In 1940 writer Gardner Fox and artist Harry Lampert created a comic book character named Jay Garrick who, after a laboratory accident, gained superhuman speed and used it to fight crime. In 1956 writer Robert Kanigher and penciler Carmine Infantino created a comic book character named Barry Allen who, after a lab accident, gained super human speed and used it to fight crime. Both characters came to be known as the Flash and almost 60 years later in 2015 these two characters come face to face for the first time in live action.
Picking up from his dramatic entrance at the end of last episode Jay Garrick steps out of the shadows and greets the STAR Labs team in the in the most dramatic fashion “my name is Jay Garrick and your world is in danger Barry Allen”. Goosebumps. Introducing himself as The Flash in his world, he explains while battling his greatest foe, Zoom, the singularity opened in the sky above him and sucked him up in to this world which for Jay is another dimension altogether.
Keeping low he has been studying the whole Star Labs team from afar to make sure they are trustworthy but with this Zoom character sending meta humans to kill both Flash’s, like last week’s Atom smasher and this week’s Sand Demon (think Spider-man 3’s Sandman on a budget) the stakes are so high that without his powers he needs their help. At first everyone is sceptical, especially Barry and understandably so, with Harrison Wells manipulating everyone for so long he doesn’t want to take a chance on another mentor from a different time and place offering sage advise. Only after a series of tests prove him to be telling the truth they come to the discovery that there are 52 dimensional holes across Central City. Now with threats becoming too much for one Flash the two must come together.
While there has been many hints both this season and last; this is the first official recognition of a multi-verse, something that even the Marvel Cinematic Universe hasn’t attempted. Alongside our world are multiple endless worlds each alike but different in the slightest ways, infinite worlds with infinite possibilities. Teddy Sears portrayal as Jay Garrick harkens back to a classic superhero archetype. Tall, noble, mature, stoic, confident and commanding, everything a superhero should be. The fact that Jay is much older than Barry makes for a great dynamic and the way he refers to Barry as “Kid” multiple times projects a wonderful older brother vibe. I can’t wait to see the continuing adventures of these two speedsters. Speaking of vibes, Cisco is still having premonitions to events both present and future but rather than being excited and embracing new found superpowers like you think he would he is instead afraid of these visions. The one person switched on enough to to notice is Dr Stien and now it’s a secret they share together. Martin Stien has become a welcome addition to the team and filled the void of wise voice of reason that was Wells left. It will be a shame when he moves across to Legends of Tomorrow.
There’s also a new love interest for Barry and he seems quite smitten. Paddy Spivot is a feisty and determined rookie on the Central City police force straight out of the academy and trying to prove herself worthy of joining the Meta Human Task Force. At first Joe is blatantly dismissive of her, but throughout the episode she proves herself to be a formidable ally to the side of justice. Not only does she seem to be good for the law but also for a brooding Barry. The two get a long quite well with fun banter and sharing Monty Python references, this could be an interesting light in the darkening series.
Finally in the teaser we are introduced to a futuristic yet retro at the same time and a creepy version on Dr Wells. This is the kind of storyline most shows would tackle in their fifth of sixth season but with the Flash racing head strong in to time travel in it’s first season and now inter-dimensional travel the show is giving audiences their strongest work up front and hopefully avoid more filler. With the interconnecting stories between shows continuing with a small appearance of the Green Arrow, interconnected worlds is the next step and after this there’s no turning back. Is this all a back door pilot for another Flash series? I don’t know, but I’ll happily be tuning in next week to find out.
SIDE NOTE: Both the title of the episode and the moment of the two Flash’s racing over featured above are references to the iconic Issue 123 of The Flash. The first time Barry Allen and Jay Garrick meet in the comics and was the introduction of the multi-verse which would have a huge impact on some of the greatest DC story lines.
Review by Dylan Boaden.