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'The Flash' recap: Who is the man in the iron mask?



Spoiler alert! The following contains spoilers for Tuesday night's episode of the Flash.

The mysteries only deepened with the tantalizing second part of the alternate world two-parter, "Escape from Earth-2." Who is the man in the iron mask? Who is Zoom? And was Jay Garrick all that he said he was?

We got more questions than answers this week, but one answer we did get: yes, Grant Gustin would be great as Milo Thatch in the inevitable live-action remake of Atlantis: The Lost Empire.

Some frosty encounters


Zoom is terrorizing Central City looking for Harrison Wells, even going so far as to carve The Dark Knight Rises-esque fiery vandalism on the side of buildings. From S.T.A.R. Labs, Wells is watching Zoom's manhunt on the news, ordering Henry Hewitt to evacuate everyone out of the building and leave him behind.

Cisco returns and is greeted with a gun in the face by a surprised Harry. Cisco recaps the events of the previous episode and the kidnapping of Barry, and the two of them argue over what to do, but the tension gets immediately dissolved by a frenzied Barry-2 shouting for help from the closet they locked him in. The noticeable neurotic alternate Barry starts rambling about getting Iris to give them a stern talking to, but before Harry can get him to leave, Zoom arrives at S.T.A.R. Labs. Harry takes them to his time vault to hide from Zoom, tricking Zoom with a holographic wall, and the three of them make their escape.

At the CCPD, Barry-2 meets up with Iris-2 and brings her to Harry and Cisco. They ask for Iris' help in tracking Zoom, but she doesn't know and can only think of going through a meta-human who worked with Zoom. They decide to track down Killer Frost, hoping to get her sympathies after her last encounter with Zoom ended tragically. Barry-2 gets to work with magical tracking skills, uses his special algorithm and the CCPD's meta-database to locate Killer Frost in even less time than this show usually takes. Iris decides to go along with Harry and Cisco to find Zoom, and Barry-2, hesitant and nervous as he is, is determined to go with them to make it up to her father's death.

Harry, Cisco and Earth-2 co arrive in the middle of the forest to find Killer Frost, who slinks her way through their confrontation. Cisco "enemy of my enemy"'s her and tries to get her to side with them through her love of Ronnie; but Killer Frost attacks them. They split up, and Frost disarms Iris, but is immediately caught in the crosshairs by Cisco. With Killer Frost hostage, Cisco tries to reason her again, using her name Caitlin and appealing to her humanity. She finally gives in and takes them to the prison at Ascension Cliffs.

Five by five


At Zoom's prison cell, Barry is looking for a way out but Jesse tells him it's hopeless. She lashes out at the continuously knocking man in the iron mask in the other cell, and again at Barry when he encourages her to have faith in her father. Her long months of imprisonment have taken a toll on her hope for rescue, but Barry urges her to hope again -- only to be interrupted by Zoom who terrorizes them back into submission.

Still hopeful, Barry works on trying to decipher the masked man's code, despite Jesse's jaded protestations. Barry tells her that Harry, the smartest man on two earths, said that Jesse is even smarter than him and she is finally persuaded to help. Jesse figures out that masked man never goes above 5 knocks without pausing, leading Barry to figure out that the code is a five by five code used by POWs.

Jesse and Barry work together to solve masked man's tapping, but are confused when the word he spells out is "Jay." Barry assures the man that Jay is alive and well, but the masked man gets agitated. Zoom returns to see masked man trying to communicate to them, phasing into Barry's cell and beats him to a pulp as a warning. Jesse calls out and Barry weakly gets up, struck with the idea of escaping by phasing through the glass. After several attempts, Barry nearly gives up, but Jesse points out that he could be resonating at a different frequency than that of Earth-2's.

Ninth time's the charm


Back on Earth-1, Central City is taking notice of the Flash's absence while Jay is beating himself up over not catching Geomancer yet. Caitlin has started working on the next batch of Velocity-8, but she found that the reaction with Velocity-7 is accelerating his cellular degeneration and making him sicker. Jay, hero that he is, is willing to take the chance.

Iris' new editor Scott Evans refuses to run Iris' Geomancer piece, assigning her a hard-hitting piece about the Flash's absence. Iris insteadoffers an exclusive with Jay, and he warily concedes.

At S.T.A.R. Labs, Caitlin has created Velocity-9, designed to counteract the degeneration. Iris enters STAR Labs with her proposal to do an interview with Jay to give the people of Central City hope, but that is put on hold when Geomancer makes another threat through the news, bringing down an office building. Jay takes the Velocity-9 and speeds off to the rescue, evacuating everyone out of the building, but collapsing when he comes back to the lab. He assures Caitlin that he is just tired, and goes off to rest.

Caitlin is testing the effects of Velocity-9 and is joyful at the results, seeing the chance to save Jay's life, but Geomancer just walks into S.T.A.R. Labs (seriously, those security upgrades have done NOTHING) and attacks Caitlin and Iris. They run to another lab room but Cailtin gets knocked down and Iris gets grabbed by Geomancer. Cailtin shoots him from behind with some electro gun, and the fight is over without having woken Jay apparently.

After the destruction, Joe leads Geomancer away in chains and cuffs while Caitlin shows Jay the good news about Velocity-9. They're interrupted by the speed cannon malfunctioning from Geomancer's shockwaves. Iris and Joe join them to look concernedly at the malfunctioning speed cannon.

Making a speedy escape


At the menacing cliff face, Killer Frost creates ice footholds for the group to get to the prison -- causing Barry-2 and his wing tips to almost chicken out -- and the five of them make it to Zoom's prison to rescue Barry and Jesse.

After a heartfelt reunion between father and daughter, Harry unsuccessfully tries to unchain Jesse from the floor and yells at Killer Frost for help. She begrudgingly frees Jesse from her chains but is unable to free Barry from his cell becomes of some special "carbine" (?) material. Barry, sacrificial hero that he is, tells them all to leave him behind, but Barry-2 confronts Barry, telling him that if they can do the impossible and rescue Barry from Zoom, he can do the impossible. Barry successfully phases out of the glass, and they all celebrate and make the move to leave when Zoom arrives. Killer Frost reveals that she double crossed them, but she has a change of heart after Zoom grabs Jesse. She holds back Zoom, letting the others escape while Barry promises the masked man that he'll come back for him.

On Earth-2, Caitlin and Jay are trying to fix the speed cannon, and of course the only way to fix it is for Jay to put himself into mortal danger. Joe offers to help Jay and together they manage to stabilize the speed cannon, and they wait in nervous anticipation for the group to return.

Iris-2 and Barry-2 agree to take refuge with family in Atlantis while Harry and Jesse are going on the run to Earth-1. Jesse is weirdly resistant to the idea of leaving behind her "normal" life, despite being held hostage for months, but is persuaded by her father. A few minutes later, she and Cisco have successfully come through the speed cannon, but they frantically inform the Earth-1ers that Zoom has already found the others. Barry is in a stand-off with Zoom, who holds Harry hostage, but Harry stabs Zoom with a screwdriver, allowing enough time for Barry to speed them both through the breach. Team Flash successfully closes the breach, but Jay triumphantly stands in front of the portal like an idiot and gets impaled from behind by Zoom's arm.

Flash Faves

  • Seriously, someone better cast Grant Gustin as Milo Thatch in a live-action adaptation of Atlantis: The Lost Empire because Barry-2 is this neurotic, adorable character to a tee.
    • Example one: "What the HECK is going on?"
    • Example two: "It's just like in Commander Carl: Space Marshall. No? It's a seminal episode." 
  • Aw Patty Spivot reference during Barry-2's tracking scene. She's a CSI in Earth-2.
  • Cisco wisely keeps the pop culture references down to an "Elsa"/Frozen zinger.
  • "I'm just Barry Allen, but you're the Flash." Barry-2 keeps winning me over.
  • Who is the masked man? Earth-1 Jay Garrick? Is he warning us that Jay's Earth-1 doppelganger, Hunter Zolomon, has some ties to Zoom? The brief red herring that Jay was actually Zoom is dead in the ground.


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