Synopsis of 2×03: Barry must help Captain Cold and Golden Glider contend with their father; Joe comes clean about Iris’ mother; Caitlin and Jay construct a big gate dealy.
At this point in my life, if I were Iris West, I would probably throw away my phone, lock myself away in a cabin deep in the woods, and live off the land because there is just no way I can trust anyone around me. My father has just revealed to me that the mother I spent my entire life believing to be dead/not a terrible person is in fact neither of those things. Last season, the members of Team Flash (read: everyone I know) lied to me about the fact that my best friend is the Flash. The list of liars includes my father, the man I love, and my best friend, The Flash.
It’s true that most of this has been under the banner of “We have to protect Iris,” but it seems like everyone is finally coming around that Iris can protect her daughter-Westing self. “Family of Rogues” opens with Iris in the middle of a mysterious gunfight, where she exhibits incredible survival skills (up until and including the moment where she throws herself out a window). She does the only sensible thing in her situation (again, including the window) and exhibits incredible mental fortitude. She then takes this experience and turns it into a front page story. Have you ever had a front page story, Barry? How about you, Joe? Eddie? Didn’t think so.
Joe, with the casual aid of Barry Allen, comes clean to Iris at their old dining room table, realizing that the lies we must tell children don’t always need to be perpetuated into adulthood. This conversation probably ended with Joe telling Iris the truth about Santy Claus. The conversation between the two is simple, and both Jesse L. Martin and Candice Patton sell the hell out of it. It’s the conversation we all have when caught in a lie: we just want to make the other person understand why. Joe has lied to the world for twenty years about the status of his wife because he came home to find Iris the toddler next to a steadily-growing flame as her mother lay overdosed on the couch. He crafted this story for the world so that Irish might grow up with a proper role model in mind. He’s meticulous, getting down to the very details that “widowers wear their wedding ring, divorcees don’t.” This lie isn’t like the last one. Iris gets where this one’s coming from. It’s all very touching.*
*But here’s hoping this is the end of people lying to Iris for a while. Just trust the woman. She’s as capable as anybody else on the show.
The Flash is all about families (impromptu and otherwise), and “Family of Rogues” is no different. Over in the main story of the episode, we get the return of fan favorite Captain Cold and fan working-her-way-up-the-list Golden Glider (the lack of dynamism in her name is really hurting her status). When we last left Leonard Snart, he and Barry had reached an understanding of sorts. Snart knows The Flash’s secret identity, but the two have agreed to lay off of each other as it were. The peace between these frenemies has lasted six months, during that whole period of time where Barry dealt with the ramifications of the Breach. This all goes out the window when Lisa bumps into Cisco in CC Jitters, saying that Captain Cold has been kidnapped and she needs their help.
On the real, Leonard is working with his father, Lewis Snart (Michael Ironside, in about the only kind of role he gets nowadays). The elder Snart is a gross human, a lecher who left a scar on the his daughter’s shoulder to “teach her a lesson” when she was a child. As it turns out, Cold hasn’t casually forgotten what his father has done. He only works with his father because the man planted a bomb in Lisa’s neck. And it’s all for a diamond heist (one in which Barry gets to participate, briefly). For payback, Cold plants an icicle in his father’s heart because Lewis broke Lisa’s heart, and revenge was only fair.
The main plot of “Family of Rogues” really sings. As, really, does every Rogues plot we graciously receive on The Flash. It seems as if the writers really break out the good stuff for these outings, and each Rogue has a unique and entertaining approach to the material. In particular, Wentworth Miller is having the time of his life as Captain Cold and he is such a welcome presence on the show that I’m sad that he’ll be shipping off to Legends of Tomorrow before too long (although I guess weekly Captain Cold is nothing to spit at). There is real human heart at the center of “Family of Rogues,” an episode that features Captain Cold freezing a laser field. When Lisa tells Cisco the story of her family, it comes from a truly grounded, emotional place, the same emotional place The Flash always likes to bring us to when we least expect it.
If The Flash can make us feel for a character named Captain Cold, then perhaps it truly can do anything.
For the Fans
CC Jitters is back! Now that the plot has space for our characters to hang out, they have a place to do it. In Season One, if Team Flash needed to have a meet-up, it either happened on that one floor of S.T.A.R. Labs or in CC Jitters. And Barry has rebuilt it for us. It’s good to have it back.
I didn’t notice any particular comics shout-outs but I’m not so well versed on that. I’m sure there were many who championed the arrival of the Speed Cannon.
Flash’s Love Line
Patty Spivot returns (SPIVOT), as adorable as ever. And now Barry has her phone number. It seems like this perfectly perfect coupling is a go.
Also pressing on is the burgeoning crushhood between Caitlin and Jay. Unclear as of yet is if the feeling are reciprocated (no one is as obvious in a crush as Caitlin Snow), but Jay has either detected her feelings and is encouraging them or is the most oblivious person on the planet. Just like a man. Ugh, men. I’m sorry for anyone who has to deal with us on a regular basis.
After a few episodes of flirtation, Cisco and Lisa finally shared a first real kiss, not under some guise of deceit. She’s bad for you, Cisco, but I don’t blame you. He’s too good for you, Lisa. Go for it.
But They’re Not Really Dead, Right?
There were moments during the Traveler’s Arrival tag where I thought the Traveler was both Ronnie or Eddie, but no, it’s our very own Harrison Wells. Or maybe it’s Eobard Thawne? Possibly the fella we saw at the end of “Flash of Two Worlds.” It will slowly be unraveled for us in time. He’s totally Zoom.
Hints at What’s to Come
It seems like next week is the week where we get this Stein business handled. Stein largely took the week off so that we might deal with Snart Family Business, but the guy just erupted in blue flame. This has to be handled. Is it because he misses Ronnie? He’s really the only one.