This episode gives us the return of Captain Cold and the first Rogues mini-team-up of the series, as Heat Wave joins Len (in an interesting twist, these two are played by the same actors who played the brothers in “Prison Break”). Captain Cold wants to draw out and eliminate the Flash, knowing that Flash remains the one force who can stop his criminal plans. Meanwhile, Barry continues his training in an effort to get “up to speed” to challenge the Reverse Flash, and Iris prepares to move in with Eddie. All this, and more, in Episode 110 of THE FLASH!
MORE AFTER THE BREAK, INCLUDING SPOILERS!
Picking up from the big revelations of the mid-season finale, we get a somewhat different introduction to this episode. “My name is Barry Allen. I am NOT the fastest man alive. That title belongs to the man who killed my mother. But not for long.” Barry is in training, pursued by a drone fitted with guns and missiles, all under the careful watch of Cisco, Caitlin and Harrison Wells. The interesting thing during this exercise is how Wells almost gives up his charade to save Barry when things look bad. But, Barry faces down the missile and uses it to destroy the drone, successfully completing at least this part of his training.
Cut to Captain Cold and Heat Wave breaking through a wall to enter a customs warehouse. But, they didn’t come to steal…they came in an unsuccessful attempt to attract attention from the Flash. In the investigation afterward, Barry realizes that Snart was involved and that this was a trap intended for him. However, no one is aware of Mick Rory’s presence (at least, not yet).
While Len and Mick plane the theft of an art piece called (what else?) “Fire and Ice”, the debate continues at S.T.A.R., and later with Joe West as to whether Barry should pursue Cold or continue his training. Wells is doing his best to keep Barry out of action until he can complete training (more than likely he wants Barry out of action to protect him for that future “crisis”). Joe knows that Barry can make a difference now with a very dangerous Captain Cold. For now, Barry chooses to continue training.
Later, Barry finds Caitlin looking up the term “Firestorm”. They realize that Firestorm is actually an acronym, not a name (a clumsy acronym, but an acronym nonetheless). That points them to an 800-page paper by Jason Rusch (yes, THAT Jason). We later find Caitlin and Jason talking about the experiments…and the disappearance of Professor Martin Stein (looks like we’re getting closer to Firestorm as a bigger character in this series).
Cut to the theft of “Fire and Ice”, owned by the Rathaways…yes THAT name. The father claims he “doesn’t have a son anymore”, setting up next episode’s appearance by the Pied Piper. The police try to stop Cold, and the shields work – but they didn’t count on the debut of Heat Wave. After that debacle, Barry realize that he must get involved with bringing the two Rogues to justice. He will, of course, but not before Snart launches a new plan…
Cold and Heat Wave kidnap Caitlin and go on TV, confirming to the general public that “The Streak” is real and calling out Flash to a meeting that is most certainly a trap. This leads to a big final battle and an attempt to make the Rogues “cross the streams” with their weapons (and yes, they were willing to state in the script that it was straight out of “Ghostbusters”).
In the aftermath, The Flash is confirmed as a hero in the eyes of Central City…and possibly even for Eddie Thawne. Cisco and S.T.A.R. Labs have regained some measure of respect from the police, and the cold and heat guns have been returned. Iris moves in with Eddie, and Barry moves back to the West home (good move, as it provides a lot more interaction between Barry and Joe, one of the very best relationships on TV today). That just leaves….
EPILOGUE – If you think Len and Mick are out of luck, just remember that Len Snart always has a plan…and they are sprung on their way to Iron Heights by an unseen but very real…sister!
MY NOTES: In some respects, Captain Cold is becoming Barry’s Joker on the show – with some slightly over-the-top lines and a real obsession with the Scarlet Speedster (Cold actually refers to Flash as “Scarlet Speedster” at the start of the confrontation). Heat Wave is a little more one-note pyromaniac at times, but the chemistry between the two saves this from being too much of a caricature. And, I’ll have to admit I did like some of those over-the-top moments. There is a nod thrown in to comics continuity in Len and Mick’s knowledge of the guns, to the point that they can tear down and rebuild them easily. This will be important as the original guns are now back at S.T.A.R. All that being said, the “cold shields” were more than a bit hokey – easily the clunkiest props used by this otherwise cutting-edge show. But, as always, it’s the relationships that matter most. We see the awkwardness between Barry and Iris as she gets ready to move in with Eddie, and we see the warmth of the father-son relationship between Joe West and Barry Allen.
SUMMARY: This episode handled multiple story threads well, setting up big things to come through the rest of Season One. We get more backstory to set up Firestorm (or should I say, F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M.) and Pied Piper, and more build-up to an eventual re-match with the Reverse Flash. All this, while delivering a great main story with Captain Cold and Heat Wave. Another great episode – and we’ll be back again next week with more from our favorite superhero show!