Tonight featured the return of some old friends and the first appearance of one of the most important figures in The Flash mythology...
...so of course, rather than enjoying the episode I was frantically scribbling away at notes.
Check it out here, folks: this is our last Easter egg hunt (on The Flash, anyway) of the year. See what we spotted, what we missed, comment, make suggestions, and we'll catch you back in 2016 to start it all over again.
MARK HAMILL, WENTWORTH MILLER AND LIAM MCINTYRE RETURN; KEIYNAN LONSDALE JOINS THE CAST AS WALLY WEST — When Mark Mardon AKA The Weather Wizard (guest star Liam McIntyre) returns to break Leonard Snart AKA Captain Cold (guest star Wentworth Miller) and James Jesse AKA The Trickster (guest star Mark Hamill) out of Iron Heights, Barry (Grant Gustin) must stop these rogues from taking over Central City during Christmas. Meanwhile, Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Iris (Candice Patton) meet Wally West (Keiynan Lonsdale). Kevin Tancharoen directed the episode written by Andrew Kreisberg (#209). Original airdate 12/8/2015.
Joe got that watch from his dad as a not-too-suibtle gift because he was always late?
This is where I point out for about a billionth time that being always late in his civilian life is something that has always defined Barry Allen as a character.
James Jesse's creepy Flash wall, with violent drawings looking like they were scrawled in crayon, isn't just reminiscent of that bit from the Deadpool trailer...
...it also seems to call back to the original Flash series' "The Trial of the Trickster," in which he has a load of hand-drawn valentines in his cell done in a kind of similarly twisted style.
That episode also involved a trap set for The Flash at a toystore. Not the warehouse, but...pretty close, really...!
In the comics, Wally West isn't Iris's brother...he's her nephew.
In the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe, Wally spent years as "Kid Flash" after being granted similar powers to Barry's in a nearly-identical freak accident. When Barry died during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wally took over the mantle of The Flash, and continued in that role for twenty years until the return of Barry Allen at the start of Final Crisis.
After Barry's return, DC seemed to have some difficulty deciding just what to do with Wally, who more or less retired with his wife (Linda Park) and their kids.
Post-Flashpoint, Wally was reintroduced during a story in which Barry fought an evil version of himself from the future. Eventually, Wally gained speed powers of his own. Prior to discovering his heroic destiny, though, he was a troublemaker who lived with Iris after his father abandoned him.
Every earth has The Godfather, apparently.
Pop culture references are so pervasive in shows about young adults that it's hard to keep on top of them all, but when one is really obvious I try to call it out, especially since the readers will do so in the comments if I don't.
BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
Back when it was first announced that Jay Garrick, The Flash of Earth-2, would be joining The Flash, The CW used "best of both worlds" in a number of promotional images, TV spots and the like.
So hearing Cisco use it in reference to teaming with Jay is a bit meta.
Hiro Okamura, heir to a toy empire and a tech genius, was actually briefly known as the Toyman prior to the Flashpoint reboot.
He was actually a good guy, not like that other Toyman, Winslow Schott, whose son appears on Supergirl.
That said, he still had the same high-tech toys schtick, so it's not entirely out of character for his company to have explosive dreidels, I suppose. Maybe?
SHOE SHOP STICKUP
This one's a stretch, but when Patty said her father was killed in a robbery of their family's shoe store, I thought of Mitchell Siegel.
The father of Jerry Siegel, Mitchell was reportedly shot and killed during a robberty at his family-owned secondhand clothing store (referred to in some interviews as a shoe store). It's likely just a wild coincidence, but it hit me suddenly and strongly as a possible reference, so I figured I would mention it.
Not long after the murder of Mitchell Siegel, of course, Jerry would go on to create the first superhero: a bulletproof man who could leap tall buildings in a single bound.
Of course, that's only if you believe a certain version. The coroner insists Mitchell Siegel died of a heart attack. If you want to hear more conspiracy theories about this, you should check out Brad Meltzer's excellent Book of Lies.
This isn't the first time we've seen that contraption Patty uses to immobilize Barry.
It IS the first time we've seen it work.
That's the "boot" Cisco developed to stop metahumans in their tracks -- but a prototype for which was shorn apart when Atom-Smasher grew to huge proportions while it was on his leg.