This review contains spoilers.
2.3 Family Of Rogues
Shared universes are hard. Of course, they’re fun for those of us who have enough spare time to actually watch everything DC TV is putting out right now, and the present commitment to crossovers is pretty darn unprecedented, but it also means that we’re currently watching two series set up a third that won’t even premiere until January. For anyone excited for Legends Of Tomorrow, that’s great but, for everyone else, I’d wager it’s pretty distracting.
So this week’s The Flash was all about setting up Captain Cold as a legitimate character beyond his punning, getting him ready to become a potential hero who operates across the entire universe. The show’s way to this goal? Give him daddy issues, because that’s what all the best cowboys have.
As an A-plot, it’s honestly quite nice to have a break from the metahuman-of-the-week structure this show tends to rely on, instead giving us a throwaway story that involves someone most of the audience already care about. In general, this seems like the right time to start bringing back old metahumans for a second round with Team Flash, owing mainly to how well season one did with some of them.
The relationship between Cisco and Lisa is also progressing nicely, and gives Cisco a nice recurring love-interest that can flit in and out of the story as the writers please. As far as we know she won’t be in the Legends spin-off, so might she join The Flash in a more substantial role?
And Patty Spivot? You’re wonderful, please never change (or die). As a romantic interest for Barry, I couldn’t be more on board and, providing she doesn’t get kidnapped and held ransom again anytime soon, the show is even treating her quite well. She offers the kind of fun that Felicity did back in season one of Arrow (and whenever she comes on The Flash), and they’re building a lovely playful dynamic.
The Iris stuff was basically an apology tour for the way she was treated last year, with the reveal of yet another secret a man in her life was keeping ‘for her own protection’. Words can’t express how annoyed I got with that line in season one and, though it was used again here, there was a sense that the show was making an entirely different point this time.
The lie was cooked up in the old days before Barry and Joe realised Iris was actually a capable human being who deserved control over her own life, which fits with what we know about them. Adding another layer of relief was Barry’s advice that Joe should just be honest with Iris because she’s an adult now, which continues my love for the new brother-sister-ish bond those two have going on right now.
Her understanding that the lie was to protect her from the truth that she was abandoned by a drug-addict mother who’s now back in town? Less believable but, to be honest, it’s better than the alternative reaction that would have had the Iris-haters out in force.
We also got some Earth Two fun! STAR Labs have build a Speed Cannon that allows them (and presumably other them) access to the hallway between the multiverse and, who should step out but Harrison Wells! Is he a good guy? A bad guy? A bad guy pretending to be a good guy? I don’t even care, because it’s so good to have him back on screen.
Family Of Rogues was a nice break from the status quo that The Flash has built for itself, doing the impossible by working as a complete episode despite doing tons of work to set up an entirely different series. Oh, and something’s wrong with Stein (he’s blue!), which I assume will be solved next week.
Read Caroline’s review of the previous episode, Flash Of Two Worlds, here.
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