This episode does NOT feature a meta-human bad guy…at least not in the main plot. What it DOES place front and center is the concept of broken families, on both sides of the law. We also find a little flirting going on…with more than one potential couple. It’s another great episode of THE FLASH, and we’ll have a bit more after the jump…
SOME SPOILERS AHEAD
Our broken families theme hits home on the side of the good guys with Joe West and his not-so-dead wife Francine. She obviously did not die, but disappeared when Iris was very young, and we learn why in this episode. Francine is far from the ideal mother Joe has described to his daughter all these years, and he is torn as to whether and how to tell his daughter the truth about her mother. This leads to some excellent scenes between Joe and Barry, and later Joe and Iris. Vanessa Williams does a great turn as Francine West, bringing a broken person to life, looking for some sort of redemption and a role in her daughter’s life.
On the other side of the law we find the Snarts…with an additional Snart we haven’t met in the show before as we find the abusive father of Len and Lisa, Lewis Snart (played by Michael Ironside) taking center stage. He is forcing Len to work with him…but how? Lisa Snart has come to S.T.A.R. Labs to ask for the Flash’s help to save her brother, and we see that now-familiar chemistry between Golden Glider and Cisco. It is that not-quite-there relationship that proves to be a key to the resolution of this episode.
Speaking of potential relationships, there are two more worth noting – Patty Spivot makes a couple of brief appearances in this episode, handled just right in the script as she gradually works into the storyline. She’s not “forced” into the plot, but the script instead gives us a few peeks into this flirtatious-but-not-yet-happening relationship. If anything, Shantel VanSanten’s Patty is even more likeable in this episode than in her debut. The other relationship? Caitlin is crushing big-time on Jay Garrick, who works with her to try to establish the “speed cannon”, the secret to travel between Earths.
But, back to those broken relationships…in an effort to stop Lewis Snart, Barry buys time by becoming a member of Lewis’ team! He accompanies Lewis and Len on their next heist, saving guards from Lewis’ murderous intent while waiting for the danger to pass for Len’s sister Lisa. His efforts to use his speed discretely (Len knows but obviously Lewis does not) is a great plot device here. In the end, Len has to choose whether to keep true to his code not to kill. Who he may kill, and why, may make sense, but having the death count continue to rise each week is a bit surprising for a show that is based on a lead character that represents hope.
As we come to the epilogue, there are a couple of significant plot points that arise. The first has to do with Professor Stein, who has been feeling not his best throughout the episode. His red and blue flame-out leads directly into the trailer for next week’s show (with the character of Jason Rusch reappearing, and all our comics-reading friends will know what that means). The other brings back a very familiar face from Season 1, apparently ready to travel between worlds (I’m assuming that this character is leaving Earth 2, but we’ll see).
SOME QUICK NOTES: Jitters has reopened, with a special drink named for The Flash…and of course Barry is picking up several cups for his friends. Barry is saved from an initial blast of the Cold Gun by a new upgrade to Barry’s uniform that was designed by Cisco. And, Cisco’s tension-filled flirtation with Lisa Snart is brilliantly played by Carlos Valdez and Peyton List. This back-and-forth seems to be a real highlight whenever the Golden Glider appears.
SUMMARY: Season 2 of THE FLASH continues to hit one high note after another. I would like to see Jay regain his speed before long, and the body count is a bit surprising for a FLASH series. But, other than those notes there really isn’t much more to ask for in these episodes. Another great show…with a reveal at the end that has me at the edge of my seat waiting for the next episode.
Now, what did YOU think? Please leave your comments below!