The Flash encounters a cool customer as Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) stops by for a visit.
Let’s bitch it out…
‘Going Rogue’ is one of the best episodes of The Flash because it offers the best villain we’ve seen so far. One of the reasons that Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) works is simply a matter of screentime: compared to the other villains we’ve met, he not only gets more time to lay out his agenda; he’s actually has one. Unlike previous bad guys who murder and plunder aimlessly, Cold feels like he’s driven by motivation – he’s intrigued by someone else playing in his Central City sandbox and quickly deduces that the mysterious Red Streak is a worthy adversary that requires him to “step up his game”. It also helps that Captain Cold is not a complete psychopath. Okay sure, he does commit murder, it’s in service of finding The Flash’s (Grant Gustin) weakness, which in comic book lore is perfectly acceptable behaviour. Intriguingly, at the end of the episode, Cold is not only still alive and on the loose, he is still in possession of the diamond and he’s on the hunt recruiting a partner to complement his “unique” skills. Clearly we have our first substantial adversary.
Part of what drives ‘Going Rogue’ are the Captain’s unique skills…and who is responsible for them. Last week we learned that Cisco (Carlos Valdes) was responsible for dooming Caitlin’s (Danielle Panabaker) boyfriend to “die” in the reactor explosion. This week we learn that he is also the creator of the cold gun – a weapon he built to take Barry down in the event that the speedster turned out to be another metahuman supervillain. The resulting tension offers additional insight not just into Cisco (who we’re learning is a nice guy continually forced to make difficult choices), but also how a support team develops around an emerging superhero.
Obviously this fracture in the team is timely since Felicity is on the scene. She’s available not only to broker a peace, but to act as a living, breathing example of its efficiency. Her reminder to Barry that Team Arrow didn’t gel right out of the box is appropriate and necessary, especially at this early stage in their crime fighting careers as the various members of STAR labs figure out how they fit together. It’s hard to remember a time when Oliver Queen, Diggle and Felicity weren’t operating as a functional team so ‘Going Rogue’ is a nice (albeit simplistically resolved) example of how these crime-fighting ventures iron out the kinks in the early days.
Plus, you know, a little extra Felicity in your week is never a bad thing.
- As nice as it would be to see Barry and Felicity together, the show’s writers have clearly cooled off the relationship in favour of his ongoing crush on Iris (Candice Patton). The “doomed love” angle is clearly encapsulated by Felicity and Barry’s discussion on the train about pining for people they can’t have, but the possibility of something more is kept alive by a brief (admittedly not as hot as it should have been) kiss. I’d complain about the misdirection, but unless Arrow and The Flash merge or Felicity joins the spin-off’s cast, it doesn’t make sense to feature romantic partners on two separate shows.
- How terrible is the dialogue and the song cues when Eddie (Rick Cosnett) tries to broach the subject of his feelings for Iris with Joe (Jesse L. Martin) in the car? The overly cutesy attempt at drawing out tension between the partners is just plain awful. This feels like dumbed down, over the top melodramatic garbage that people who don’t watch The CW reference when they talk about why they don’t watch CW shows.
- Iris continues to offer the series nothing. She seems to exist solely to be kept in the dark, which I find frustrating to no end. Also: “From now on, no more secrets” all but guarantees you’re not being told the whole truth.
- In special effects-ville, the train car derailment looks decent, but the high water mark set by the tornado in the pilot has yet to be matched or surpassed. Also, some of the more generic Flash effects – like the frozen street effects and Barry’s body when he saves Joe from Cold’s attack in the lobby – look surprisingly CGI. I get it that not every week can have extravagant FX, but if the price we pay is The Matrix Reloaded level CGI bodies, then that kind of sucks.
- Finally, Felicity making inappropriate sexual inuendos due to nervousness = sooooo Arrow S2. Felicity talking to air, realizing it, then continuing to do so = sooooo The Flash S1. I greatly prefer the latter.
Your turn: what did you think of the first substantial Arrow / The Flash crossover? Was Felicity put to good use? Are you enjoying the more lighthearted adventures in Central City? Is Iris and everything she touches the show’s weak link? Are you more impressed with Captain Cold than previous villains? Sound off below.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8pm EST on The CW