Going into the Tuesday, Feb. 16 episode of “The Flash,” 2×14, “Escape from Earth-2,” there were several questions that (somewhat realistically) needed to be answered. (Zoom’s identity is obviously not one of them.) How would Harry and Cisco rescue Barry and Jesse? Who would return through the breach to Earth-1 and what would happen when they do? How would Zoom react to everything? What would be revealed about the masked man in Zoom’s lair? Would Jay stop the Geomancer? Would Caitlin find out something new to help Jay?
For the most part, the episode did its job. There’s quite a lot going on in this “Flash” episode, between the happenings on the two Earths, getting to know Earth-2 Barry a bit better and the final scene, and fortunately, rather than seem cluttered, it makes for an exciting hour of television. Sure, now there are more questions than ever (especially about Jay), but what else would you expect from an episode at this point in the season and one that sees everyone coming out relatively unscathed? Well, until the last moment, that is.
First of all, on Earth-1, Caitlin’s working on the next version of Velocity – she gets up to Velocity 9 – as Jay’s cells show signs of further degeneration and Iris’ new editor would love nothing more than to turn The Flash from a hero to, well, not the subject of what he calls a “fluff piece.” Iris comes up with the idea to instead write an article about Jay, just as the metahuman attacks Central City again. With a building collapsing, Jay takes it upon himself to injects himself with Velocity 9 and speed in to save the day.
However, while he’s off taking quite the nap – he apparently sleeps through the building almost coming down (suspicious?) – Geomancer attacks STAR Labs, and it’s Caitlin who steps up and detains him before Joe whisks him away to Iron Heights. But there’s good news and bad news. The good news is Velocity 9 has kick-started Jay’s latent regenerative abilities; they just have to make it permanent. The bad news is Geomancer’s tremors destabilized the breach and the clock is ticking (and they had just stabilized it too).
Meanwhile, on Earth-2, with nothing much left to do but talk through their cells, Barry assures Jesse that her father is coming to save her. Every decision he’s made and every thing he has done since Barry met him has been to save her. Don’t give up on him, he tells her. Zoom takes that opportunity to speed in with a threat (he’ll kill her in front of her father and then take Barry’s speed, which is all he needs him for).
But Barry refuses to let Zoom get him down, and instead, he turns his focus to the man in the mask in a cell across from his. The man has been tapping, and after Jesse notes he never goes past five knocks, they figure out he’s using a 5×5 tap code used by POWs. All they’re able to get from him is “JAY.” Yes, he means Jay Garrick, but no, he doesn’t seem to be looking for assurance that he’s alive, based on his reaction to that bit of news from Barry. Whatever he’s trying to tell them, whatever he knows, it’s not something Zoom wants them to know, and he speeds into Barry’s cage to hit him and toss him around a bit – which also tells Barry the way out of there: phasing through the glass. Unfortunately, as he soon realizes, he’s resonating at a different frequency, which makes that a bit difficult.
Elsewhere on Earth-2, Zoom leaves his calling card – a.k.a. fliers and giant burning messages on the sides of buildings to bring him Wells – around Central City. It’s around this point that they remember that they have Earth-2 Barry locked up and let him free, and once he is reunited with Iris, they’re brought in on Harry and Cisco’s plan: find Zoom’s lair and rescue Barry and Jesse. Thanks to an algorithm Earth-2 Barry created to find metas, they locate Killer Frost, and this Barry has to convince not only Harry and Cisco, but his wife as well, to let him go with them. If she’s going, he is too. After a few icicles, a “Frozen” reference and Cisco bringing up Zoom killing Ronnie, Killer Frost agrees to show them where Zoom’s hiding out. There’s something so intriguing about watching Cisco with this Caitlin, that there’s something that doesn’t change between Earths: their reactions to losing Ronnie and Cisco recognizing that.
Of course Zoom’s lair is located on a cliff, and it takes Killer Frost building them a way up with ice to get there. But rather than leave once they’re inside, she stays with them, something Cisco uses when she tries to refuse to freeze the chain attached to Jesse. She even goes over to Barry’s cell to try to get him out, but the glass is made of carbine and that won’t work. Barry tries to convince them to leave him there, but it’s Earth-2 Barry who steps forward with the pep talk. If he could do everything that he did to get there and he’s just Barry Allen, there’s no way that the Flash shouldn’t be able to just tell himself he can phase out and do just that. It works, but as Barry refuses to leave the man in the mask, Zoom returns and speeds over to Jesse. This is when Killer Frost really steps up and turns her ice on the demon speedster, giving the others the time to escape, with Barry promising the man in the mask that he’s coming back for him.
But getting back to Earth-1 won’t be so easy. Jay and Joe just manage to fix the damage the Geomancer did so the breach reopens, but after Barry gets Cisco and Jesse through, he returns to Earth-2 to find Zoom holding up Harry. And just after Barry manages to save Harry and get through the breach, the celebration is cut short when, moments before the breach is about to close, Zoom reaches through and snatches Jay. (Why was Jay standing so close to the breach?)
“The Flash” season 2 airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on the CW. What did you think of episode 14 “Escape from Earth-2”?