It’s Chilly In Here
A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
The Flash returns after its winter hiatus with an extremely engaging episode that was only hampered by extremely weak performances from both of the villainous leads this week. As the title epitomizes, there is a bit of revenge and yes, it’s from rogues who are theoretically a terrifying spin on the idea of yin and yang. Captain Cold and Heat Wave team up together to wreak some havoc, correctly pinpointing the Flash as the potential enemy to watch out for. Oddly enough, they are the weak link this week but they’re entertaining enough to get the job done. At this juncture in The Flash, the show has become remarkably comfortable with juggling a million different story lines at the same time, even if they each have a markedly different tone from one another. There’s the villain angle which is unfortunately silly this week until it threatens Caitlyn. A real danger is present from that point forward, even though Heat Wave unfortunately comes across as being too much of an idiot to be an actual threat; that the episode manages to salvage tension out of the sequence is impressive. There’s a soft side when Iris moves in with Eddie, leaving behind that empty crib every parent is somewhere terrified about. It all meshes together nearly seamlessly.
The narrative point about training Barry against the Reverse Flash is a logical one, even through the irony is basically lost on no one in the audience as Dr. Wells is there to oversee his training. Cisco’s drone sequences was pretty legit, even though Barry destroys the drone by grabbing the moving missile and throwing it back at its source. I hope that wasn’t as expensive as it seemed to be. The training seems to be thusly getting off to a promising start – before news breaks in of Captain Cold and Heat Wave. Cisco’s new and awesome heat shields kick in, giving him the shining moment we always knew he had in him. They’re quite neat when actually used on the battlefield for lack of a better phrase and to see Barry go slower and use the shields simultaneously was an awesome little moment. The action sequences largely were pretty cool and the twin blasts of fire and ice were a pretty neat visual effects moment for the show.
The villains this weeks as noted above came off across as being remarkably cartoonish and ridiculous. Considering the show that they’re on, that’s saying something. The Flash has had a remarkable ability to be ridiculously fun with some of the cheesiest things and people around. This was not one of those moments. This episode was still a blast and I don’t begrudge the show for any of the fun this hour, but for some reason Captain Cold this episode around was a far more foolish idiot, his vapidity highlighted even more in comparison to his relatively awesome debut. Heat Wave was his usual idiotic self, overacting to the point where he might as well draw himself with an actual crayon onto the screen. I have little problem with the writing for these characters, but the deliveries were painful.
But what really worked this episode and elevated it to the level where it stands are the emotional stakes this hour understands. Caitlyn’s life feels legitimately in danger for a few moments, where it is fairly conceivable that she would die before figuring out the Ronnie mystery. The Iris scenes were surprisingly poignant, with Joe as per usual anchoring the show into a palpable emotional reality. I’ve said this before somewhere and I’ll say it again, but there’s a refreshing understanding to Joe that makes even the most ridiculous thing happening around him feel at the very least emotionally resonant. The show has done its homework in forging the relationship between Joe and Barry and at no point does that feel like a chore. There’s a germane familiarity to it that the show is finally able to bring around to Iris and Barry. At the beginning of this show, this relationship seemed like the greatest chore to fulfill, but the moment where Barry confessed his true feelings for Iris was the moment where I was ready to give this narrative beat the benefit of the doubt. The reality of what Barry had said is never going away, but Caitlyn had a point when she said that the best perhaps is lying right in front of him now that that certain barrier had been crossed. It’s a step forward, isn’t it?
Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+Reactions to Reverse Flash as a name: Caitlyn: “Eh”; Dr. Wells: “Actually, I kind of like it.”
+“It was frozen, Joe.”
+The nerd survival kit
+“The Flash isn’t so different from us.”
+Prof. Stein is intriguing
+Cisco on Ghostbusters: “That film is surprisingly scientifically accurate.”
-That coat on Captain Cold is ridiculous
Title: Revenge of the Rogues
Written By: Kai Yu Wu & Geoff Johns
Directed By: Nick Copus
Image Courtesy: Identi