“Family of Rogues” is what I’d call a perfect episode of The Flash. Don’t misunderstand me though. The episode itself is far from perfect, but what it accomplishes with all of its various plotlines and their structure is how the majority of The Flash episodes should play out. We get plenty of character drama all over the place, a villain with some weight behind them, and a nice bit of momentum on the overarching Earth-2 story.
The drama this week is pretty melodramatic even by The Flash‘s standards. The entire plot involving Iris’ mother could still play out in interesting ways (what if Francine isn’t who she claims to be? Her excuse of showing up at exactly this moment sounds thin. Start your Earth-2 theories!), but it’s going to have to do some convincing. Of course, this family drama is mirrored with our Captain Cold story. I love Wentworth Miller’s take on the character, so I’m always up for seeing more of him, but the real present this week is Michael Ironside! I’ll admit that he doesn’t do a standout job, but almost any Michael Ironside performance is worth a watch (excluding his wasted turn in X-Men: First Class).
And Jay fixed the breach to Earth-2 with the use of the Speed Cannon. I do have to say that the S.T.A.R. Labs team is really dim when it comes to not monitoring that thing. If they know that Zoom is using these breaches, would they put up some kind of security measures in place? I mean, he’s a got a door straight into their homebase! Hope this gets a nice bit of retconning come next week because if our stinger is any indication, some bad people might be using that door.
There’s also a whole lot of lovin’ going on in this episode. Barry and Patty do some more flirting, Cisco and Golden Glider have their usual bit of sexual silliness, and even Caitlin is starting to get pulled into the Crimson Comet’s orbit. With the exception of Cisco and Lisa’s little back-and-forth (I’d be surprised if they actually end up being a genuine pairing on the show), I’m really liking the romantic stuff so far. It’s been playful but with lots of that warmth that The Flash has become notable for.
If I have one big complaint with this episode, it’s that it ends on almost exactly the same note as last week’s, just with Professor Stein going all Firestorm-y before fainting. I kind of wish they’d saved that for this week instead of playing it off as the cliffhanger last week, only for us to start the episode with Stein’s collapse being treated as a D-plot. I’m a little anxious about the first half of The Flash‘s second season having to do a lot of legwork in order to set up Legends of Tomorrow, and if next week’s episode is primarily focused on finding the new Firestorm, I’m hoping the writers figured out a way to inject a healthy amount of overarching Flash story to compensate. It’s also going to be a bummer to lose Victor Garber, but if Teddy Sears can continue to be as charming and strong as he has been in his performance of Jay Garrick, I’m okay with him offering a new dynamic to the team.
This was a good week and proves that The Flash is capable of producing a satisfactory episode even when the actual content can feel a bit slight at times.
Favorite moment: So many choices this week! First, it was Michael Ironside head-exploding a guy. This show just did a Scanners reference! Then, it was Leonard icicle-ing his father through the heart. But then, we get a hell of a stinger: Earth-2 Harrison Wells is in the house! I’m starting to feel that old Flash magic getting conjured up.
Unfavorite moment: The soap opera is strong this week, and nowhere was it stronger than during Lisa’s backstory about her tortured childhood. This is the CW-ness that I have to swallow sometimes in order to stick with this bucket of fun.
Next Week: The Fury of the Firestorm