Harrison Wells: Welcome to Earth 2.
Beware: Spoilers may follow.
In Season 2 of the Flash we learned about the multiverse. This involved several alternate earths where the different versions of the same people existed. This episode was our first real introduction to an alternate Earth and it makes the most of the concept blending great comedy and emotion alike. While there is a plot the whole episode could have just been exploring these alternate versions of characters we know and love and it would have been fine.
The story is that Harry Wells (Tom Cavanagh) travels to his home, Earth 2 along with Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) and Cisco Ramon (Carlos Valdes) in order to save his daughter Jesse (Violet Beane) from Zoom’s (voiced by Tony Todd) clutches. In attempt to get answers about Zoom’s whereabouts, Barry finds himself taking his Earth 2 doppelganger’s identity. In doing so he runs into the Earth 2 doppelgangers of his family and friends. Some are friends on this earth while others are foes.
The episode is filled with multiple Easter eggs, which was fun. When Barry calls his mother at the Earth 2 him and Iris’ house we see numbers to Bruce, Hal, and Diana. When he goes through the looking glass we get cameos of Supergirl, Jonah Hex, the 90s Flash, a Legion flight ring, and Connor Hawke. These cameos would all have some payoff in other Arrowverse shows.
Seeing Grant play the Earth 2 Barry as completely geeky and insecure has a great deal comedy in it. His reactions to all the twists on Earth 2 while impersonating his doppelganger were also fun. But it doesn’t shy away from the heavy moments in it. It turns out on this Earth Barry is in fact married to Iris (Candice Patton) who is hotshot a detective on this Earth. It also turns out that his mother is alive. Grant’s expressions in reaction to Earth 2 Nora’s loving words makes it such a somber moment and the conversation despite being short holds so much weight. It rivals his goodbye to her in season 1 as one of saddest moments in the series. Barry’s declaration that Joe and Iris are his family on any earth was also very powerful.
Another neat twist was Jesse Martin’s Joe West be a lounge singer. It gave Martin a chance to showcase his amazing singing abilities (I honestly wish he did full versions of the songs he sang). And seeing the bond Barry shares with his Joe West adds a great deal of melancholy when we find out that on this Earth Barry and Joe hate each other. Especially when you consider that both versions of Barry seemingly have such little capacity to hate. It ultimately proves that no universe is perfect. Barry and Joe may not hate each other on Earth 1 but that came at the price of Barry losing his own parents. Barry may have his parents and Iris on Earth 2 but not Joe’s love.
Earth 2 Caitlin Snow (Danielle Panabaker) as Killer Frost and Earth 2 Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell) as Deathstorm were entertaining villains. Panabaker was having a blast playing the character even if both their performances do get a little hammy.
The only real flaw was seeing Cisco’s doppelganger named Reverb. Cisco prior is wondering about his doppelganger and when we see Reverb enter it is amazing. Carlos does amazingly well at differentiating the two in terms of looks and attitude even when they are face-to face. And his performance is incredibly scary. Just the way he speaks alone instills fear. The problem is that within minutes he is killed by Zoom (ironically in the same manner Eobard killed Cisco in the alternate timeline) and he was already establishing himself as a cool villain.
There is also a subplot with “Jay” (Teddy Sears) trying to fill in for Barry and while it’s not bad it doesn’t really feel on par with anything the Earth 2 story has to offer.
Welcome to Earth 2 takes a relatively simple concept and goes all the way with its performances and scenarios. It had so much fun in exploring alternate lives and engaged its viewers in the process. With this being the first real introduction to multiverse, we can only hope that other exploring other Earths prove to be just as adventurous.