as they are hunted…but no.  I’m not sure how much confidence he has in the city’s citizens to do his bidding considering he then heads straight to S.T.A.R. Labs, which is maybe the first thing he should have done. Three guesses where Wells is, Zoom. And the first two don’t count. Henry Hewitt may or may not have been killed as Zoom entered the building, but several guards certainly were. Henry was so lovely on earth 2 I am going to assume he made it and is sitting somewhere warm, happy and content since his actual death was not shown.

Meanwhile, Cisco fills in Wells on the events leading up to Barry’s capture and reveals he jacked his doppelgangers visor. (Wouldn’t that be a great way to track down Zoom’s lair? Wasn’t that the original plan? No? Okay.) Also, Zoom left him alive for some reason and enough focus was given to why that I expect that come up in a later episode. For now, we get re-introduced to one of my favorite parts of the entire episode: Earth 2 Barry Allen.

Bow Tie Barry

I’ve already said how much I love getting to see an actor play a character different than the one they usually play. Earth 2 Iris delighted me last week and did this week as well. Earth 2 Barry was similar. His great disappointment in his hero’s actions, the way he expresses himself “Whoever’s responsible for this, we are gonna have words!” and the very clear difference in his character from our Barry Allen was just plain fun. He panics completely as Zoom comes after Wells and Cisco, and it’s only through Wells’ forward thinking and use of his own time vault/storage closet/hidey hole complete with a fake wall that they manage to escape Zoom’s wrath for the moment. I can only imagine the fun Grant Gustin had in playing his double, similar to Candice Patton’s delight in playing Earth 2 Iris.

Dream Couple

Then you put those two together, and you get pure awesomesauce. It was so much fun to watch the dynamic and relationship between earth 2 Barry and Iris. I loved every minute. Barry was rightfully upset that his double had been “frisky” with his wife, but when she decided she was going with Wells and Cisco to find Killer Frost in the hopes that she would lead them to Zoom’s lair, he didn’t hesitate to go too even though he was afraid. And when they needed somewhere to start looking for her, Iris’ faith in her husband was complete and unwavering. These two are married in every sense of the word. It was wonderful to see them as a committed and unified couple. Each understands the other and supports them. They stick together no matter what. This is what I dream of for our Barry and Iris. Patience…we’re getting closer.

Man In The Iron Mask

Meanwhile our Barry and Jesse spend time trying to decipher the iron-masked man’s odd and incessant tapping. It was nice to see Barry tell Jesse how much her father cares about her and that his only goal has been getting her back. It was good to see him lift up another person in need of it and it was great to see them both use their brains to figure out the tapping was a tap code. Now I don’t want to be overly critical, but at the same time I am a bit disturbed that the prisoner is spending his time tapping on the glass of his cell if all he wanted to do was spell the name J-A-Y. But I’ll let that slide for now…

Earth 1 Speedster

Jay and Caitlin spend time repairing the portal so the others can return. Jay is twitchy about Geomancer and is very okay with taking Velocity, even if it might be harming him further than he already is. A few red flags are starting to fly concerning Jay, and as much as I argued with people about it, I’m seeing them too.

Iris is dealing with a brand new editor who isn’t very happy that she’s writing upbeat and hopeful stories on the Flash. Honestly how dare she try to reassure the citizens instead of spreading panic and chaos. He kills her most recent article, but being the smart and resourceful reporter she is Iris manages to squeak some more time with an offer to write a story on the speedster who took on Geomancer the night before a.k.a. Jay. I love watching Iris at work, we don’t get nearly enough of that.

Iris shows up at STAR Labs to talk to Jay, and then Geomancer decides using his earthquake powers to bring down a hospital will get some good attention. Buddy, seriously that’s just rude. But Jay takes the newly perfected Velocity 9 formula and has speed once more, arriving in time to empty the remaining three (???) people out of the hospital.

(Must…not…be…annoyed…know….this…is…fiction…do you know how many people are in a hospital at any given time, especially in the middle of the day? MORE THAN THREE. I know there were others on the sidewalk but even that was tiny compared to how many would be working/patient there. There is NO WAY that hospital was completely evacuated! Okay I’m done.)

By the time Jay is done he barely makes it back to S.T.A.R. Labs and is out of gas once again. He heads downstairs to take a nap. By now we’re all side-eyeing him pretty hard, and it just looks even more suspicious when Geomancer shows up at S.T.A.R. Labs and starts to wreak havoc. Jay never shows, Caitlin and Iris are in serious danger, but Caitlin whips out Cisco’s boot to save the day. I’m always here for ladies saving ladies and taking care of business. Keep napping, Jay.

Oh and also Caitlin figured out how to heal Jay. He has a new lease on life, he and caitlin kiss. All is well. Oh crap. Is this like what happens when a borderline or bad character is suddenly given a redemption? It doesn’t bode well…

Just draw on the glass, dude

Speaking of Jay, back on Earth 2 metal-mask prisoner gets the name Jay understood but loses it when Barry says he’s not here, they left him back on their Earth. I’m all for a good mystery, but if the guy inside that mask is perchance named Jay, he really just should have pointed to himself right then. But to be fair he didn’t get much of an opportunity because Zoom showed back up and proceeded to beat up Barry for daring to speak to other prisoners. But Barry shrugs that off pretty quick as he realizes he may be able to phase out of the glass cell.

Frost and the Forest

Meanwhile, Cisco, Harry, and the married West-Allens head to the woods to sweet talk Killer Frost into helping them.  It doesn’t go quite as planned. After a gun/ice/E2 Barry’s stick fight that ends with Cisco’s gun pointed right at her, Killer Frost is convinced to help them. I do like how Cisco is the one to get through to her, using his knowledge of Caitlin Snow on his earth to appeal to her love for Ronnie/Death Storm. Cisco brings amazing heart to the show, and I feel like his friendship with Caitlin has been in the background for a while. He is a great friend and a wonderful character, and Carlos Valdes really outdoes himself every time.

By the time the group gets inside Zoom’s lair Barry has given himself a headache trying to phase out of his cell. (Picture a fly continually buzzing into a window.) He can’t go quite fast enough to compensate for the different frequency of Earth 2 and the glass is made of carbine. Barry tries to make a self-sacrificing move and tells them to leave without him. But with a little pep talk from himself i.e. his doppelganger, Barry manages to do it. I feel like this is going to be important later on. It was a nice moment for Earth 2 Barry Allen, who is a hero in his own right despite his lack of powers and courage. (I will not make a Cowardly Lion joke here. I won’t. But it’s so hard……)

Wait what? Who? Where?

The last ten minutes of this episode felt like we too had a dose of Velocity 9. Too much flying past and not enough time to take it in. Barry gets out of his cell, Zoom shows up and threatens to kill all, Killer Frost was leading them there for Zoom and is a dirty double crosser but wait no, she’s changed her mind (triple crosser?) and freezes Zoom long enough for the others escape. Barry promises to return for metal-mask man. There is a quick goodbye scene in which Barry and Iris decide to leave town for their own safety (Nora wants grandkids guys, get on it) and Harry tells Jesse her new home will now be Earth 1. She takes it about as well as anyone else would.

Jay and Joe work together to get the AGAIN damaged portal repaired just in time for the others to return, Cisco and Jesse arrive and Barry heads back for Harry. Wait! Zoom has Harry and almost kills him but no, he and Barry work together and get back safely, the portal is closing and all is well.

EXCEPT FOR STUPID PEOPLE PULLING STUPID PLOT MOVES AND STANDING TOO CLOSE TO THE CLOSING PORTAL. Jay is killed in front of everyone as Zoom’s hand comes out of the portal and through his chest. Jay is yanked back through the portal before it closes for good. Really, Jay? We all shake our heads. Saw that coming.

Possibilities:

  • I expect the reason that Zoom left Cisco alive to come up in future episodes. There was way too much attention given to it to leave it hanging forever. Also, Reverb’s glasses will come back too, Cisco jacked them for a reason.
  • Okay, now that Jay has been killed but we are all suspicious of it, he will be “Jay” to me from now on. I mean it. Even in conversation, the quote fingers come out. May of us are speculating that “Jay” is an impostor and that the real Jay Garrick is behind the metal mask. I wait to see more but I expect that the Earth 1 Hunter Zoloman will be revisited at some point, and everything Zoom-related ties into Jay Garrick one way or another.
  • Very interested to see what they do with Harry Wells and Jesse now that they are in Earth 1 permanently. I expected that to happen, and since Jesse Quick is a a comic speedster I expect to see things happen sooner or later with her.
  • It’s possible that Barry’s phasing in this episode will lead to increased speed or other phasing in future eps. I’m interested to see what happens.

Tidbits:

  • Really, what kept me going in this episode was the Barry and Iris marriage on Earth 2. It was just a lovely bit of acting and writing. Barry twice refuses to stay behind, his wife is heading into danger and he’s not going to abandon her. Because they’re married. That’s what you do in a marriage. These two back each other up no matter what. They also accept one another. Barry’s cool with hiding behind his wife for protection, he knows who’s the tough one in the relationship. Iris has ultimate faith in her husband’s smarts, but she knows the field is not his thing. She offers to let him stay behind because she understands that this is not his area at all and she doesn’t judge him for it. They love each other for who they are. I would like a spin off of Earth 2 Barry and Iris on Earth 2, please.
  • “Wait, he got frisky with you?” LOL! Oh E2 Barry, you make me laugh every time. The dynamic and subtext in that scene alone is gold.
  • “I’ll go with you.” “No.” “No.” Harry and Cisco should appreciate their Barry a little bit more after this ep, they really didn’t appreciate the difference in Earth 2 Barry much.
  • “It’s a work in progress, Elsa!” Cisco, please never change.
  • I’m serious, Barry holding a stick for defense is so hilarious, only his quiet mouthing of the word “no” when he sees the cliffs can compare. And don’t think I didn’t notice Iris yell “move!” for her husband’s benefit so he didn’t get hit, everyone else knew it was coming. She also patted his shoulder as he stared at the cliffs. These two are so married it hurts me.
  • Really enjoyed Jesse and Harry’s reunion, I’m interested to see their relationship evolve and progress.
  • “I have to try.” Uttered by “Jay” this time. Whoever he was, “Jay” too became a full-fledged hero in this ep if he wasn’t before. Nicely slipped in, writers. However, we will now always and forever be suspicious of people suddenly having a rosy future to look forward to because it will most likely lead to a sudden death as the writers try to heighten the drama. I haven’t forgotten Eddie or Ronnie. I’m on to you, writers!
  • Metal-mask man actor does a really nice job conveying emotion in spite of his face being covered. That’s not always an easy task. Well done, metal-mask actor.
  • I was a bit disappointed that Reverb’s treatment of Barry with sonic waves didn’t result in Barry’s speed being disrupted as it is in the comics. That could have been cool. Guess I can’t have everything.
  • Killer Frost was fun, but if Zoom didn’t kill her after that little act of rebellion I’m going to think he has a thing for her. He killed Death Storm and Reverb for less.
  • Iris asking Barry to give Earth 1 Joe a hug for her was lovely.
  • Is it just me or were there a lot of people finding themselves heroes that weren’t before in this ep?
  • I look forward to seeing more focus on Iris and her job at CCPN, it has been ignored too much this season.
  • I argued against “Jay” being shady because I couldn’t see that the writers would pull the same trusted-mentor-infiltrates-team-star-labs-and betrays again, but apparently that’s what they are going with.

Feel free to hit the comments and share your thoughts!

 

 

The Flash 2×13:Welcome to Earth2

a.k.a.Everything you ever wanted

 Much of season 2 thus far has felt like a slow start. It felt like we were waiting to see the Flash of season 1 that we loved so much. Finally, in episode 13, we got our wish.

And then some! Let’s get to it.

Journey to Earth 2

As the episode opens, Harry is making his last diary entry as he prepares to go to Earth 2 to rescue Jesse. He mentions getting distracted by the people on this earth and their problems, a fitting bit of foreshadowing. Barry is closing all but one of the 52 breaches between the two worlds.

Barry, Iris and Joe have a final meal together before he leaves, and it’s small moments like this that I have been missing. After asking Joe for a moment alone with Barry (I love when she does this, lol.) she expresses concern that Barry might be heading off to another world because he feels he has nothing left in this one. He assures her he might be missing Patty some but he loves his life here, and he loves her…and Joe. She tells him to go win and come home. Wonderful moments of friendship and support between Barry and Iris are something I’ve been missing a lot lately, but Grant Gustin and Candice Patton never disappoint when I do get them.

As Cisco, Barry and Harry prepare to go to Earth 2, Jay warns them that things are very different there and may in fact be the opposite. He also warns them not to get distracted. They have 48 hours to rescue Jesse and return, or the remaining team has instructions to close the breach for good. Cisco’s letter that he asks Caitlin to give to his family should he not return really cements the idea that this is a dangerous mission, and they are all aware of it. Easter eggs abound as they head into the speed cannon and Earth 2, but not before they glimpse another Arrow, Supergirl, and even John Wesley Shipp’s version of the Flash from the 90’s. (Sweet!) And of course the speed cannon breaks immediately after they leave. Of course it does!

The Best Laid Plans…

Mega props to the special effects team who created such a beautiful golden retro version of Central City, which we got to see as Barry and Cisco went ultra tourist nerdy complete with selfies. Henry Hewett’s doppelganger was hilarious and a great intro to the idea that everyone here is going to be different. The trio’s carefully crafted plan is out the window immediately once they find that Cisco’s glasses don’t work on this Earth due to its different frequency, and we get our second doppelganger with the intro of the most delightfully bowtie-adorned Harry Wells worshiping gushing cutie Barry Allen. Whom our Barry promptly tasers so he can go to the CCPD and find out info about Zoom and his possible location. Hint: If Barry Allen ever says a plan will be “easy”, you know it’s going to go pear-shaped.

His Perfect Reality

And so it does. Now dressed as his counterpart complete with glasses and a different hairstyle, Barry heads to CCPN and finds a very different place. We see different versions of many people, including Deadshot Floyd Lawton, who is actually the worst shot on the force, and Iris’ partner.

Oh yeah, and Iris is a cop. Oh, and she and E2 Barry are MARRIED.

One of the highlights of last week’s episode was Iris West taking her rightful place in the spotlight, and this episode continues that trend. THIS IS WHAT WE WANT. Candice Patton brings such warmth and authenticity to the role, and she has been under-utilized most of the season so far. So when we get to see a confident tough and forward Iris West who is married to Barry Allen on Earth 2, we can only cheer. Candice came through with flying colors, I didn’t want this episode to end.  Barry was similarly swept up and played along for the rest of the evening. (Plan? What plan? I’m married to Iris here!) The relationship between Barry and E2 Iris becomes the centerpiece of the ep and brings heart and feels galore. I loved every minute of it.

Icy Hot

Cut to the reveal viewers have been waiting for since Caitlin Snow became a character on this show…Killer Frost. She had her boyfriend Ronnie Raymond (Death Storm on this earth) are working for Zoom and really enjoy their jobs. Their hot and cold dynamic complements each other perfectly, and their flirting is something we’d never see out of reserved Caitlin Snow on our earth. They are set as the villains of the ep once they head off to find the breachers who have come through and eliminate them.

Outside Looking In

One of the most bittersweet moments was Barry’s phone call with Nora Allen. Grant as usual touched us with his portrayal of teary joy on hearing her voice, all while knowing his own mother is dead. It was a beautiful bit of writing that I would have been disappointed not to see. And it was a beautiful thing to see Barry remove his glasses and fully become E1 Barry in that moment. Tears may have been shed.

Less sweet is Joe…wait no…Joseph’s relationship with his son-in-law. But that surprise comes second to the wonderful revelation that Joe is a singer on this earth, and wow is he good at it. Jesse L. Martin got a chance to show his Broadway roots, and I need him to record an album stat. Or at least release the two songs he sang in the ep. His disdain for E2 Barry is a fun turnaround, and I hope to see the ideas put forth in this ep in next week’s ep when it comes to Barry Allen on E2.

Once DeathFrost interrupts Joseph’s singing looking for the breacher, things get serious. Iris is awesome with a gun, Joseph is hurt protecting his daughter, and Barry whisks them out for a private battle that ends in a stalemate. Joseph, blasted by Death Storm, later dies. Barry is now all in emotionally. He argues with Harry about the wisdom of getting involved but can’t pull away from the people he considers family even in this world. Plans for Zoom are put on hold, and we all start to wonder if that’s going to bite him later.

One of the best scenes of the ep followed at the CCPD, where Iris is preparing for war in retaliation for her father. Her refusal to let Barry come (I can’t lose my husband too) and her forceful assertion that she can’t let a civilian (Cisco) in the field really gave us the measure of how strong this Iris is. She was a revelation, and the acting was spot on. This isn’t to say that E1 Iris isn’t strong as well, because she is. It just comes out in different ways. In any Earth, Iris West is a force to be reckoned with. It is so nice to see it shown.

And in any Earth, Barry Allen loves Iris West. She grabs his chin and tells him she loves him before kissing him goodbye. And Barry (Grant’s acting is such perfection here) has the bittersweet knowledge that she thinks she is speaking to her real husband, but it doesn’t change one bit that he loves her completely and deeply all the way down to his soul. His feelings for Iris have barely been touched on this season, to the point that it feels they have been forgotten entirely. But here they are, back again, and full force. The ongoing drama of Barry and Iris is coming to a head, and it’s about time. So when Barry says “I love you too” back, he is acknowledging out loud and to himself that he still loves Iris and always will. He won’t be able to hide behind the wall that’s been up since the singularity once he returns. I can’t wait to see how this goes.

Earth 1 (Wally was so fast I thought he had speed already.)

Meanwhile on Earth 1 a new meta called Geomancer is busy tearing up the streets of Central City—literally. He’s looking for a fight with the Flash, and the only Flash-like person around is Jay. Of course, he’s still speedless. He finally confesses to Caitlin that his desire for more speed led to experimentation (seriously, that is ALWAYS a bad thing in comics land, Jay) and is what robbed him of his speed and made him terminally ill. Caitlin is determined to find a cure, but in the meantime creates Velocity 7 for Jay to (briefly) take on Geomancer. Jay gets a tiny moment of action before Velocity 7 gives out and Joe scares the meta away with his bullets. They end the ep with 24 hours to repair the speed cannon so Cisco and Barry can get home and the threat of Geomancer still on the loose. I expect a serious showdown next ep.

Battle to the Cliffhanger (They are dropping like flies!)

The final fight on Earth 2 starts out pretty basic. Iris, Cisco and Lawton face off against DeathFrost. Iris calls Killer Frost an “evil bitch.” LOL. And THEN WE GET THE SHOCK OF THE EP. Cisco’s doppelganger is alive and well. I had wondered why they were so quiet about a Cisco on E2, but I was still surprised when he showed up and I LOVED IT. Carlos Valdez was awesome as Reverb, Earth 2’s resident Cisco Ramon. Best of all was the moment that Reverb attempted to draw Cisco over to his side. Excellent acting, hilarious lines.

Barry races onto the scene as the Flash and everything goes crazy. Iris wounds Killer Frost with Cisco’s handy dandy anti-KF gun (Go Iris you badass!), Reverb lets loose with sonic waves that make Cisco realize his potential, Death Storm and Reverb pound Barry with waves and fire blasts. Killer Frost is busy telling them the speedster is to be unharmed, but Zoom appears to make sure the message sinks in. And it does. Right through Ronnie’s chest. (Oh crap, called that one.) Reverb is treated similarly after being chastised. Cisco’s sympathy pains made me wince. Yeah, he knows that feeling. Gotta say, Zoom is quite the scary villain.  Zoom picks up Barry and leaves. Killer Frost runs away after mourning her dead boyfriend for a second. Iris is obviously going to have legitimate questions and Cisco is horrified at Barry’s disappearance.

As if that wasn’t cliffhanger enough, we next see Barry wake up in his own private (cell? glass case? Zoo habitat?) in Zoom’s lair. A strange man wearing a metal helmet that covers his face is tapping the glass of his cell. Barry spots Jesse and is busy telling her about their rescue mission (I’m sure you inspire confidence in her Barry, it’s obvious you have everything under control) when Zoom arrives to inform him that this is the last place he’ll ever see. Dun dun dun! Cliffhanger!

Possibilities:

-I’m assuming next week Killer Frost becomes the unlikely help to find Zoom’s lair. Makes sense, Zoom did just kill her boyfriend.

-After the seeds planted this ep and the promo, I expect E2 Barry to be a bit less enthusiastic about heading straight into the lion’s den. Perfect opportunity to show some growth in his character in terms of bravery and sticking his neck out for others. And I’m all for E1 Barry giving him a lecture about making sure he appreciates his wife since he has no idea how insanely lucky he is. I’m sure E2 Barry adores his wife, every Barry does. But maybe it’s time for her to discover she can be a real reporter, with the help of her supportive husband. And Barry did promise her father he would take care of her, so I can see this happening. If not I demand a fic of it.

-Any chance we get a bit bit of marital discussion on the fact that Iris spent a day with a double and may have kissed him no less than three times? Maybe this will spark that intimate weekend Nora was pushing, get some westallen babies going… 😉

-I fully expect the developments that take place on Earth 2 to influence events on Earth 1 once they return. This put things into motion and it needs to keep going, not slow down again. Time to tackle Zoom fully, and westallen and Jay and everything else on hold.

-If Cisco didn’t grab Reverb’s glasses that are already tuned to this universe, he’s an idiot.

-I am really thinking that there was a little more to that heart to heart in the beginning of the ep. Iris asks if Barry is going to Earth2 because he thinks he has nothing left on Earth1. She doesn’t mention Patty, Barry does. His brain goes there because that relationship just ended. Iris is asking if he feels like there is nothing here for him anymore, but she’s not talking about Patty. She’s talking about herself. I really think Iris was asking not because of Patty, but because she is starting to think she has feelings for him. She’s slowly realizing them and slowly moving out of her grief period, and she needs time to deal with it and get to the bottom of it. But she doesn’t want Barry leaving on a deadly possible suicide mission if he’s doing it because he thinks that there is nothing here for him. He tells her he doesn’t, he loves his life, so she lets it go. She tells him to win and to come home. And she’ll be there. This is my interpretation and I’m sticking to it. Iris is getting there as well and all signs point to her getting there before the season is over. *crosses fingers*

Tidbits:

-Doppelgangers. Watching good actors do a character different than one they usually play is a delight, especially when they do it well. It’s an opportunity most actors jump at, and we were treated to delight after delight this ep. Their voices were different, their expressions and mannerisms were different, fabulous acting makes me happy! Give me ALL THE DOPPELGANGERS!

-“I think a little office PDA between husband and wife is okay.” Iris, I completely agree.

-“It’s Joseph.” “You’re still an idiot!” “This one is for Iris. Every song is for you, baby.” Joseph West was priceless this episode.

-“She’s not Iris.” “She is Iris to me! Whatever world I’m in, they are my family!” A thing of beauty. *sniffle*  Whatever world, home to Barry is Iris.

-I know a speedster’s metabolism burns fast but WOW that Velocity 7 wore off fast. Caitlin! You know better!

-Some things are the same every universe. Barry and Iris find and love each other, Ronnie dies, and Cisco gets his heart shredded. Oh and Joe loves his daughter. 🙂

-Floyd Lawton was a gift in this ep. I want more of him. Dropping his bullets, determined to stick by his partner, nervous in the field. I loved it all. His moment of bravery where he unloaded his gun and didn’t land a single shot made me laugh out loud. Floyd Lawton, you will always be Deadshot in my heart.

-“Doppel…” “…ganger.” “Wait, are you Cloud City Vadering me right now?” I was so sad to see Reverb get killed, it was such fun to see him and our Cisco exchange witty remarks.

-Dang Ronnie. You can’t stay alive in any world, can you?

 

 

Hi there!

Welcome to my blog. I am Story Advocate and I love stories and discussing them. Right now I plan to review episodes of CW’s The Flash. New episodes of Season 2 start Tuesday January 19, 2016. In the future I hope to re-watch and review eps from season 1 and early season 2.

I love this show and many aspects about it. I unabashedly ship westallen, if you aren’t here for that ship you have been warned.

I don’t mind criticizing where I see the need, but I tend to stay on the positive side of things and I like it that way. Comments and discussion are welcome as long as they are kept civil and polite. There’s no room for hate here. 🙂

So take a bite of the silver sandwich and come in for a chat!

finale