There’s a Chill in the Air
A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
Is this the best episode of The Flash yet? Yes, yes it is. The episode benefits immensely from dropping the mutant of the week from the particle accelerator explosion, instead going for one of the big baddies in Wentworth Miller’s Leonard Snart, or as Cisco loving dubs him, Captain Cold. While he’s not a direct product of the explosion, he has in his hands a freeze gun ray that Cisco had developed in the rare occasion that it was our beloved Flash who had gone rogue. It’s a smart, clever piece of writing that allows for Cisco to truly developed as a more complex character. It’s a character beat that makes quite a bit of sense. There was, after all, no guarantee that Barry was going to turn out to be one of the good guys, so to speak, so why not prepare oneself for the possible future in as many ways as possible?
I haven’t yet delved too deeply into Arrow (that’s a stain on my nerd record admittedly, but I barely have enough time to do more these days), but Felicity Smoak crossing over helps The Flash feel intermittently more connected to the universe at large. It doesn’t hurt either that Smoak and Barry have an electric chemistry (pun intended) that Barry just doesn’t have with Iris yet. When Smoak and Barry are together on screen, there’s an incredible sense of magnetism that takes over everything else without seemingly putting a ton of effort into that direction. It’s not a massive point of contention for the show because they do have a full season to develop that chemistry, it’s just that Smoak + Barry was immediately obvious, despite the narrative devices telling us that it wasn’t necessarily so.
Wentworth Miller nails it as Captain Cold. He is perfectly icy in the role (my apologies) and to the series’ immense credit, they don’t try to build him into this massive villain who wants to take over the world or even the city itself. He’s not a grandiose marquee that represents world domination in a cool costume with dark glasses and an awesome STAR Labs weapon. He’s a simple, brilliant mastermind thief who wants the Kahndaq Dynasty Diamond. For those invested within the DC Universe, Kahndaq is of course the fictional kingdom in the Middle East that’s ruled by Black Adam, an integral part of the Shazam mythology. It’s an incredibility tantalizing bit with great crossover potential and ensuring that The Flash feels even more connected to the DC Universe at large, considering that the Arrow crossover already has provided an initiative for that potential move.
Perhaps the best part about Captain Cold besides him not being an evil warlord with plans for world domination is that he truly feels like the first step into a potential exploration of the Rogues Gallery while still developing on his own as an actual character with a fierce intellect. Nor did Going Rogue feel the pressure of giving an origin story and an explanation into Captain Cold’s criminal behavior within the first episode he appeared in. There are clever, tantalizing bits that are sprinkled throughout and for now, that’s more than enough. Oh, and that final sequence in which he recruits his first partner was brilliant, absolutely brilliant. The first true menace for our beloved hero is here and he didn’t even have tine this week for an introspective lecture about the responsibilities of being a superhero! Bring it on, Captain Cold and team. Wreak havoc on Central City as I sit back with my bowl of popcorn and just take in the sights. I’m waiting and anxiously so. For the sake of heavens, this show is amazing.
Title: Going Rogue
Written By: Geoff Johns & Kai Yu Wu
Directed By: Glen Winter
Image Courtesy: IGN