After a long absence, The Flash returns to our screens. Unfortunately for him, Leonard Snart is back too, and he’s brought a friend- none other than Mick Rory. A villainous team-up? You bet.
Barry is training when we first catch up with him. A revelation in of itself as we’ve never seen him do that before. However, it’s pretty cool to see Barry taking steps to become fast enough to catch Reverse Flash. Speaking of which, Dr Wells seems more than pleased with his progress.
Leonard Snart is still rather boring personality wise. Very bland, in fact, he sounds a lot like Mr Freeze, the goggles don’t help. Mick Rory seems the more sensible of the two, as they plot together to kill The Flash. Eddie and Iris are drawing ever closer to moving in together. Christmas must have been awkward if Barry was there, what with that confession of love. Barry finds himself torn between trying to catch Snart, or continuing training to catch Reverse Flash.
Joe, meanwhile, seems to be picking up on the fact that Dr Wells is a tad shady. Will he be pursuing this line of interest or is it simply a red herring. Similarly, Caitlin is still rattled from finding out her fiance’ isn’t really dead. She and Barry have a nice scene where they confide in one another. There’s a bit of setup involving Caitlin tracing what Ronnie was/is involved with, but it’s more of a sub-plot.
Obviously it’s nice to have the show back on screen after weeks of being away, but something still feels off. Maybe it’s the fact that the mid-season episode was fantastic and this one feels stilted as a result. Clean-up episodes tend to feel that way on a week to week basis, perhaps the series will translate better to DVD and viewed closer together.
The villain team-up leaves a lot to be desired. While it’s suitably comic-booky, it’s incredibly campy and over dramatic. Snart and Rory don’t really have much chemistry together, and while the whole ice/fire motif is nice, it seems simply lesser than anything we’ve seen so far. Their attempts to get The Flash by targeting his partners is predictable in the worst sense. While we get a nice ‘Ghostbusters’ reference in the mix, it’s still uneven for it.
Considering how keen and precise Snart was in his first appearance, he seems to have dropped the ball on this go-around. He’s devolved into a typical villain who makes cheesy threats over wide-spread video. . Perhaps the most significant thing here is Flash finally being revealed to the world at large. Whereas before he’s nothing but rumour, this episode has him openly accepting a challenge by the villains.
The climactic battle is where the episode hits its emotional stride. It boasts some good visuals and has suitably epic music backing it up. While it goes against most of what Barry learned during his training, it’s still interesting that (with the exception of Reverse Flash) that his most competent villains so far aren’t meta-humans.
The episode leaves us with a hook for the next appearance of Snark and Rory, as an unseen lady springs them free from their ride to prison. Barry moves back in with Joe after Iris moves out, and Cisco manages to get a thank you from the Chief of Police for helping them combat Snark’s freeze gun.
All in all, it’s a good return of The Flash, though it is slightly hampered by lackluster villains and little in the way of action.
Who do you think freed Snark and Rory? Should Barry have moved back in with Joe? Let us know what you think in the comments below…