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Warning: spoilers for this week’s episode of The Flash are ahead!
After a three-week hiatus, The Flash returned to our screens this past Tuesday with its 18th episode, titled “Versus Zoom.” Although we learned that Jay Garrick, a.k.a. Hunter Zolomon, was Zoom in “King Shark,” this episode gave background on the Season 2 main baddie’s past and his motivations. Admittedly, the episode left a lot more questions than answers, but one of the bigger questions didn’t have anything to Zoom. What we found ourselves confounded by was why there was no mention of last month’s Supergirl crossover whatsoever.
Let’s wind the clock back to March 28, when Barry Allen helped Kara Zor-El battle Silver Banshee and Livewire in “Worlds Finest.” As the title implied, the Supergirl episode revealed that the Scarlet Speedster and the Girl of Steel lived on separate Earths, and Barry accidentally raced into Supergirl’s world, or as I call it, Earth-CBS. Barry eventually made it back to Earth-1 with Kara’s help, but at no point did they mention how he arrived to Supergirl in the first place. The only clue was the device on his chest, which resembled the tachyon device that Reverse-Flash used in Season 1 that could absorb the Speed Force. Barry was wearing that when he came to Earth-CBS and was wearing it when he left. Obviously the scheduling between both shows screwed up the timeline a bit, but we made peace with that. A little more light was shed in The Flash’s “Flash Back” when Barry obtained information from Eobard Thawne in the past about how to increase his speed with a tachyon device, but still, fans were left in the dark.
That brings us to the beginning of “Versus Zoom,” where Barry attached the newly-built tachyon device to his chest and tested how fast he could go with it powering him. He ran so fast that a wormhole opened up in front of him. He passed through that and emerged out of another wormhole seconds later. Barry then raced back to S.T.A.R. Labs and asked how long he was gone. That’s it. For those who saw the Supergirl crossover, this was clearly the moment that Barry traveled to Earth-CBS and came back, though only seconds passed on Earth-1 rather than a whole day on the other Earth. Regardless, it’s weird that there wasn’t a mention at all that Barry just traveled to another alternate Earth, especially since he looked so surprised to be back home.
The most logical guess for the lack of acknowledgment is that there simply wasn’t enough time to include a Supergirl reference. With everything being revealed about Zoom, the writers may not have wanted to distract from the ongoing Zoom narrative by mentioning that barry met another superhero on another Earth. However, it’s not like we needed to spend a couple minutes acknowledging the Supergirl crossover. Barry could have just mentioned that he traveled to another world, but because they were busy with their plan to take Zoom out, he couldn’t tell the whole story right then and there. If they really wanted to have fun with it, Barry could have mentioned meeting an alien, which would have given Cisco something to geek out over. The Flash team could have found a way to do it.
There’s another issue at work here. In “Versus Zoom,” it was said that Cisco’s vibrational powers were the key to opening new rifts into Earth-2. So then how exactly did Barry get to Earth-CBS? We knew he could travel through time if he ran fast enough, but the rifts into other worlds always required extra “ingredients.” Is it possible that the Speed Force allows travel in between universes if a speedster runs fast enough? If that’s the case, that brings us back to why Barry didn’t mention anything to the S.T.A.R. Labs team. That said, it does make sense why Barry wouldn’t want to try traveling to Earth-2 relying on just his speed. When he was on Supergirl, he was stuck until Kara’s added speed aided in opening up another rift. Imagine what would have happened if Barry ended up on a different Earth that didn’t have a speedy hero to help him. It wasn’t worth the risk.
Given that we’re heading into the final stretch of the Zoom conflict, along with the other villains who are appearing in The Flash Season 2’s final five episodes, it’s unclear when we’ll get a reference to the Supergirl crossover, but it has to happen eventually. If Supergirl gets picked up for a second season, it’s already been said that there could be more crossovers between the shows. Barry can’t keep going on these multiversal adventures and not tell his friends about them. We the fans know what’s going on across networks, but at some point, The Flash needs to acknowledge that Barry made a new superhero friend on another world, especially if Supergirl one day comes to Earth-1.
New episodes of The Flash air Tuesdays at 8 p.m. EST on The CW.