The Flash

The Flash: “Going Rogue”

Wentworth Miller’s appearance on The Flash as Leonard Snart aka Captain Cold has been promoted for weeks now, promising the epic clash between him and Barry. On principle I’m excited to see Wentworth Miller do anything, since I’ve loved him since that one excellent season of Prison Break.  Miller’s Captain Cold makes for a fun and intimidating villain, the kind of nemesis that it’s nice to see Barry having so far. Wielding a weapon specifically geared to harm Barry and slow him down, Captain Cold makes for Barry’s toughest villain yet (though to be fair, we are only four episodes in). He’s more put together than many of The Flash‘s other villains thus far, despite not being a metahuman at all. Still, he’s the one with the biggest scope, and he’s also the first to walk away to plan another big something at the episode’s end.

When Barry and Captain Cold meet, Barry’s put through a trial to see how many people he’s fast enough to save and a guard doesn’t survive the encounter, a reality that devastates Barry. On top of that Barry’s furious to learn of Cisco’s role in the gun’s creation, particularly his reason for building it: because he worried that Barry could perhaps become a threat which sounds completely nonsensical at this point.

Part of Barry’s charm is that he’s inherently decent. There are no doubts about his intentions, and he doesn’t even have the angsting that we’re familiar with in other superhero properties. Despite his past, Barry’s pretty well-adjusted. And though Barry’s a really nice guy, he’s not one that’s had a lot of friends in his life. Iris is his best friend (and he’d love it if she was more than that), and he fell in with Team Arrow in Starling, but his relationships among the STAR Labs team have become much bigger and much newer in his life. These are the people he’s trusting to know his secret and have his back in the field, and more so than that he genuinely likes them. So knowing that Cisco doubted not only his abilities but his character is a huge blow for Barry.

And Captain Cold having the gun and using it is just as devastating for Cisco, who has to recognize his own responsibility in it. Cisco’s also overflowing with decency that it’s easy to see how he thought he was doing the right thing. In fact, he did do the right thing. Maybe he should have mentioned it, sure, but he’s not wrong to want to have some kind of contingency plan in case Barry goes the way of their particle accelerator and ruins countless lives. Besides Barry, it’s Wells who takes this news the worst. There’s a moment when it seems he may actually stand up to threaten Cisco for endangering Barry’s welfare, but he remains seated though his rage is clear.

And when Barry threatens to start shutting the STAR Labs peeps out, Felicity offers him some advice: not to make his already lonely situation even lonelier. Seeing her crossover is surprisingly cute and not annoying, making sense considering hers and Barry’s flirtation before. Her appearance now doesn’t inform us much on Arrow which keeps a nice distance between the shows (at least for the time being), but we still get nods to Felicity’s own troubled romantic feelings for Oliver. Her advice to Barry reeks of Oliver Queen, who’s managed to keep himself at a distance from even his closest allies. And Barry doesn’t have to do that.

Felicity turning up also sheds more romantic light on his life in Central City. Though he and Felicity do have the adorable nerd thing in common, it’s clear nothing will ever come of them with Barry so infatuated with Iris. Their scenes, while cute, don’t have any real romantic undercurrent. They come off as very good friends who happen to maybe look nice next to each other, and both clearly wish that their feelings extended to one another with the same passion as they have for their respective love interests. Alas, it’s not to be which isn’t unexpected, just for logistical reasons of them being on totally different shows.

Felicity does provide some of her hacker skills to the team to help them with Captain Cold, who encounters Barry again on a train. After derailing it so Barry can be distracted by saving everyone, the two meet face to face when Cold gets the drop on Barry.  Miller’s Captain Cold is painfully fun. He never raises his voice, never seems to get angry even when dispatching a disobedient partner. He never loses his cool when facing Barry, simply deciding that this is an opportunity for him to do better than he’s done before. A consistent problem for CCPD, Cold’s grown used to coming out much wealthier and on top, and Barry’s introduction to the world changes his way of thinking. He’s even arguably respectful of Barry, prodded into leaving him alive by Cisco and the STAR labs vacuum cleaner, thereby promising that he and Barry will one day meet again.

Stray Observations

  • Captain Cold reunites with an old friend, Heat Wave, who will be played by Miller’s former Prison Break costar Dominic Purcell, whenever Captain Cold returns for more.
  • Eddie and Iris still aren’t all that exciting, but Joe and Iris are. Eddie’s even almost endearing trying to stay on Joe’s good side now that the news is out about him and Iris, and Joe’s worries about keeping Eddie safe to preserve Iris’ happiness and good opinion of him is just enough of sweet to not be annoying.
  • Weird that the episode is titled “Going Rogue”, which is clearly meant to indicate Captain Cold’s leadership of  the Rogues. We don’t see much of Cold’s team after the beginning though as he’s pretty much a solo act.

Leave your thoughts in the comments.

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