When I heard that the big cheese (the hammy Captain Cold) would make an appearance on The Flash, I wanted to dislike “Family of Rogues” more than I did. Sure, many of the things that plagued The Flash are still there (character backstory/motivation via dialogue projectile vomiting: Golden Glider, and some rushed and tacked on relationships: Barry/Patty and Caitlin/Jay) but Captain Cold himself wasn’t as Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Mr. Freeze bad as he usually is, so I took that as a win.
Of course, you can tell that “Family of Rogues” was a means to set up the CW’s upcoming series Legends of Tomorrow. This storyline opens the door for Captain Cold to be a hero in a ham fisted way, so while I like that The Flash made Captain Cold into something more than a campy villain, I’m chagrinned that The Flash may be the new waystation for DC heroes/protagonists.
Did I mention the other member of Legends of Tomorrow, Firestorm? No? Yeah, we’re getting a new persona who will merge with Doc Martin this season. I’m okay with that because Firestorm changes personas more frequently than I change my air conditioning filter—don’t tell my wife—but I’m not okay with someone new merging to reform Firestorm as the reason why Caitlin jumped ship so quickly from Ronnie to Jay. This is another peril of fast forwarding months between seasons. We heard—through dialogue again—that Caitlin grieved (for Ronnie) but we didn’t see any of it. For viewers, Ronnie died in the first episode this season.
As you can tell The Flash made plenty of mistakes but I do like how they’re bringing along Iris. She’s being eased into the story this year and what she has to work with could make her a more complete and likeable character. While I’m still unsure of Candice Patton’s talent, she can’t go wrong with more scenes with Jesse L. Martin and this storyline could have legs. I just hope they—and by “they” I mean the writers room—don’t turn this into a super-power or alternate Earth thing. Not everything has to go back to a power.
“Family of Rogues” had its issues but I see it as an opportunity. Captain Cold made his exit—sort of—and that opens the door for other villain(s) to fill his shoes. I’m not dead set against a villain of the week; I just didn’t like how The Flash started killing off villains. I’d prefer The Flash differ from Arrow in as many ways as possible while still existing in the same universe, so reoccurring villains of the week may work and The Flash has plenty in which to choose. Mirror Master, Weather Wizard, Pied Piper, and Gorilla Grodd can and should make multiple appearances this season. Bring on the alliteration, Flash.
Speaking of a reoccurring villain, the stinger at the end of “Family of Rogues” might be the thing Flash fans waited for the most. I won’t spoil it here—if you want to see our secrets for this week’s The Flash, here it is—but I could hear a collective sigh of relief from Flash fans.
Thanks for reading.