With the man he knows as Harrison Wells on the loose, Barry Allen will need help in stopping The Reverse Flash. But first, he'll need to evacuate all the metahumans being held in The Pipeline before Wells reactivates the STAR Labs particle accelerator. With the aid of the police denied Joe West and all of Barry's heroic allies AWOL, Barry will turn to the most unlikely of allies - Captain Cold!
Con-Air (the central plot involves a transport of dangerous criminals that goes amiss), numerous The Flash story-lines where The Flash and Captain Cold worked together to stop a bigger threat and The Brave And The Bold comics of The Silver Age (Arrow, Firestorm and The Flash team to fight The Reverse Flash).
Given the problems they've had whenever one of them is left alone, leaving Caitlin in the lab alone while everyone else goes to find Wells in The Pipeline seems incredibly stupid and the only reason it seems to happen is to give Iris a chance to prove herself saving Caitlin from Peek-A-Boo later.
Ollie's presence in this episode doesn't seem to make any sense relative to the timeline in his own series. How was able to escape from The League of Assassins just long enough to pick up some naninte-infused, speedster-neutralizing arrows from Ray Palmer and then make his way to Central City just long enough to help Barry out when he's been tightly held in Nanda Parbat for just over a month, making only one trip to the USA in that time?
For that matter, how long has Ray Palmer been working on speedster-neutralizing nanites?
Once again, Wentworth Miller steals the show as Captain Cold.
Peyton List, not to be outdone, plays the femme fatale expertly in playing with Cisco's emotions. She's almost certainly messing with him just to mess with him. And yet, one can't help but wonder, as Cisco does, if maybe she's not totally messing with him?
The opening scene, with The Reverse Flash's narration as we pan across the rest of the core cast is an effective opening. The images of Caitlin and Barry looking at photos of their lost loved ones as Eobard Thawne speaks of losing everything in a flash are particular effective.
The fight scenes in this episode - both the battle between with the escaping metahumans and the battle against The Reverse Flash at the end - and the special effects used during those fight scenes sets a new standard for superhero action on television.
The name of this episode is a nod to the movie Con-Air, which also centered upon the transport of a number of dangerous criminals gone awry.
Iris and Eddie's address is 203-2320 Western Ave, Central City USA, 74912. No state is given and 74912 is not a valid zip code, though the 749 prefix of a zip code is reserved for central Oklahoma. This is far and away from the general location of Central City in the DC Universe, which is usually placed in western Missouri, on the border with Kansas.
Captain Cold addresses Barry as "The Scarlet Speedster". In the comics, this is one of the alliterative nicknames for The Flash, like how Batman is The Caped Crusader and Green Arrow is The Emerald Archer.
When Barry and Snart are talking at the Saints and Sinners bar, the song Cold as Ice by Foreigner is playing on the jukebox. It's a nice audio pun regarding Cold's powers but the song - a warning to someone who manipulates people and scorns honest emotion for material wealth that sooner or later they'll pay for their crimes - seems like a message Leonard Snart could stand to learn from.
When they arrive at the Ferris Air landing strip, Snart comments that he thought Ferris Air shut down. Barry confirms that they did, shortly after one of their test pilots disappeared. This could be a reference to Hal Jordan - a test pilot for Ferris Air who went on to become the first Green Lantern from Earth. In the comics, Jordan did briefly disappear after he was taken to the planet Oa for basic training.
In the fight with The Flash, The Arrow and Firestorm, The Reverse Flash wields a special ring that shoots his costume out of it, which he changes into at super-speed. This is a nod to the classic Flash comics where Barry Allen kept his costume inside a special ring that allowed him to keep his costume close yet hidden where he could easily change into it at superspeed.
The Reverse Flash's wheelchair contains a futuristic batter that emits enough energy to power Central City. As best as Cisco can understand, The Reverse Flash was using this to power his speed and gain more power. This is why The Reverse Flash is faster than Barry Allen.
The "tube" that The Reverse Flash was working with in front of Eddie Thawne is a futurist power source that is, somehow, charging the STAR Labs particle accelerator despite not being visibly plugged into anything. Despite it being beyond his ability to manipulate, Cisco is able to guess that it will finish charging the accelerator in about 36 hours.
According to Cecila Horton, what STAR Labs has been doing with the metahuman criminals The Flash has been catching is unlawful imprisonment and attempting to move them in secret would constitute human trafficking. These are both very bad things.
Using the power source from The Reverse Flash's wheelchair and his uncle's shipping truck, Cisco is able to create an energy dampener. The back of the truck is flooded with so much energy it generates a transient pulse strong enough to disrupt a metahuman's powers.
The Arrow shoots The Reverse Flash with several arrows containing nanites programmed by Ray Palmer to deliver a high-frequency pulse that disables The Reverse Flash's speed powers.
The Reverse Flash: I want you to take a moment and think about all the things that define your life. All the people you love. Your job. Your co-workers. Your home. And now imagine that one day, in a flash, all of that vanished. Would you simply accept your new life and move continue on? Or would you do whatever it takes to get back what was taken from you? Because... I can assure you I will get everything that was taken... from me.
Joe: Let's say, hypothetically, I know a prison - of sorts - a place that can do what Iron Heights can't, where these metahumans, the bad ones, are being locked up.
Cecila: I'd be very concerned. Especially if, hypothetically, you had anything to do with it.
Joe: At what point do we become no different than the people we're fighting?
Barry: We are way different!
Barry: We only break the rules to help people.
Barry: I need your help with a problem.
Snart: Must be pretty desperate to come asking for my assistance, but I'll bite. What do you need?
Barry: Help transporting some people out of the city.
Snart: How many?
Barry: Five. Five very bad, very angry people who have powers.
Snart: Powers, hmmm? So you want me to, what, freeze the problem? Protect you from them if anything goes wrong? First rule of business - always protect yourself. I'm not going to help usher your enemies out of town.
Barry: Hey, they're not just my enemies. They're yours too.
Snart: I doubt it.
Barry: They will destroy Central City!
Snart: It's not my problem.
Barry: You said that you love it here! That this is your home!
Snart: I do. And it is.
Barry: Well, guess what? These people get loose, there won't be a city to love anymore. You won't be able to rob anyone if everyone is dead.
Snart: (pauses to consider) It's a compelling argument. But if I'm going to help you out, I'll need something in return.
(Snart begins writing something on a cocktail napkin)
Barry: Like what?
(Barry reads the napkin and snorts in disbelief)
Barry: No. This is impossible. I can't do that.
Snart: Then I can't help you.
Barry: There has to be... Snart, there has to be something you want that I can get!
(Snart inhales deeply)
Snart: Let me think about it.
Joe:What is going on with you? You working with that killer? This isn't who you are!
Barry: Who I am is the guy who's not fast enough to stop Wells! He - he hasn't been one step ahead of us, Joe! He's been 1000! I can't catch him! I can't beat him! But what I can do is save those people down there. Wells turned them into what they are and I'm pretty sure he doesn't care if they live or die. I do.
Lisa: Hey Cisco.
Cisco: Oh, hey... Captain Cold's evil sister.
Lisa: Awwww.... You're not still mad at me, are you? I really did enjoy kissing you.
(Caitlin spins around in her chair)
Caitlin: You kissed her?!
Cisco: Under duress. Calm down.
Lisa: I've - I've thought a lot about you.
Cisco: Have you really? (pause) Well, stop! Because this? Right here? (pointing to himself) It ain't gonna happen.
Lisa: (pouting as she leans in) A girl can hope.
(Lisa walks away as Cisco just stares straight ahead and Caitlin gives him a death glare)
Cisco: Really not enjoying being one of the good guys this week. REALLY not!
The Mist: If I had my powers right now, I'd gas you all out of existence!
Deathbolt: (laughs) And then you'd be standing in a container with four corpses. What would that get you?
The Mist: Peace and quiet.
Captain Cold (holding his gun on Weather Wizard and Rainbow Raider) How about we call tonight a tie?
(Rainbow Raider's eyes start to glow as Golden Glider walks up and points her gun to his head)
Golden Glider: I'd power down if you don't want me to melt your face.
(Rainbow Raider sighs and his eyes go back to normal)
Captain Cold: Let's all go our separate ways. My name is Leonard Snart.
Weather Wizard; I know who you are.
Captain Cold: Always pleased to meet a fan. Just remember who it was that made sure you didn't get thrown on that plane bound for nowhere.
Weather Wizard: You're just letting us go? (nods to Deathbolt's body) Why'd you shoot that guy?
Captain Cold: He owed me money.
Weather Wizard; Mmm. (pauses and looks at Cold) What? You want a thank you?
Captain Cold: Who doesn't like a 'thank you'?
Rainbow Raider: (pause) Thank you?
Captain Cold: (cheerfully) YOU are so very welcome!
The Flash: You sabotaged the truck, didn't you?! Why did you let them escape?!
Captain Cold: Because now they all owe me. And something tells me they'll be a lot more use to me as part of my Rogues than rotting away in the North China sea.
The Flash: You gave me your word!
Captain Cold: (chuckles) It's true, I did. But here's the thing. I'm a criminal. And a liar. And I hurt people. And I rob them. What did you expect me to do? Not be what I am? I saw an opportunity to turn things to my advantage. And I did. Who you're really mad at is yourself. This is on you, Barry.
The Flash: Then why don't you just kill me?
Captain Cold: (shrugs) Well, I guess you owe me one now, too. Good luck with (waves his hand around) all of this. I'm actually really excited to see how it all turns out.
Barry: I've seen the way that Oliver does things. And he's not afraid to just do whatever it takes to get what he needs and I thought I could do that too. I thought I could just use Snart but instead he used me.
Joe: You're not The Arrow, Barry. That's not the kind of hero you are.
Barry: What kind am I?
Joe: The kind that cares about whether or not those criminals lived or died. I mean, whatever Mardon, Nimbus and Shawna did, they're human beings. And you knew letting Wells use them as pawns was wrong. You know the difference between right and wrong and you weren't willing to blurr the lines between the two. That's the kind of man you are. And that's what makes you different than The Arrow. So please, no more walks on the dark side. Agreed?
Barry: (laughs softly) Yeah.
Iris and Eddie's address is 203-2320 Western Ave, Central City USA, 74912.
Cisco points out that liquid levitates whenever something involving The Reverse Flash is nearby. He specifically cites Barry's aquarium when he was a kid (101), Wells' champagne glass on the night of the particle accelerator explosion (103) and Captain Lance's coffee right before they found Harrison Wells' body (119). It happens again in this episode, with his orange soda as they open The Pipeline.
As the episode opens, only five metahumans are contained in The Pipeline. They are Kyle Nimbus (103), Roy G. Bivolo (108), Shawna Baez (112), Mark Mardon (115) and Jake Simmons (A319). AKA The Mist, Rainbow Raider, Peek-A-Boo, Weather Wizard and Deathbolt.
Joe discovers Eddie Thawne under The Pipeline. As he's helping him out, Iris discovers the ring Eddie was going to use to propose to her when he was kidnapped.
Eddie tells the rest of the core cast that The Reverse Flash told him his real name was Eobard Thawne and that they were related. Cisco confirms that Eboard Thawne is the name that Dr. Wells gave him in his dream/vision of the alternate time-line in 120.
Barry refers to Lian Yu - the island where Oliver Queen was stranded for several years, where ARGUS built a secret prison. This is where they sent Captain Boomerang after the events of A308 and where The Arrow keeps his worst enemies, including Deathstroke.
Joe speaks to Central City's District Attorney Cecile Horton, last seen in 119, about the possibility of police support for transporting hypothetical metahuman criminals. She refuses to consider the possibility and advises Joe, if he's involved in such a thing, to get out now.
Joe notes that Captain Singh, last seen in 120, is on his honeymoon.
Barry is able to secure an ARGUS plane after a phone call to Lyla Diggle, whom he met in A308.
Barry says that he couldn't get a hold of Oliver, who is in someplace called Nanda Parbat. This is the home of The League of Assassins and Oliver has made several trips there over the course of Season 3 of Arrow. At the time of this episode, Oliver is in the middle of playing at being the heir of Ra's Al Ghul.
Barry finds Len Snart hanging out a bar called Saints And Sinners.
Eddie, when pressed on his aborted proposal, confessed to Iris that The Reverse Flash showed him the future and that she was married to Barry.
20 hours pass between when Cisco discovers the device charging the particle accelerator and when Snart shows up at STAR Labs.
Snart agrees to help Barry in exchange for having all records of his existence erased, both physical and electronic.
Lisa Snart makes her first appearance since 116.
Snart reveals he has kept his word about keeping Barry's secret identity a secret from his associates, including his own sister.
Cisco has an uncle who owns a refrigerated shipping truck and uses it to deliver frozen food.
Lisa Snart has a Class A commercial driver's license.
Weather Wizard recognizes The Mist and notes that he was supposed to have been executed, as revealed in 103.
Ferris Air is said to have shut down after one of their test pilots disappeared.
Cisco gives Lisa Snart a code name - Golden Glider.
Barry is able to stop The Mist by using his hands to generate a whirlwind that contains The Mist until he solidifies. This is similar to the trick Barry learned to create a vacuum to put out an apartment fire in 120.
Peek-A-Boo escapes at the first opportunity, not taking part in the fight.
Rainbow Raider uses his powers on Caitlin, making her attack Cisco, forcing Joe to stop shooting at him to focus on stopping her.
The Mist runs off after The Flash becomes distracted, dodging Deathbolt's eye beams.
The Flash is eventually brought down after being struck by lightning, aimed by The Weather Wizard, while dodging Deathbolt's attacks. This shows that The Flash is not immune to the effects of electricity not generated by his own powers.
Deathbolt is killed by Captain Cold.
Weather Wizard knows of Leonard Snart by reputation but didn't know Deathbolt.
Weather Wizard and Rainbow Raider escape after Captain Cold lets them go. Captain Cold and Golden Glider are also at large.
Cisco is able to use "the light thingy" from 108 to cure Caitlin after she's possessed by The Rainbow Raider.
Oliver Queen is wearing his garb from his time as Al Sah-him of The League of Assassins.
According to The Reverse Flash, recorded history says that Oliver Queen lives to be 86 years old.
Once the Revese Flash is downed, Oliver Queen tells Barry he might need a favor. Barry agrees to it, wherever and whenever.
The Fridge Factor
Eddie dumping Iris by telling her that everyone (i.e. Barry, Joe and himself) knows she really loves Barry REALLY doesn't come off well. Like all the men in her life know her feelings better than she does?! Granting that Iris does assert her right to determine her own destiny, Eddie still comes off as dismissive of her protests that the can fight the future.
The Bottom Line
Easily the most action-packed episode of the series in terms of pure superheroics so far. The only real weak point is the Iris/Eddie scenes, but only because they're a distraction from the meat of the episode. I personally have misgivings about Captain Cold ditching his thieves' code of honor in this episode but the twist is handled well enough I can forgive it simply because they've perfectly captured Len Snart as the consummate professional whose ultimate rule is Look Out For #1.