The Flash: 2.02 Flash of Two Worlds
With the emotional fallout of last season wrapped up with Barry's return to Team Flash in The Man Who Saved Central City, this week's episode really got to grips with the premise of season two; multiverses. A second Flash, a terrifying new supervillain from another reality, an alternate Harrison Wells, it was all here in an episode that continued to demonstrate how brilliantly The Flash crafts its comic origins into a TV show.
It was a universe building episode, that introduced the multi-verse concept, chief villain Zoom that looked like a cross between the Reverse-Flash and a gimp but is sure to have a proper chilling introduction once he finally crosses paths with Barry. And we also got to meet Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears) as the original 1940's Flash. His appearance was first teased in the season one finale as his helmet flew through the wormhole and here we saw how that occurred as his Flash battled Zoom just as the black hole in Barry's world ripped holes into other realities.
Sears played an older, almost-mentor like character, even though his Flash had only had powers for a year longer than Barry. While the continued appearance of Victor Garber as Dr. Martin Stein has brought the Star Labs scientific wisdom that was lost with the death of Wells, Garrick took on Well's role as the man to help Barry hone his powers, teaching him to throw lightning at the latest villain Sand Demon. I was a little disappointed that Garrick had lost his powers in this world - it would have been nice to see them using their powers together - though at least the episode still managed to play homage to that iconic cover as Barry and Jay rushed to help the injured Patty Spivot after the final battle.
Talking of Spivot, Shantel VanSanten brought a certain sass to the role of the rookie cop looking to join Detective Joe West's anti-meta human taskforce. Admittedly her appearance screamed LOVE INTEREST FOR BARRY TO KEEP HIM APART FROM IRIS A LITTLE LONGER, but she worked despite being this obvious device. A science geek and a cop, she was the best of both worlds and I look forward to seeing her work with Joe and interact with Barry moving forward.
The villain of the week was Kett Turton's Sand Demon. The DC's version of Spider-Man's Sand Man (I guess there are counterparts for every hero and villain in the Marvel and DC universes), he proved to be an exciting addition to the show. I love that the creation of multiple portals in Central City to other multiverses has allowed the show to bring in more super-powered villains without having to roll out the meta-human created by the Star Labs explosion route. Turton delivered a great 'evil' performance and that final battle was thrilling.
And even with these big action moments, there was still plenty of great character developments to drive the show forward. Cisco's powers actually helped to defeat the bad guy and I continue to enjoy his working relationship with Martin. There were also some interesting teases at the end from the slightly random (the return of Iris's mother), to the intriguing (Martin's collapse) to audience's glimpse at the art-deco world of Central City and its saviour Harrison Wells. The Flash continues to be daring and confident in its storytelling, not content to rest on the successes of season one. I continue to be excited for what is coming next!