Sunday, May 19, 2024

The Flash’s New Rogues Are Actually Old Favorites

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In “The New Rogues”, Mirror Master and Top are new metas who have an old beef with Captain Cold. Barry, Iris, and Joe deal with the awkwardness that Barry and Iris’s new relationship brings about. Jesse learns that sometimes being a superhero means making rookie mistakes. And Harry, Caitlin, and Cisco look for a new Wells.

We are now four episodes into season three of The Flash, and I can safely say that we are in filler territory. While this episode did answer a few questions and introduce some new (and old) characters, it had nothing to do with Dr. Alchemy and the issues he presents, so I think that you can take it or leave it, all things considered. That being said, I enjoyed it better on the second watch simply because I was making a point to pay closer attention. If I had written this review during my first watch of the episode, I would have given it a two at best.

First thing’s first, I want to talk about Cecile. Seeing her show up in the “previously on” threw me for a loop because I could not for the life of me remember when this woman had been on The Flash before. I spent half of the episode confused because I thought that the production team had put used a delete or not-yet-aired scene. It turns out, Cecile Horton is Central City’s District Attorney who was introduced all the way back in season 1 (“Who is Harrison Wells?” and “Rogue Air”). Cecile could just as well have been written off — considering that she was absent for all of season 2 — but, thankfully, she’s been brought back for a very simple reason.

Jesse L. Martin and Danielle Nicolet as Joe West and Cecile Horton in “The New Rogues” (Photo Credit: Tumblr)
Jesse L. Martin and Danielle Nicolet as Joe West and Cecile Horton in “The New Rogues”

Joe West needs a love interest.

Listen, I love Papa West as much as the next person, but all of his kids are grown, so he needs to find something else to do besides work and Team Flash. Cecile is cute, she knows her stuff, and is apparently interested. Why shouldn’t Joe date her? Let’s just hope she gets to stick around for a little longer than two episodes this time.

Back to the plot, the episode begins with the night of the Particle Accelerator Explosion where a Heatwave-less Captain Cold confronts his criminal cohorts, Sam Scudder and Rosalind Dillon. The meeting goes south and Cold leaves just as the explosion begins, trapping Scudder in a mirror for three years and giving Dillon powers reminiscent of Arrow’s Count Vertigo. Thus, Mirror Master and Top are born.

It should be noted that this is that last time that we see the real Leonard Snart in this timeline. I understand that he was placed back in what was supposed to be his correct timeline during the events of season one of Legends of Tomorrow, but Barry’s still operating on the knowledge that Captain Cold is off doing time travel. No one else knows where Cold is, so we, the audience, are understandably unsure if he’s actually alive or not in this timeline.

I’m not saying Cold isn’t alive, but how many of us were actually watching Legends of Tomorrow by the end of last season?

Grey Damon and Ashley Rickards as Sam Scudder/Mirror Master and Rosalind Dillon/Top in “The New Rogues” (Photo Credit: IMDb)
Grey Damon and Ashley Rickards as Sam Scudder/Mirror Master and Rosalind Dillon/Top in “The New Rogues” (Photo Credit: IMDb)

In any case, Mirror Master and Top are essentially replacements for Heatwave and Golden Glider (on Legends of Tomorrow and Frequency, respectively), but you get the idea that they’ll be The Flash’s permanent Rogues should Wentworth Miller’s Prison Break reboot be a success. Upon his breaking out from the mirror, Sam Scudder goes looking for Captain Cold to get his revenge. It’s only when he gets Rosalind out of jail, and she tells him that Cold is gone, that Sam decides that he and Rosa should run Central City’s underground. Hence the title, “The New Rogues”.

Personally, I’m here for Mirror Master and Top’s new status as resident Rogues. Fans have been anticipating Mirror Master’s appearance for years, and I even suspected that he would be this season’s big bad. So having him around, even as a little bad, is good for the show. Fun fact: the original Top, Roscoe Dillon, and Mirror Master, Sam Scudder, have both dated Golden Glider at some point in the comics. While Lisa Snart is not expected to return anytime soon, the romantic relationship between Mirror Master and the new Top can only help to make them characters worth returning to.

Speaking of romantic relationships, WestAllen starts to get a little steamy…only to be interrupted by Joe. It wasn’t Joe’s fault, seeing as Iris and Barry were in his house, but it does beg the question, where has Iris been sleeping if she’s been out of the house all year? It’s entirely understandable that Iris tells Barry to sort out the awkwardness between him and Joe due to their new relationship, but they could have also just had a date at her apartment (if she has one) instead.

I do, however, appreciate that the portrayal of Barry and Iris’s relationship in this episode was very healthy. They talked out their issues, quickly went about trying to solve them, and kept in open communication with each other. Other people did not like the awkwardness of it, but I thought it was very natural, all things considered. Like Barry said, it’s the first time he’s had everything he’s wanted, and he doesn’t want it to fail.

Grant Gustin and Candice Patton as Barry Allen/ The Flash and Iris West in “The New Rogues” (Photo Credit: Tumblr)
Grant Gustin and Candice Patton as Barry Allen/ The Flash and Iris West in “The New Rogues”

Speaking of things that were not natural, the reasoning for Team Flash’s acquisition of yet another Harrison Wells was super transparent. I like Tom Cavanagh as much as the next show watcher—and his continued appearance on The Flash makes much more sense than John Barrowman’s on Arrow—but we really didn’t need this “team Flash wouldn’t be the same without Harrison Wells” moment. The audience is already aware of this.  

While their reasoning for getting a new Wells was cheesy, the outcome was very entertaining. Harry made up a pictogram that could be transmitted while Cisco vibed across several universes, so only a Harrison Wells in a technologically advanced society with the smarts to decipher it would bother to answer. It’s possible that we’re still operating on the idea of 52 separate universes, but, with DC’s Rebirth being the new status quo, I can understand why the number of universes was not specified. Nor am I too surprised that there were only four answers.

Hells Wells, the cowboy, had to be the funniest of all of the options, but Steampunk and Mime Wells both had their appeal. The final pick was Hipster Wells, or H.R. of Earth-19, but even I have to agree with Harry that something’s up with that guy.  Still, we can at least look forward to exploring a new Earth this season, even if it means constantly missing Harry of Earth-2.

Also, I hope you all didn’t miss Harry introducing Caitlin to H.R. as both smart and single.

Tom Cavanaugh as both H.R. and Harry, with Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon, in “The New Rogues” (Photo Credit: Tumblr)
Tom Cavanaugh as both H.R. and Harry, with Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon, in “The New Rogues”

Circling back, this episode was also Jessie’s second go at being a superhero, and it was very reminiscent of Barry’s early days of training with Oliver. In their first bout with Mirror Master and Top, Jesse decides not to listen when Barry tells her to stay put, and ends up being taken out by Top. Unfortunately this also puts Barry in danger when Mirror Master literally throws him into a mirror.

Jesse had a few things going on this week. She’s still new to her powers, sometimes she’s too sure of herself, and she’d just been rejected by the boy she likes. Her head wasn’t fully in the game here. However, just like Barry, all Jessie needed was a good pep talk, and she was suddenly ready to go for the next fight. Jesse took on Top while Barry trapped the Mirror Master, and returned to Earth-2 a superhero with experience.

I give her five episodes before she needs Barry’s help, simply because I want to return to Earth-2.

Personally, I have been shipping Jesse and Wally since they got locked up in the time closet together last season. The fact that we didn’t have to wait too long for this ship to go canon is an absolute relief. However, I totally understood where Wally was coming from when he originally rejected her.

Violett Beane and Keiynan Lonsdale as Jesse Wells/ Jesse Quick and Wally West in “The New Rogues” (Photo Credit: Tumblr)
Violett Beane and Keiynan Lonsdale as Jesse Wells/ Jesse Quick and Wally West in “The New Rogues”

Honestly, Jesse came out of nowhere with that kiss. Yes, they were building up that romantic tension, but the least she could have done was talked to Wally about it first, instead of rushing right in with it. Consent is key. Then, Wally makes a good point that Jesse would be leaving soon, and they live on two different Earths, not in two different cities. And with Jesse off being a superhero, what time would they have to date?

Even if they did date, Wally might go to Earth-2 one day and come back to an Earth-1 where he doesn’t exist. Jesse might know enough to not change timelines on Earth-2, but I’m not too sure that’s Barry’s done yet.

However, Wally does later concede to giving QuickWest (is that what the fangirls are calling it?) a shot after Jesse’s first upset. I’m not convinced that he’s fully over wanting to be a speedster, but it’s nice to see Wally get to be happy.

Now if only he could be friends with Jax.

Speaking of people who didn’t want Jefferson Jackson to be great, Caitlin Snow is still keeping terribly tight-lipped about her powers. When Harry and Cisco realized that they would need to freeze the mirror in order to get Barry out of it, Caitlin did everything but tell them that she could probably get Barry out. When the first plan fails and everyone leaves to answer the meta app alert (that I am convinced Caitlin purposefully set off), Caitlin walks behind the mirror, well out of Barry’s view, to continue the process.

While I do think that Barry should have noticed that Caitlin wasn’t in the main lab with everyone when he finally got out, I do think it’s interesting that Harry notes that his and Cisco’s invention shouldn’t have worked. It looked like he even suspected that it was Caitlin.

Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow in “The New Rogues” (Photo Credit: Tumblr)
Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow in “The New Rogues”

I am all for Caitlin being great, but I don’t think that hiding her powers will help anything. Ultimately these are her friends, and she’s supposed to be able to trust these people. If anyone could understand what she’s going through, Cisco Ramon is that person. However, if Caitlin does continue on this road, I suggest that she invests in nude lipsticks and good wigs. She wasn’t just cutting one strand of hair in that last scene; that was enough to fit a jumbo-sized curler. If she keeps that up, she’ll end up bald and those white hairs will be much easier to notice.

As I’ve said before, I thought that this episode was pretty good despite being obvious filler. About four different romances were either sparked or explored on screen, Cisco got to vibe several times, the audience got a new Wells, and Caitlin technically saved the day. That makes for a really satisfying episode, when you think about it.

What was your favorite part of Tuesday’s episode? Let me know in the comments.


Images courtesy of the CW.

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