written by Conrad Wrobel (@conradwrobel)
The fourth installment of the fastest man alive introduces one of The Flash's greatestEST nemeses, the feared and frosty Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller), AKA: Captain Cold. The title of the episode is homage to things to come, as C. Cold is known for being the leader of the "Rogues", a team composed of the scarlet speedster's greatest enemies. Truly, this episode kicked off the next stage of Central City's criminal activity, and thusly how hard the Flash is going to have to work to prevent it. #RoguesGalleryComingSoon
We join Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) as he cross-trains his ability to multitask and prioritize at S.T.A.R. Labs, which is interrupted by our villain's first act of grand larceny-- robbing a moving armored truck. The soon-to-be C. Cold's introductory moment is attempting to freeze off the locked rear door of the truck by spraying liquid nitrogen on it. The Flash races in to save the day; unfortunately resulting in the baddies shooting one of the security guards and leaving them time to escape as our hero is forced to rush him to a hospital. Obviously, he has yet to master multitasking or he would have restrained them in the process of knocking them on their collective arses. (If only Multiplex was still around to help...) #RoleModel
Things get tense when C. Cold comes into possession of a new weapon, a "compact cryo-engine" (Freeze-Gun) that shoots a beam of absolute zero, stolen from S.T.A.R. Labs. This escalation firmly establishes him as the supervillain he was meant to be, while providing him the power to combat the Flash. Our hero learns this the hard way while responding to C. Cold's second attempt at heisting a diamond the size of a fist from an inadequately protected museum hosting the exhibit. This encounter results in the death of a bystanding security guard, which haunts the crimson crusader and his associates. However, this later leads them to realize their shared responsibility and purpose, morally encouraging them to push ever onward as a team. #GuiltyByAssociation
All the while, Barry has an invasion of heart-throbbery as Arrow's Felicity Smoak (Emily Bett Rickards) pays a visit. You may remember that Barry had the opportunity to interact with her in Arrow's second and third season-- episodes "The Scientist", "Three Ghosts", and "The Calm". Well, she's back for more Barry, having overheard his pilot-episode's rooftop vigilante conversation with Green Arrow/Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell). Sufficed to say, things between Felicity and our hero heat up faster than his non-friction-resistant shoes! #Smoaking!
My take-away from this episode is my previous hashtag
#SoGoodIDontCareAboutScience... as in, I'm taking it away! #50PointsFromGryffindor! To chip to the point, C. Cold doesn't do physics well. (Hell, neither does the Flash [We all saw in The Amazing SpiderMan 2 what happens when you suddenly arrest acceleration. #Amiright?] but that's not the point.) I could make, argue, and finish the whole discussion with "ENERGY IS CONSERVED, THAT GUN DOESN'T WORK! A VACUUM FULL OF L-E-D LIGHTS MAKES MORE SENSE!!!", but that wouldn't come close to relieving my complex and extensive nerdrage.
Let's complain about our nuevo el Capitan Queso for a minute, shall I? I dislike that he starts the episode using a "freeze-gun", it was a cheap nod to the audience about who he is. I say cheap because it's completely unrealistic, and frankly, not cheap at all. Liquid Nitrogen is expensive, traceable, and terribly ineffective for the task at hand. If C. Cold was a mastermind looking to rob an armored truck in under 2 minutes, thermite makes much more sense. First of all, it's almost untraceable-- being a mixture of rust and aluminum powder, set off by burning a magnesium strip fuse (#ThanksMacGyver). So basically $50 at Walmart versus several hundred dollars worth of LN (not to mention the unordinary containment and distribution equipment). Oh yeah, and spraying liquid nitrogen does not result in frozen object-- the LN would convert immediately into a gas upon contact with room temperature solids. Items are frozen by LN through submersion or direct contact (like warts or Walt Disney's disembodied head). Even if C. Cold had enough LN to pour onto the steel door to make it brittle, it would still need a battering ram worth of force to actually crack it. Besides this, the amount of nitrogen gas that would be released in the process would asphyxiate C. Cold , or given him a vicious Captain Cough.
So, flat out ignoring the first botched attempt at a freeze-gun, through no fault of C.Cold he gets hooked up with a new one AND immediately turns it upon the one guy who stole it!!! (First of all, never kill your arms dealer, they don't grow on trees.) Not just is an incredibly bad business strategy (although it's the arms dealer's own fault for not having security), but also not behavior canon C. Cold would typically exhibit. After all, he does lead the Rogues in their "code of honor" and typically does not murder.
I also dislike that this rendition of the character is presented as a high-school dropout with no strategic or technologic training, yet is capable of creating master-plan heists and can apparently hack into a brand new piece of stolen technology to stop it from autoupdating?! I HAVE A COLLEGE DEGREE AND CAN'T FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET MY PHONE TO STOP AUTOUPDATING!!! Le sigh, maybe he picked up a few tricks during that prison break.... #OrHeJustWrappedItInTinfoil
The only saving grace for his character is that if he is stupid enough to use liquid nitrogen to break into an armored truck, he's definitely not the cold and craft Captain Cold we grew up with. Meaning, I can write this whole upset off as CW's creative license gone wrong while they busy themselves reinventing characters again.
To wrap things up, I've been told there are only two situations when you can throw out your high school physics and chemistry cookbooks: when things go as fast as the speed of light or when objects reach absolute zero. As Doctor Who would put it, physics go all wibbley-wobbley and wrong when things go too fast or get too cold. That being said, I'll avoid tearing apart the science behind how C. Cold's gun works (or shouldn't, EVER!) or how Barry can light his shoes on fire by running up a building, but not his pants... However, I am still unhappy how, according to this episode, security guards are inherently not good at providing security. Their portrayal in this show is an insult to guards, soldiers, enforcers, and even fences. #InsecurityGuards