Barry Allen Earns A Cold Welcome From A Family Of Rogues In The Flash
Two Flashes are better than one, but is the same true when Snarts are involved?
That question was put to the test on the October 20 episode of The Flash, called “Family of Rogues.” It’s the third episode of season two, and the year’s best glimpse yet at Leonard “Captain Cold” Snart and his equally frigid family—the returning Lisa “Golden Glider” Snart, for one, and the arrival of their big daddy Lewis, played by veteran character actor Michael Ironside.
Here’s what happens when you put three Snarts in the same room as one Barry Allen:
The Freezing Father
If you thought Leonard was a jerk, wait until you meet his dad, Lewis, a convicted felon whose rap sheet includes time served for aggravated assault, armed robbery, and more.
Lewis adds a new one to the list in this episode: Blowing up people’s brains with surgically implanted bombs. He uses this technique on one of his own goons, and also threatens to use it against his own daughter, Lisa, as a means of convincing Leonard to join him on a massive diamond heist. Turns out, he’s been abusing his kids since they were seven years old, disguising the violence as “lessons.”
See? He’s the worst.
I Am Sam
Lisa Snart comes to Team Flash for help, convincing them that Leonard would not work with Lewis unless he felt he had no choice. Also, there’s the whole bomb in the brain thing that needs fixing. (Spoiler alert: Cisco totally fixes it because he’s Cisco, and she totally kisses him on the face because she’s Lisa. And so their flirtmance dances on.)
Barry is convinced that Captain Cold is acting against his will, so after a few attempts at an olive branch, he finally joins forces with his nemesis, infiltrating Leonard and daddy dearest’s diamond heist crew, under the guise of a security hacker named “Sam.” He helps them get to the final stage of the plan, before gunshots and cold-blooded tension escalate the situation.
Long story short, Barry and friends save Lisa’s brain from blowing up, so Leonard decides to ditch the ruse and kill his father while he has the chance. “But I thought you hated him,” Lewis gasps with his dying words. “Not as much as I hate you,” responds a cold-hearted Snart. Sick freezer-burn.
Cold Days Ahead
After Barry witnesses Lewis Snart’s death, he throws Leonard behind bars—yes, even though Leonard knows the truth behind the Flash’s secret identity. It turns out that Barry isn’t so worried about Leonard, because he’s finally figured out his enemy’s secret: “You’d do anything to protect your sister.”
“There’s good in you, Snart,” Barry tells the newest Iron Heights inmate. “You don’t have to admit it to me, but there’s a part of you that knows you don’t have to let your past define you—a part that doesn’t just want to be a criminal.”
Leonard doesn’t seem to agree, and even Joe West isn’t so sure. (“Do you really think that leopard’s going to change his spots?”) I suppose we’ll see if Barry’s right or not in a little thing called Legends of Tomorrow.
The Mother of All Lies
Speaking of Joe, he finds himself caught in an uncomfortable situation throughout “Family of Rogues.” As we saw last week, Joe’s ex-wife Francine has returned to town, and that’s bad news, because (A) she was a deadbeat mom, and (B) Joe kinda-sorta-maybe told Iris that her mom died years and years ago, and now he has to reveal that he was lying this whole time.
Joe goes back and forth on what to do with this information, whether or not to tell Iris, and if so, how to tell her. Barry finally convinces him to rip off the bandaid and give it a go, convincing Joe that Iris “can handle anything that’s thrown her way.” (And we know that’s true, because she handled throwing herself out of a building at the start of the episode particularly well.)
At Barry’s behest, Joe takes the plunge and gives Iris the scoop—that her mom was a drug addict with repeated offenses, and one day disappeared from rehab without a trace. Rather than tell Iris the truth about her mom, Joe decided to lie and say she died, to preserve whatever happy memories Iris still had, and to prevent her from ever feeling like she was abandoned.
It’s a whole lot of heaviness to throw at your daughter, but true to form, Iris West is a badass, and she handles the news like a champ. “You were trying to keep me safe,” she says, cutting through Joe’s tears as well as her own. If you needed any further proof that Iris is the best daughter ever, look no further.
I Feel The Need, the Need For Speed Cannon
Finally, what would an episode of Flash season two be without some multiverse mischief? The gang locates the biggest breach in Central City right in their very own basement, but they’re wrestling with figuring out how to enter the breach and travel over to Earth Two.
Jay Garrick Physicist (as opposed to Jay Garrick Superhero), along with the help of Caitlin Snow, manages to create a “speed cannon” that will allow the team to access the breach, but there’s no guaranteed way of coming back. For that reason, Jay agrees to stick around Earth One for a little while longer, until Zoom is defeated.
So, everything’s well and good, except where Professor Stein is concerned. Just as he passed out at the end of the last episode, he passes out once again at the end of this episode, except not before exhibiting signs of lingering Firestorm powers. Too bad Ronnie’s not around anymore—but judging by previews for next week, there are some upcoming opportunities for another Firestorm candidate.
Then, in the stinger of the episode, we return to the breach in the STAR Labs basement, and see a man emerge: Harrison Wells, presumably the one from Earth Two. What’s he doing here in our world? Who knows. All I know is this: Professor Stein passing out and Harrison Wells looking mischievous is basically the perfect ending to any installment of The Flash, as seen in the past two outings, and hopefully as we’ll see in every episode from here until the end of time.