The Flash Review: “Flash of Two Worlds”

(Episode 2.02)

TV Reviews The Flash
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<i>The Flash</i> Review: &#8220;Flash of Two Worlds&#8221;

Last week’s season two premiere of The Flash left me down for numerous reasons. Chief among them was the fact that the episode itself, dealing with the emotional residue of an intense season one finale, focused too much on the gloom of the situation, abandoning one of the show’s main tenets: to have fun. With the multiverse coming, though, it seemed likely that things would get back to normal quickly on The Flash, and that’s just what happened in episode two.

“Flash of Two Worlds” was pure comic book nerd candy. It was an hour that returned the show back to having fun, while jumping us headlong into the concept of parallel universes. Much like last year, in its sophomore voyage The Flash embraces some of its more complicated comic book roots. The first third of the episode succinctly explains who Jay Garrick is (in this iteration) and the idea of multiple Earths. As it did with time travel, the CW drama does a wonderful job of introducing what could be a bewildering concept to non-comic book readers while leaving enough on the bone for those familiar with DC and its infinite Earths. “Flash of Two Worlds” parallels the structure of a classic issue of the comic with the same name. (There is even a scene that reenacted, to my great delight, the famous cover.) In the printed version, it’s Barry Allen who finds himself in Jay Garrick’s world. Here, obviously, the tables are turned. Teddy Sears (Masters of Sex) is thus far fantastic as Garrick, the Earth-2 Flash, perfectly embodying the ideal ’40s comic book hero. He quickly assumes the role that Harrison Wells occupied last season as a mentor to Barry, helping our speedster decipher how exactly to take down this week’s villain. Though he lost his speedster powers after crossing over to Earth-1, Garrick remains fully equipped with the knowledge he gained from being Earth-2’s Flash for two years. It was incredibly fun to watch the two work together (though also very frustrating in the beginning when Barry refused to believe Garrick was actually telling the truth about his interdimensional travels), and it will continue to be fun as the team learns more about the parallel Earths and who Zoom really is.

This week’s villain, Sand Demon, was a step up from last week’s flop, Atom Smasher. , to With the ability to manipulate his molecules to make it appear as though he is made of sand, Sand Demon is difficult to catch or fight. Like Atom Smasher, Sand Demon has been brought to Earth-1 by Zoom to kill the Flash. (According to Garrick, Zoom is doing this simply because he wants to be the only speedster on any Earth.) Because he is from Earth-2, Sand Demon has had run-ins with Garrick, and therefore our new friend the Crimson Comet knows just how to defeat him. While not exactly a banner fight by Flash terms, the excitement level was certainly higher this week. It was fun watching Barry and the team solve a problem with the new lineup, including Garrick of course, but also Dr. Stein (who has been a wonderful full-time addition to the team this year). “Flash of Two Worlds” also furthered the storyline involving Cisco and his metahuman powers, as he uses his ability to notice interdimensional breaches to find out where Sand Demon had taken Patty Spivot (more on her later). We also learn that Cisco, who so often is elated by the bevy of cool metahumans Team Flash encounters, is terrified of his own powers. He wants nothing to do with them, despite Dr. Stein’s attempts to change his mind.

Garrick is not the only new face in Central City. We are also introduced to the aforementioned Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten ). A CCPD officer with no shortage of spunk, Patty comes to the show both as a love-interest for Barry and a fighter against nefarious metahumans. Her father having been murdered by Mark Mardon (Weather Wizard), Patty desperately wants to join Joe’s metahuman task force. Despite just having been introduced, Patty looks to already be the most interesting female character The Flash has to offer. She is not a mere damsel, as Iris is sometimes unfortunately reduced to, but a woman of strength who stands unafraid in the face of danger. I am excited to see where the writers will take her, and what her relationship with Barry will lead to, but her inclusion does make me wonder what room is left for Iris. Besides her lifelong connection to our hero, Iris remains unessential to the show, and finding interesting things for her to do was one of The Flash’s biggest struggles in season one.

After a disappointing start to the season, The Flash has quickly regained its form. I am officially excited for Tuesday nights.

Eric Walters is the Assistant Tech Editor for Paste and a regular contributor to the TV section. For more of his thoughts on comic book television, listen to his podcast.