So, what’s the lesson we learned this week? Don’t screw with time travel, a cop will punch you in the face.
Picking up where the last episode left off, Barry has arrived in the past, confused and disoriented from his experience. While investigating the same case as before, he seems to be a step ahead of everyone as he already remembers what happened. Wells picks up on this and confronts Barry in private. Telling him that he can’t do anything different as that could damage the time line and make things even worse, and forbids Barry from telling anyone about what happened. Despite Wells’ words of warning, Barry breaks from the established events, not wanting to see the same horrors play out again, and grabs Mardon, throwing him into the S.T.A.R. Labs prison. Things begin to divert from the established events there. Cisco ends up having to go to his brother’s birthday, Caitlin going with him for moral support, and we see how awkward things are with this family. Barry tries goes to Iris about his feelings for her, hoping that she will once again admit to loving him, it fails. At the same time, none other than Snart, aka Captain Cold, and his hot head friend, Mick Rory, have returned to town, with Snart’s little sister, Lisa, aka Golden Glider, joining the team as well. Sadly, Lisa is lacking in her super powers from the comics and is instead wielding a gun that seems to turn people to gold, which begs the question why she even needs to be a criminal. Through some deception, and a blonde wig, Lisa and Cold are able to take Cisco, and his brother, hostage. Snart forces Cisco to rebuild their respective weapons, and the siblings attack a local crime controlled casino. Barry stops them, and the two retreat. Snart then tortures Cisco’s brother, forcing our tech headed friend to reveal the identity of the Flash. Given his experience, Cisco decides he needs to leave the team, but in a lighter mirror of last weeks confrontation, Wells convinces him to stay, and reassures him of his worth to the team. They discover that Snart and company’s real target wasn’t the casino, but the money that would transported out of it in the event of an attack. Barry stops the attack an confronts Cold. They come to a deal, Snart will keep Barry’s secret, but only if Barry doesn’t lock him up, in return, Snart will stay in Central City, but will prove how good he is at the crime thing by continuing his spree, but without killing anyone. With the bad guys out of way, and some help from Caitlin to remove the awkwardness between Barry, Iris, and Eddie, the day come to an end with everything more or less as it should be. We close out with Wells, in the guise of the Reverse Flash, killing Mason Bridge, the reporter who was after him, and Barry telling Joe that he believes he was right about Wells all along.
This was an interesting episode in that it completely undid everything that happened last week. Last week’s was an emotional roller coaster, Cisco died, Caitlin discovered the truth of Wells, Iris and Barry admitted their feelings for each other, and the entire city was at risk of drowning. And now? Well, awkward moments for Barry and Iris, Cisco has a rough day, and Captain Cold is back. Now, not to say that this is worse, far from it. Watching Barry scramble to prevent tragedy, only to have to work twice as hard to stop the new crisis that arrives is great, and she still rides that roller coaster after being shot down by Iris and punched by Eddie. I’ll be honest, the main story in this weeks episode did not interest me as much as previous episodes. It wasn’t bad, and was very interesting seeing Barry try to navigate his way through the repeat day, but for whatever reason it just didn’t pull
me in. The biggest thing with Barry was his realization at the end at Wells may not be on the up and up. It seems a bit odd that all it would take to tip him off was a missing reporter, but when you add in that Barry knew that Bridge was actively looking into Wells, and had solid leads, only for him to suddenly go missing after Barry tells Wells what Bridge was looking into. This was very much future plot seeding, and will lead to what I can only assume will be pretty amazing stories as Barry’s trust for his one time mentor continues to deteriorate, leading to their next showdown.
Now, there was still a lot of great parts to this episode. For instance, last week we say Cisco expressing distaste to his family, this week we actually got to see that. He is jealous of his brother, the favorite of his parents. At the birthday scene, we see that Cisco is basically treated as an after thought by his family. His brother, Dante, even hitting on Caitlin right in front of him. But again this is also where it falls a bit flat. Later, when both of them are taken prisoner, we get the cliche of the favorite always being jealous of the other brother, in this case, because Cisco is actually living his dream and Dante works a crappy job and lives with his parents. (I feel for him, greatly) While a reconciliation between the brothers was nice, it did feel forced. A big deal was made of Cisco not being on good terms with his family, I thought this would be a major development for his character, give us some subplots with him in the future, but sadly its just wrapped up all nice and neat in a kidnapping induced heart to heart. It was a wasted opportunity.
While we’re on Cisco, he’s not dead anymore, yay! His death last week was heart wrenching, and while I do admit I am not overly thrilled with everything that happened last week being so easily written off, and that his death could have been a game changer for the series, I am overjoyed that we are not saying goodbye to the geeky tech wizard just yet. His scene with Wells was a mirror of last weeks, Wells talked about seeing Cisco as a son, reaffirming how important he is to the group, and convincing him to stay. This was a great moment, and also really helps to show that there is more to Wells than him just being a villain, he is an interesting villain. I would say that he does legitimately care about Cisco and Caitlin, and even Barry, despite them being enemies. Not to say I he wouldn’t stab them through the back at a moments notice if it helped him achieve his goals, we know he would, but the fact that he does actually care about them adds depth to his character, making him more than just the mustache twirling villain.
The villains this week were enjoyable, as Captain Cold usually is. I have always liked that he is the level headed, calculating villain, and that he is fairly simple in his desires. He likes crime, to him its fun and challenging for him, gives him something to do. His learning Flash’s identity, just another move in the game. Barry’s counter of saying he is smart enough to be a criminal without killing people intrigues him, its a challenge that he will rise to. His and Barry’s confrontation was well played and great moment for the characters as they came to terms with everything. Heat Wave once again plays the foil to Snart, being crazed and hot headed. Nothing new to him there, but nothing bad in the slightest. Our newest villain, Lisa, was flat out fun. Her and Cold’s easy banter was exactly what you would expect from siblings, and she was a fun character, appearing as almost a balance between Snart’s level headedness and Rory’s crazy. I look forward to more of her, she is great.
Once again we were subjected to more of the annoying Barry/Iris/Eddie love triangle, but thankfully it was brief, and resolved through Caitlin’s quick
thinking. Her lie of Barry having Lighting Psychosis, which was causing him to act all crazy like, was hilarious and a smooth move on her part as she quickly came to the aid of her friend. Still pulling for those two to get together, keeping my fingers crossed.
Overall, this was one of the weaker episodes of the season, but still had some great parts. The villains where all sorts of fun to watch, as usual, Cisco was great in this episode, even if his family drama was wrapped up a little to nicely for my tastes. This episode shows that even great shows can have the occasional misstep and still have something good to offer to the show.