Review – The Flash – S02 E05 – “The Darkness and the Light”

4They say love is blind, but Barry Allen has seen the light! Coming face to face with his worst nightmare at the conclusion of last week’s episode; Barry takes the returning Harrison Wells back to Star Labs where we learn that on Earth 2 this Wells also had a particular accelerator incident that caused a wave of meta-humans throughout the city. Rather than keep it a secret though he’s taken the approach of announcing it to the press and proudly attempting to shepherd these troubled folk back on to the path of good. But Earth 2’s Flash doesn’t believe it for a second, he thinks there’s a scheme there somewhere and he’s going to uncover it in his world or the next. Earth 2’s Harrison Wells is a different sort altogether, while his evil version from season one was calm, quiet and nurturing this supposedly good version is the complete reverse (see what I did there) blunt, cold and impatient. Tom Cavanagh plays him straight to the point and quick to anger when things aren’t done right. Is he actually a good guy or is he just under the command of Zoom too sent to kill Barry in return for his freedom like all the other meta’s?

Speaking of which the latest meta human sent through the dimensional breach is Dr. Light who can manipulate light beams and is the Earth 2 doppelgänger of Barry’s ex-girlfriend Linda Park. It’s the first time outside of Wells that we see a mirror version of a character we know. But she was such a meh character that it didn’t really do anything for me and makes me wonder; if they had more than one season prior to introduce more familiar faces before the multi-verse concept came in it could have been a nice chance welcome familiar old faces that we haven’t seen in a long time like the return of Sara Lance in Arrow. A whole season of 24 episodes to miss her then see her return is a nice surprise but seeing someone like Wells who we really haven’t seen since 5 episodes ago return just doesn’t have the same impact.

Dr.-Light-The-FlashI found it incredibly odd that when the team finally take Dr. Light down they all act like it’s an epic showdown with their most powerful foe when it’s really only a girl whose shown little threat flashing bright lights from her hands. Jay Garrick is all like I don’t know what to do we’re doomed I’ve let everyone down. Ummm gee I don’t know, close your eyes? Put some sun glasses on? The moment is drawn out as everyone is dumbfounded in defeat. But then Wells steps up to the plate in typical fashion with a last minute power idea, run fast enough to create speeds mirages versions of the Flash to distract her while the real ones sneaks up. Yay new power! But it doesn’t work the first time, she simply spreads a light wave to easily dissipate the mirages but thenit miraculously works the second time when she just doesn’t bother to do it again, huh?! Geez, with two heroes, three scientists and an ex-evil genius struggling to take down a simple flash light I really have doubts that they can take down this Zoom who’s reputation is being built up more that Harry Potter’s he who shall not be named.

Meanwhile Caitlin is trying to make moves on Jay before Wells berates him in front of everyone as a little bitch who runs away from problems rather than to them. I wonder what he’s talking about here, there are lots of bread crumbs laid but here and I want to see more back story to the Earth 2 Well’s, Garrick, Zoom relationship but it was sad to see the mystery of the seemingly cool Jay Garrick turned in to a wimp. Plus rather than standing up for himself in the moment seeing him handle it by just running away again really did not help his case. The real highlight of the episode though came from the comedy of Barry and Paddy’s burgeoning romance. When Barry is blinded by Dr Light’s powerful and deadly ability to flash a bright light, oooooh scary, he is left temporarily blinded. Walking in to walls and facing the wrong way in conversations was cheesy but played so well that the fun iwas infectious; especially when Barry and Patty go on a blind date (see what I did there) with Cisco as his cyber wing man via an earpiece and camera installed in thick black sunglasses. It made for both an awkwardly funny and sweet date.
The Flash -- "The Darkness and the Light" -- Image FLA205A_0124b.jpg -- Pictured (L-R): Ciara Renee as Kendra Saunders and Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon -- Photo: Katie Yu/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

With a chip on his shoulder the whole episode, a jealous spiteful Cisco was a nice change from his usual constantly bubbly and upbeat self. Highlights include a cringe worthy attempt at trying to pick up an attractive barista and Wells or “Harry’s” as he’s nicknamed outing of Cisco as a Meta-human to everyone. There was more range to Ramon as he’s matured from a geeky teen to a mature young adult both as an actor and a character. If he does follow down a dark path he’s been worrying so deeply about or even if an evil Earth 2 version of himself comes in to the show it could be a great conflict between old friends. A villain with real personal weight. For now though he has been coined with his own superhero nickname Vibe and I’m looking forward to him suiting up and joining the battle. Speaking of wings when Cisco tries to save face with the barista she’s changed her tune taking him up on his offer for “more than coffee” and introducing herself as Kenrda Saunders known to the comic book world as the future Hawkgirl.

3On an aside, no more King Shark 🙁 There was no explanation as to what happened to him. We have no incling as to if he escaped or was imprisoned or maybe even recruited by Amanda Waller for her Suicide Squad. I guess the folks of Central City just feasted on Sushi that day and that’s the last we’ll see of him 🙁 Finally we get out first real look at Zoom without the shudder effect while he holds Well’s daughter captive, he has a nice slimy horror look to him and Flash’s logo ears which got me thinking wouldn’t it be cool if they did a twist and he was actually Earth 2 Barry?! The show has been known to stray from the source material and as I always say with infinite worlds there are always infinite possibilities.

Review by Dylan Boaden.

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