The Flash “The Darkness and the Light” Review (Season 2 Episode 5)

After last week’s detour through Legends of Tomorrow set-up, The Flash returned with a strong outing this week, one that pushed the season’s overarching plotlines forward while introducing – or reintroducing – several key characters to the story. As a result, “The Darkness and the Light” was one of the best yet in the second season.

The biggest development this week was the return of Harrison Wells to STAR Labs, or at least the Earth-2 version of him. After seeing him skulk around for several weeks, it was a bit surprising to see Barry and the team accept him so fast, especially after the rough welcome Jay went through. What made it work, though, is that while everyone saw Wells’ face, it was obvious this was a different man than the one Eobard Thawne was playing. As Cisco so succinctly put it, Harry was a dick, showing no sympathy or concern for what his evil doppelganger had put the others through over the past year. Instead, he saw them all as tools for ending Zoom, the biggest threat to his world and his daughter.

And despite how abrasive he was – honestly, Jay’s one punch to his jaw probably wasn’t enough – Harry did provide a lot of good advice to Barry, providing him with the necessary moves to take on Dr. Light and giving him a new level of confidence to take on Zoom directly. Of course, how successful that will be remains to be seen.

As far as this night’s conflict, I can honestly say that the reveal that Dr. Light was Earth-2’s Linda came as a surprise. I think what made it work is the way Linda had already shown up again earlier this season. It was a small part, but it kept her sudden return here from seeming immediately suspicious. Light herself served as a solid enemy as well; her powers temporarily blinding the Flash made for some great hijinks, and her fear of Zoom helped further establish just how great threat the speedster is to Earth-2.

Meanwhile, things on the relationship front reached peak adorable as Barry and Patty had their first date. The chemistry between the two is almost too much to handle, and it’s really great to see Barry moving on from Iris to form a real relationship with another woman. Even better is the knowledge that the show’s creators aren’t the sort to stay beholden to whatever their original plans are if the audience reacts to something else; just look at Oliver ending up with Felicity over on Arrow as an example of that.

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments!