What an episode! How much fun was it to see Barry and Cisco as tourists on Earth-2? So much flip-flopped goodness to discuss and what it might mean for these characters going forward into the rest of this season and beyond… let’s jump right into it.
Picking up where last week’s episode ended, Barry, Cisco, and Wells-2 close down all of the remaining breaches except for the one in STAR Labs. With only one doorway between worlds, the three head into the breach. There were so many images coming at the team from inside the breach that I’m going to need to go back over that scene again in slow motion. I know I saw Supergirl in there, which makes sense given the recent announcement of an upcoming The Flash/Supergirl crossover episode coming in March. Who else did you see? Leave your answers in the comments below.
Update: Okay, here is what I saw in the breach.
Using the one remaining portal caused a portal energy overload, leaving the away team trapped on Earth-2. Jay could get right on fixing the device that he built to stabilize the portal in the first place, but there are other issues. A new metahuman calling himself Geomancer is calling out the Flash, but Barry is trapped on Earth-2.
Joe suggests that Jay take another shot of the Velocity 6 serum he used to extract the bullet Patty shot into Wells-2 back before the holiday break. Jay comes clean with Cait; he wasn’t content just being fast as Flash-2. Jay wanted more speed. So, he began taking Velocity 6, but that is what has poisoned him. That is what sapped his speed and is slowly killing Jay.
Off-screen, Cait whips up an improved version of the serum (because it would be wrong if we ever actually saw her doing something), named Velocity 7, which Jay takes and uses to scare off Geomancer before crashing, both literally and figuratively. Back to the drawing board, Cait.
Meanwhile, on Earth-2, Barry abducts his doppelganger from CCPD-2 and poses as Barry-2 in order to gain intel on where to find Zoom and rescue Jesse. Like Jay and Cait back on Earth-1, Barry has a hard time staying focused. On Earth-2, Barry-2 and Iris-2 are married. Joe-2 can’t stand Barry-2 and blames Barry-2 for Iris-2 being a cop on the front line in the war against Zoom.
What are the odds that Barry, when he returns to Earth-1 (and you know he will) uses this as some sort of rationale in his mind to attempt to start a romantic relationship with Iris? We’ve had the newspaper byline from the future last season and now the Barry-2 and Iris-2 coupling in this episode. How much longer until Barry and Iris hook up?
This peek into the life of Barry-2 gives us all sorts of twists and inversions on the characters we know. On top of Iris-2 being “Detective West” and Joe-2 being a lounge singer at Jitters, we see Hank Hewitt-2 as a seemingly normal and totally not flaming-with-the-fury-of-Firestorm scientist working at STAR Labs, a name drop of Mayor Snart, Captain Singh-2 as a criminal brought in for booking, and our old friend from Arrow, Floyd Lawton-2, as a Barney Fife-esque version of “Deadshot.”
But that’s not where the fun ends. Enter a pair of Zoom’s hench-metas. Cait-2 is Killer Frost and Ronnie-2 (welcome back, Robbie Amell… it’s been cameo season this past couple of weeks on The Flash and Arrow) is Deathstorm, who has Professor Stein-2 all locked away in their shared headspace. The pair is looking for whoever came through the breach.
These cameos were a lot of fun, but leave me wondering something… what is the relationship between Earth-1 and Earth-2 doppelganger? They’re not opposites; not every good guy on Earth-1 is a bad guy on Earth-2 and vice versa. Every meta from Earth-2 that we’ve met is a villain to some degree, regardless of whether their Earth-1 doppelganger is not a meta (Cait, for example) or is a meta (like Ronnie). The only exception is Jay, whose Earth-1 doppelganger is a man by the name of Hunter Zolomon, which is familiar to fans of The Flash comics.
Iris-2 attempts to arrest the two, which gets Joe-2 killed. Barry speeds the villains away before beating a hasty retreat to STAR Labs-2, where Cisco is having no luck getting his abilities in tune with Earth-2’s vibration frequency. Wells-2 tells Barry that now that Zoom’s cronies know that Barry is here, Zoom will kill Jesse, then Barry and the rest of the gang. Barry doesn’t care about that. Right now he needs to be with Iris-2 and Joe-2, even though–as Wells-2 points out–they are not the Iris and Joe that raised, loved, and cared for Barry back on Earth-1.
Barry convinces Iris-2 to take Cisco with her and Deadshot-2 to take down Killer Frost and Deathstorm. Cisco can neutralize Frost’s powers. (Not sure what they were going to do about the flying, nuclear-powered guy with her.) But Frost and Deathstorm aren’t working for Zoom. They’re working for someone else who is working for Zoom.
Cisco rightly calls out his Earth-2 doppelganger, Reverb, for attempting to turn Cisco to the dark side, using the “together we can destroy Zoom and rule Central City” mind trick. Cisco resists, but shows a crack in that resistance when he sees how Reverb has mastered his/their powers. Cisco wants a piece of that action.
Barry shows up in time to save Cisco and Iris-2–I’m not sure about Deadshot-2, he took a pretty good hit–but is beaten down by Deathstorm and Reverb. Cait tells them to stop, that their orders from Zoom were to apprehend but not harm Barry. Zoom enters and shows his displeasure by killing both Ronnie-2 and Reverb, killing Cisco-2 in the same way that the Reverse-Flash killed Cisco last season. Cait-2 is left alive and mourning Ronnie while Zoom speeds Barry away to Zoom’s version of the STAR Labs metahuman prison.
So many questions. Will Cisco turn to the dark side in an attempt to increase his powers? Will Barry be able to save Jesse, or is she toast now that Zoom has Barry? Will Jay get his speed back? Who was the man in the iron mask that Zoom was holding captive? Will we ever get to hear Joe’s golden pipes again?
Finally, we take another turn at the Who’s Zoom? guessing game. Let’s start with eliminating those who we know can’t be Zoom. Not Jay nor Wells-2. Not Barry-2 (I had my money here). Not Joe-2 nor Iris-2. Not Cisco-2 nor Ronnie-2.
That leaves a whole lot of doppelgangers still on the table. Another popular theory is Henry Allen-2, but it sounds from Barry’s phone call with his Earth-2 mother that Henry-2 and Nora-2 are living a simple, non-meta life. Doesn’t completely eliminate Henry-2, but makes it seem unlikely. Smart money is now looking at either Wally West-2 (we know Wally-1 does like his speed) or someone whose Earth-1 doppelganger we haven’t met or is inconsequential to the Earth-1 story.
Who knows, Zoom could be Vandal Savage-2…