This episode picks right up from where the last episode left off, with the mysterious man called Jay Garrick (played by Teddy Sears) warning the Flash team that they are in danger. The metal lighting bolt helmet that appeared through the wormhole in the final episode of the last season belongs to him. Turns out he is from the same world as Atom Smasher, an alternate Earth, and he’s The Flash from that world.
Garrick was torn from his world through the initial wormhole and has been getting to grips with the new world for the 6 months between seasons. At the time he was fighting with Zoom, the speedster who was responsible for Atom Smasher, and something happened to take away his speed force powers. The team accept that such a thing is possible, and name Jay’s Earth “Earth-2”, but Barry is pretty skeptical of Garrick’s story, which is the cause of most of the episode’s drama.
While it’s reasonable that Barry would be distrustful after “Harrison Welles” betrayed them last season, it does get a bit annoying with just how persistent and uncompromising he is with his distrust for most the episode. It’s likely because coming off the back of Barry being annoyingly distrustful for most of the first episode makes it a little much. I loved the lightness of the show and Barry especially for the first season, and I was briefly worried they would be making him moody for season 2 with this episode. He even locks him in the Pipeline!
The villain of the week, Sand Demon, was much better than Atom Smasher – but still not that notable besides the fact he looks a bit like Carrot Top. He’s also been forced to Earth-1 by Zoom to kill The Flash, and along with Zoom has a history with Jay. This forces Barry to come to terms with the fact he could use Jay’s knowledge, both of his own rogue’s gallery, and to pick up some speed force tips, learning some new moves.
Jay is a nice compliment to Barry. They’re both big old softies at heart, but Jay has a touch of the old world about him, not unlike Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Seeing them work together was great, and they even recreated a classic comic book cover with once scene which was really cool, though maybe felt a bit staged (but it was cool enough for me to not care).
This episode also introduces another great character who seems like they’ll be recurring – Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten). She’s a police officer who’s sort of dorky, and is very introduced in metahumans, and is also a bit of a fan of Barry’s forensics work — with aims to join Joe’s metahuman task force. She seems a pretty obvious love interest for Barry, which is a little contrived, but I already like the dynamic way more than the kind of creepy pining after Iris Barry does or any of the other relationships he’s pursued in the show. It’s also nice to see that she’s not all bubbles when it comes to the reasons why she’s interested in metahumans, which shows there could be some nice depth to her character that will hopefully come out throughout the series.
So while I felt mixed on this episode at times, overall it introduced some pretty great stuff to the series, continuing to set the status quo for the season. It was a lot less tiresome than the first episode, and seemed to pick up speed as it went along. Momentum it will hopefully keep up in the next episode, carrying forward these great new possibilities to the entire season.