The third episode of The Flash‘s second season, “A Family of Rogues,” brings a welcome diversion from the breaches and a return for the Snart family. But even if the villains this week have nothing to do with the bridge between Earths, Jay was able to theorize a way to stabilize the one under S.T.A.R. Labs.
Meanwhile, Professor Stein took a rest after collapsing at the end of last week’s episode and Lisa Snart reappeared looking for the Flash’s help. Despite their handful of appearances, the Snarts are surprisingly strong characters and this episode delivers a new, if unsurprising, shade: an unhappy home. Michael Ironside was a welcome presence as Louis Snart, a career criminal that was abusive to his kids and whose cavalier attitude toward civilians in his wake likely lead to Snart’s complicated ethics.
And while it is sad both Snart children had bad homelives, it was unclear, at first, as to whether or not this was another one of Lisa’s long cons. Cisco was wary of this, too, and it’s interesting to see how that trust issue plays out as their friendship develops.
But the Snarts were not the only family in crisis this week as Joe finally had to admit to Iris that her mother, Francine, is alive and seemingly well. As we finally learn in the middle of the episode, Francine had her troubles and after Joe tried to get her into rehab one last time, she vanished. Jesse L. Martin‘s ability to tear up on demand is one of the show’s secret weapons and it’s hard to be mad at someone that vulnerable. Thankfully, Iris has understanding this year and immediately forgives him. Of course, at some point, Joe’s need to keep Iris safe — which caused so much needless hassle last year — will blow up in his face.
Also, how did Francine learn about Eddie’s death? Or that Iris was with him?
A brief interlude at the wormhole give us two facts: Caitlin likes Jay and Big Belly Burger exists on Earth-2. The characterization of Jay as a physicist who stumbled into heroing is great, as are his feelings on “the rush” he gets by being able to save people. Hopefully, he’ll get his speed back soon.
In the A-plot, Louis planted Lisa with a bomb so Snart will help him with a robbery. It’s all thwarted in the nick of time, but sees Snart kill his own father. When Flash asked him why he did it, Snart said, coldly, “He broke my sister’s heart. Only fair I break his.” A subsequent scene at Iron Heights Prison sees Barry telling him that despite this, he could still change his life. A setup for Legends of Tomorrow.
Like Martin, Wentworth Miller‘s Snart is a fantastic weapon in the show’s character arsenal. Miller plays him with such gusto that it really is no surprise he will anchor his own series in the new year.
Also on the cold front, Barry’s suit now has thermal-threading to prevent Snart from freezing Barry to death.
With Snarts either dead, in prison or leaving town, Team Flash celebrates Jay’s Speed Cannon, which stabilized the breach. Stein returned from his sick day and all seems great as Jay agrees to stay on Earth-1 until Zoom is dealt with. Unfortunately, it seems Stein is still infused with Firestorm energy.
And just who is the Wells seen glimpsed in the wormhole?