It’s a jailbreak! A routine metahuman prisoner transport turns to ruin when plans go awry and five supercriminals escape.
Let’s bitch it out…
It’s a conflict of interest this week as Eobard Thawne (Tom Cavanagh) reactivates the particle accelerator, prompting an evacuation of the Rogue’s Gallery in the basement of STAR Labs. Barry’s (Grant Gustin) impotence at catching Thawne prompts him to make a rash decision: move the metahumans to Purgatory Island before the accelerator kills them all. It’s not a bad plan, per se (although Barry’s “walk on the dark side” in the spirit of Stephen Amell’s Oliver Queen is ill-advised considering what’s happening right now on Arrow), but it puts Barry at odds with Joe (Jesse L. Martin), who disapproves of Barry’s methods.
Those controversial methods involve the recruitment of Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and his sister, Golden Glider (Peyton List) to help transport the prisoners. Naturally, because the Snarts are criminals, things don’t go quite according to plan. All five of the villains: Weather Wizard (Liam McIntyre), Rainbow Raider (Paul Anthony), Deadbolt (Doug Jones), Nimbus (Anthony Carrigan) and Peek-A-Boo (Britne Oldford) escape (though in her defense Peek-A-Boo runs away as soon as she’s given the chance). In the process they’re beholden to Snart and the board is reset for future conflicts.
Although the transport comprises the majority of ‘Rogue Air’, the battle against Thawne once the accelerator is fully charged is the real piece de resistance. I really wish that whoever was cutting the trailers at The CW was more spoiler adverse because the sudden appearance of Firestorm (Robbie Amell) and Oliver would have been awesome had it not been spoiled – repeatedly – over the last week. Ultimately the surprise is a small price to pay, however; the fight itself is pretty fun. Clearly Barry learns from his experience working with Snart: he sets a trap to ensnare Thawne and the combination of fire, nanites (courtesy of Ray Palmer) and a steep fall off the roof does the trick. Now the finale is set up as a battle of wills as mentor faces off with his mentee.
- I appreciate that The Flash is problematizing the illegal imprisonment of villains. The underground prison has been a moral grey zone since its debut and while it’s fun to speculate about how the inmates get fed or go to the bathroom, at the end of the day these people are being held without a trial. It’s enough to make you understand why Peek-A-Boo attacks Cisco (Carlos Valdes), Joe and Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker).
- In the wake of learning about the future, a newly rescued Eddie (Rick Cosnett) dodges Iris and ultimately breaks up with her. Initially she resists, refusing to let their lives be dictated by a madman, but when Eddie asks her to let him go, she does. I would complain that it all happens a little too easily, but I don’t care about their relationship, so meh!
- Side Bar: I can’t believe that Eddie tells Iris that she’ll marry Barry! That’s like detonating an emotional atom bomb.
- Barry and Caitlin’s facial expressions when Lisa Snart calls her uptight are priceless. Caitlin’s rejoinder, that Lisa isn’t allowed to call her that, is similarly amusing.
- Also: I had completely forgotten that Lisa was so flirtatious with Cisco. I’m not sure they have a ton of chemistry, but Peyton List’s line delivery remains nearly as formidable as Miller’s.
- Joe (upon the discovery of the battery): “Damn, you can’t get that at Radioshack”
- Joe (after Barry suggests shipping the criminals to Purgatory Isle): “Great, so we ship them from one illegal blacksite to another.”
- Barry (when Joe asks if he reached Oliver Queen): “Apparently he’s in Nanda Parbat, wherever that is.”
- Cisco (when Caitlin freaks out after learning he kissed Lisa): “Under duress. Calm down.”
- Lisa (to Caitlin’s astonished look that she can drive the truck): “We can’t all be doctors.”
- Captain Cold (when Weather Wizard asks why he shot Deadbolt): “He owed me money.”
Your turn: did you enjoy the return of so many villains? Did you expect Snart to turn on the Flash? Are you looking forward to Barry taking on these adversaries again? Did you have the Firestorm/Oliver reveal spoiled? Are you surprised they managed to capture Thawne? Sound off below.
The Flash airs its first season finale next Tuesday at 8pm EST on The CW. Next week: it’s go time!