‘The Flash’ 1.10 Recap: “It’s a Question of Priorities”

‘The Flash’ zooms back from its winter break this week with a new episode that conveniently also serves as a ‘Prison Break’ reunion for guest stars Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell. What’s Sarah Wayne Callies up to these days that she couldn’t stop by?

For that matter, Robert Knepper was just on this show a few episodes back. What a missed opportunity not to shoehorn him in too.

Anyway, Miller is back as freeze ray-toting villain Captain Cold (real name Leonard Snart), now teamed up with a hot-headed (har har) partner named Mick, a.k.a. Heat Wave (Purcell), who carries a mini flamethrower presumably also stolen from S.T.A.R. Labs. Near the start of episode ‘Revenge of the Rogues’, they break into a warehouse for expensive exotic cars, and then just wait for The Flash to try to stop them. It’s a trap, you see. However, Flash doesn’t show up, because Barry is too preoccupied with training to improve his speed for his next confrontation with the Reverse-Flash (that name now officially coined by Cisco). Disappointed, Heat and Cold simply leave before the regular cops arrive, without even taking anything on their way out.

When he eventually hears about the return of Captain Cold, Barry feels obligated to chase after him, but Dr. Wells repeatedly counsels him to keep his priorities straight and focus on the more important task. Wells also insists that he has a plan for how to deal with the nuisance Snart. He and Cisco visit the police precinct to equip all the cops with new freeze ray-resistant riot shields.

The two villains next steal a $25 million painting in the hopes of luring The Flash out. Once again, only normal police arrive. The baddies attack them with their fancy weapons. The new shields are able to successfully deflect the freeze ray, but have less luck with the flamethrower. A few cops are sent to the hospital with burns.

At this point, Snart has become totally obsessed with The Flash. In a final bid for attention, he kidnaps Caitlin and hacks into a network TV feed to deliver an ultimatum broadcast across the whole city, in which he demands that The Flash meet him for a showdown. This time, Barry can’t ignore him.

Cisco advises Barry that the two villains’ weapons will cancel each other out if he can get them to “cross the streams,” just like in ‘Ghostbusters’. (Yes, the movie is actually cited by name.) In costume, Barry shows up at the appointed time and place. A bunch of cops form a line behind him, but strangely no civilian crowds gather to ogle. (C’mon, after Snart’s TV broadcast, you know a million spectators would gather to watch.)

Flash races around trying to get the two weapons to cross streams, but finds it harder than expected. Meanwhile, Det. West and Cisco rescue Caitlin. Barry gets shot by the freeze ray, but is saved by Eddie, who steps in to block the next shot with his shield. This is a big turn for Eddie, who was just recently hell-bent on arresting The Flash, but now finally recognizes him as a hero, not a criminal.

Since Barry’s speed doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, Dr. Wells suggests that he try slowing down instead. Barry does so, and deliberately allows himself to get hit by both weapons until he finally makes them cross streams. As Cisco predicted, the guns immediately shut down. Eddie races in to arrest the two perps.

With the crisis resolved, Cisco collects the broken guns for disposal. The cops (including Eddie), who have been skeptical of S.T.A.R. Labs ever since the reactor explosion, decide that they can trust the science nerds again, and that they think The Flash is a good guy.

The episode ends with Snart and Mick chained up in a van for a prison transfer. You know what that means, of course. No TV show in the history of the medium has ever depicted a prison transfer that didn’t end with the convicts escaping. In this case, Snart’s (unseen) sister hijacks the van and busts her brother and his buddy out.

Other Stuff That Happens

  • In training to improve his power, Barry spends a lot of time dodging heavily-armed drones. In a pretty cool move, he’s even able to catch a missile in mid-air.
  • When Barry starts ignoring certain crimes that he normally would have jumped in to stop, Joe West doesn’t like the influence that Dr. Wells has over Barry.
  • For most of the episode, things are strained between Barry and Iris, especially since Iris is moving out of her dad’s house and in with boyfriend Eddie.
  • Caitlin’s investigation into her not-dead fiancé Ronnie leads her to a Top Secret government project with the ridiculously long-winded acronym F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M., which has something to do with the transmutation of one element into another element. The lead scientist (Victor Garber, seen only in a photo for now) has gone missing.
  • Barry and Iris eventually patch up their friendship and attempt to put the weirdness behind them. Barry then accepts Joe’s offer to move back into his house.

The first time Captain Cold showed up, some viewers pointed out that it really shouldn’t be that difficult for Barry to defeat him. All he has to do is use his super-speed to race up and grab the gun out of his hands. Snart isn’t a meta-human, and would have no special ability to prevent Barry from doing just that. This episode tries really hard to make both Captain Cold and Heat Wave into credible threats, but I couldn’t help thinking about that the whole time.

Regardless, I enjoyed the episode, and I’m glad to have the show back.

5 comments

  1. cardpetree

    How old are your kids Josh? How do you find time to watch all this stuff. Mine just turned one and I can’t seem to find any time to watch movies or TV shows anymore.

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      Every child is different. We’ve heard horror stories from other parents with kids who have sleep issues. We got lucky, I guess. 🙂

      One of our boys doesn’t like going to bed, but once he finally passes out, he’s done for the night. The other one doesn’t have any trouble at all.

  2. nagara

    I keep trying to like this show, but one big thing keeps coming up. Like superman, the flash is too overpowered to feel any kind of suspense.

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