Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
Now this is what I’m talkin’ ‘bout. After last week’s episode seemed to indicate The Flash heading into some sort of formulaic rut, the show brings out a classic Flash villain and a crossover with its sister show Arrow. Perhaps including both was intended as some sort of ratings stunt (which the show doesn’t need), but nevertheless, the arrival of Leonard Snart/Captain Cold and Arrow’s Felicity Smoak gave the show the creative shot in the arm it needed to change things up and produce one of the finest episodes yet.
This week’s adventure sees discord growing among the STAR Labs crew after Flash keeps career criminal Leonard Snart from stealing a diamond. Barry protects the diamond, but Snart escapes, convinced he needs to up his game if he’s going to contend with Flash. Refreshingly, Snart is not a Metahuman, but, true to his comic origin, a normal street thug who steals an experimental ice gun. The gun in this case happens to be made by Cisco and stolen from STAR Labs, causing the team’s trust to crumble. (Although, considering what we’ve seen of him so far, it’s a bit hard to buy that Cisco would be suspicious enough of Barry to build a gun that could stop him.) Luckily, Felicity Smoak heard that Barry was awake from his coma and arrived to help the team. Felicity’s inclusion really made the episode shine, as the chemistry between Grant Gustin and Emily Bett Rickards remains as entertaining as ever. Felicity is able to impart some valuable advice to the team, which, as she put it, “Came together in one night.”
Leonard Snart’s debut was enjoyable as well, and while the character doesn’t have much depth to him now, he received the most fleshing out of any villain yet. Prison Break alum Wentworth Miller does fine in the role, giving Snart all the menacing sternness you’d expect from a master criminal. Fortunately, Snart is also the first villain to remain at large on the show, which brings a nice element of street-level crime to it as the ongoing Harrison Wells plot continues to simmer. And the end tag with Snart beginning to piece together villain team “the Rogues” seems to confirm that the series has found its first baddie with some staying power.
The material with Eddie Thawne and the West didn’t shine quite as much, however. While Joe West’s handling of the fact that his daughter and partner are now dating is a worthy subject, Eddie Thawne and Iris just aren’t that interesting on their own. It’s the scenes the two share with a much more lively Barry and Felicity that show just how bland the two can be. Luckily, this plot piggybacked nicely into both Team Flash’s pursuit of Captain Cold and Felicity’s visit and didn’t bog things down too much.
In the end, this was probably The Flash’s best episode since the pilot. It showcased more of the show’s finely crafted action scenes, colorful world, and likeable characters. Felicity’s inclusion served to move the story forward while delivering fans one of the great advantages of comics: crossovers! Hopefully this is means Arrow and The Flash will share more characters and anyone will be able to show up in either show. Captain Cold’s debut at last gave the show a worthwhile villain that can occupy Barry week-to-week, and began laying the foundation for more of Flash’s infamous Rogues gallery to appear.
Did Captain Cold’s debut give you chills (couldn’t resist)? Team Felicity or Team Iris? Leave your element gun designs in the space below.
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