The Flash, Season 1, Episode 4, “Going Rogue”
Written by Geoff Johns & Kai Yu Wu
Directed by Glen Winter
Airs Wednesday at 8pm ET on The CW
Taking into account a DVR playback The Flash series pilot has risen to 6.8 million viewers and counting since it first premiered. That’s The CW’s most-watched telecast in the network’s history. If you count all platforms, the tally rises to 13 million viewers. If anything, “Going Rogue” will only help boost these numbers. With a script that never forgets its heroes’ humanity, and an episode that features two superpowered set pieces, “Going Rogue” lives up to its hype — and raises the bar for the DC canon. Not only does this episode introduce Wentworth Miller but the special guest star turned in a great performance as one of the Flash’s best-known enemies, the famous Captain Cold. And if that isn’t enough to tune in, “Going Rogue” was co-written by Geoff Johns, responsible for his fair share of some of the best Flash comic book stories. Finally, “Going Rogue” is also the first crossover episode, bringing Felicity Smoak over from the established hit series Arrow. The episode is good enough to keep all the DC Comics crazed audiences deliriously happy while keeping casual viewers captive. Ultimately, it all comes back to Johns, his clear vision for each character, and his funny, tender, well constructed script. As it turns out, The Flash doesn’t really need the help ratings-wise, but the presence of Geoff Johns makes this the best episode since the pilot.
Despite an overload of characters, the script from Geoff Johns and Kai Yu Wu brings out the best in everybody and manages to balance virtually every minor subplot it’s been building up so far. The writers have fun highlighting each character’s neurosis and they know which personalities clash to greatest effect. Warner Bros. can learn a thing or two from watching CW’s take on the DC Canon: One of the greatest strengths of The Flash series is adding a light touch of comedy to its adventures without ever descending into parody, something absent in every big screen DC live-action property of the past two decades. The creative team understands how to be self-aware without getting overly cute about it, and the performances from the entire cast are so well-pitched, meshing with such vividness and ease, that everyone comes out extremely likeable. Every actor seems to work well together and no characters are ever shortchanged. There’s great entertainment in The Flash – this is a comic book TV show done right.
Anyone concerned about how Felicity Smoak would fit in with this show, can now stop worrying. Not only is the dynamic between Grant Gustin and Emily Bett Rickards adorable to watch, but her charming personality and wit perfectly plays off of the supporting cast as well. Her performance is stellar; from her blushing when discovering that Harrison had her resume on file, to realizing she over-dressed for trivia night, to her awkwardly cracking her knuckles, and right down to the final scene when she reaches over and kisses Barry. The final train sequence is bittersweet, as Barry and Felicity admit they make a perfect match but aren’t ready to move past their unrequited loves. Felicity and Barry have an unmistakeable chemistry that’s so far been lacking in Barry’s interactions with Iris, which makes me hope we see more of her and Barry in the near future.
“Going Rogue” is fantastic on the action front as well – perfectly paced, with some really nice special effects work by a visual effects team who are growing more and more confident with each instalment. Director Glen Winter is no stranger to the small screen world of DC Comic adaptations, previously directing a dozen or so Smallville episodes as well as working as the key cinematographer for most of Arrow’s run. From the opening heist (a highway robbery of an armoured car), to a climactic episode of vehicular mayhem, “Going Rogue” delivers, in grand style, the thing most viewers demand from a Flash TV show: fun. And seriously, how many TV series would even attempt a slow motion train crash on the scale of Super 8?
And now to discuss the man of the hour: Instead of introducing yet another meta-human villain and killing him off before the credits role, “Going Rogue” instead introduces a classic comic book foe who will no doubt make a recurring appearance in the show: Leonard Snart, or as he is inevitably nicknamed by Cisco, Captain Cold is easily one of the greatest criminals in the DC roster. Like Batman, the Flash has a reputation for having fought a distinctive and memorable rogues gallery of super villains (some would argue greater). At times, various combinations of the Rogues have banded together to commit crimes or take revenge on the Flash, usually under the leadership of Captain Cold. Although generally portrayed as rough around the edges at best, Cold has been shown to have a surprisingly moral streak at times, as evidenced at the start of this episode when he requests his goons don’t kill innocent men. Unlike the other meta-humans we’ve seen, Cold has no superpowers and is not a victim to the particle accelerator blast. But he is still in a way, a product of STAR Labs since his weapon of choice is a freeze-ray gun developed by Cisco as a precaution in case Barry ever decides to turn heel. It’s an interesting bit of plotting that changes Barry’s relationship with the STAR Labs crew this week. As Felicity wisely points out, the group will surely experience sharp growing pains at the start of their relationship, and it is refreshing to see them lend a helping hand to the Scarlet Speedster.
Guilt is a major theme this week: Cisco’s guilt over designing the weapon that was used to harm and kill Barry reveals a side of him we hadn’t yet seen. Meanwhile Barry is left to cope with the fact that he wasn’t fast enough to save an innocent bystander. As for Captain Cold, Wentworth Miller didn’t have a great deal of time to flesh out Leonard Snart in this one episode, but we’ll surely have a chance to go deeper into familiar characters and mythology in upcoming episodes. I’m also curious to see how Dr. Wells will fit into all of this. Was he honestly angry at Cisco, or did he mastermind the whole situation and have the cold gun stolen in the first place?
– Ricky D
The Kahndaq Diamond comes from future Shazam villain Black Adam. Kahndaq is DC’s fictional Middle Eastern country, and home of Black Adam. The name has come up several times on Arrow, as well.
The mysetrious man who Captain Cold goes to see at the end of the episode is Mick Rory a.k.a. Heat Wave, who will be played by Dominic Purcell.
I love small moments like when Barry IDs the suspects by speeding through a book full of mug shots.
Great scene with Joe West and Eddie Thawne awkwardly discussing Iris followed by Eddie flipping through radio stations in search of a song that isn’t about romance.
There is also the mention of the location “4th and Kolins,” a nod to Geoff Johns’ Flash collaborator Scott Kolins.
We get to see Keystone City – Central’s twin city. In the comics, this is where the origianl Flash Jay Garrick operated, and where future Flash Wally West eventually moved to.
How long will it take before Barry Allen breaks the dimensional barrier?
Did anyone notice the “Hall of Heroes” in the Central City Museum
Felicity: “I’ve seen first hand what this life can do to people. It’s a lonely path. Don’t make it any lonelier than it has to be.”
Felicity asking if Barry will turn to dust and only leave behind a suit from running to fast is a direct
reference to Crisis on Infinite Earths #8, one of the most important comic books of all time.
Remember folks, the internet is full of weirdos.
The Flash will return to The CW on Tuesday, November 11th.