Since the second season premiere of “The Flash,” fans of The CW’s hit superhero show have been treated to glimpses of Earth-2, the alternate Earth home to the villainous speedster Zoom and plenty of metahumans. A number of these metahumans have come to Earth-1’s Central City looking to kill The Flash and, stranger still, many of them have been evil doppelgangers of familiar Earth-1 faces like Doctor Light/Linda Park.
As the Flash, Barry Allen has faced metahumans with powers ranging from frightening to bizarre, but can he handle meeting his doppelganger and seeing the life his other self has? “Welcome to Earth-2,” tonight’s all-new episode of “The Flash,” will force Barry to learn the answer as he takes Harrison Wells and Cisco Ramon to Earth-2 to rescue Wells’ daughter Jesse from Zoom’s pointy clutches.
The journey is fraught with peril as Barry not only stumbles into the likes of Killer Frost and Deathstorm — evil Earth-2 versions of Flash allies Caitlin Snow and Ronnie Raymond — but also encounters a slight hiccup. Executive Producers Todd & Aaron Helbing spoke with a small group of journalists including CBR News in advance of tonight’s episode, which sees members of Team Flash visit Earth-2 for the first time.
“Barry, Cisco and Wells go over to Earth-2 with a definitive plan that goes awry, and they are left having to improvise and find themselves in a completely different scenario than they anticipated,” Todd Helbing explained. “They have a race for their lives to get back.”
As revealed in photos from the episode, two factors that could cause the plan to go sideways are named Killer Frost and Deathstorm. Todd Helbing mentioned that Killer Frost was teased in the Season One finale, and this Earth-2 vacation was when putting Danielle Panabaker in the role of the ice cold rogue made sense. “It felt the most appropriate and organic to go over there and meet Killer Frost and Deathstorm and get to see a completely different aspect of their personalities that go along with their superpowers. Getting anybody to play a doppelganger that’s evil is in, some ways, the most fun you can have,” he said.
Though viewers will see Killer Frost in Earth-2, it doesn’t rule out seeing Earth-1 Caitlin Snow transform in the future. Aaron Helbing said anything is possible with Todd Helbing adding, “Right now, Caitlin is not affected so for that to happen, there’s going to have to be some scenario that would trigger that. Right now, it’s not a possibility.”
“Welcome to Earth-2” isn’t all about villainous doppelgangers. Barry encounters himself, Iris and Joe. The Barry of Earth-2 has a distinct look with glasses and a bow tie fans of the DC Comics source material will be quick to recognize. Todd Helbing said it was fun finding the right tone for the alternate earth Barry. “Grant [Gustin] is just one of those actors who can do anything. His comedic timing is amazing, his physical presence and humor is amazing,” said Todd Helbing. “Originally, we felt like he should have this Jimmy Stewart quality, but we really just gave Grant a few ideas and he took them upon himself and created this amazing guy.”
Speaking of amazing, Earth-2 Joe West is a crooner. Jesse L. Martin is a talented singer, and they jumped on the chance to showcase his skills. “Our cast, they’re all extremely talented. Every time we see them do stuff like this, it just blows our minds,” said Todd Helbing. “I think [with] Jesse — it just felt organic. You get to play with the doppelganger aspect [and] that just felt like the best way to introduce that ability he has.”
When it comes to Iris, photos hint Earth-2 Barry and Iris have a different relationship than their Earth-1 counterparts. “I think the fans are going to crazy over it,” said Todd Helbing.
The trip to Earth-2 not only paves the way for doppelganger hijinks — it also opens up the possibilities for Easter eggs. The episode is overflowing with them, but the Helbings said the final product doesn’t include everything the show’s writers brainstormed. “We had a giant board of probably 50 ideas that we had to whittle down to the bare bones,” said Aaron Hebling. They writers tried to balance the story’s direction and their desire to insert Easter eggs, but Todd Helbing said it was a challenge. “The ideas you have up on the board are endless, so it’s really hard to narrow it down. You just try to pick and choose what you think is the best.
“It’s cool seeing these different realities,” Todd Helbing continued. “Some of these images we’re pulling straight from the pages of the comic books. It’s an amazing experience and a lot of fun.”
“Welcome to Earth-2,” the 13th episode of “The Flash” Season Two, airs Tuesday, February 9 at 8:00pm ET/PT on The CW.