Every superhero is only as good as his villain, and since it premiered, The Flash has had somewhat of a villain problem; none of them have been particularly memorable. However, tonight’s episode, aptly named “Going Rogue,” takes steps to correct this by introducing one of The Flash’s most famous foes, Leonard Snart, a.k.a. Captain Cold (Prison Break‘s Wentworth Miller). Not merely content with introducing this iconic villain, tonight’s episode also starts to look at how the presence of people with abilities has complicated things for not only our heroes, but also for Central City’s normal criminals.
We open at S.T.A.R. Labs, where Barry is concurrently playing chess against Dr. Wells, ping-pong with Cisco, and playing “Operation” with Caitlin, all of which is meant to test the speed of his mind by pushing him to multitask. However, this amusing test, set to the sounds of Free’s “All Right Now,” is interrupted when they are alerted to a robbery in progress. Naturally, Barry speeds off, but not before Wells calls checkmate in their game.
When Barry arrives on the scene, he finds Leonard Snart and his crew in the process of robbing an armored truck that’s transporting a diamond to Central City’s Museum. One of Snart’s men starts shooting at one of the armored truck’s guards, which forces Barry to give up on apprehending the crew in order to save the wounded guard.
Barry’s later able to identify Snart from a mugshot book because Snart removed his mask during the robbery. We find out from Joe that Snart’s father used to a policeman, but was a bad one and used to take his anger out on his children. Now he’s locked away in jail. His son, Leonard, went on to become a criminal mastermind who meticulously plans out all of his jobs for months and will disappear once they’re completed.
Elsewhere, Snart is scolding his men for their conduct during their operation. He’s a fairly, pardon the pun, cool villain and values order in the way in which he carries out his operations, so, obviously, he’s not happy that his men started shooting at the guards. Snart’s also annoyed, but at the same time somewhat impressed, by Barry’s interference in his operation because he plans every operation down to the minute and if it weren’t for the Flash’s speedy response time, they would’ve made it away clean and clear with the diamond.
Even before Snart becomes Captain Cold, it’s clear that this is a new foe for Barry; Multiplex and The Mist were all out for revenge and didn’t give their criminal activities much thought, and Mardon was just crazy. Snart, however, is in it for the thrill and seems oddly excited by the prospect of needing to up his game if he’s going to overcome this new challenge. Essentially, Barry has inadvertently created his first supervillain and member of his rogues gallery. Snart starts by upgrading his technology and enlists a criminal acquaintance, who has stolen a lot of tech from S.T.A.R. Labs and other places, to help him do so. At first the acquaintance offers his a fancy flame thrower, but Snart has already deduced one of Barry’s weaknesses, and says he needs something to slow things down. Luckily his guy has just the thing, a freeze gun.
NEXT: Felicity comes to town.