Catching Up: The Flash Episode 205, "The Darkness and the Light"

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CW Flash Darkness Light Linda Park Malese Jow Critical Blast

Welcome back, Flash fans! The latest CW episode, "The Darkness and the Light" has a lot of big things happen in it -- things that you probably have to read about rather than catch from watching the episode. So let's catch up...

We open on Earth Two, eight months ago. Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) is unveiling his newest technology -- a wristwatch that detects the arrival of a metahuman. With Central City being bombarded with them of late, it's a defense device that allows one to take cover. But as he's showing it off, The Flash -- Jay Garrick (Teddy Sears), that is -- arrives. And, true to Wells' claims, the device beeps. It becomes quickly apparent however that Jay and Harrison are definitely not friends. Jay blames Wells for not taking responsibility for having created the metahumans via the Dark Matter emission (that did not crater S.T.A.R. Labs in this universe) -- including Zoom! Very subtly introduced in this scene is a new character -- Harrison Wells' daughter. We'll get back to her later.

Back on Earth One, Harrison does admit to creating Zoom and all the Earth Two metas. And he's here to stop them, particularly Zoom. He says Zoom is obsessed with speed and won't allow another speedster to exist in the multiverse. It should also be mentioned here that this Harrison Wells is something of a dick -- and if you doubt it, Cisco Ramone (Carlos Valdes) says so explicitly later on, after Harrison calls him "Crisco." As Wells tries to explain things further to Team Flash, enter Joe West (Jesse L. Martin) who, upon seeing Wells, draws his service revolver and opens fire, forcing Barry (Grant Gustin) to intercept and catch the bullets before having to explain to Joe that this is an alternate-universe Wells. Joe has trouble buying this, but accepts it and then goes to give the news to Iris (Candice Patton) -- along with a gun. "You can't murder someone that everybody thinks is dead," he says. This scene occurs at the paper where Iris works, and gives us an opportunity to meet Linda Park (Malese Jow) again, and her editor, Eric Larkin (Tom Butler). This is a setup for later events.

While at Jitters, Cisco and Barry nearly get caught talking shop by a sneaky Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten), who tries to ask Barry out, which Barry declines. Cisco tells him his game needs work, and proceeds to demonstrate -- poorly -- with the new barista at Jitters. She turns him down flat, and yes, that is Kendra Saunders (Ciara Reese) who is going to later be revealed as Hawkgirl for the upcoming LEGENDS OF THE DC UNIVERSE. But enough of her for now, because Cisco is about to have a vision of a bank robbery, and he sends Barry off to stop it.

This is where we learn that another "breacher" has been sent over from Earth Two by Zoom. This one is called Doctor Light, a young lady who can throw lumens and heat, and she escapes Barry. Barry makes it back to S.T.A.R. to plan a way to fight Doctor Light. Wells wants to capture Light and use her to lure Zoom, but Jay chooses this moment to show up. He sees Wells, and Team Flash learns that the two are not fans of each other. Wells thinks Jay is a coward who ran from Zoom, and says that since Jay's disappearance Zoom has gotten faster. Jay insists that Dr. Light is a thief, not a killer, and wouldn't be here to kill Flash, but Wells counters that Zoom can make them do whatever he tells them to. (Remember this!)

When Barry tries to stop Dr. Light at another bank robbery, he tries Jay's advice and talks to her. She's trying to amass cash so she can disappear and be free of Zoom. Barry offers to help protect her, but she freaks out. "Nobody can protect me from Zoom!" she declares, and blinds Barry with a burst of light -- but not before he sees her face: the Earth Two Doctor Light is Linda Park, and Barry makes the mistake of calling her by name. Now she knows she has a doppelganger out there, and the Earth One Linda is in danger. But a blind Flash isn't much of a superhero, and it will be hours before his sight returns, so it's up to Caitlin and Jay to stake out Linda's workplace to watch out for Dr. Light.

Perhaps a not-so-subtle clue is Doctor Wells, working alone and uninvited with Cisco's equipment, blaring out the music "You're No Good." Wells questions Cisco about how he knw about the robbery, and what his counterpart had done to Cisco to make him dislike him so much. As Cisco leaves, HW2's watch beeps.

While Barry goes on a literal blind date with Patty, Caitlin and Jay are getting romantic in the van outside Linda Park's workplace. Jay is urging Caitlin not to trust Wells. He also mentions that on Earth Two, Atlantis is above the ocean, and one of his best friends is from there. Is this a hint of Aqua-things to come? But before we learn more, the van is waylaid by Dr. Light, who then proceeds to go on to try to kill Linda so she can take her place. Jay intervenes, and Iris shoots Dr. Light's facemask off of her, which gets left behind like Cinderella's glass slipper.

At S.T.A.R., Jay apologizes that he underestimated Dr. Light. He and Wells get into a fistfight. Wells says Barry can defeat Zoom because Barry's not a coward like Jay. He also outs Cisco's metahuman powers, and forces him to use them to find Dr. Light using her facemask as a focus. Cisco tells the others he didn't want to reveal his abilities, because he got them from the Earth One Wells and was worried that he might become like Wells. Caitlin assures him they wouldn't turn evil if they got super powers -- a telling remark from the potentially future Killer Frost.

Learning that Dr. Light is at a train station, Flash rushes in and evacuates the platform. He then asks Team Flash for advice on how to defeat Dr. Light -- and Jay is left without an idea. He doesn't know. But Wells has a plan, and instructs Flash to run so fast he leaves behind after-images -- a "speed mirage" to give her multiple targets. This is one of the oldest tricks from the Flash's comic book days, and seeing it played out on the screen was a lot of fun. And it works.

With Dr. Light safely put away in The Pipeline, Barry agrees with Wells -- they should use her to lure Zoom. Jay is against this. "Zoom is a nightmare you can't wake up from," he says. He tells Barry that he's not ready to fight Zoom by himself. Barry insists he isn't alone, because he has a team -- one that includes Jay and even Dr. Wells. But Jay won't be a part of it -- says he can't do it knowing that it could lead to Barry's loss of speed -- or his life. He leaves with a parting warning -- that this version of Dr. Wells has just as many secrets as the Earth One version.

Parting Shot: On Earth Two, we get our first up-close look at Zoom, as he checks in on a captive he's holding in a cage. It's Doctor Wells' daughter, who we saw in the opening scene. Remember her? Well, if you check the credits, that's Violett Beane, playing the part of Jesse Wells. It doesn't take a bolt of lightning hitting a shelf of chemicals to have me thinking that we've just seen our first appearance of the future Jesse Quick. What do you think?

This episode's takeaways:
-- Hello Hawkgirl
-- Cisco gets a nickname
-- Zoom can get people to do what he wants -- maybe even Harrison Wells

4.5 / 5.0