Team Flash deals with the fallout of Jay’s death and their experiences on Earth-2.
The episode picks up in the moments immediately after Jay’s death and the breach being closed. Wells tells Barry that the Quark matter they used to close the breaches makes them impossible to open again. Caitlin goes into shock unable to believe that she lost another boyfriend. While they’re watching over her, Wells advises Barry and Cisco not to tell anyone about what they experienced on Earth-2. By his logic, it doesn’t have any affect on the people here and knowing about their alternate lives would only complicate things for people on their earth. They agree, but the things that happened on Earth-2 start to weigh on Barry and Cisco. After Caitlin’s trauma, she becomes cold and stand-offish, which makes Cisco worry that she is becoming more like Killer Frost. Meanwhile, Barry has trouble letting go of the Joe that was lost on Earth-2 and dealing with the fact that they left an entire world at Zoom’s mercy. Even though they don’t come out and say it, the people around them can tell that something is wrong. Wells is also having problems accepting help from his daughter and she’s having trouble adjusting to the idea of being trapped on a new earth.
Zoom may be gone, but one of his henchmen is still on Earth-1. Team Flash believed that they were done with King Shark. What they didn’t know was that Amanda Waller had been keeping him hidden in an attempt weaponize metahuman powers. Now, he’s escaped and Lyla Michaels and her husband, Diggle are left trying to clean up the mess. They stop in at STAR in order to give Barry a heads up about what’s going on, but Barry wants to go on the offensive and put any remnant of Zoom’s impact on Earth-1 behind them. The team sets to work trying to help Lyla and Diggle, but their initial efforts don’t turn up very much.
After the initial failure to capture King Shark, Barry goes back to the West’s house to meet with Wally. There’s a pretty strong sense that he and Wally aren’t getting along and Joe wants them to try to fix that. They try to work on an admission project for Wally to get into engineering school, but that just increases the hostility. Apparently, Wally views Barry as the “perfect son” and is jealous of him. To make matters even worse, King Shark attacks the house while they’re inside. Barry runs out so the Flash can lure King Shark away. When ARGUS arrives to back the Flash up, King Shark runs back to the water. Barry returns to the house only to have Wally call him a coward for leaving them. Joe breaks the two of them up. He would later reconcile things with Wally but, in the moment, he finally forces Barry to tell them about what happened on Earth-2. Similarly, Wells and Cisco have to come to terms with Caitlin and Jesse and reveal the problems that they’re having.
With all the Earth-2 secrets out in the open, the Team is much more effective in figuring out how to try to catch King Shark. They come up with some plan about a lure and electricity to try to catch him but, that plan falls through. So, it comes down to the Flash to come down to try to figure out how to deal with it. He races King Shark on water and ends up generating a lighting bolt that knocks him out. Lyla and Diggle are able to take King Shark back and start working on a way to turn him back to normal instead of using him as a weapon. With that problem taken care of, Barry gathers the rest of the team to apologize to them for the way he’s behaved recently and because his decision to go back to save his mother was ultimately what brought Zoom into their lives. He also tells them that they’re not going to give up on Earth-2. As they start to figure out how to get back, the show takes us to Earth-2 where Zoom brings Jay Garrick’s body back to his lair. He then takes off his mask to reveal the face of Jay Garrick underneath it.
- Weirder than a talking shark wearing pants?
You have to admit that this may be one of the objectively strangest things that has happened to their house.
- “I’ve always hated that name” – Caitlin
Caitlin decides to mess with Cisco by pretending to be Killer Frost. I don’t even know why I loved this scene with Caitlin messing with Cisco so much, but I did. Caitlin went through a lot in the episode and we did find out that she doesn’t have a metahuman gene. However, she committed a cardinal sin of TV by saying she’d “never become killer frost”. One of the best ways to guarantee that something to happen to a character is by having them state that it’ll never happen.
There were so many Jaws references in this episode because, how could you not have those. Although when Cisco delivered his initial, “We’re gonna need a bigger Flash” line, I thought to myself, “Come on Cisco, you’re better than that. Well, you’re not but I’d like to think you are”.
- Sage Diggle
Seeing Diggle’s reaction to the Flash’s powers is still funny. I also like that even in a guest starring role, he still shows up with some sound advice to help Barry out. He was also a tidy way for the show to acknowledge that the The Flash know what’s going on with their counterparts in Star City.
For the first two thirds of the episode it felt like it was going to be “Return from Earth 2” part 3. With Cisco Barry and Wells all still dealing the fallout from their adventure on Earth-2, taking up a big chunk of the earlier parts of the episode. I think this was intentional, because as soon as they all worked out their issues, the episode turned back into more of a normal Flash episode. Wells and Jesse messing Cisco while Barry was out fighting King Shark with Diggle and Caitlin. The end of the episode where Caitlin was messing with Cisco and Barry being his normal, optimistic self. Those are all things that make the show feel like itself. Before that, the episode was mostly characters dealing with the trauma of being on Earth. While that did contain some things that it was good to see the characters go through, they were still things I didn’t want to see go on for very long.
The one exception to that, was what was going on with Barry and Wally. I didn’t think this was good to have in the episode at all. I still don’t really like Wally as a character and I didn’t really care for this kind of “perfect son” story being wedged in with all the Earth-2 stuff. I thought that was the kind of thing that could have been handled in a separate episode instead of layering it on top of what was already going on. I feel like it’s a missed opportunity do something with Wally that expands his character and actually makes him likable. As it is right now, it didn’t feel like there was any real reason for him to be jealous of Barry especially since he’s only you know the Wests for a short amount of time. It just makes him feel immature and entitled.
Of course, the big issue in this episode isn’t going to have anything to do with the events of the majority of episode. It’s going to be all about what happened at the end. Revealing Zoom’s identity opens up a lot of possibilities. My guess is that Zoom is the Earth-2 doppelganger of Hunter Zolomon and that the person inside the metal mask is the Jay Garrick from Earth-1. That would explain why Earth-2 Jay Garrick could only find Hunter on Earth-1 when he was searching for his doppelganger. That would mean that there are Jay/Hunter twins on both Earths. On Earth-1 they would’ve both been normal but, on Earth-2, they were both speedsters. If this was some kind of a play on the Cobalt Blue character, that would make sens. In the comics, Cobalt Blue is the long lost twin brother that Barry Allen never knew he had. He is a speedster who’s characterized by blue flame (like blue lightning) and is obsessed with stealing Barry Allen’s speed. If they do something like that, it would explain why Jay didn’t know who Zoom really way.
Another option is that Zoom is actually the Jay Garrick that’s been helping Barry all along. If that’s the case, there would have to be a lot of explaining of how he was able to pull of being Zoom and Jay at the same time. Like, how Jay was on Earth-1 with Caitlin and Iris while Zoom was on Earth-2 and how Zoom managed to stab “himself” through the breach. Given the shenanigans that htey pulled last season with the whole body absorbing technology, I suppose that they could say that Earth-2 has some kind of limited cloning technology. That would explain how Zoom could make a clone of himself that wasn’t a speedster.
My last, and least likely option is that Zoom is a Jay Garrick from a 3rd Earth or from some alternate timeline. Right now we know that there are at least 3 people with Jay Garrick’s face: Zoom, Earth-2 Jay Garrick and Hunter Zolomon. If we believe Jay, that means that Hunter is from Earth-1, and Jay is his Earth-2 counterpart. That would mean that Zoom would have to be an alternate version of one of them. Most likely a future version of him who came back in time ala Eobard Thawne in order to get closer to the origin of the speed force (or whatever reason makes the most sense).
Whatever the actual answer is, it’s obviously a calculated move to drop this bomb shell and then go on hiatus for 3 weeks. This will give the fandom plenty of time to mull over what this revelation means for the show moving forward. One thing is for sure though, Barry is right that the breach to Earth-2 is not closed forever because there’s no way they would you busy if they didn’t plan to get back over there somehow.