Captain Cold and the Golden Glider return looking to Barry, Cisco and the team for help while Jay Garrick searches desperately for a way to get home - and prevent Zoom from gaining any more power.
That opening rocked my superhero vibe, and I was thinking "He's almost there, isn't he? He's almost a legend already." He got the call from Iris, talked her through what needed to happen, and he was there to save her, take the guns from the bad guys, and flash back home. There's a part of every hero's journey where their powers are mastered or nearly mastered. At this point, what happens? The hero emerges from training, leaves their teacher, stops being an apprentice, goes into the wild. Often at the end of their training they may have to fight their teacher for the right to leave. Whether they win or no, they face a period of self-reflection where they re-assert their understanding of the world. Then there is, usually, a moment of peace before the wheel keeps moving on. But now it's a different wheel, and they're learning, not from teachers, but from peers, from people the hero meets, from equals, from those who grew up with them who start to reach a maturity of their own.
I think Barry's moment of peace lasted for a couple minutes at the beginning of this episode.
Jay Garrick's storyline started to make more sense to me, and Jay-as-scientist works. The slightly desperate Caitlin is getting to the annoying point, but I myself make no promises as to what would happen if a superhero/physicist showed up in my laboratory in a tank top. She and Garrick do have nice energy. I'm not entirely sure it's a mistake that Martin Stein starts turning to Firestorm while massive embarrassing flirting is occurring. For now, he looks like he'll be part of the team a little longer.
So many people were asking about Iris' mother last season that to see the show seriously address the issue–and in a way that gave Iris the opportunity to shine and grow instead of whine–felt gratifying. Joe's choice was a difficult one to make, and I think a year ago Iris would have reacted the way she did to Barry and others–petulant, unhelpful, and self-centered. She's matured, and I for one give kudos to Candice Patton, and this show focuses on that maturity. The scene between her and Jesse Martin had sentiment, but was not sentimental, and they came across as rock-solid Dad and daughter; on top of his earlier visit to her workplace, it just felt totally lock and key. And while I love Caitlin, her move away and the loss of Ronnie has clearly changed her relationship to the team, allowing Iris to fill more of a support role for Barry. I'm hoping the show deals maturely with Francine and the issues of drug addiction. Waiting to see on that one.
I was also thrilled to see the Snart family brought back this way. Wentworth Miller is a fantastic actor, and for me he brought a little complexity and depth to Captain Cold. Think he'll go back to working with Heat Wave after being abandoned? Likewise for Peyton List; her character's constant beaming on Cisco, and the way she pulls off this can't-quite-trust-her B-movie bad-girl shtick is mesmerizing. Cisco's right: you have to question how much of it is real. There's no question about the horror with which Cold and Glider's father has affected their lives. He cares very little for Leonard, and even less for Lisa. I think Cisco/Lisa and Barry/Leonard are true parallels for each other: both Cisco and Barry are saviors, and both Lisa and Leonard are femme fatales who want to be saved. (Yes, Wentworth Miller is a male femme fatale. Did you see him making eyes at Barry from the other side of the glass at the end? It was awesome. It's a savior thing, and Barry's as hooked as Cisco is. Except for Flash and Cold, the physical stuff is punches, not kisses.)
|The Lighter of Necksplosion.|
The big surprise - Harrison Wells coming through the gateway - as Zoom? - as another version of Wells? - as another version of Eobard Thawne? - I clearly have more questions than answers. Will Martin survive these attacks to his system? Will we find out why the flame was blue? I have a feeling Ronnie's in Jay's world somewhere after getting partially sucked into the Singularity, and maybe he's in the same place or something and they're resonating. After all, don't universes have vibrations?
Bits and Pieces
This is the third week we've seen bad guys die. Not quite as bad as Gotham or Arrow here, but Flash is definitely taking a darker turn this season. The bad guy wears black, too.
I was really grossed out by Cisco's neck bomb removing gun. Enough said.
The thing I love about Grant Gustin is how, despite the fact that he shares so much screen time, he carries the storylines from behind. Iris would be dead in her hunt for the perfect story without him. Joe would be dead multiple times, and Joe's now going to Barry for advice. So are the criminals. Even Jay Garrick and Martin Stein, both powers in their own right, have a great respect for Barry Allen. And I haven't forgotten that scene from the Arrow in that show's season opener where Barry apparently comes to emotionally support Oliver. I once questioned whether Gustin could pull this off; now I can't see anyone else in the role.
4 out of 5 hokey lighter neck bombs I can attempt to embrace but can't quite forgive.
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