The Flash: Season 2, Episode 3 - "Family of Rogues"

In this week's episode of The Flash, the superhero asks "Do you trust me?" Once again, this series earns that trust.

The Flash

Airtime: Tuesdays, 8 pm
Cast: Grant Gustin, Candice Patton, Teddy Sears, Danielle Panabaker,Wentworth Miller, Peyton List, Carlos Valdes, Jesse L. Martin, Michael Ironside
Subtitle: Season 2, Episode 3 - "Family of Rogues"
Network: CW
Air date: 2015-10-20

This week's episode of The Flash starts off at full throttle. Iris (Candice Patton) is pinned down by gunfire in a Central City skyscraper. She calls Barry (Grant Gustin) for help. The bullets fly around her head and shatter the glass in the windows. She is afraid, trembling with fear; he is calm and sure. "Do you trust me?" he asks her over the telephone from far away. "Ok," he says, "then jump."

So she does. She jumps right out of the high-rise window, trusting that the friend that she is talking to from miles away will save her.

Of course, he does. He is the Flash, the fastest man alive. She summons that trust, and that faith, and jumps from the window; she leaps into the void. Before she hits the ground the Flash has raced across town and up the side of the building to catch her in his arms.

I don’t know about the physics of this stuff. It all seems highly improbable to me, this racing across town and up the side of buildings, this catching a falling body and taking it safely to the ground, this streak of lightning that follows the Flash wherever he goes. It is all completely unbelievable, completely absurd.

But week after week I find that I do believe, and not just because the special effects make it seem so real.

I remember the ads for 1978's Superman movie. I remember the tagline: "You will believe a man can fly." And I did. I was 11 years old and I believed. The special effects, even in 1978, were better than anything that I’d ever seen before. Then, in the blink of an eye, it is 30 years later and I watch the film again. The special effects are now unbelievably laughable, but it doesn’t matter. I still believe. As it turns out, it wasn’t about the special effects at all.

It is the same with CW's The Flash. It isn’t the special effects that make the absurd seem real. It isn't the special effects at all. It is that moment when Barry says to Iris, "Do you trust me? Okay, then jump."

As with every episode of this series, "Family of Rogues" is chock full of twists and turns taken at the speed of the Flash himself. References to comic book characters and storylines are thrown out with near-reckless abandon. Bits and pieces of future plotlines are dropped along the way. Even after the story is neatly wrapped up, the scenes keep coming, building toward the future, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats. And much of it is completely and totally absurd.

This week, the breach in the basement that leads to Earth-2 is discovered. Teddy Sears as Jay Garrick, the Flash of the alternate Earth, works with Danielle Panabaker's Caitlin Snow to build a "speed cannon" that uses "quark matter" and "dark energy" to prepare the breach to send him back home. A bomb is placed inside someone's neck and sucked out with an air gun. The Flash's suit is equipped with "therma threading" to keep him warm in the event of an attack by Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller). Cold uses his "Cold Gun" to freeze a laser security system. The Flash runs and runs, catches bullets in his bare hands, and cracks security codes at the speed of light.

It is all fabulous fun from start to finish. Even when I scratch my head at how or why something worked the way it did -- specifically how and why Cold's gun was able to freeze those laser beams in mid-air. Even then I don't mind, even then it all makes perfect sense, and not just because of the special effects.

In the opening scene, Barry asks Iris if she trusts him. She does. She trusts him enough to leap from a tall building in a single bound, to leap from a dangerous situation to an even more dangerous one, just because he asks her to.

Then Captain Cold's sister Lisa (Peyton List) reaches out to Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and asks him for help, asks him and Barry and all of the others to trust her. He does; they do.

Then Joe (Jesse L. Martin) has a terrible secret, a secret that may drive his daughter Iris away from him. When he hears the truth, Barry trusts Joe without question and tells him that he should trust Iris as well, trust that "she can handle anything that comes her way." He is right; she can and she does.

Then Barry risks his life to pose as a crook and infiltrate the heist being pulled by Captain Cold (against his will) and his father (Michael Ironside). Barry trusts that Cold will do the right thing, he trusts Cold to trust him in return.

Then Cisco has to rescue Lisa (also known by her meta-human name, The Golden Glider). He has to remove that bomb from her neck while the Flash is in a stand-off with her father, who holds the detonator. "I trust you, Cisco," she says.

Then, when it is all over, Lisa tells Cisco: "You taught me to trust people. I trusted you. You might actually be my first real friend." Cisco, trusting but skeptical, replies, "Is any of that true?"

I suspect that Cisco is right to have his doubts. I also suspect that some of the other character's trust will turn out to be misplaced. I suspect this because I know that some things are harder to do than catching someone who is jumping from a high-rise building, and that some things are harder than using an air gun to remove a bomb from someone's head. But that's okay. Trust, after all, like faith, is not incompatible with doubt.

When a television program starts with a man running across town and then up the side of a building in order to catch a friend in mid-air, no matter how good the special effects are, it is hard to believe that there is going to be anything believable to follow, hard to trust that it will offer anything human and real.

With this episode The Flash, once again, has earned that trust.


In Americana music the present is female. Two-thirds of our year-end list is comprised of albums by women. Here, then, are the women (and a few men) who represented the best in Americana in 2017.

If a single moment best illustrates the current divide between Americana music and mainstream country music, it was Sturgill Simpson busking in the street outside the CMA Awards in Nashville. While Simpson played his guitar and sang in a sort of renegade-outsider protest, Garth Brooks was onstage lip-syncindg his way to Entertainer of the Year. Americana music is, of course, a sprawling range of roots genres that incorporates traditional aspects of country, blues, soul, bluegrass, etc., but often represents an amalgamation or reconstitution of those styles. But one common aspect of the music that Simpson appeared to be championing during his bit of street theater is the independence, artistic purity, and authenticity at the heart of Americana music. Clearly, that spirit is alive and well in the hundreds of releases each year that could be filed under Americana's vast umbrella.

Keep reading... Show less

From genre-busting electronic music to new highs in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and Americana to rock and pop, 2017's music scenes bestowed an embarrassment of riches upon us.

60. White Hills - Stop Mute Defeat (Thrill Jockey)

White Hills epic '80s callback Stop Mute Defeat is a determined march against encroaching imperial darkness; their eyes boring into the shadows for danger but they're aware that blinding lights can kill and distort truth. From "Overlord's" dark stomp casting nets for totalitarian warnings to "Attack Mode", which roars in with the tribal certainty that we can survive the madness if we keep our wits, the record is a true and timely win for Dave W. and Ego Sensation. Martin Bisi and the poster band's mysterious but relevant cool make a great team and deliver one of their least psych yet most mind destroying records to date. Much like the first time you heard Joy Division or early Pigface, for example, you'll experience being startled at first before becoming addicted to the band's unique microcosm of dystopia that is simultaneously corrupting and seducing your ears. - Morgan Y. Evans

Keep reading... Show less

The Best Country Music of 2017

still from Midland "Drinkin' Problem" video

There are many fine country musicians making music that is relevant and affecting in these troubled times. Here are ten of our favorites.

Year to year, country music as a genre sometimes seems to roll on without paying that much attention to what's going on in the world (with the exception of bro-country singers trying to adopt the latest hip-hop slang). That can feel like a problem in a year when 58 people are killed and 546 are injured by gun violence at a country-music concert – a public-relations issue for a genre that sees many of its stars outright celebrating the NRA. Then again, these days mainstream country stars don't seem to do all that well when they try to pivot quickly to comment on current events – take Keith Urban's muddled-at-best 2017 single "Female", as but one easy example.

Keep reading... Show less

It's ironic that by injecting a shot of cynicism into this glorified soap opera, Johnson provides the most satisfying explanation yet for the significance of The Force.

Despite J.J. Abrams successfully resuscitating the Star Wars franchise with 2015's Star Wars: The Force Awakens, many fans were still left yearning for something new. It was comforting to see old familiar faces from a galaxy far, far away, but casual fans were unlikely to tolerate another greatest hits collection from a franchise already plagued by compositional overlap (to put it kindly).

Keep reading... Show less

Yeah Yeah Yeahs played a few US shows to support the expanded reissue of their debut Fever to Tell.

Although they played a gig last year for an after-party for a Mick Rock doc, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs hadn't played a proper NYC show in four years before their Kings Theatre gig on November 7th, 2017. It was the last of only a handful of gigs, and the only one on the East coast.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 Popmatters.com. All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.