Legendary badass Michael Ironside guest-stars on ‘The Flash’ this week, and even gets to make somebody’s head explode. The only thing that could be better is if his arms got torn off while he dangled from an elevator. Welcome to the party!
Episode ‘Family of Rogues’ sees the return of Leonard Snart, a.k.a. Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and his sister Lisa, the Golden Glider (Peyton List). Lisa shows up out of the blue to ask Cisco and The Flash for help. She says that her brother’s been kidnapped. Barry and Cisco of course think that this is probably a trap, but Lisa reminds Barry that he still owes Leonard a favor. She’s calling that in.
Cisco uses his tech mojo to track Snart’s cold gun by its heat signature (or cold signature, as the case may be). Barry races to find Leonard robbing an office building. He seems perfectly fine and tells Barry to leave him alone. When an older man (Ironside) enters the room, Leonard calls him “dad” and blasts Barry with the cold gun. (Why does Barry never move out of the way when things like this happen?) Fortunately, Cisco is able to thaw Barry out remotely using “therma-threading” built into the suit. By the time this happens, unfortunately, the Snarts are long gone.
Lisa expresses disbelief that Leonard would ever willingly work with their dad, Lewis. He was a rotten, abusive father and they both hated him. Worse, he’s the type of guy who’s totally unconcerned about killing innocent bystanders when he’s doing a job, and Leonard made Barry a promise that he wouldn’t kill anymore. Lisa thinks that their father must be forcing Leonard to work with him.
Barry later finds Leonard at a bar. Leonard advises him, “Don’t waste your time trying to save people who don’t want to be saved.”
Lewis and Leonard have a third partner-in-crime, an IT nerd who makes the mistake of saying the wrong thing and pissing off Lewis. As a consequence, Lewis pulls a little triggering device and causes the guy’s head to go kablooey. Now they need a new IT nerd.
Cisco determines that Lisa has a bomb implanted in her head. That’s the leverage Lewis holds over Leonard. If the son won’t do what he says, he’ll kill her. Cisco works on finding a way to extract the bomb, but doing so will be difficult because exposure to air could cause it to explode.
Barry decides to infiltrate the Snarts’ crew as a replacement IT guy. He introduces himself to Lewis as Leonard’s friend “Sam.” Lewis brings him along to crack the security lock on a safe (which Barry actually opens by entering every possible number combination at super-speed while Lewis isn’t looking). As thanks, Lewis shoots him. Barry uses his speed to snatch the bullet out of mid-air and pretends to be dead.
Lewis and Leonard next encounter a laser grid. Leonard freezes the laser beams with his cold gun and walks through them. (Umm, I don’t think you can freeze light, can you?) Anyway, they steal a bunch of diamonds, but get blocked from exiting by Barry in full Flash suit. Lewis orders his son to freeze The Flash again. Leonard hesitates long enough for Cisco to yank the bomb out of Lisa’s head. With his sister safe, Leonard freezes his father solid and shoves him over, causing the man to shatter into a thousand pieces on the floor.
The next we see him, Leonard is in prison. (Why would he surrender? He could have gotten away.) Barry visits and tells him that he sees some good in him. Leonard isn’t so sure about that.
Lisa, who’d been flirting aggressively with Cisco the entire episodes, gives him a big kiss and glides off into the sunset on her motocycle.
- Joe’s ex-wife Francine (the less-famous Vanessa Williams) wants to see Iris. Joe asks her to walk away. Francine used to be a deadbeat drug addict who ditched the family. Joe told Iris that she died. Eventually, he comes clean to his daughter about the whole story. She forgives him for lying to her.
- After the team discovers the wormhole breach in the S.T.A.R. Labs basement, Jay Garrick wants to use it to return to his own Earth. Unfortunately, it’s not stable enough for travel. Barry tries to run in and simply bounces off. When he’s not too busy flirting with Caitlin, Garrick spends most of the episode building a “Speed Cannon” that will stabilize the portal and propel him through it. He finishes by the end of the episode, but Caitlin talks him in to sticking around on this Earth for a little while.
- As if there weren’t already enough flirting going on, Barry and Patty Spivot (Joe’s new police recruit) make googly-eyes at each other all episode.
- Although he passed out last week, Dr. Stein insists that he’s fine and wants to help Garrick with the wormhole. That doesn’t go so well when he uncontrollably bursts into blue flame.
- Late at night when nobody’s around, the Earth-2 version of Dr. Wells steps through the wormhole portal. That can’t be good.
The Captain Cold episodes of the show are rarely among my favorites, but this one is pretty good. Michael Ironside’s guest spot, though short-lived, certainly helped. However, it seems to me that Leonard could have simply frozen his father at any time and prevented him from setting off the bomb. Wouldn’t that have avoided a lot of unnecessary drama?