Episode Title: Family of Rogues
Original Airdate: 10-21-15
This episode brings in a few old characters along with a couple new ones that are actually both blasts from the past in more ways than one. It seems like every other time Snart returns he brings another member of his family along with him and this time is no different. And on the other side of things, we finally find out what happened to Iris’s mother. And as a brief side-note, for anyone who may have been expecting this post a lot sooner, I apologize for being late. Life tends to get in the way but I am in the process of catching up on all of my shows as soon as I’m able to.
The theme for this week’s episode is basically dealing with the past coming back to haunt them. Where both the two Snart siblings see the return of their abusive and criminally insane father played by a very old looking Michael Ironside who ends up having a slight connection to the Suicide Squad as he uses a very similar ideology with his exploding head bombs. I didn’t watch any of the Arrow episodes involving the Suicide Squad so I don’t know if there’s a connection on that side, or if it’s more of a future connection with what the Suicide Squad eventually becomes, but that’s neither here nor there. What’s really important is that this is the first (or in a way second) step towards his eventual redemption and inclusion in the Legends of Tomorrow team.
In some ways this early season of the Flash does feel like it has several elements pulling away from the heart and core of the Flash in order to set up Legends of Tomorrow as a midseason connected series. I’m curious how it will affect people who are only following one side of the back story as I do understand that this season of Arrow also has a large section of set up towards Legends of Tomorrow with the creation of White Canary and the recruitment of the Atom. And besides this episode’s return of Captain Cold, this season has also had Professor Stein as a prominent character who will eventually be scooting over to Legends of Tomorrow. And this episode is teasing what will become a new second half of Firestorm who we will meet next week.
I’m still very curious and suspicious of the new cop on the metahuman squad. She is a little too perky, perfect, and zeroing in on Barry in an overly innocent way that really makes me suspect that she’s up to something, especially now that there’s a bit of romantic chemistry between the two of them in a very fun and flirty way. It’s also interesting to see that as that relationship starts to blossom, we also get a brief glimpse into his previous relationship over at Iris’s workplace with Linda Park. She didn’t have much screen time, but just the fact that they brought her back makes me think that she’s not just going to be a one and done and there will be some friction between Linda and Patty Spivot in one way or another.
The other blast from the past was the return of Iris’s mother and a secret from Joe’s past that he becomes more than a little bit ashamed of. So much so that he initially tries to pay her off to leave Central City for good. It was great to see a little bit of that role reversal where Joe has to ask Barry for advice on breaking a big secret that he’s kept from Iris for years, since Barry actually has had experience in that department. We learn a little bit about Iris’s mother’s life as a drug addict who OD’d then disappeared for the past fifteen+ years and has returned, though I found it very odd that the closure scene was only between Joe and Iris. It was a fantastic scene between those two, but I was expecting at least some hint at a first meeting between Iris and her mother before we saw the closing credits. I haven’t looked ahead so I don’t know if it’s going to play out across further episodes or if it’s over and done with and she says hi then runs off again. I could see it going either way.
Oh, and before I finish, one minor thing that I have been noticing throughout this season is the subtle change in Caitlin Snow. There is stronger hints towards her villainous alter ego Killer Frost creeping into her look this season. Her makeup has gotten darker and more prominent, and her wardrobe has also been tending towards the darker end of the spectrum with quite a few blues mixed in there. We saw a flash of it during the season finale, and I’m very curious how far into this season before we see either her become some form of Killer Frost, or if we see Earth 2’s Killer Frost enter through one of the wormholes.