THE FLASH: FAMILY OF ROGUES – AFJ REVIEW

 

THE FLASH is far and away my favorite superhero TV show. That being said, I must have watched last weeks epic "Flash of Two Worlds" half a dozen times in between opening new toys and prepping them for review. Although "Family of Rogues" is not my favorite episode, it definitely keeps the momentum going albeit with some new directions for us to follow.The ending in particular really had me vexed leaving me to lose sleep. It is only appropriate that this review is going up on BACK TO THE FUTURE day, the king of paradox entertainment! I always watch the episode I am reviewing at least twice, the first time where I go in fresh and again when I am writing to see if there is anything that I missed on the first go-round. I have to get it through my skull understand even superhero TV shows have to add the occasional emotional episode. Especially THE FLASH that has a plethora of storylines being juggled in the air both metahuman and a regular human.KRUSE38

The opening scene was pretty dope with Iris tracking down a corrupt real estate swindle lead for the paper. The problem is, these guys are carrying and emptying their clips, fast at the cub reporter. Now that Iris has Barry on speed dial as The Flash, costumed superhero, and not just Barry, BFF, he tells her to jump out of the nearest window...of the skyscraper! She does so and Barry saves her in spectacular fashion. That being the opening scene, it set my level of excitement for the rest of the episode very high. The narrative itself of the episode is all about loyalty and who everyone can depend on. Important? Absolutely but after an epic second episode, I was gearing up for them to up to the ante, but a semi-serious episode happens sometimes I guess.

 

Jay Garrick is still at STAR Labs where the gang has discovered 52 anomalies or tears in our Earth that lead to Earth-2, Earth-3, etc. The biggest of these tears is right there directly in STAR Labs for the team to play with until their heart's content. It actually seems that Caitlyn and Jay have established more than a scientific rapport while working together to figure out a way to get him back home. More on that later.

The Golden Glider (aka Lisa Snart, Leonard's wily sister) has returned to Central City and goes to Cisco, the one member of the team that she kind of has a thing for to report that her brother, Leonard (Captain Cold) has been kidnapped by.....wait for it.....THEIR FATHER, LEWIS SNART! Played by Michael Ironside, the veteran actor that has made a career of being a perennial a**hole, the elder Snart has implanted a Thermite bomb into Lisa's neck that cannot come into contact with oxygen or its goodnight Lisa. STAR Labs and Cisco specifically is doing all he can to help Lisa since they have this unspoken thing going on. And let's face it, with all Cisco has going on and slowly turning into "VIBE," he deserves a win.

The Flash -- "Rogue Time" -- Image FLA116A_0441b -- Pictured (L-R): Peyton List as Lisa Snart and Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon -- Photo: Dean Buscher/The CW -- © 2015 The CW Network, LLC. All rights reserved.

Die-hard fans will remember that Leonard and Barry have an ironclad agreement that is in effect. Snart will never reveal Barry's secret identity and Leonard will not kill anyone. We discover that Lewis Snart brutally beat his kids as children and they absolutely loathe the man whose loins they sprung from. Leonard is only doing this diamond heist to save Lisa and is in a really bad spot. One blast from his cold gun can erase his father for good so his trigger figure is mighty itchy. In a last-minute gambit at STAR Labs and Barry's "rapport" with Leonard, he decides to go undercover as the computer tech on the heist. (Lewis already killed their first tech guy.)

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In the subplot, it looks like Joe's wife never died which is what he has told Iris for decades. Apparently, she was a serious drug addict that left on her own volition but Joe told Iris that she passed in order to cushion the blow to his child. Joe has kept the secret for years and has continued to wear the wedding band since she left to keep up the illusion that he is a widow. Even Barry does not know the truth. A brief meeting at a bar with her has an angry Joe storm out telling her to please stay out of their lives. Riddled with guilt, Joe is able to tell Iris the truth and she actually had the opposite reaction I thought she would have. Iris was 100% supportive, especially after seeing the emotional pain that her father is clearly in.

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Back at the Snart diamond heist, Barry uses his tech and Flash skills to bypass security making a clean entry for them. However, Papa Snart sees that Barry or should I say "Sam" has outlived his usefulness and he puts a round in the Scarlet Speedster's chest. Obviously, he caught the bullet but he had to put on a good show for the Snart's and keels over feigning death. Once the Snart's get by the laser wires by using the cold gun, Barry shows up, suited up as The Flash and waiting on the signal from STAR Labs that Cisco has retrieved the bomb from Lisa safely giving the cue for Barry to take out the Snart's. However, Leonard is overcome with his hatred for his father and kills him with one last blast of the cold gun before Barry takes him into custody.

Lisa is clearly thankful before she takes off and gives Cisco a much-deserved smooch before she rides off on her crotch rocket. Back at the lab, it seems that with the help of Jay Garrick, they have figured out the main portal tear at the center of their facilities and now the "door" so to speak is working via a "Speed Cannon" they have collectively created. Jay can go back home! However, with Caitlyn being the main proponent, she and the gang convince Garrick to stay here on Earth-1. Despite losing Ronnie (again) recently, I have a feeling that she has some kind of feelings for the time traveler. When the team attempts to throw something into the portal and watch it disappear, Dr. Stein, who hasn't been feeling well, volunteers to do so.

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After he does, the elder doctor goes into some sort of shock where he seemingly turns into FIRESTORM but with just a blue flame; not the red that happened when he and Ronnie were merged as one. Gotta wait and see what happens on that end, but I smell trouble for Dr. Stein lasting the season. I hope not because Victor Garber is a terrific actor and this role suits him like the one he held on ALIAS for so long.

What would an episode of THE FLASH be without a killer ending? Just when we think the credits are going to roll, someone comes through the portal. It was hard for me to make out and I actually freeze framed it but it appears to be... Harrison Wells! Is Well's Zoom on the other Earth? Does the Reverse-Flash completely not exist in any of the time streams? My head is swimming with paradoxes and I seriously cannot wait until episode four. This season has been stellar so far having me wish that I can just stream and binge it all at once like DAREDEVIL!

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