If your vacation plans have ever been screwed up, you can relate (in a small way) to Barry, Cisco and Wells’ current situation. Last night’s episode of “The Flash” took the trio to Earth-2 with a goal and a specific plan that proceeded to fall apart almost as soon as they arrived. Their adventures brought them face-to-face with Zoom, Killer Frost, Deathstorm and the deadly Reverb. Meanwhile, Barry learned his Earth-2 doppelgänger is married to Iris and has an antagonistic relationship with Joe.
Promising there aren’t any other prisoners in Zoom’s lair beyond the ones viewers saw at the end of last night’s episode — a man in a metal mask, and was Jesse — Todd teased that the man in the mask is “there for a reason,” and Barry will get to know Jesse. Todd said in the next episode we’ll see “how this relationship starts and forms and where it leads them to.”
A few major clashes aside, Zoom has been more of a looming threat rather than a constant presence villain in this season. Now, as we’re about to spend more time with him, viewers are inching closer to learning his true identity, with Aaron saying, “It really starts to heat up.” Todd said the next couple of episodes push into what’s happening. “It starts to unravel. You can see what’s really going on.”
Both Earth-1 and Earth-2 Barry will face challenges as a result of the trip, with Earth-2 Barry will play a pivotal role in helping Earth-1 Barry — whether he likes it or not.
“You meet [Earth-2 Barry] in one spot at the beginning of the episode, and he has his own arc and journey throughout the episode to become something bigger than he is,” Todd said.
If Earth-1 Barry gets back home, he’ll do so with the knowledge that Earth-2’s versions of Barry and Iris are married, and that information will not be ignored. “Barry’s been in love with this woman his whole life,” Todd explained. “I can only imagine what that would be like to go over to a different reality and find out that you’re married to [an unrequited love] — and that it actually exists and [you] explore that. The relationship with Iris really sits with him quite a bit. That’s going to be on his mind in upcoming episodes.”
Despite the episode being full of big moments and surprising Easter eggs, the most unexpected twist in “Welcome to Earth-2” may have been the appearance of Cisco’s doppelgänger, Reverb. The evil yet smooth lookalike displayed powers Cisco hasn’t even dreamed of yet. Now that those abilities are on his radar, he could start really flexing his Vibe skills.
“I feel like once you’re exposed to something that’s possible — it’s like the first time Tony Hawk did a 720 on a skateboard, everyone could then do it,” Aaron said. “Once Cisco saw the magnitude of the power he’s capable of, anything’s possible now, in his mind, and we may explore that.”
Zoom killed Reverb for failing to follow his orders, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ve seen the last of Cisco’s evil counterpart. Reverb and Ronnie could show up again in some form or another because it’s “The Flash,” Todd said — with a caveat. “I think for the purpose of where we want to take Cisco, having him [Reverb] die there was the best way to get what we want out of the character.”
After suffering the shock of meeting his doppelgänger — and watching him die — Cisco has to pull it together to help Barry. As we enter next week’s episode, Zoom has captured his prey, and though he hasn’t yet taken Barry’s speed, it’s only a matter of time before he does.
“Obviously, [Zoom’s] big plan is to take [Barry’s] speed, so now that he has him, he has 50 percent of what he needs,” Todd said. “He doesn’t have all the ingredients, per se,” Aaron added. “We established earlier in the season that he needs other aspects or other people to help that process.”
While Barry, Cisco, and Wells dealt with the constant parade of shocks in Earth-2, the Earth-1 portion of Team Flash had to face Geomancer. Caitlin used a modified version of Velocity 6 on Jay to help him race to stop the newest metahuman in Central City. However, it wasn’t enough.
“Further down the road, you’ll definitely see what happens when you take Velocity 9 and how bad it can get,” Aaron said, adding that there could be ramifications to the perfected formula concerning Wally West and Jesse Quick, both comic book speedsters in their own right.
“The Flash” airs 8 p.m. Tuesdays on The CW.