Family of Rogues Plot Summary:
“Barry (Grant Gustin) and the team ally with the kidnapped Captain Cold’s sister (Peyton List), but Barry feels duped with he learns Snart (Wentworth Miller) is working on something with his father (Michael Ironside); Joe (Jesse L Martin) faces a difficult decision.”
I’ve been doing these Flash recaps for a season now and have realized that people’s opinions of episodes weigh heavily on one polarizing (pun intended) character. So this recap is a chose your own adventure. You answer a question and scroll to find the perfect recap for you. Here’s the question:
How do you feel about Captain Cold?
If you answered “Captain Cold is a cool guy and I love his episodes!” read Recap A
If you answered “He’s the dumbest character on the show! Why does he keep showing up?” read Recap B
This week we took a necessary detour from the Earth-2 villains to figure out what kind of crime is being committed by the natives of Earth-1. Our heroes got thrown into teams of two, some with characters we rarely get a chance to see, so let’s look at the episode through these new pairings.
Barry and Lenny
We got some classic Cold here. The Flash writers really get what the fans love about him and Wentworth Miller’s Batman and Robin level of campy delivery works well when it is done on purpose. Snart’s relationship with his father is interesting and forcing Barry to get involved with the crime as “Sam” is a fun twist. Family of Rogues also puts Captain Cold into a fun and familiar place that should set up some fun episodes in the future.
I also feel like Season 2 Barry hasn’t really been the Barry we love from last season. We have gotten a lot of angst in place of Barry’s usual optimism. Thankfully, Family of Rogues gave Gustin a chance to have fun again. I can’t tell you exactly what changed but I remember the moment where Barry decides to attempt to run through the portal being the first point in a while where I felt like Barry was back to his usual self. I know these shows have a tendency to get darker as the seasons progress and the stakes are raised but I hope Flash resists that urge as much as possible.
Cisco and Lisa
Wow. Who are you and what have you done with Cisco Ramon? (That’s a joke but I realize that could absolutely be a possibility this season.) Cisco is talking smooth and getting the girl. I am really entertained by the idea that Cisco can only do this with Lisa for some reason. That is especially true if in the future (when her brother is off doing Legends) Lisa has to take over control of the Rogues and the two have a Romeo and Juliette type of relationship.
I was also pleasantly surprised with Peyton List’s performance in this episode. The drama did get a little cheesy at times but she held her own. As much as I love how Cisco acts around Lisa, I love how she Lisa flirts with Cisco even more. The two actors have excellent chemistry and I am genuinely looking forward to seeing more of them in the future. My one gripe is how the continue to use her name “Golden Glider” without even remotely attempting to justify the “Glider” part. I get that she has a golden gun but Glider is such a specific word. All I want is one episode where the appears to Glide like her character did in the comics and I will be completely satisfied.
Jay and Caitlin
Geez Caitlin, can you grieve for a minute? It has only been a couple of months and your husband is clearly still alive in Earth-2. I understand that you have needs but this is moving a little fast for the audience of the Flash. That’s saying something. As far as Jay is concerned, I have no idea why he is staying around. You’ve gotta have a family right? Or maybe a dog or something. Get back to your Earth. Don’t get me wrong. I think Teddy Sears is doing a fantastic job as Garrick but having the ability to send him home and not using it feels a little contrived.
Joe and Iris
Not bad West family. I am genuinely impressed. Not only did we take a storyline straight out of the serious part of a Tyler Perry show and make it work on the Flash but Joe told Iris a secret that would have been an entire season of Thea problems and she was fine with it. Very mature. Also great reporting Iris. I’m glad she is developing a character completely off screen that Linda can explain to us. Now use some of those reported skills to figure out who Zoom is before the subreddit does. Also there would totally be a Flash subreddit in this universe. He’s get his own Flashuccinos.
And just when Season 2 is starting to get interesting, we completely derail everything with a Captain Cold episode. I was into the whole Earth-2 thing. Jay and Patty were starting to fit in nicely and I was excited to explore some new characters. Who is Zoom? Why does he hate the Flash? Instead we get an hour of family problems that seem to exist exclusively to humanize Snart before his preordained appearance on Legends of Tomorrow.
Here is my biggest issue with Captain Cold. Episodes featuring almost every other character have been doing a pretty good job of mixing the real scientific principles with the goofy superheroics. Just last week, we were working through parallel universes so well. I completely bought it. You give the meta humans a pass because of their powers, but non powered characters like Pied Piper made enough sense. For some reason, whenever there is an episode with Captain Cold, all logic goes out the window.
This one was especially wonky. The central conflict of the episode was that the abusive Snart Sr. had a detonator that would kill Lisa if Lenny didn’t play along. Barry joins the group as “Sam” and starts actively helping the Snarts with the heist to keep Lisa safe. This entire time, he has access to the detonator and realistically all he has to do is use his speed to take it and everyone would be fine. Why bother putting The Flash in episodes like this if The Flash is going to forget about his super speed when he really needs it? it’s not like he’s not fast enough to do that. He caught a bullet! In other logic defying news, Captain Cold uses his gun to freeze a laser grid.
Also this episode featured the return of fan favorite Dr. Harrison Wells. Now I think he was great in Season 1 but I think Season 1 is where he should remain. I don’t doubt that he is going to do something interesting and I love Tom Cavanagh. This just feels very similar to fans of Arrow wanting Merlyn to come back from his apparent death in Season 1 and we all know how that turned out. He was fun for a little bit but he really didn’t need to be resurrected and led to a very troublesome third season. The Flash should be ready to move on and create cool new villains instead of resorting to pulling dead ones out of Earth-2.
Matthew Nando Kelly is an incredibly cool and handsome staff writer for Pop-Break who was allowed to write his own bio. Besides weekly Flash recaps, he focuses on film, television, music, and video games. Matthew also has a podcast called Mad Bracket Status where he discusses pop culture related brackets with fellow Pop-Break writer DJ Chapman. He has an unshakable love for U2, cats, and the New Orleans Saints. His twitter handle is @NationofNando. Did we mention how handsome he was?