The Flash Season 2 Episode 5 Review: The Darkness and the Light

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The Flash is just a better show when Tom Cavanagh is on it.

With the formal reintroduction of Harrison "Harry" Wells on The Flash Season 2 Episode 5 everything feels right with Earth 1. With his arrival here, however, everything is not right with Earth 2.

What a groovy twist that our new friend Harry has a daughter over there! Certainly she's going to make her way here, right?

I'm with Cisco (Crisco, if you're of a mind); we just can't call this guy Harrison Wells, or even Dr. Wells. He's not the same guy we knew during The Flash Season 1.

Hell, as Caitlin says, the guy we knew isn't even the guy we thought we knew, he was Eobard Thawne. Pointing all of that out was not only necessary, but funny, because Harry (as we shall now refer to him for our sanity's sake) couldn't even follow along.

Harry is different from Harrison Wells, who we only met very briefly in flashbacks before his shell was stolen by Eobard Thawne. He's not a nice guy. Laughing when Cisco shared Wells reached into his chest and ripped out his heart was cold. He didn't even take it back after the giggle slipped out. Cad.

Yet Harry is also very similar to the mentor Harrison Wells was to Barry. He sees in Barry so much potential that Barry has yet to see in himself. Granted, Barry has taken great strides with his confidence, but he always excels when someone else gives him that extra push. Someone he knows isn't doing it because they love him.

Jay: Zoom could have killed me, just like he will kill Barry if you lead him down this path!
Harry: No, because he is not like you. Barry runs towards danger, not from it, because Barry is not a coward!

Delivering that particular statement to Jay was cold, but Barry hearing it was motivational. Harry sees in Barry things he doesn't see in himself just yet, and they always propel him further. There is little doubt those comments, whether directed at Barry or others around him, will continue as their relationship deepens.

We really don't think Harry is going anywhere, do we?

The same can't be said for Jay Garrick, who has taken his leave of this earth in rather un-dramatic fashion. Cisco's comment that optimism must be an Earth 1 thing was spot on. Where Harry motivates Barry, he makes Jay feel like an obsolete piece of crap. Jay said he left because he didn't want to watch Barry intentionally fight Zoom because he doesn't think he can win, but there seemed to be more to it than that.

There is a deep seated hatred between the two, and it came out when the swinging started. Honestly, how often do we get to see actual human fist fights on The Flash? Not too often. It was a good fight. Let's hope more on their personal history is revealed.

It's too bad Jay left, because he and Caitlin were just beginning to hit it off. Harry's daughter is in peril on Earth 2, and Jay maybe able to redeem himself in Harry's eye's if he can save her, assuming anybody over there learns she's being held in a cage. Zoom hates all speedsters, and Jay should return to his Crimson Comet self once he breathes Earth 2's air again. That ought to bring Zoom's fight right back to him, if not only temporarily.

With the addition of Linda Park as a metahuman sent to destroy Barry Allen's Flash, it seems more likely that Zoom is, indeed, Barry Allen from Earth 2. Just like here, Harry created a super speedy Barry. Only this one turned evil. That would make great sense as to why an actor hasn't been cast in the role, and even better sense given the doppelganger theme and Zoom being Barry's greatest enemy.

Who could possibly fight you better than yourself? We've seen the image of Barry in prison from the Speed Force in The Flash Season 1 Episode 23. Now we can surmise that wasn't our Barry Allen. Honestly, it seems like Grant Gustin is already prepping to ensure viewers will be able to tell his two selves apart.

Did you notice how delightfully comical Gustin portrayed Barry during this installment? While it could be contributed to giddiness due to the fact Tom Cavanagh was back or excitement that Barry went on a date, there was a distinct lightness in his portrayal that isn't always present. Given the heady fact that he came face to face with the doppelganger of the man who killed his mother and so many others, he was taking it all very, very well.

Then again, I could have been the giddy one. That could very well have been the case. Harry Wells does that to a viewer. 

Speaking of that date, thank goodness Patty didn't let Barry get away with wearing glasses the entire evening without calling him on being blind. She is a good detective. And, frankly, Barry thinking he could get away with wearing pitch black glasses on a first date was rather appalling. He could have very easily said he and Cisco were testing a metahuman gizmo, and he was temporarily blinded. Voila. Excuse of the decade. 

Instead he tried something very lame, but which allowed us to be humored by Cisco joining his date. Also lame? When Dr. Light removed her mask and Barry incredulously asked, "But how can this be?" REALLY BARRY?! You've been sitting in STAR Labs with Harry Wells all day, and you really need to ask that? Face palm.

With Harry's daughter in big trouble over on Earth 2, will Jay be called in to help her, or will the poor girl be hanging in a cage for the entirety of the season until some meta spills the beans to Barry or Harry for the Big Zoom Showdown? It would be fantastic for Harry to settle here on Earth 1, but with a daughter over there, it doesn't seem likely, so surely that situation has to settle itself before the end of the season.

"The Darkness and the Light" was a lot of fun. It's fantastic to have Tom Cavanagh back, the lighter Barry is a joy and the doppelganger stories are definitely a hit. Here's hoping everyone gets a chance to play out their own doppelganger storyline!

In a Flash:

  • Cisco finally got his name after Harry outed his metahuman capabilities. Although it's going to be hard not calling his Crisco, to be honest.
  • Did anybody else get a bad "vibe" when Caitlin said, "I don't think any of us would suddenly become evil if we got powers"? Is that foreboding? While Killer Frost could be a doppelganger story, our Caitlin has been just a little off so far during The Flash Season 2...
  • Such a bummer that Dr. Light stopped Caitlin and Jay just before they kissed. That might give Caitlin some killer tendencies!
  • Joe's decision to give Iris a gun worked very well. Using them responsibly on television is greatly appreciated.
  • "You're No Good" by Linda Rondstat is Harry's theme song, but they couldn't spring for Manford Mann's "Blinded by the Light" for Barry? HA
  • Thank goodness Kendra Saunders redeemed herself by hitting up Cisco for a date after shutting him down. Even Barry thought that was cold!

OK guys, you're up! Are you enjoying the doppelgangers? Happy to have Harry back? Sad to see Jay go? What are your thoughts on Barry 2 as Zoom and Harry's daughter coming to Earth 1? Hit the comments with your thoughts.

If you need to catch up or only rewatch the incredible action, you can watch The Flash online via TV Fanatic anytime. 

The Darkness and the Light Review

Editor Rating: 4.5 / 5.0
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User Rating:

Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (81 Votes)

Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on X and email her here at TV Fanatic.

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The Flash Season 2 Episode 5 Quotes

Cisco: Yeah, well, we're batting a thousand against these breechers.
Wells (E2): You're batting a thousand, Crisco? What's your sample size? Ten?

It's very strange to be holding your autobiography, epecially when you didn't write it, and it's not about you.

Harrison Wells (E2)