The Flash Season 2, Episode 3 – Quick Impressions (Spoilers)
Both The Flash and Arrow have a lot on their plate as they start off their seasons. In addition to setting up their own overarching story lines, the early episodes of both shows are developing characters, or in Arrow’s case resurrecting one, who will form a new team of heroes and villains in DC’s Legends of Tomorrow.
One of the challenges in developing Leonard Snart is that he wasn’t initially designed to be a regular main character on a spin-off show. Sure, actor Wentworth Miller’s performance is consistently strong, he conveys a sharp intellect behind his eyes which lends well to Snart as a cerebral threat, not just a man with a cold gun. But if you chip away beneath Snart’s icy cool exterior and look beyond his campy flair, it’s evident that the writers could afford to flesh him out more before Legends of Tomorrow debuts.
“Family of Rogues” is a small step in the right direction for Leonard Snart. For starters, Miller dialed back the campiness. Snart’s dialogue is mostly fun as a reoccurring foil for the Flash but even in a wild sci-fi toned show which Legends is likely going for, the occasional campy delivery would need to be one aspect of a multi-dimensional lead character.
With that in mind, “Family of Rogues” is trying to develop Leonard Snart. It’s often a device to add facets to a character by showing several personality traits pointing in one direction, but then have certain traits that go against the grain. So this means that while Snart is a criminal at heart, he does have a code in not killing people which as it turns out has a fine print when he permanently iced his father Lewis.
It’s hard to not to see things from Leonard’s view. His dad’s reign of terror needed to be stopped. Michael Ironside did a good job as a heartless child abuser who wouldn’t hesitate to kill his daughter, shoot Barry or those security guards. Also having Barry accept and understand Leonard’s cold-blooded kill at the end is proxy for the audience. Besides, Barry turned last week’s Sand Demon into shattered glass and nuked Atom Smasher. Apparently this no kill rule has lots of wriggle room.
Snart is a little more compelling when he walks the moral grey line. He isn’t an arch-villain, he showed under the right set of circumstances he can work with The Flash. Teaming up with heroes and at the same time staying true to his criminal inclinations is likely how he’ll be best utilized in Legends. Snart also gains some empathy by showing first hand his redeeming quality (and Achilles heel which his dad exploited) is his love for his sister.
Although Lisa didn’t share a scene with her brother or father, the connective theme for this episode revolved around characters protecting their family members. Leonard went to the extremes in preventing his father from ever hurting Lisa again and Lisa tried to help Leonard when she thought he was captured.
Last season’s introduction of Lisa Snart was on the cartoony side; here the more grounded approach added some emotional weight when she described her father’s abuse. The more mature side to her also helps to build her as a potential love interest for Cisco. Feeling good vibrations Cisco? Lisa Snart isn’t the airhead we thought she was. Peyton List brought her A-game and actually had the stronger scenes over her brother.
Besides the Snarts, the West family had their own issues to sort out. It’s one thing if the return of Iris’ mom leads to some emotional heartfelt scenes for the next few episodes, but she could over stay her welcome if there’s more to her line about “coming back different”. There’s already so many characters who need screen time, she’s not compelling enough at this point to develop her into a more significant role.
For now, as the catalyst to build the bond between Iris and Joe the family drama is handled better than expected. Lying to protect Iris would only do more damage than good which thankfully did not happen. Joe came clean with the truth and surprisingly drama queen Iris didn’t blow her lid, but not literally like what Lewis was about to do to Lisa. It’s also a nice flip in dynamic where Barry was the one giving fatherly advice to Joe.
With everything else going on, the multi-verse story wasn’t the main focus but still had some development. Harrison Wells coming through the speed cannon is sooner than expected but it’s more intriguing than a shocking moment. This is mainly because it’s unlikely that the writers are going for the obvious or showing their cards so early in the game.
“Family of Rogues” is another solid episode which focused more on some character’s daddy issues than the overarching story arc. The flirty moments between a few potential couples are fun and lighthearted without going overboard on the romance. Besides Captain Cold, Stein and his other half will be getting further development before joining Legends of Tomorrow. With the focus on Firestorm next week, if this episode didn’t work for you, things should heat up again quickly.
Will you be watching Legends of Tomorrow? What do you think about the ending when Harrison Wells came through the wormhole?