The Darkness and the Light

Usually the best part of a superhero show is the action sequences; the fights that our heroes inevitably must take part in. It’s really funny that one of the biggest scraps to take place involves two people with no powers. But we’ll get to that later. Now, we look at Earth-2 where a new metahuman notification application is being displayed by that world’s Harrison Wells. Clearly it works because it goes off at the arrival of the Flash: Jay Garrick. We see here that there is some clear animosity between the two. Jay says that Harrison is responsible for creating all of the metas due to this world’s particle accelerator exploding. Doesn’t this sound familiar? Jay makes it a point to say that Wells refuse to take any accountability for this, on the flip side, Wells believes that the Flash should do his job as the superhero and stop Zoom. Sometimes perspective is the defining line between that which is right and that which is wrong. Where one man see light, the other sees shadow…a fitting theme for this episode. What brings people together is not, I repeat not the acceptance of another person’s viewpoint or philosophy, but the understanding of it. As people, I think we can all agree that no one expects everyone to agree with everything that we come up with. However, we all want to be heard and felt like what we say has a reason to have existence. Nobody likes to feel like they do not matter and what they do or say has no merit.

Back to present day, we see Harrison Wells reading an autobiography about “himself” but as we know, that’s not him. Wells is very stern about the fact that he is not same Harrison Wells that they experienced. I say experienced because, let’s think back, the Wells we all got to know was really the Reverse Flash posing as Harrison Wells. Caitlin wants to run some test on Wells but he says that the result will do no good in distinguishing him from his counterpart…she still goes though. Barry, reminding Cisco that this guy saved him from King Shark questions the reasoning why, to which Wells says that he’s here to help stop Zoom once and for all. He also admits his culpability for Zoom and the metas that are coming after the Flash. Cisco and Caitlin remain skeptical. Harrison reminds us that the test of character is what happens after we lose someone we care about. (This will be important to Harrison’s motivations at the end) Joe walks into S.T.A.R. Labs and upon seeing Wells (remember Joe was aware and trying to keep this hidden from Barry) fires off three shot, which the Flash manages to intercept. Joe, with Barry restraining him, wonders how can Wells still be alive and Harrison responds with “Because you missed.” This Wells is awfully confident considering that Barry was the reason why those bullets did not connect. Caitlin goes off to find someone who can verify Harrison, I wonder who this could be? Meanwhile, Joe and Barry step outside. Once again, Barry having to ask why he wasn’t told something and Joe might have been looking our for Barry’s best interest, underestimated his maturity in the event of this situation. Barry actually expresses how he is having to resist the feelings inside of seeing this individual who resembles the man who killed his mother in every visual sense. This shows the Flash growing into his responsibilities not just as a hero but as Barry Allen and that he can’t go flying off the handle because he knows where that leads him. The fact that Joe says that he needs to go fill in Iris makes me tilt my head. Now, you want to let Iris know what’s up…I guess the Francine thing made him realize that. If he would just apply that to his relationship with Barry…

I love Iris’ reaction to what is going on. She’s like, “Just another day, right?” For her and what she’s been through, you kind of have to admire Iris’ ability to take everything in stride like she does. Joe then gives Iris her gun and hopes that Barry was right and that she won’t have to use it. “You can’t murder someone who everyone believes is already dead right?” What Joe says here is almost a microcosm of how Joe is handling this latest development. Cisco is going back and forth with Barry, wishing that he was getting alcohol instead of a latte, but more importantly about the Wells scenario when they are interrupted by Patty Spivot. Cue the incredible cute awkwardness between Barry and Patty. While not the Line of the Night, it’s worth mentioning, “Stuff, I got to science the stuff out of…” Barry says and Spivot replies with “coolio” and not the rapper either. Cisco’s reaction to this exchange had me dying. This also leads to what happens when bros talk up each other to the point where ego completely takes over. Barry, feeling embarrassed, (as he should) looks at Cisco and asked him about his relationship prowess (did we forget about Golden Glider already?). So Cisco being Cisco actually asks out the woman over the counter…and he gets shut down, hard. Then all of a sudden, Cisco gets one of those mental rushes and sees the bank being robbed and informs Barry of another breacher. When the Flash arrives, a lady in black with a huge helmet on her head uses a massive array of light to flee the scene. Wells identifies her as Dr. Light, once a petty thief, now with the ability to harness and control starlight. When Wells scoffs at Cisco’s levity of the situation, Cisco identifies “Harry” as a “dick” (yes he actually says this). Wells figures that they capture Dr. Light and use her as bait to lure in Zoom so Barry can take him down. Caitlin arriving with Jay, hearing this makes Jay completely question Wells’ idea. We see the two go back and forth, Wells surprised that Garrick is alive, while Jay saying that being reckless is no way to beat Zoom. While continuing to argue over Dr Light’s motivations and what should be done with her, Barry reminds everyone that maybe we should capture her first. Now this leads to Barry asking the obvious question, how did Cisco know about robbery? Cisco fabricates how his phone alerts him of robberies in progress…he basically talks his way out of explaining. Lucky for him, Barry has to focus on finding Dr. Light and keeping the Earth-2 boys a safe distance from each other. Yeah, good luck with that. Barry bumps in Patty and before the awkward levels reach critical mass, Barry decides to ask Patty out for dinner. Proud of you Barry, for individuals that tend to think too much, it does pay to be simple and not ignore the obvious. Speaking of ignoring things that are right in front of you, Harry confronts Cisco on why he has such a issue with him. He makes it a point to ask what his counterpart did to Cisco specifically. As we know from last season, Cisco was killed by Wells putting his hand though his chest. This was your atypical “go along to get along” roundabout between the two. Something of note here, Harry asks to confirm the satellite program Cisco is running to check for solar emissions. Cisco tells him not to worry about it. then we see Wells checking his metahuman app on his wrist. Caitlin tells Barry the silent alarm went off at the Central City Bank, Jay tells Barry that Dr. Light is not a killer and that he can reason with her. Giving Jay some assurance, Barry nods and speeds off, confronting Dr. Light. The Flash tells her that he knows she’s here to kill him, so why steal the money? We get the impression that Dr. Light wants to be free of this mission and when Barry offers his help we see that there is a fear of Zoom not at all different from the concerns displayed by Harry and Jay. Barry gets her to de-mask and upon seeing her face, we see that this is the Earth-2 version of Linda Park, Barry’s ex-girlfriend. Wondering how the Flash could know her identity, she sends out a massive light blast blinding the Flash. We get more of Harry and Jay’s philosophies clashing while Barry recovers from his blindness. Harry feels this could have been avoided if they skipped the verbiage while Jay contends that Barry was caught off-guard. Wells quips, “Always an excuse with you.” Not for nothing but I think Barry personally doesn’t need anyone making excuses for him. Wells is right, he’s the “Fastest Man Alive”, what’s the problem? They all come to the conclusion that Zoom sent this meta specifically because of the relationship factor. So this has to mean that Zoom knows that Barry Allen is the Flash. This also means as Barry points out that Dr. Light probably didn’t know she had a doppelganger in this universe until Barry revealed her identity. Jay emphasizes that Light is not a killer, but Cisco does say the first thing Atom Smasher did was kill his doppelganger.

Iris arrives and being last, we get to see her reaction to seeing Harrison Wells again. It’s very telling how her face shows disbelief and composure at the same time, given all she’s had to process as of late. She attends to Barry and answering his text message discovers that Barry is going on a date with Patty. Iris tells Barry not to cancel and suggests that maybe someone can help him with this literal “blind date.” Then we see, (get it, see) Barry yelling for Cisco while Iris directs him. This is the first time in a long time that the synergy between Iris and Barry feels right and not forced. What we get is Cisco giving Barry some shades that will act as Cisco’s eyes so he can walk him though the date. This redefines the term ‘wingman’ for me. Now for some comedy, Cisco eating Chinese takeout during all of this. Patty saying how she judges her dates based on whether or not they stand her up. Following up that with the classic line, “I have a reputation.” Cisco getting Barry to complement her on how she looks, but forgetting that the feed is in black and white so he can’t identify the color of her dress. It seems as if things are going well between Barry and Detective Spivot. While on stakeout, Jay and Caitlin go into his history with Zoom and by extension Dr. Wells. Back on the date, Cisco has become bored due to Barry and Patty sharing their tragic experiences with one another. We learn that Patty drowned when she was nine years old and her heart stopped for like two minutes until her father saved her life. After Patty tells Barry that fear shouldn’t hold back people from becoming who they are supposed to be (funny how Cisco shouts “Preach” given his own unique set of circumstances), Patty tells him something else…that he can’t see. “Abort”, Cisco says now that Barry has been outed by Detective Spivot, really is anyone surprised by this. We have already established how bad Barry is at deceiving people and he’s now dealing with someone who not only is just as bad but whose job description is built for these kind of things…maybe that’s why he hasn’t completely gotten over Iris yet. Just when Jay and Caitlin are about to share a tender moment, Dr. Light attacks the van they’re in. She finds Linda and with Larkin and Iris playing defense, she seeks Linda’s life. We then get a similar eerie line about murder not unlike the one from Joe, “It’s not murder when it’s your double right?” In her mind, she guesses killing Linda in this universe will allow Dr. Light to assume her identity and escape from Zoom. She also confirms what Jay has been saying all along that’s she’s never killed anyone before. Of course, Larkin goes in to try and stop her but Dr. Light sends a beam straight through his chest, killing him. The momentary shock of what she had done gives Iris the opportunity to shoot the helmet off her head. Point-blank accuracy, but considering her father, we shouldn’t be surprised at this. The shock than transfers to Linda when she sees the villain is a splitting image of herself. Jay arrives inside and with the numbers not in her favor, Dr. Light retreats leaving her helmet behind. We then see Patty helping a blind Barry down the stairs and the two share a well-done good night kiss. Conveniently, Barry’s sight has returned to him after this so he kisses her a second time. But, no time for second base, both of their phones go off due to what just happened with Dr. Light.

The issues of Barry’s place in this battle causes tensions between Wells and Garrick to spiral out of control. Wells saying Zoom’s influence will give any of the metas his sends after Barry the desire to kill and that because of Jay’s lack of faith, Barry doubts himself but Wells clearly does not. Wells calls out Jay on the whole “battling Zoom for two years.” He says Garrick has been running from Zoom for that long. Hunting Zoom, no Zoom was hunting you Jay. This prompts Garrick that this path will kill Barry just like it almost did to him. Harry proclaims that Barry runs toward danger, not from it and that Barry is not like Jay and calls him a coward. Them’s fighting words on any planet, in any universe and thus…a brawl begins to break out between Wells and Jay, Barry stepping in before it gets out of control. The belief or lack thereof in Barry seems to be driving this already existing wedge between our Earth-2 gentlemen further and further. But who is in the right here? Does that depend on Barry or maybe Jay and/or Harry have some things about themselves they need call out to the forefront? Wells believes in Barry so much that the mentor/student relationship Jay has with Barry, the roles should be reversed. Team Flash decide to use Dr. Light’s mask in order to find her. Harry says that all they need to do is give it to Cisco…because he has the powers to use it in order to find her. Harry reintroduces us to the device on his wrist, the same one we all saw in flashback, that can detect metahumans. Cisco has been outed. Technically, this would count as another secret, another lie that blows up. But, I think Cisco did in fact heed the words of Professor Stein when he told him that he shouldn’t leave his friends in the dark about his abilities. Wells just outed him sooner. Everything that was happening in this episode was leading to Cisco being forced to tell Barry how he was able to find Light in the first place. It’s just that Dr. Wells figured everything out before Cisco got the chance.

As Cisco explains his powers, everyone cannot believe he kept this from them. At the behest of Wells, Cisco touches the helmet trying to get any sort of mental fix on Dr. Light’s whereabouts, with each attempt Wells getting more aggressive and what I’ve noticed about his leadership style, Wells tries to get people to not just confront their fears but attack them with the same ferocity that he emotes with. How Wells interacts with Jay, with Barry and now Cisco. One of the messages throughout the episode was fear and how we choose to deal with it. Do we run from it or do we allow it to make us stronger? Cisco, doubting himself with each unsuccessful try says he can’t do it. Harry, grabbing the helmet, goes up to him by slamming it into his chest, says with conviction, “Yes you can!” Dr. Light is about to get on a subway and leave town, so the Flash rushes off. There is a parallel here with this fight with Dr. Light from the standpoint of Harry and Jay with their relationship to Barry. Recall in the first season, Barry, having the words of the Earth-1 Harrison Wells in his ear, couldn’t break through his own self-imposed doubts because Joe doubted him. Once he got the support from Joe, the Flash was able to overcome himself. Here, after failing to get to Dr. Light’s blind spot, Barry gained no further usefulness from Jay. Harry stepped in and advised Barry to run at a speed that will cause afterimages of himself to appear to confuse Dr. Light. Harry assures Barry he can run that fast since he’s traveled through time (per Cisco’s admission). Once again Barry doubts himself; then Jay interjects by coming to terms with some of this own faults. He tells Barry to listen to Wells and that Barry is faster than him and to not let fear hold Barry back like it did to him. With that endorsement, Barry tries again and manages to knock out Dr. Light, winning the day.

Barry, who I think doesn’t want another Reverse Flash situation, decides to agree with Wells and prepare to go one on one with Zoom, using Dr. Light as bait. Jay does not agree nor support this and much to Caitlin’s disappointment, decides to leave S.T.A.R. Labs as long as Wells is on board. His departing words suggesting that he might not be the Wells they knew but he has just as many secrets. Jay may not be on board, but the rest of Team Flash seem pleased with Barry’s confidence and willingness to want to end the fight before it gets out of control. Is optimism an Earth-1 thing? Hopefully, we’ll see Jay Garrick again. Cisco goes to get coffee for the others and it’s the same barista that shot him down before. She explains that she’s new in Central City and that Cisco just caught her off guard and asked him if coffee was all that he wanted. Score one for Cisco and speaking of, he gets a codename from Barry and Caitlin: Vibe! All the while, Wells watches intently…

Line(s) of the Night:I think coffee is the one constant in the multiverse.” Jay talking to Caitlin while on stakeout.

Barry, I lost my eyes!” Cisco reacting to Barry putting his augmented shades in his pocket,

Flashlines: Linda Park’s run in with the editor Larkin about her stance on not glorifying a star football player that hit his wife. Subtle, yet strong message being sent through this exchange between progressive female and male editor simply focused on the sports aspect. Cisco likes people who come up with good names for the bad guys; see Jay Garrick and in this case Patty who does give the name King Shark. Cool that instead of the traditional Dr. Light, we get a female one…there are both male and female versions of this character in the comics. Wells listening to “Baby, You’re No Good” while reading about his counterpart, unintentionally funny. Jay says that Dr. Wells was perfectly fine with profiting off of the metahumans he created through his tech apps and now something about him has changed and he doesn’t trust him. (That change might have something to do with the last scene of the episode) Apparently Atlantis is above water on Earth-2 according to one of Jay’s good friends who is from there. Harrison tells Barry to run fast enough to the point he creates copies of himself; he calls this the Speed Mirage. Caitlin says that she doesn’t think any of us (Team Flash) would turn evil if we all of a sudden got powers…foreshadowing?!!! Kendra Saunders is the name of the barista that Cisco got the number from…she also has a codename: Hawkgirl. That ending scene…Zoom has a young lady locked up and based on what we know, it has to be Harrison Wells’ daughter; puts some things into context.

Strong episode…fear turns men into cowards, turns cowards into heroes. How much will fear take hold next week when Zoom makes his play? Flashout!

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