The Snarts … talk about a dysfunctional family!  While you might think that Barry Allen and his father are somewhat messed up, or even his potential relationship with his step-sister is a bit weird, the Snarts are definitely the poster children for a screwed up family.

Golden Glider (Captain Colds sister) tracks down Cisco at their local coffee shop and pleads with him for assistance.  It seems that Leonard has taken up his evil ways with their father – a particularly nasty character – played by Michael Ironside in his normal intimidating way.

Lisa tells Cisco that their father used to beat her & Leonard when they were children & she can’t believe that Leonard would have gone willingly with him so she needs the Flash’s help to get her brother out of trouble.  Cisco flexes his tech muscles to track Snart’s Cold Gun & when the Flash finds him, they eventually realize that Lisa’s story checks out.  It seems that their father is even worse than she thinks as he’s planted a bomb in Lisa’s head and is using that as leverage to get Leonard to work with him.

Flash (Jay Garrick)
Flash (Jay Garrick) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While Cisco works on a plan to extract the explosive from Golden Glider, Barry decides to infiltrate the Snart crime family, posing as a security expert. After a tense interrogation by Papa Snart, Barry joins them on their latest caper to steal a cache of valuable gems. Barry uses his wit and some speed to ensure their success. Lewis betrays him at the last minute and shoots Barry. Unknown to Lewis, Barry uses his speed to catch the bullet but fakes his death.

After successfully breaching the security system, Leonard and his father argue over life choices. Cisco informs Barry that he has removed the bomb from Lisa and the Flash arrives to stop Lewis from escaping. When Leonard learns his sister is safe he puts and end to his father’s abuse once and for all with an ice blast to the chest.

On a more personal side, Joe struggles with the truth about his ex-wife and how he can tell Iris that her mother is really alive.  After a talk with Barry he decides to proceed and the show hits an emotional high in a dramatic and touching scene as Joe confesses the truth. Iris shows her maturity and forgives her father for the deception, but is weary of meeting her mother after two decades.

The show ends with a quite delightful scene with Patty Spivot (Shantel VanSanten) picking up coffee at Jitters and inadvertently assuming that Barry was actually asking for her number.  It’s entertaining to have another cast member unaware of Barry’s alter ego. I look forward to that reveal and hope they develop a relationship between these two awkward champions of justice. 

Back at the collider, Jay has stabilized the wormhole, dubbed the Speed Cannon, and plans to leave Earth 1. Stein has a frightening relapse, bursting into blue flame and then collapsing. As the team works to stabilize him a visitor arrives through the newly stabilized dimensional door…

Television seems to go up and down in waves with different types of shows being popular at different times.  At one point, we had Space SciFi as a popular medium with shows like Star Trek, Stargate, BSG, Babylon 5 and others all on at the same time.  Similarly we had a slew of reality television shows – some of which are still extremely popular whereas others have fallen out of favor.  We now seem to be in a time of comic book nirvana however with some of the greatest characters and stories appearing on both the small and big screen!

Superhero movies have become the real BIG thing at the box office and there are several studios scrambling to get a slice of the big pie it is and create some lasting legacies. Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Agent Carter which pick up from the Marvel Universe are perhaps more procedural in focus and deal with spies and intrigue, whereas The Flash (read my Season 1 review on SFF World), Arrow & Gotham (built around the DC Universe) are definitely more comic book focused, but they’ve each taken it so much further and yet in completely different directions!

Since there are so many good things I can say about this show and in honor of Flash’s return to our screens, here are my top 5 episodes from Season 1.  I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

5. Episode 15 – Out of Time

A real game changer of an episode here with Harrison Wells admitting his real identity to Cisco just before he proceeds to kill him (!) and Barry and Iris declaring their mutual love (finally) for each other.  However Barry’s trip through time (another key point to this episode it must be stated) to stop the tsunami managed to reverse all of these elements for everyone except Barry.

4. Episode 17 – Tricksters

When a show goes out of its way to pay homage to what came before and does it in a way that is not only respectful, but also interesting, well when that happens you have to give it credit and in Episode 17, the Flash did exactly that.  With the reappearance of Mark Hamill (James Jesse) reprising his role as the Trickster from the original 90s version of the Flash and with Barry’s dad having some key scenes it was definitely old home week!

Of course, that probably wasn’t the best part of this episode – it was (in my opinion) the reference to Star Wars that completely pushed it over the edge, causing me to almost fall of my seat!

Other huge surprises this week included the real face of Eobard Thawne – not Harrison Wells as we originally thought but rather someone that took over Harrison’s body.  Talking about faces, we also have Barry revealing himself to both his father and Eddie.

3. Episode 8 – Flash vs. Arrow

While a fan of both shows, my preference here is definitely for the more light-hearted Flash and while I know that Arrow has faced some foes with a bit more ability, his primary enemies have seemed to be more of the thuggish variety vs. the super-powered.  As such I thought that this fight was nothing more than a foregone conclusion with Arrow being quickly and easily defeated by Flash.  I couldn’t have been more wrong!

2. Episode 21 – Gorilla Grodd

I’ll be honest this was a toss up for first place for me as I think it was just done so well.  Gorilla Grodd could have been nothing more than a caricature and a man dressed in a gorilla suit, but by contrast he was exceptionally well written and shown.  He was fierce and scary and the looks on the faces of the characters as they confronted this monstrosity were just spot on.   This was a risky episode … it could have gone either way as you wouldn’t expect a telepathic, super strong, super intelligent Gorilla to be a viable character, but it paid off for sure.  The graphics (especially for a Television show) are excellent and Grodd delivers in spades!

1. Episode 1 – Pilot

Most pilot episodes are nothing more than filler and spend most of their time introducing the character and his supporting cast but with the Flash we got so much more.  We understood his motivations and reasons for being, we found out about some of his greatest villains and we also discovered how he got his powers.  To say that this show “hit the ground running” would not be untrue at all!  Perhaps most importantly though, this show gave us a comic book hero that wasn’t afraid to use super-powers!  Unlike Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D which focuses only on the people, the Flash gave us glitz and glam right from day one and it was such a refreshing change!