The Flash: 2.03 Family Of Rogues
I have to admit, one of the weakest recurring themes in season one of The Flash for me was the rogues; Captain Cold, Heat Wave and the addition of Golden Glider have always felt rather hokey, even on a fun show like this. Wentworth Miller's Leonard Snark / Captain Cold veers too much into ham for my liking and Peyton List as his sister Lisa Snart / Golden Glider hasn't been much better. Fortunately there has been plenty of action, humour and drama to keep these episode going.
There was a certain irony watching this week's episode. Miller and List delivered some captivating performances as Leonard and Lisa, much more subtle than their usual fare while the rest of the plot failing to captivate. After some big, ballsy episodes to kick start season two, Family Of Rogues was quite the miss-step primarily for delivering an episode that was, rather surprisingly for The Flash, quite boring.
Perhaps it was because I was far more invested in what was happening with Jay Garrick, Zoom, Dr Stein's mysterious collapse and the alternate worlds, but Barry teaming up to help Leonard on a bank heist with papa Snart had virtually zero engagement for me. Sure Lewis Snart was a nasty piece of work - blackmailing his son by putting and explosive on his daughter was particularly cruel - but compared the usual bad guys, Captain Cold included, he didn't really manage up.
The whole abusive father angle was a bit heavy handed, particularly alongside the whole Iris's drug addict mum being back from the dead. Barry pretending to be Leonard's right hand man also seemed rather random and there was no tension when Lewis betrayed and shot him. It was obvious from the start that Barry was going to catch the bullet.
But it wasn't all terrible. As I mentioned above, Miller brought a vulnerability to his performance and his love for Lisa added depth to his role. Killing his father with his freeze gun was rather satisfying too. There was also a great line from Barry after Leonard found himself behind bars; "There is good in you." Barry told him. "Don't have to let your past define you." If this isn't setup for big role in spin-off Legends Of Tomorrow, I don't know what is.
There was an endearing side to Lisa too and there was some real chemistry with Cisco. Equally, in what little screen time Patty Spivot had with Barry, there was some great potential for the relationship to come.
And the final five minutes were great. The building of the sea cannon, a doorway to the other alternate realities opened up even greater potential for the rest of the season and the arrival of Harrison Wells, teased in the ending to last week's episode is sure to have some huge ramifications. Jay Garrick also agreed to stick around - sans power - thanks in no small part to Caitlin's instance. I'm surprised she is so obviously into him so soon after Ronnie's death but they have a good dynamic as they work together. And Stein; his collapse last week was just a precursor to the dramatic, fiery moment; the blue flames shooting out of his body suggests there is more of Firestorm still to come.
Family Of Rogues was a frustratingly dull episode in parts, even if we saw the best performances out of Wentworth Miller and Peyton List as Leonard and Lisa Snart. Some big 'twists' felt obvious there was little tension throughout. I also fail to have any interest in the return of Iris's mother. But there was some great set-up for future events and the final five minutes, after the death of Lewis Snart did make for great viewing. At least the show knows what to do with Captain Cold and Golden Glider; hopefully they'll have a stronger episode when they make their inevitable return.