Wednesday, February 17, 2016
The Flash Season 2 Episode 14 "Escape From Earth-2" Review and **SPOILERS**
You Can Achieve Super Speed With the Care Bear Stare
Starring: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Danielle Panabaker et al.
Story By: Todd Helbing and Aaron Helbing, David Kob
Directed By: JJ Makaro
First Aired: February 16, 2016
*Non Spoilers and Score At The Bottom*
The last time we left Flash & the Gang, they were in rough shape on Earth-2: Cisco was beaten up at a warehouse where Zoom had committed a double homicide against members of his crew, Barry was captured and being held by Zoom in his special warehouse for weirdos, and Harrison Wells of Earth-2...well, he was pretty much okay, worried about daughter but otherwise unharmed. Meanwhile, on Earth-1, new metahuman Geomancer is calling out the Flash and Jay Garrick is doping with a drug called Velocity to try and stop him! Will our heroes prevail? Well, there's another episode next week, so most likely. But read on to be sure!
Cisco finds his way back to Wells' crib with quite a story to tell: he's just watched Zoom kill Deathstorm and Reverb and take off with Barry-1's body. The two of them mull that over a minute, when Barry-2 calls out from where he's been handcuffed for a whole day! Cisco and Wells free him and let me tell you something: Barry-2 is amazing. You know how, in some teen movies, the ugly, unpopular girl is just some hot chick in glasses, and when she takes off her specs she's gorgeous and everyone loves her? Well, when you add eyeglasses to Grant Gustin, you go from a fairly dorky-looking dude to a MEGA GEEK! It was like his face was born to be nerdy. Steven Urkel's got nothing on Barry-2. Despite his relative shyness, he forces Cisco and Wells to explain what has happened, which must have been quite a conversation. The trio then heads over to the Central City Police Department of Earth-2, where they explain it all to Iris-2 in Barry-2's lab. Since Zoom's cronies killed her dad last episode, Iris-2 insists she is now part of Team Rescue Everyone and Kill Zoom, and Barry-2 demands to be included too, since his wife is watching and everything.
Back on Earth-1, Caitlin is hard at work developing Velocity-9, the super speed drug that's just gotta work because "Velocity-10" has no ring to it. While Caitlin and Jay chat about the merits of drug use, Geomancer shows up on the news and bandies his usual threats around, then does his usual thing and pounds ground. This causes a major quake that threatens to destroy a hospital, so Jay takes his medicine and zooms off to save every fucking person in the hospital. That's Flash action, ladies and gentlemen, no tricks or gimmicks. Uh, except the trick of having super speed. Jay zooms back to S.T.A.R. Labs just in time for Velocity-9 to wear off, and tells Caitlin and Iris, who dropped by for funsies, that he's gonna take a nap. Back on Earth-2, Barry-1 and Wells' daughter, Jessie are asking each other where the lavatory is in this overly-complex prison, while a third captive, a mystery guy with an iron helmet over his face, continuously taps a rhythmic pattern on the glass wall that holds him prisoner. Barry-1 asks Jessie if she knows what he's tapping, and she's like, "I don't knoww! It's sooo annoying!!!" which is such bullshit, I mean she's been trapped there for at least two weeks--at the bare minimum--if this guy's been tapping the whole time she would have figured out there was a pattern to it. Hell, she probably would have composed three bossa nova albums around it. But no, only the genius of Barry-1 could figure out that he's using some weird military code that takes super-long to decipher! Great!
Meanwhile, Team Rescue Everybody is thinking of the best ways to find Zoom and/or rescue Barry and Jessie. Cisco's got Reverb's super shades, and even says he can probably use them to locate Zoom, but Wells blows him off and Cisco never tries them on for some reason. Barry-2 comes up with the genius idea that they can employ Killer Frost, aka Caitlin-2, because Zoom killed her boyfriend Deathstorm so she's got to be pissed off at him. They go find her hanging out in the woods and eventually subdue Killer Frost and convince her to help them. Cisco keeps referring to the Caitlin on his world, saying this is somehow an indicator of how Killer Frost should behave--Wells really has to give a class on the multiverse and explain to these people that their extra-dimensional doppelgängers do not have the same traits as the ones they know! This is basic comic book science, folks! You could get killed out there, not knowing! Back on Earh-1, Caitlin and Iris are trading cupcake recipes when Geomancer strolls in like he owns the place. He chases them around the building, screaming for Jay who must be a heavy sleeper. Iris and Caitlin are eventually cornered and Caitlin appears to be knocked out, but just when Geomancer is about to deliver the killing blow she pops up with a gun that shoots an electrified collar around his neck and knocks him out. Go Caitlin! She gets her dad to come down and put some super cuffs on him and take him to jail, I guess their weird prison--that also has no obvious bathrooms, come to think of it--must be full. Over at Zoom Industries, Barry-1 and Jessie have worked out three goddamned letters of the masked man's cipher--three!--and they're JAY. Barry-1 immediately starts yammering about Jay Garrick, says he's back on Earth-1 and doin' fine, which visibly annoys the masked man. Then Zoom shows up and tells everyone to stop chatting, then phases through the glass that comprises Barry's cell and beats the ever-loving crap out of him. Zoom departs, but Barry smiles because now he knows how to escape! He thinks.
Killer Frost and the posse come to Zoom's hideout, which is literally a hole in the face of a cliff. She helps them get up there with the aid of an ice bridge, and there are Barry, Jessie, and Mystery Guy! Turns out Jessie wasn't that restrained after all, she just had like a garage door made of iron bars that Wells lifts away with no trouble. Her arm is chained to a drainpipe or something, but Killer Frost is convinced to break it. Barry-1 tries to ooze through his cell, but he can't--something about his vibrations or resonance or what-have-you. Barry-2, looking disheveled from having gallivanted around and help fight Killer Frost and such, explains to Barry-1 that he's just gotta believe, then they do a Parappa the Rapper style mini-game and are able to get Barry-1 out of his cage with some old fashioned platform gaming. I wish. Really, Barry-1 just believes in himself with all his fucking might and gets out of his cell, which was pretty lame. Barry-1 insists on saving Masked Man, but Wells and co. suggest they get out of there before Zoom gets back. What is he doing, anyway? His lair is here, the objects of his derision are here, is he off at the library or something? No matter, since Zoom shows up in short order and is about to kill Jessie, when Killer Frost realizes she has the power to stand up to bullies, too, and shoots Zoom with ice. She blasts the fuck out of him and tells everyone to scram, which they do, after Barry-1 promises the masked man he will return.
At S.T.A.R. Labs on Earth-1, Caitlin and Jay smooch and then get alerted that their inter-dimensional doohickey is off-kilter after Geomancer produced several localized earthquakes in the facility. They don't have time to fix it before their buddies hop back through, so Jay pops some more Velocity 9 and runs around the portal in order to contain it. This does the trick, and on the other side everyone says their goodbyes--really, just to Iris-2 and Barry-2, who say they're going to stay with relatives in Atlantis. Uh, spin-off please? The Allens in Atlantis featuring Aqualad? Wells and Jessie prepare to go to Earth-1 even though Jessie still has lots of homework to do, but Zoom is hot on their heels! They get through in the nick of time and Jay seals the portal with a magic football--but Zoom still has time to punch through his chest from the back and drag him back to Earth-2!
There were a few silly conveniences in this episode, most notably Barry-1's "Care Bear Stare" that got him out of his cell. But I still loved it. I could watch a whole miniseries set in Earth-2, it is so awesome. It's like the 1940s, except that there are black scientists and police detectives. Also the place is littered with metahumans. I want to go to there.
Bits and Pieces:
A couple of stupid things in this episode did not dampen my enthusiasm one bit. I love it and I want to move to Earth-2. Do you think they need lazy comic book reviewers there? I also have a deep voice and am prepared to podcast. With my luck, the Jim and Eric on Earth-2 would be successful real estate magnates with rickshaws or something. Ah, well, there's always Texas.