Let me start out by saying that from the very first few seconds of this episode I wasn’t excited. I saw Golden Glider and Captain Cold in the previously section and was a bit let down that we were already going back to those characters, although I should have known since the title of this episode is Family of Rogues. If I had said I was disappointed out loud, I would have to put my foot in my mouth because I enjoyed this episode a lot. By the time Family of Rogues rolled to credits I was feeling energized and couldn’t help but think - That was simply a great episode.
Warning: SPOILERS will follow!
1. If you listened to Scene N’ Nerd podcast this past week, you’ll have heard them discuss Iris West needing to become more than just a fixture standing around the lab to motivate Barry. I agreed with them and the show writers addressed this finally by giving us Iris the reporter. While I thought the opening scene where Iris is getting shot at while investigating a lead was undoubtedly the weakest part of this whole episode, it made the point of reminding us that Iris is actually a reporter and an individual. To rewind a minute, her reaction to almost dying from either a bullet storm or jumping out a window was super unrealistic, as was Barry’s response to Iris calling him while being shot at. When Barry didn’t immediately speed out of his loft to save her, I was left puzzled wondering why the hell not? He could have easily taken the address that she told him, ran into the building and dispatched of the gunmen without making Iris jump out of a window. Also to put on my science police hat for a second - if Barry had run up the building and caught Iris while she was falling at a high speed, she probably would have been cleaved in two. Like I said, weakest part of the episode but I’m truly glad they’re finally going to start making Iris into a real front page reporter who will be chasing down dangerous leads. That is where she’ll shine.
2. It was nice to have a break from all of the Earth-2 portal villains this week, but like I stated earlier - I wasn’t sure I was ready for a Snart-centric episode. Again… I was wrong. I’ve been a fan of Peyton List since her time on Flashforward, so when she returns as Lisa Snart aka Golden Glider, I can’t help but enjoy her performance. Wentworth Millar is always fun to watch as Leonard Snart whether you think he’s overacting or not. This episode did the Snart siblings huge favors in terms of my personal outlook towards those characters. Given my initial reaction to them being on the show you can tell I didn’t care much for these two before, but after seeing the emotion and the deepness of the characters that this episode reveals, I think I’ll be more excited to see them next time. Lisa’s scenes with Cisco are some of the best for me as they both constantly flirt back and forth. It’s hilarious to watch because Cisco always seems like a super nerdy kid like McLovin’ from Superbad, while Lisa Snart could easily have come from Mean Girls, but the show makes this relationship feel real to me. I can’t wait until Cisco becomes a bad ass superhero and runs into Golden Glider for a fun romance.
3. I originally was going to talk about Captain Cold in the last point but I feel like he deserves his own space. I loved how Snart was written throughout this episode. When we first see him he’s walking around non-chalant like he was just going about his day and ends up freezing The Flash in place. Why Snart’s dad, played by the incredibly well cast Michael Ironside, didn’t just kill The Flash during this scene is beyond me. We then find Snart in a bar acting like his old self, but he gave us some pretty interesting expose about his family life that casts his dad as the real villain that adds to the info that we get from Lisa throughout the episode. In the end when we finally realize that Snart is doing everything to save his sister, you can’t help but think… Awwwwwww how sweet! I absolutely loved the end of the episode when Barry is talking to ‘Lenny’ in the prison and tells him that he finally sees that there is good deep within him. Finally we’re getting the Captain Cold from the comics and the extremely well fleshed out rogue we deserve. While Snart elludes that he’s soon going to do a ‘prison break‘, I can’t wait to see Cold come back later this season and in Legends of Tomorrow. They definitely set up the ‘good guy inside’ Captain Cold just in time for Legends of Tomorrow to start. Finally, my favorite lines of this episode was when Papa Snart says ‘freeze gun’ and Leonard corrects him saying ‘cold gun’. This was a clever wink from Leonard that he’s different from the Batman villain Mr. Freeze. This was the best episode featuring Captain Cold so far.
4. The story with Iris’ mother got interesting this episode. The writers could have easily screwed up every scene having to do with Iris’ mom, but the way they managed to write the dialog and the way the actors read it made it completely work for me. Joe’s ‘struggle with having to tell Iris the truth about her mom, his interaction with Francine in the bar, and his attempt to talk to Iris at her work were all great, but the actual scene where Joe tells Iris that her mother was still alive and that he’s sorry he lied to her all that time was incredible. Jesse L. Martin is an insanely good actor. I was one hundred percent expecting the obvious silent storm out of the house by Iris that we’ve seen in plenty of shows before, but the fact that she didn’t do that made this scene so much more real for me. I feel like the Iris we’ve come to know would have understood and she did. It was a pretty simple and well done story-line that ends with a serious tear jerker that I know probably effected my GWW colleagues with daughters of their own.
5. Make no mistake people… Patty Spivot is amazing and I am totally shipping ‘Parry‘ from now on. She’s too damn adorable. I loved the scenes between her and Barry in CCJitters throughout this episode, but if the writers aren’t careful, us fans are going to end up wanting Barry to end up with her in the end rather than Iris. Their cutesy relationship is going to make that future news paper change credit back to ‘By: Iris West‘ or some other last name in plenty of future fan fiction. I am really enjoying where they are taking this flirtation between her and Barry, and I hope that it keeps going for a while and not just half a season before Iris and Barry wind up together. The writers probably have a ton in store for Patty that probably include some dangerous encounters with Weather Wizard or other ‘Metas‘ that could easily wipe her out of the picture, but I hope the writers are a bit more sensitive than that. Just like #Olicity we should get #Parry trending.
6. Jay Garrick is so damn cool! Not only is he just a genuinely nice guy but the way they’ve written him makes him exactly how he was in the Golden Age of Comics. Not only is he just a true old fashioned hero, who only wants to help people and loves doing it, but he also does crazy awesome science that doesn’t exist in our Earth! I loved all of the references to heavy water and other alternate-world sciences that can only exist in a world different from our own. It’s mainly awesome because the writers are basically saying “Screw adapting and updating all of this original comic book pseudo-science that was written back in the 40’s, we’re going to just tell you that it exists in that world”. This episode made Jay Garrick a hero. He doesn’t even have his powers back yet and I already see him as this legendary being, because that’s the picture all of the information we’re getting about him paints. I know I may sound crazy, but you don’t have to have read the comics, you just have to listen to everything Jay has said about himself and his world to know this guy is a classic hero. While I find Caitlyn’s attraction to Jay a bit weird due to how short of a time it’s been since Ronnie died, I also totally believe that she could like him for all of the reasons I stated above. He’s impossible not to like.
This episode was really, really damn good. I loved Barry’s ‘criminal’ impression while working undercover with the Snarts. I also really enjoyed the reveal of Cisco’s heating suit function for The Flash costume. It gave me the same feeling inside that I get when The Flash learns a new use of his powers. I really hope this isn’t a power that everyone forgets about when writing episodes dealing with Killer Frost or Captain Cold. I want to see the heat function come back later to save the day. This week we also got two really big shockers that gave us something to look forward to. Dr. Stein bursting into flames, then having the flames turn blue was really awesome. I think based on the title of next week’s episode that we’re going to be dealing with Stein’s outburst and that’s going to be fun. Again, probably setting up Legends of Tomorrow as Stein is a pivotal part of that cast as well. Lastly, like I said in the last The Flash Zoom-In, we just can’t have an episode without Harrison Wells. We see Earth-2 Harrison Wells exit the Speed Cannon looking all dark and foreboding, but I still think… this is Earth-2 Wells right? Did another Reverse-Flash body snatch that Wells as well? Why do we assume he’s bad and why are the writers and music scoring trying to make it seem like he is? I hope he’s just like pre-Reverse Flash Wells that may end up filling the place of Stein once he’s in LoT, but also giving the fans all the Tom Cavanagh that they want.
The Flash definitely beat out Arrow this week for the point of best CWU episode. You can find out why in my weekly Arrow Re-Nocked: Restoration (4×03) article here!