On The D/L – The Flash
Season 1 Episode 10 – “Revenge of the Rogues”
The Flash is back after a long 6 week break following a great midseason finale. Barry is challenged by the deadly team-up of Leonard Snart aka Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Mick Rory aka Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell).
A really cool action scene opens the episode as Barry is trying to train himself to be faster for his inevitable second confrontation with Reverse-Flash. It does a great job of showing what Barry and his team have been up to over the past month or so. Barry has been humbled by his easy defeat at the hands of his mysterious yellow suited opponent and is determined that he will come out the winner next time. The dialogue tells us that his speed is starting to increase so his hard work is paying off.
From here we are launched into the familiar superhero debate concerning priorities. Dr. Wells suggests that Barry’s focus should be on training himself to fight Reverse-Flash which will of course limit his opportunities to fight villains or be on general protection duty as The Flash. I found it interesting how Barry changed his mind to agree with Dr. Wells so quickly. It implies that Barry’s admiration for him is affecting his decision making somewhat as well as Wells being inside his head a little. Given that Dr. Wells is still very mysterious when it comes to his plan or his intentions I do wonder what is behind his desire to have Barry come round to his way of thinking.
This conflict is nicely personified by the two father figures in Barry’s life. Joe represents the side of Barry that wants to help everyone all of the time where Wells represents Barry’s need to defeat his mother’s killer. I really liked the scene between Joe and Wells where they were on opposite sides of the debate. I also liked the fact that Joe is starting to become suspicious of Wells. Given how smart Joe seems to be it’s only a matter of time before he and Dr. Wells conflict on a larger scale.
The villain team-up was a little hit and miss in some ways. Fans of Prison Break will enjoy the reunion of Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell. Since I never watched the show it’s hard to know if there were any winks to the audience in referencing that show beyond the two of them being on their way to prison at the end of the episode.
Both of the actors were really hamming up their roles in a way that stuck out against the tone of the rest of the episode. The Flash is no stranger to a light hearted and comedic tone but this felt a little too camp to me. The differences in personality between the two characters was put across really well but it seems that they were trying too hard to make one of them cold and calculating while the other is an impulsive hothead.
The villain team-up is important in building the world this show inhabits as this gives us our first taste of The Rogues. This is clearly the first step into building a team of bad guys who exist solely to oppose The Flash. It’s a good idea for this show as it consistently gives the villains motivation as well as allowing for a constantly rotating roster should actors not be available to return for whatever reason. It also makes sense within the show as Barry’s powers are continually growing which means it takes a lot more than a guy with a freeze ray to threaten him in any significant way.
I really liked the big scale showdown between Captain Cold/Heat Wave and The Flash. It was both creative and exciting while showcasing Barry’s powers in inventive ways. It’s clear that he’s learned a lot over the course of the season as he runs up and down walls with ease. It was a lot of fun to watch and it felt like Barry was truly challenged. Props to them for the Ghostbusters reference involving crossing of the streams.
There were some problems with that action scene. Snart announced exactly where he was going to be which gave the police plenty of time to react. Neither of the villains were wearing armour so surely a sniper would have been able to easily take them down and end this whole mess.
It did give us some important progression in several ways. The most important development is that the population of Central City are now aware that The Flash exists beyond the rumours that have been circulating. There’s some indication that he is being perceived as a hero but I predict it won’t be long until a mistake is made that will have people doubting their safety with him around. Secondary to that is Eddie beginning to accept him which might put an end to his manhunt.
Caitlin had some work to do in trying to track down her not so dead fiancé. Ronnie said Firestorm to her before flying off so that gave her an avenue to research. It turns out that it’s actually an acronym for the world’s longest project name (Fusion Ignition Research Experiment and Science of Transmutation Originating RNA and Molecular Structures). Clearly the writers worked really hard to find words that fit into those letters that also match a rough description of what’s going on. Her research brings her to discuss the project with Jason Rusch (Luc Roderique) who tells her that there’s some form of conspiracy associated with it. The plot thickens here.
I liked that Caitlin is driven to investigate this as it nicely fits with her character. She hates to be idle as it forces her to obsess over things so getting stuck into this investigation is helping her cope with what she’s had to deal with in recent times. She also showed a lot of strength in this episode when she was kidnapped and refused to do anything that might cause Barry harm even if that came at the expense of her own life. She is devoted to those she cares about and holds their safety above here.
Cisco also has a lot of positive stuff to do in this episode. As always most of the comedy came from him from his standard naming of villains to his interactions with Dr. Wells that suggested his nerdiness is rubbing off on those around him. I liked his scenes at the police station where the cops seem annoyed with him at first but warm to his genuine desire to help. There was an honesty to his speech about STAR Labs screwing up when the Particle Accelerator blew up but wanting to make up for it now. It’s nice to see Caitlin and Cisco having stuff to do outside of helping Barry.
There was something of a resolution to Barry’s declaration of love for Iris in the previous episode. He manages to talk to her and there’s a sense that their friendship will survive but it won’t be an overnight fix. I liked how this was handled as it feels very real. Hopefully there will continue to be an awkwardness to them that will slowly disappear over time.
I love how Barry and Joe interact. The conversation that concerned Barry moving back in with him was nicely layered with subtext. Joe kept hinting that he was going to be lonely and really wanted Barry to come back but left it to be his decision. It’s actually quite similar to Dr. Wells manipulating Barry but Joe does it in a more caring way. They both need emotional support at this point so for now Barry is back living with his adopted father. It’s such a great relationship between these characters and I love to see the two actors bounce off one another.
A solid return from the midseason break as The Flash faces his first villain team up in the form of the returning Captain Cold and his partner Heat Wave.
The fallout from the midseason finale is significant here with Barry working hard to enhance his powers so that his rematch with the Reverse Flash is a little less one sided. The episode impressively dealt with the age old debate of superhero priorities with Barry questioning where his attention should be focused.
This debate opens the door for some conflict between Dr. Wells and Joe who are firmly on opposite sides of this issue with hints at suspicion on Joe’s part.
Captain Cold and Heat Wave’s team up was fairly hit and miss with the 2 actors acting so massively over the top that it clashed with the overall tone of the episode. They provided a suitable threat for Barry but they came across as a little too camp for my tastes. At least the showdown was exciting to watch despite raising a few questions.
A few important strides were made in this episode such as Eddie beginning to accept The Flash as well as the city becoming aware of his existence. There’s plenty of scope for development of these plot points and it’s an interesting step forward for the show to take.
Subplots like Caitlin’s investigation into Firestorm, Cisco mending fences with the police and Barry’s decision to live with Joe again were all put across really well and it’s nice to see Cisco and Caitlin given stuff to do outside of helping Barry.
The tapestry of the show is getting more complex and more interesting with each passing episode. I really think that this show is must see TV.