“Our Doctor Wells may have been evil, but you’re just a d**k.”
“The Darkness and the Light” sees Team Flash take on the metahuman supercriminal known as Doctor Light. This particular Doctor Light is significantly different from her comic book counterpart (Kimyo Hoshi) as she is a doppleganger that is directly connected to Barry. However, it’s the war at home between the newly introduced Earth Two Harrison Wells and the Earth Two Flash that makes for the most compelling conflict. Both seem to be fighting over Barry’s soul, but this time with Barry being fully aware of that influence as the official leader of Team Flash. Despite how personal things seem to be for Doctor Light and Barry, the conflict is wrapped up a little too abruptly, and lacks any real impact or closure. Though a reveal of a new Flash power is an exciting bonus for fans.
Seeing Jay Garrick in his own world is insightful, and the surreality and futuristic presentation of Earth Two is given plenty of contrast with the simple application of yellows and golds to give it an ethereal and sci-fi atmosphere. The relationship between Wells and Garrick is tumultuous to say the least, and promises to be a source of great friction in the coming episodes. The reveal of Cisco’s power is also a bit sudden, but thanks to some dedicated performances from all the players, it still maintains a sense of emotion and atmosphere. Despite Tom Cavenaugh technically playing the same character, there are enough nuances in his performance to really separate the two characters, with this one maintaining a sense of urgency over the calm and collected Eobard Thawne (Cause it was Eobard Thawne, and I thought it was weird that they never mentioned that).
Final Word: “The Darkness and the Light” doesn’t break new ground, but it does bring some new characters and situations in to the spotlight, including Kendra Saunders (Ciara Renee), a sly Aquaman reference, a new Flash Power, and of course Cisco’s official adoption of the moniker Vibe. This, coupled with an absolutely adorable “date” situation between Patty and Barry that is made interesting thanks to Carlos Valdes’ adept comedic acting and Gustin and VanSanten’s natural chemistry, makes this if not one of the more engaging, one of the more entertaining episodes of the season. This was a Flash to be remembered, but unfortunately it isn’t because of the villain of the week.
“The Darkness and the Light” gets a 7.7/10. A weak villain drags down the potential, but great acting and chemistry between the cast keeps the light from going out.