As we saw at the end of last week’s episode of Arrow, Felicity Smoak, played by Emily Bett Rickards, will be heading to Central City to visit Barry Allen now that he’s awake, but she’s not the only one making waves for the Fastest Man Alive. Tonight’s episode, “Going Rogue,” will also see the debut for one of Flash’s most iconic and notable recurring villains, Leonard Snart a/k/a Captain Cold, played here with icy intensity by Prison Break star Wentworth Miller. While at a set visit in Vancouver, Nerdist and other outlets spoke to the cast of the CW’s newest breakout hit about what we can expect when it gets Smoaky and chilly all at once.
The cast are all pretty psyched to have Rickards’ Miss Smoak visit their halls (which in reality is only a few yards away from where Arrow is shot). Series star Grant Gustin was very pleased to see the chemistry Barry and Felicity had in Arrow get revisited. “They’re kind of like old friends,” he says, “There are awkward moments, of course, because it’s those two characters. But they’re comfortable with each other and they have more fun than you’ve seen them have.” But what does that mean? Do they get “closer?” Gustin would give nothing away. “It’s pretty clear by the end of the episode what their relationship is…I guess that’s not true.” And what of the supposed kiss we saw teased in the trailer? “It looks like we’re about to kiss; you don’t see us kiss, though, so I don’t know.”
Speaking of awkwardness, we also learned that there will be a double date of sorts in the episode featuring Barry, Felicity, Iris (Candice Patton), and Eddie (Rick Cosnett), which, given Barry’s feelings toward Iris, should be quite squirmy. “It’s not necessarily fun,” Gustin says concerning the meeting of Felicity and Iris, “[Iris] is oblivious to how Barry feels. She wants whats best for Barry; she’s more like ‘Go get her, Barry!'” Gustin is quick to dispel the term “double date” right away, though. “For the audience it’s going to be very funny and enjoyable. It’s not a typical double-date,” he says, “it’s more like awkward game night between friends. But there’s definitely some double-date elements.”
Cosnett seems to think it’s a double date, though, and not a particularly smooth one. “From the get go, it’s just a mess,” Cosnett reveals. “Some people are sweating, some people are flirting.” He also says that Jesse L. Martin, who plays Iris’ father and Barry’s surrogate father Joe West, watched every take of that scene with glee. “Every time we cut he just burst out laughing.”
Patton adds that she’s all for “Barlicity” to be a thing. “I think immediately Iris can see that Barry and Felicity are both super nerds and they speak the same nerd language,” Patton says of her character’s encouragement. “So for them to be together just makes sense to Iris. She sees Felicity and thinks Barry what is wrong with you why wouldn’t you go after this girl?” But Barry’s in love with Iris…isn’t that weird? “Love is complicated,” Patton explains. “It is. At the end of the day they are not brother and sister so it is not weird. Right? It’s not technically weird.” Sure, okay.
Felicity will also be re-meeting the team at STAR Labs, including Caitlin Snow, played by Danielle Panabaker, who says her character is initially a bit wary of Starling City’s best intel-gatherer. “I think initially when they first meet, Caitlin is a little skeptical because she’s very interested in protecting Barry,” Panabaker says, “and she’s worried about him and making sure he’s okay. So she’s a little bit concerned that somebody else has been let in on this secret.” However, this tension doesn’t last long. Panabaker adds, “But it’s a fast bond and similarly to the way that they worked together in the end of season two in Arrow, there are other elements that bring them together as well.”
The other major new player in this episode, and the source for the title “Going Rogue,” is Captain Cold, founder of Flash’s traditional team of regular villains, the Rogues. Cold is played, for the first of several appearances, by Wentworth Miller, who says that he is very excited to be part of this new take on a classic villain. “When I was cast,” Miller begins, full of trademark thoughtfulness and calm, “I went online and I Googled a few images and some of them I responded to and some of them I did not and then I thought, let me take my cue from, from what the writers have planned because I got the sense early on that there was a willingness to respect what’s come before, but also an interest in reinventing and giving things a fresh spin, so I thought, let me take the character from the pages of the script, specifically.”
It was a character Miller could really sink his teeth into. He continued, “what I responded to was this very powerful guy, who I think has been at the top of his game for a long time and maybe he’s gotten a little bored, a little complacent and then all of a sudden this extremely worthy adversary shows up and suddenly the game’s interesting again, and I think while he has it out for The Flash, on some level there’s also an appreciate and a certain degree of respect and I like the fact that he’s a villain, but there’s hints that other things are stirring beneath the surface.”
We also get the sense that, as in the comics, Snart isn’t necessarily an “evil” character, but just one who enjoys doing what he does and is very good at it. Miller explains, “I like the fact…that there are shades of gray, that there are things for me to kind of explore and layer in, that speak to the human side of Snart, because he does have a history and it is complicated and it does speak to who he is now.” The actor also seems to be pitching for Snart to come back quite a bit so he can get deeper into character. “It’s my hope that given time, we have a chance to explore some of those things.”
Snart’s glee in the rivalry with the Flash is certainly not shared by the hero. Gustin tells us, “It’s not fun for Barry. Like, it’s fun for Snart and that’s the whole thing that’s driving him. It’s like ‘Ohhhh, what’s this new challenge?’ And it’s kind of reenergizing [to him] trying to take his game to the next level. But for Barry, I think it’s kind of just a pain in the ass. This guy won’t go away. And there’s bigger things that Barry’s trying to focus on and it’s hard to focus on everything at once.”
Jesse L. Martin has nothing but praise for Miller and his performance. “He’s f***ing amazing. He’s really, really, really good. The first time we sat down with him for the read-through,” Martin explained, “he started talking, and I didn’t see Prison Break so I don’t know what he normally sounds like on television, but what I can say is Captain Cold is just the slowest, smoothest burn you’ve ever seen. And it’s funny to use the word “burn” because he’s Cold, but it is. It’s a slow burn, just deadpan funny, almost no inflections and still cool as hell. That guy’s amazing.” Martin also told us that Cold is “hell-bent on causing destruction,” and will be a thorn in Joe West’s side as well as the Flash’s.
This certainly won’t be the end of either of these characters being on The Flash. We’re told that episode 9 will be a big crossover with Arrow, which will see Oliver and Diggle make the trip to Central City followed by Barry and STAR LABS folk going to Starling City, and episode 10 will be the return of Captain Cold, this time joined by a new badass associate Heat Wave, played by Wentworth Miller’s Prison Break costar Dominic Purcell. But, more on that in the coming weeks. As for now, just prepare to go Rogue and get awkward.