This week, Kevin and Bethany are ready for a prison break. Check under your seat for explosives, because it’s time to take a look at CW’s The Flash.
You know what I miss? Frostfire Bolt. They replaced it with Flurry, which functionally works roughly the same, but it doesn’t look nearly as awesome as the shard of ice wreathed in flame.
…wait, sorry. The new Warcraft expansion dropped last week and I’ve been kind of hyperfocused.
Though this episode is old, spoiler warnings are still in effect after the cut.
We’re only ten episodes in, and they’re already ramping up the awesome. I mean, I’ve seen this episode three times now, and I was still on the edge of my seat during the big fight between the Flash and the Captain Cold/Heatwave duo.
Leonard Snart is in town, and this time he brought his growly partner Mick Rory, a pyromaniac with a personality quirk. He just wants to see the world burn.
Not only that, but Snart’s here to publicly call out the Flash. To stop him, sure, but also to out him to the public. One way or the other, Barry’s dancing to his tune, and as we’ve already discussed, his tune is glorious and sinuous, like his voice.
But I’m not really here to talk about Coldwave. I’m here to talk about Cisco.
Cisco has been beating himself about the cold gun up ever since Episode Four. Getting yelled at by both Science Bro Barry and Evil Science Dad Harrison Wells certainly didn’t help things, and let’s not forget the survivor’s guilt of leaving Ronnie to die in the particle accelerator explosion.
What does Cisco do? He’s the engineer. He makes the toys, man. And Cisco Ramon can build his way back to the top.
He builds training drones to shoot at Barry, because live fire target practice is never a bad idea. (And let’s face it, blowing up a chunk of the old Ferris Fields runways, that’s just kind of awesome.)
He builds temperature-resistant riot shields for the police, because now that they’re dealing with metahumans, they really should be prepared. And even though Snart isn’t a metahuman, he’s still the most devious foe that Barry’s faced thus far.
(Give it up, Wells. I see what you’re trying to do there, saying that you still think the Reverse-Flash is the greater threat. Your ego is showing.)
In the end, he rebuilt the trust between the city – represented by Captain Singh – and S.T.A.R. Labs, and he did it by being him.
I honestly don’t have that much to expand on this because holy crap the action and the visuals and the DAD FIGHT and let’s just go right to the bullet points.
- Wells was so into this training that he almost forgot himself and stepped out of his chair. Everything he’s done so far, all the mustache twirling and everything, it’s all been calculated. Careful planning and secrecy and, because he’s a total bastard, the little hints and clues to his secret that he probably only does because it amuses him. But he almost stepped out of his wheelchair, right next to Cisco and Caitlin, because he forgot himself in the excitement.
- In his defense, so did the rest of us. Because holy crap.
- Joe is spot on about Barry. He loves helping people. He doesn’t love his powers for the sake of having powers, he loves his powers because he can help people. That’s who Barry Allen is.
- I love how Joe is not above using Barry’s speed for his own benefit.
- That’s who Joe West is. Insightful, intelligent, overprotective, and knows a good thing when he sees it.
- If my son had superspeed I’d make him do all the housework too.
- Soundtrack notes: Snart’s theme was interspersed with these industrial percussion noises. Like a furnace or a steel mill.
- HARTLEY RATHAWAY. Don’t worry, we’ll be getting to him later.
- CAITLIN SNOW, HBIC
- Eddie Thawne is a goddamned hero.
- Something about Len and Mick’s dynamic really reminds me of something. I’m not sure what.
I’m recovering from some sort of terrible chest cold, so I’m not great at focusing at the moment. While writing the first draft of this I misspelled the word “the” as “hte” four times. And not, like, four different times spread out throughout the document; I backed up and spelled it incorrectly four times before I got it right. So if I’m a little more disconnected than usual, my apologies.
Barry is really leveling up his badass. We saw it in the beginning of the episode, when he grabbed a live missile and threw it at the drone. He had a great moment in the fight at the end, too, where he just slows down and lets the IcyHot dudes blast him to set up the crossing of the streams. It was a great, badass, slow walk kind of thing, and I don’t think that’s something Barry would have done in the past.
(There were two more drones left after Barry blew one up by flinging a rocket at it, and the other two had lasers. I wanna see that fight.)
(Does anyone else call them IcyHot? Whatever, it’s a fast way to type it so that’s what I’m going with.)
Also, as pissed as I was about Barry confessing his undying love to Iris last episode (and I was so much more pissed than I actually expressed, let’s be clear), I will say he managed the situation as well as he could this episode. He acknowledged the weird and told Iris it would pass and that things would be fine again, very soon. It was a genuinely sweet, heartfelt moment. I wish that we had a lot more “Barry and Iris are genuinely, really friends” without leaning so much on Barry’s unrequited love for her. This was one of those, and it was so great to watch. However things turn out, I’d really like to see more about Iris and Barry just being friends, because I feel like that’s been kind of pushed to the wayside.
(Sidenote: Every time I use the word “wayside” I think of a book called “Sideways Stories From Wayside School”, but maybe that’s just me. I read a lot of the Wayside books when I was younger; they were delightfully weird. Is it just me? Is it because I am An Old?)
Moving right along, not only does Joe have Barry do domestic chores with his super speed (because, uh, duh) but Caitlin also gets Barry to speed read an 800-page document by sighing at him, which was just super cute. It also helped propel her along the Firestorm/Ronnie plot, which I’m not entirely following that well and I assume that’s my fault. Anyway, it’s a Science Thing, and a trail for Caitlin to follow to figure out what happened to Ronnie. Probably the government is involved?
The moment leading up to this, where Barry connected scuba (or, I suppose, S.C.U.B.A.) to F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M. (I’m never typing it like that again in my life) actually kind of took me by surprise – I had never thought that Ronnie was trying to convey anything to Caitlin other than a cool metahuman name, so maybe my trouble following this plot line is that the logic that led to this path hit me out of left field.
To expand on the DADFIGHT Kevin referred to: Joe wants Barry to help with the IcyHot problem and Wells convinces Barry that his time is better spent in training – and it seems like the episode wants you to side with Joe, but I actually think Barry made the right decision. Every previous time Barry has intervened with Snart, it escalated the situation. In the end, Snart called him out, and he had to fight. However, without knowing that Snart was willing to go to such extreme lengths to get to the Flash, it makes sense to take a backseat, especially since Snart is known for trying to avoid cop casualties.
Kidnapping Caitlin is a low blow, however, and I hope they both got kicked in the nads for it.
(That’s also a low blow.)
Finally – Eddie Thawne.
He formed a task force to track the Flash down, because the Flash is a vigilante and that’s his goddamn job. And, let’s not forget, he has actually been brutally beaten by the Flash (Barry was not really himself but, I mean, Eddie doesn’t know that). And when it looks like the Flash is down for the count, he runs in and plants a shield and himself between the Flash and two of the weirdest weapons this police force has encountered, so far.
Kevin said it in a lot fewer words, and I probably used too many, but I wanted to emphasize it. Eddie is a goddamned hero.
And nowwwww…an actual screen grab featuring the actual show captions, because I can’t believe Kevin didn’t bring it up.
Bethany the Martian is an abuser of parentheses and works in the Pizza Mines. She can be found on Twitter (@martianbethany – the account is locked for safety, not privacy, most follow requests will be accepted) and on Tumblr (bethanythemartian).
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