Mar 20, 2020
The Flash Barry can't catch a Cold (S1 E4 Recap)
Previously on The Flash: Barry and Felicity of Team Arrow have dorky crushes on each other, and Iris is dating Detective Zoom.
Today, Voiceover!Barry wants us to guess what he does on his days off. Read comics? World of Warcraft? Scour the internet for the perfect cat gif? Oh, wait, that’s me. No, on his off days, Barry hangs with Team Flash, doing Flash things: playing chess with Harrison, table tennis with Cisco, and Operation with a disgruntled Caitlin (“This isn’t even remotely anatomically correct!”). And being the Flash, he’s doing them all the same time. Harrison claims that they’re challenging Barry’s ability to multitask, but everybody seems to be having fun.
A couple of security guards (from Blackhawk Squad Security, which, comic check: Blackhawks used to be a squadron of fighter pilots that operated from a hidden base, though in DC’s New 52 relaunch they were more of a paramilitary organization) are driving an armored car and helpfully holding a newspaper informing us that Central City Museum is holding an exhibition of a Kahndaq diamond. A black-clad figure on a motorcycle watches the armored car pass and takes off after it, soon joined by a second rider and a tow truck driving backwards. The bikers secure the tow truck’s hook to the back of the armored car, which is then hoisted off the road. The thing must be back wheel drive because it’s now dead in the water, and the bad guys’ leader is free to supercool the back door of the armored car. (comic check: Hi, Captain Cold!)
Back at STAR Labs Stadium, Harrison beats Barry at chess and is unbearably smug about it, but apparently Barry won Operation and ping-pong. That’s enough playing around, though, because the armed robbery has shown up on Team Flash’s police scanners, and Barry takes off, easily taking out the motorcycle henchmen and knocking Cold down. He starts to leave, but a third henchmen gets out of the tow truck to shoot a security guard as he flees. While Barry speeds the guard to the nearest hospital, Cold and his crew escape.
Joe and Eddie examine the scene later, expositing that the tow truck was stolen, as was the memory card from the security cameras. The Kahndaq Dynasty Diamond, however, was not stolen. Eddie mentions that he’d heard about the diamond exhibition because Iris wants them to go together, and he starts talking all couple-y for a second before he realizes how hard Joe is glaring at him.
Barry makes it to the scene late (of course), and mostly just tells us that they used liquid nitrogen to get the door open. I only have minimal experience with liquid nitrogen (for freezing insects so I could crush them into powder and steal their nucleic acids!), but I’m not sure it works like that. He also saw Captain Cold’s face, since he lost his mask. Joe is pleased.
Back at the station, Barry super-speedily flips through a book of mugshots (in a public hallway) and finds the perp, a previous arrest by the name of Leonard Snart (comic check: yes, that is Captain Cold’s real name). Joe recognizes Snart and exposits that his father was a bad cop who beat his kids, ‘til he went to jail. Snart the Younger has an M.O.: he cases a job for a really long time and then pulls off a heist every six months or so. That’s not so much an M.O. as a business plan. Iris interrupts Joe’s disdain for Barry talking about himself in the third person by bringing coffee, which Barry accepts cheerfully. Joe claims he’s off caffeine and stomps off grumpily because he’s still mad at Iris.
Iris is at the station to tell Barry about her new blog, which she started after all the journalism classes she’s been taking. I thought it was just one class to fulfill, somehow, a sociology requirement? Does she mean, like, all the times she’s had to go to class this semester? I hope that’s what she means. Of course the blog is about the Streak. Barry acts like it’s the stupidest idea he’s ever heard and gets all uppity about how he can’t discuss an ongoing investigation when Iris asks to see the police report for the armored car robbery. I mean, technically he’s right, but he also has very obviously just created this rule with Iris. He goes on and on about the dangers of weirdos on the internet as they get to the Worst Crime Lab Ever, where Felicity (of Team Arrow) is waiting! How is a stranger off the street allowed to hang out by herself in a crime lab? Anyway, Barry is shocked and thrilled to see her, and Iris seems amused.
In Leonard’s den of robbery, he’s watching the security tape footage while his henchmen speculate about who or what the Streak might be. He tells a charming story about how his grandfather took Kid Cold and his sister (comic check: in the comics, Lisa Snart, a.k.a. Golden Glider, has ice skates that create a personal ice floe for her) to a diner that happened to be across the street from a Central City police station. It turns out it didn’t matter that his grandfather used to take them there, as the point is that Leonard still hangs out at the diner to clock police response times, which is why he went after an armored car: police response time for a moving target was much lower. He chastises the henchmen for “losing their cool” and shooting the security guard, which is against the Cold Club rules. Henchman with a Red Beard doesn’t want the heat of the Streak and says he’s out, and Leonard shoots him. I guess he wasn’t a guard, so.
Felicity and Barry are walking in a ridiculously idyllic park (seriously, there’s a guy playing guitar to a girl on a blanket, people kicking a soccer ball, well behaved dogs being walked, no trash anywhere…).
Felicity praises Iris and congratulates Barry, who has to correct her that Iris is not his girlfriend. Annoyingly, he calls her “just a friend” instead of “practically my sister.” Barry wants to know why Felicity is in Central City, and she just wanted to see Barry ambulatory again since he didn’t call, write, or run to Starling to tell anybody (except Oliver, but she’s right, he could’ve said hi to all of them!). Felicity wants to see him run, so he speeds to the top of a nearby building and takes a picture of the park (and Felicity, wow, his phone has some incredible zoom capabilities!), returning with his shoes smoking, which he claims happens sometimes, though we have yet to see it. He offers to show Felicity his frictionless suit next. Very suave.
At STAR Labs Stadium, Barry is showing off Team Flash’s headquarters. Oh shit, they have WAY more computer monitors than Team Arrow! Caitlin is concerned about what Felicity knows, but she says she’s very good at keeping secrets. Barry, who is terrible at it, tells Cisco and Caitlin that Felicity works with the Arrow. At least he doesn’t tell them, “you know, Oliver Queen?” Cisco realizes that Barry totally knows who the Arrow is, which means it’s only a matter of time before all of Team Flash knows. Harrison shows up, and Felicity is super starstruck, especially because Harrison starts reeling off her accomplishments. It’s cute, until he takes off his FAKE glasses and tells her he foresaw great things for her, in case we forgot about all his secrets. Barry and Team Flash show off his skillz to the visitor, breaking out the upgraded treadmill and everything.
Joe and Eddie are watching the Central City Museum, thinking that Leonard will try to finish what he started and snatch the diamond now that it’s on display. Eddie feels like this is the appropriate time to tell Joe how serious he is about Iris. Joe interrupts to remind Eddie that they are not friends, and he doesn’t want to hear about Eddie’s dating life, even though it is with his daughter. Eddie suggests they listen to the radio and cycles through two songs about love and sex while Joe makes hilarious faces. They decide to sit in silence.
Felicity and Barry enter the coffee shop where Iris works, and she is very obviously setting them up in her head. She wants Felicity to experience the excitement of trivia night at the coffee shop! Felicity is overwhelmed by the possibilities and tags out to call work. I’m not sure if she means her real job (Arrow check: Felicity works for Ray Palmer, hopefully to be known as The Atom, at Queen Consolidated) or her other real job, but probably both. Barry wants to know why Iris is forcing them to double-date, and Iris says Felicity is nice, and cute, and they obviously like each other. Barry promises to bring her to coffee shop trivia night. Thrilling.
Leonard is looking over some other bad guy’s weapons cache. He says he needs to slow things down and finds a badass-looking gun that weapons dealer exposits was stolen from STAR Labs. Fuck liquid nitrogen; Leonard has found his true, frigid calling. It even comes with safety glasses! Leonard kills the nameless dealer and absconds with the cold gun.
It’s trivia night! Barry, Iris, and Eddie have a table and the team name “E=MC HAMMER.” Oh, Barry. (Comic check: GET THIS, the trivia night is hosted by, according to the signs, Oswald Loomis…also known as The Prankster, who started his tenure as a Superman villain but was more recently a Nightwing villain in DC’s New 52 reboot. He was also played by Mark Hamill in the 1990s Flash TV show before Hamill went on to voice the Joker, whom Hamill’s Prankster was pretty much a lame knockoff of.) Felicity arrives in a super-hot black dress, and she’s amused by Barry’s choice of team name.
At Central City Museum (ha, there’s a banner advertising the “Hall of Heroes”), a tour guide is leading a group through an exhibit on Bobby “Bovine” McFeely, who rose to prominence early in Central City’s history after a devastating flood by saving seventeen whole cows. Leonard is part of the group and offers a bored kid who clearly does not care about Bobby “Savior of All Cattlekind” McFeely a piece of gum. The group moves on to the Khandaq Dynasty diamond, and the tour guide helpfully informs everyone that it has proximity alarms. The museum curator (his nametag reads “Dexter Myles,” and in the comics Dexter eventually curated the Flash museum) notices something is up and calls the police.
Back at trivia night, the question is “name these scientists” (Darwin, Galileo, Tesla, Pasteur, DesCartes; BUT I am again charmed by the easter eggs when Felicity and Barry assign three to “Erdel” instead, referencing Saul Erdel who is the DC universe scientist who accidentally brought Martian Manhunter to Earth DOES THAT MEAN MARTIAN MANHUNTER IS ON EARTH).
Team E=MC HAMMER wins the points, predictably. Iris asks Felicity if she has a boyfriend, and she does not. Eddie goes to get more coffee, and Felicity excuses herself to the restroom, leaving Iris a chance to smirk knowingly at Barry. She is seriously pushing the Felicity issue and wants to know what Barry is waiting for. Sigh.
At STAR Labs Stadium, Cisco has just discovered that the cold gun is missing and Harrison is not happy. Harrison says it’s only been missing for a day or two and implicates a janitor who didn’t show up for work (probably because he’s dead). Oh, turns out Harrison isn’t mad the weapon is missing; he’s mad that Cisco built it at all, because it is a weapon specifically designed to slow down the Flash. Good job, Cisco. Harrison is fucking scary, but I guess we knew that already from a couple episodes ago when he stabbed a dude.
At Central City Museum, Dexter is telling Joe that his suspicions were aroused not because he recognized Leonard, but because Leonard took the museum tour twice. Leonard senses he’s being watched by Joe and briskly walks away. Joe calls for backup.
At trivia, Eddie has lost points for the team because he hit the answer without checking with the resident geniuses first, and it was wrong. Which is inexplicable because the question was about the name of Han Solo’s ship. What the fuck, Eddie? He is definitely a villain, you guys. Meanwhile, Team Pride & Padawans, who are dressed as Luke, Han, Artoo, and Leia, get the answer.
Eddie gets a text about Leonard and gets up to go; Felicity tells Barry she’ll cover for him because she does it all the time for Oliver. Barry suggests that Oliver’s excuses won’t work so well for him, but Felicity can handle it anyway, so Barry takes off.
Cold is walking menacingly down the sidewalk, shoving people out of the way with Joe in pursuit. With a police car coming, Cold freezes the street, sending the oncoming car sliding towards Joe, who has to dive out of the way while Cold enters a theater. Joe follows, gun drawn, and as Cold turns around and shoots with the cold gun, Flash intercepts the beam. He and Joe are both thrown backwards. Barry says it burns, but he gets up. Cold begins shooting at bystanders, timing Flash, but eventually he shoots an usher before Barry can get to the man. Cold is satisfied, and Barry is stunned that someone died on his watch.
The spot where Barry took the cold beam is still numb, at STAR Labs Stadium, and Caitlin tells him it’s like third-degree frostbite and he’s lucky to be alive and regenerating. Barry tells the team that Leonard isn’t a metahuman, just a jerk with a weird gun. Felicity says he didn’t even finish high school so he couldn’t have built the gun, because education is the same thing as intelligence. Cisco comes forward, finally, to admit that he built the gun, which can achieve absolute zero, specifically to stop Barry. Cisco says he built it before he knew Barry was a good guy. Barry is angry that Cisco didn’t tell him, because at least if he’d known he could’ve been prepared, but somebody died instead. Cisco says he has to live with that, and Barry reminds him, rightfully, that as a team, they all have to live with it.
Iris is watching the news at home when Joe arrives, still not speaking to her. Joe doesn’t want to talk now, but Iris is insistent, saying that he pulled the same crap when she tried to sign up for the police academy and eventually she withdrew her application. Geez. That is some pretty shitty parenting, Joe, especially since we’ve seen explicitly what a good father he can be. It’s almost like he treated his son and daughter differently… Anyway, she says that she isn’t withdrawing this time. Joe tells her that he can’t guarantee Eddie’s safety, because being a cop isn’t safe, because he’s distracted by the knowledge that if something happens to Iris’ boyfriend, it’ll be his responsibility. Can’t you just switch partners?
The Cold Club is discussing hitting the museum again tonight. The henchmen aren’t interested, saying it’s going to be full of cops, but Leonard tells them he’s got the cold gun, which can stop the Streak. Henchmen both draw their guns on Leonard, saying they want out, but alive. He tells them they better kill him, because if he sees them again, they’ll be toast, and they beat it. Leonard just caresses the gun, uncaring.
Barry is running on the Flash treadmill when Felicity interrupts him. He says she should go get some sleep, but so should he. He’s haunted by the usher’s death and is training on the treadmill to go faster. Felicity tells him it isn’t his fault, or Cisco’s, and uses her experience on Team Arrow to remind him that it takes time for a team to trust each other and work together seamlessly. She also warns Barry that superheroing can be lonely, but he shouldn’t make it worse by isolating himself from his team.
Cold freezes the museum door and saunters inside. A guard or cop tells him to freeze, and he threatens to absolute zero his ass. Guard moves aside and for some reason doesn’t shoot him in the back as he walks by. It’s getting harder and harder to ignore and/or repress the memory of Mr. Freeze stealing a ridiculously large diamond from a museum in Batman and Robin. Is this a deliberate nod? If so, it’s a painful one.
Cold admires the diamond creepily.
At STAR Labs Stadium, Cisco has figured out how to track Leonard, whom he officially dubs Captain Cold, but they have to hack Central City’s network, which will take Cisco half an hour. Luckily, Team Flash is joined by Felicity, the self-proclaimed fastest woman alive (at hacking), who can do it in a minute. She hacks, Cisco triangulates, and Barry is off, after pointedly turning off his earpiece. Passive aggressive much?
Central City PD has also spotted Cold, and Joe orders Eddie to wait outside the train station for backup while he goes after Leonard. Felicity tells Team Flash they should go after Barry, because he was acting out of hurt but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t need help. She says she’d be as rich as Oliver Queen (who she’s mentioning for totally unrelated reasons) if she’d been paid every time the Arrow told her to back off. Felicity is an excellent mentor for all of Team Flash, frankly. Two seasons will do that, I guess.
Joe spots Cold in the train station and has his gun up, but Leonard is about to rev up the absolute zero on him when Eddie wings him in the shoulder. “I’m your partner,” he tells Joe, “not your assistant.” They run after the now-injured, I think, Leonard, but he makes it onto a train and escapes them; but not Barry, who flashes by the cops and onto the train. OMG, Leonard is in full-on Captain Cold parka and it is glorious.
Leonard claims he knows Barry’s weakness of wanting to save All the People and fires the cold gun at the floor of the train, freezing the entire wheel mechanism underneath. The train begins to derail, and Cold jumps off to safety. Barry does in fact prioritize saving All the People, running in and out of the crashing train with passengers. Once he’s done, jumping away from an exploding train car (what was explosive on that passenger car, exactly?), Cold is there to blast him.
Barry is pinned to the ground under a bridge of ice while Leonard villain monologues. He’s just about ready to take his leave when Team Flash (minus Harrison, plus Felicity) arrives, giant-ass prototype cold gun in tow. Leonard teases Cisco about his obvious nervousness, but Cisco’s pretty resolute; I wouldn’t test him. Neither does Cold, though he likes the nickname. He saunters off, refusing to leave the diamond, because while Cisco might shoot him over Barry, they both know he won’t shoot him over the diamond. And as it turns out, Cisco was bluffing the whole time: the prototype is actually a vacuum cleaner, plus LEDs. Nice work, Team Flash!
At STAR Labs Stadium, Cisco has lost the signal from Cold, ensuring that we will see lots of him in the future, as befits such a long-time Flash villain and sometimes antihero (comic check: Captain Cold is a long-time Flash villain and sometimes anti-hero). Felicity is ready to head back to Starling and her own team, and she and Barry have an awkward and adorable goodbye while his entire team watches. …I mean, I’d be up for a Team Flash/Team Arrow orgy. Barry and Caitlin head off, and Harrison goes full-on Hot Dad on Cisco, telling him not to ever do anything like that ever again so help him god.
At Central City PD, Joe is looking at Leonard’s mugshot when Iris shows up. She’s there to apologize to Joe for not thinking about how dating Eddie would have affected Joe. But Joe says Eddie showed his worth against Snart, and therefore might be good enough to date his daughter. Iris proclaims no more secrets, because superhero shows love irony about secrets. It does not escape Joe.
On the train back to Starling City, Felicity is reading Iris’ blog when Barry shows up in the empty car. They giggle over how startled Felicity was (jesus fuck they’re cute, this is ridiculous) before the conversation turns more serious. Felicity obviously picked up on Barry’s thing for Iris, and Barry knows that Felicity feels similarly about Oliver. Felicity sighs that they’re perfect for each other, and they decide they’re better off as friends, what with both pining for people they can’t have. Sigh. They do kiss, and it’s adorable. Fuck.
Leonard is telling someone that things have changed since the last job they pulled, and if he wants to work in Central City, he’s going to need a new crew. Snart opens up another of the weapons the STAR Labs janitor he killed earlier had stolen: this one shoots fire. “Are you in, Mick, or are you out?” Leonard asks. Mick is in. LONG LIVE THE ROGUES!!!!! (Comic check: “Mick” is probably gonna be Mick Rory, a pyromaniac and arsonist, who is an original member of the Rogues known as Heat Wave.)