A Recap, by definition, WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS! Proceed at your own risk!
Revenge of the Rogues – Season 1 Episode 10: a mini-Prison Break reunion took place in this episode of The Flash. Wentworth Miller, returning as Leonard Snart aka Cold né Captain, recruited his on screen brother, Dominic Purcell, to portray arsonist Mick Rory or as Cisco refers to him, Heat Wave (so the comic readers know who he is.) The only one missing was Robert “T-Bag” Knepper, last seen in Episode 7 as William “Clock King” Tockman, but he was carted off to prison after taking hostages at the Central City Police Station. After the events of the mid-season finale, Barry is working on amping up his speed. As his narration informs us, he is no longer the fastest man alive. Cisco has sicced a drone on Barry, nearly harming him. Even Dr. Wells was concerned enough that he almost stood out of his wheelchair in front of Snow and Cisco! However, Barry manages to use his super-speed to catch a missile in mid-air and destroy the million dollar drone, which I guess will come out of Cisco’s paycheck. Does he even get a paycheck? Snart and Rory arrive in Central City, using the cold gun to shatter the steel door to break into a garage full of luxury cars. Instead of stealing the cars, however they just stand there. Much to Rory’s chagrin, Snart isn’t interested so much in stealing loot for loot’s sake but to lure the Flash into a trap. Feeling stood up when the Flash does not show, they leave. When the CCPD arrive to investigate the break-in, Barry, in his CSI role, uses baffling science talk to say the steel door was frozen and shattered. Detective Joe immediately surmises Snart is back in town and issues an APB, which I think is all circumstantial to presume it’s Snart. After all that cold gun could have been sold by him or stolen or whatever but this is The Flash, not Law & Order (chung-chung*) (*the Law & Order clang is legally required to be represented whenever the show is mentioned.) Meanwhile at super-villain headquarters, Snart tells Rory of his plan to lure Flash by stealing an expensive painting from rich couple the Rathaways (parents of Hartley Rathaway, the Pied Piper, another famous Flash villain for all you Easter egg hunters) The painting is called Fire and Ice, apparently Cold is a fan of the 1966 Batman TV show where the villains pulled theme based capers. After the painting he plans on stealing a DVD of the 1983 animated film Fire and Ice by Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta, the master tapes of Hot N Cold by Katy Perry, and the manuscripts for A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. This is the CW so here is the soap opera moment of the episode. At the police precinct, Iris is talking to Eddie about their moving in together when Barry sees them smooching. The tension is felt by everyone except Eddie, who is clueless that Barry poured his feelings out to Iris. “Hey, Eddie, stop making out with your girlfriend and get back to work!” his boss says, never. Detective Joe is ready to mount a plan with Barry to catch Snart but Barry says he has other priorities, mainly training so he’s ready for the Reverse-Flash. Instead he’ll get S.T.A.R. Labs to work with the CCPD to create protective devices for them. Which reminds me of my favorite line of this episode: “Look, Barry, Cisco and I will work with Joe and the police and devise a way to catch Cold. Yes I said it, Cisco. As soon as it came out of my mouth, I heard it.”, delivered with wry humor by the usually stoic Dr. Wells. It seems like Tom Cavanaugh has more fun as Wells, practically giving knowing winks to the camera since it was revealed he is the Reverse-Flash (as christened by Cisco, with Wells’ approval). Later that day at the West household, Iris is packing her stuffed turtle McSnurtle. DC published Funny Stuff #1 in 1944 featuring McSnurtle, who wears the Golden Age Flash’s outfit in that comic. It’s funny because he’s a turtle, and turtles are slow, get it? 1940’s humor was different. Anyway, Barry arrives because Iris had told him earlier that she found an old red and yellow backpack of his. Smitten by nostalgia, he opens it to find issue #4 of Cartoon Network Starring Space Ghost: Coast to Coast from 1999. Iris figured it’s worth something, I saw a copy going for $5.99 on eBay at the time of this writing. Thanks, Iris, that will get him a coffee and a donut including your tip at Jitters. If there is an Easter egg connection between the Flash and Space Ghost it escapes me. Feel free to leave any theories in the comments below. Cisco and Dr. Wells are holding a demonstration of their cold-resistant shield in the police station’s entrance because that’s the safest place to shoot a cold gun. After the officers express their distrust of S.T.A.R. Labs because of the particle accelerator accident, Cisco expresses their regret that they can’t go back in time and change things. I took this to be foreshadowing considering how much time-travel plays into the comics. After a successful demonstration, Joe confronts Wells about messing with Barry’s priorities. And thanks for the nifty shields! Barry goes to see Caitlin at the lab and sees she is Googling the word Firestorm, the last thing her dead fiancé said to her before he flew away. Barry can not care less about that, he makes it all about him and asks her for advice regarding his love life. Caitlin recalls how Ronnie took her scuba diving. Hey, you know what? Scuba is an acronym and so is the word Firestorm! Duh! Another Google search reveals it stands for Fusion, Ignition, Research Experiment and Science of Transmission Originating RNA and Molecular Structures. What does that even mean? Give whichever writer that came up with that a bonus check because that was just pure genius! Barry speed reads the 800-page tome and then takes off, “Thanks, Caitlin, sorry about your dead fiancé gotta go, bye!” The Rathaways have arrived in Central City in their private jet carrying their $25 million painting by hand because of insurance reasons, surely. Snart steals it and the CCPD arrive almost immediately to stop them. Really, who needs the Flash if the police can arrive almost instantaneously to stop an art theft in progress? The ice shields work but they are worthless against Rory’s heat gun. This will definitely fortify the police force’s trust in S.T.A.R. Labs. Eddie gets a lucky shot off and disables the heat gun, they dichotomy duo make their escape. Barry arrives at the station and hears two things: Cold has a partner with a heat gun and a guilt trip from Joe because two officers are in the burn unit. How are those priorities working out for you, Barry? Rory and Snart are having their own heart to heart about priorities. By heart to heart I mean gun muzzle to gun muzzle. Rory just wants to burn things, and get rich. Snart has bigger ideas, like killing the Flash. After which they can do anything they want in Central City. It must suck to live in Central City. All these villains popping up, trying to take it over. What’s the big deal with Central City? It’s like the DC Universe equivalent to Kansas City. (I’m not inferring that Kansas City sucks, our real life Kansas City rocks! Or so I’ve been told.) The villains settle their philosophical debate and agree to team up against the Flash. They seal the deal by burning the painting. That’s ok, I’m pretty sure it was insured. Caitlin has arranged to meet one of the co-authors of the F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M. tome, Jason Rusch, at Jitters. Another Easter egg alert, Jason Rusch is the third incarnation of the comic book version of Firestorm. Jason explains to Caitlin that the military took all the research he and Dr. Martin Stein worked on (except for whatever was available on the Internet) and Dr. Stein disappeared shortly afterward. As Caitlin walks back to her car looking at a picture of Victor Garber as Dr. Stein on her phone, she is abducted by the polar opposite pair. They must have staked out that coffee house for hours until Caitlin randomly showed up there. By the way, it is true that Snart would be aware that the Flash has partners of some sort. However, in Episode 4, Going Rogue, after the train derailment, Snart had the Flash in his sights when Cisco and Caitlin showed up with their bigger “cold guns” (vacuum cleaner with LEDs glued on) and scared him off. How Snart figured out who they were, what they look like (it was night time and smokey, after all) and where they drink coffee is a true testament to his criminal genius. At S.T.A.R. Labs, Wells and Barry are having a talk. Barry really, really likes to talk about feelings. He admired Wells as a fanboy, and now they’re…partners. Wells’ word for their relationship. Knowing wink to camera. Cisco describes how Cold’s gun goes to absolute cold and Heat Wave’s gun goes to absolute hot. Using the Ghostbusters analogy, If they cross the streams, the guns will cancel each other out. Joe calls to tell them about Caitlin’s frozen car, which means she was kidnapped by Snart, obviously. That’s why Joe is a detective! He has an uncanny sense of deduction for these things. Luckily, Snart broadcasts on every TV channel a challenge to the Flash: meet them at Porter and Main at sundown or else Caitlin dies. Easter egg alert: Porter is a reference to Howard Porter, Geoff Johns‘ artist on the Flash comics. Snart should also be called Captain Video because of his television hacking skills. Rory ties Caitlin to a chair with a bomb attached to it. She remarks on his burn scars, he gives her a creepy “fire revealed my true self” speech. At the designated meeting point, the police have barricades set up for the showdown. Joe calls Barry at S.T.A.R. Labs and asks if he’s ready for the world to know that the Flash is real despite the absence of news vans or the curious public. Barry just ominously stares at his Flash outfit. A climactic battle between the Flash and two iconic rogues takes place, again exemplifying what a terrible place Central City is to live in. People are going to show up in the morning and their cars are frozen, smashed and melted. I doubt their State Farm insurance agent is going to cover “collateral damage from superhero battle.” The MVP of the episode is Eddie, who saves Barry from a frozen killing blow by diving in front of it with a cold shield. Way to go Eddie! How can we hate you now for being brave, charming and stealing Iris away from Barry? Finally, Barry manages to withstand a dual hot and cold attack by slowing down enough to get them to cross streams. Unlike Ghostbusters, Snart and Rory are blown back by their disrupted guns instead of every molecule in their body exploding at the speed of light. What about Caitliin? Joe and Cisco have found her at the villains hideout and free her from the villainous firebomb-tied-to-her-chair trap, barely. I guess it’s enough that they found her at all given that they never had a clue where Cold and Heat Wave were at until now. I guess they just went door to door down Secret Supervillain Hideaway Row until they found the right warehouse. Rory and Snart are hauled in for booking. Eddie hands over the hot and cold guns to Cisco because they’re not evidence at all. Eddie even says they won’t need them for the trial. The Central City Justice system is odd. Back to the CW soap storyline: Eddie and Barry are hauling Iris’ last box, she turns to say goodbye but Joe allows a final moment between Barry and Iris. To spare you the details (ok, I just kind of phased out for this scene, distracted by my cat playing string) and he clears the air. Iris grabs one last item, a picture of her and Barry. As Barry and Joe talk about ordering a pizza or twenty, I learn that Barry has been living in a building with a broken laundry room and nosy neighbors. Somehow, he convinces Joe he should move back in simply on the grounds that he is a Millennial and that’s what they do. He zips out and is back with just a couple of suitcases in hand. I understand a crime scene investigator’s average salary is about $55,000 a year but either Barry is very frugal or he’s spending most of his salary on cheeseburgers. For the post-credits scene, we see Rory and Snart being transported to Iron Heights Prison. The vehicle is rocked (I guess Snart had a plan to break out of prison, after all. See what they did there? The two actors were on Prison Break, and he had a plan to break out of prison. 21st Century humor is different) The door opens and Snart says, “Hi, sis!” Captain Cold has a villainous sister in the comics named Lisa, also known as Golden Glider, who’s villainous trait is having ice skates that produce their own ice so she can skate…villainously, I guess. Although we didn’t see her face in the scene, she’ll be portrayed by Peyton List of The Tomorrow People. Overall, The Flash delivered yet another strong episode, perhaps it’s best yet, in its rookie season. Despite the snark and the pointing out of some logical inconsistencies, the Flash delivers solid acting, and fun, escapist action which makes it something I look forward to watching every week. Let us know your thoughts, theories and insights. Is it shaping up to be the best super-hero TV series on the air right now? Of all-time? Sound off! Juan misses the hot and cold sides of the McD.L.T. Sandwich