From the very first time we were introduced to Captain Cold on The Flash, I have loved every opportunity the show has taken to bring Wentworth Miller back in the role. I loved when he joined DC’s Legends of Tomorrow full time and then loved again when we were introduced to Leo Snart a.k.a. Citizen Cold during this year’s #DCTV four-way crossover event: Crisis on Earth-X. If you remember the piece I wrote for the Couch Club during that crossover, I was very taken with The Flash’s introduction of the Ray, who happens to be the boyfriend of Citizen Cold.
Despite the episode being named “Fury Rogue” this week, Leo Snart brought such emotion and humanity to the show. It came wrapped up in his usual witticisms and jokes, naturally, and after all the time we have spent with his diverse incarnations of Captain Cold, I found it compelling watching him act as a sort of superheroic Jiminy Cricket for our boy Barry.
Spoilers: By the end of the episode, Leo Snart ascends to his costumed Citizen Cold realness by donning the togs of his previous Earth-1 doppelganger. I liked this move because I’m convinced it is a direct riff on the character’s comic book origin. Captain Cold is a classic Flash rogue, of course, who has existed since the Silver Age of comic books. It wasn’t until FLASHPOINT, written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Andy Kubert, that an alternate Earth version existed who used the moniker “Citizen Cold.”
Just like on The Flash, Citizen Cold dresses identically to his Earth-1 counterpart in the Flashpoint timeline. Unlike on The Flash, Citizen Cold is a revered Central City hero of the same caliber of popularity as the Flash on Earth-1. He even has a museum—which I love! Could you imagine if we ever get to go back to Earth-X on The Flash, or any of the other #DCTV shows, and Barry, Cisco and Caitlin emerge from a breach in full view of the Citizen Cold Museum? I would live, die and live again.
In Flashpoint, Citizen Cold has a moral code that is a little more dubious. It’s something closer to Oliver Queen’s moral code as the Hood during the first couple seasons of Arrow. He has a rogues’ gallery of his very own, like any good superhero, at least until some of them wound up suspiciously dead. This is a dynamic that I find very interesting and I like seeing on display. I enjoyed it on Arrow and I’ve enjoyed it in the comic books where almost every member of the Bat family has had to navigate this delicate balance at one time or another. It doesn’t really work for the tone The Flash has adopted since coming to television, though, so I understand why the bad guys Citizen Cold tends to go up against are Nazis.
In “Fury Rogue,” Leo Snart has a real focus on accepting the emotional consequences of your actions. He understands the strain that Barry is facing in the wake of Ralph Dibny’s death, and it is through admitting the high volume of casualties that his actions have inspired that Leo is ultimately able to help Barry unlock the grief that he has stored up inside.
All seriousness aside: I’m betting Ralph comes back!
Toward the end of “Fury Rogue,” we see Citizen Cold saying his final goodbyes to all of Team Flash as they are gathered together inside S.T.A.R. Labs in a scene very reminiscent of Dorothy’s parting scene in The Wizard of Oz. Some of these moments are funny (Cisco and his hair), some of them were very heartfelt and sincere (here’s looking at you, Iris). The connection that could be felt between Leo and Iris is likely another subtle nod back to that aforementioned Flashpoint comic book reality. There, Citizen Cold shares a friendship and good relationship with Iris West, as well, to the point where they are even seen out at dinner together before Leo is called away to save his sister, Lisa Snart, who had been kidnapped.
Remember Lisa Snart? Golden Glider? We saw her on The Flash back in Season 1, played by Peyton List—the same actress who is now playing Poison Ivy on Gotham. How’s that for a #DCTV Secret for you? And she’s not the only actor to appear on both Gotham and in the Arrowverse. I can think of at least two more. Can you?
But back to The Flash, those goodbyes felt really, pretty final tonight. I’m hoping that they aren’t, though, because Citizen Cold brings such a fun presence and compelling performance to the #DCTV Universe no matter what show he is on. The Flash is where he made his debut (as both Captain and Citizen Cold, no less!), and I would wholly love for him to show up again next season.
How about you, reader? Are you pro or anti-Citizen Cold? Let’s chat about it in the comments!
Ashley V. Robinson covers The Flash as a part of the #DCTV Couch Club. You can find her on Twitter at @AshleyVRobinson and on the Jawiin YouTube channel. The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. (7 p.m. CST) on The CW.