The Flash is back and in a big way. Once again Barry’s good intentions are pulled between his need to honor his commitments to Doctor Wells, and his want to save those in need. Joe and Wells are pulling Barry in opposite but similar directions until he’s ultimately called to task and put into a situation where he’s revealed to be a hero. The Flash has only been gone for a few weeks and yet with episodes like this it’s easy to anticipate its return.
“Revenge of the Rogues” is a fun episode and one that revels in its comic book roots. Captain Cold gets his barbs and his one liners and Wentworth Miller chews into the dialogue with glee. Mick Rory (Heat Wave, played by Dominic Purcell) is wonderfully hot- headed to Captain Cold’s icier demeanor. Barry gets his moment of conflict at the start of the episode, realizing he needs to be faster and stronger in order to protect Central City from The Reverse Flash. Cisco gets to be a Ghost Buster, Barry fights the elements in a sea of color, and Captain Cold is labeled a nemesis. This is all comic book gold, and the delightful attitude this show takes in highlighting their origins is part of its infallible charm.
The episode begins with Barry dealing with the insecurities that the Reverse Flash left him with. He’s training with Wells, Cisco and Caitlin to beat his personal best and the brief time we spend on the training field with him is thrilling. Aside from the sometimes goofy emotional running sequences, the show really excels at showcasing Barry’s speed and it’s even more impressive considering the budget. Along with him having to deal with feeling vulnerable as The Flash, Barry is also stuck in an awkward position with Iris. Their friendship is rocky because of his declaration of love, and Barry watches on as Iris moves on with her life with Eddie and must resign himself to the fact that he isn’t the man she loves and that he has to move on.
Both storylines come to a head of sorts by the episode’s end. Barry has to use his head and his heart when Caitlin is captured and needs to force Heat Wave and Captain Cold to cross their weapons. It’s a nice, well-earned heroic moment and one that puts The Flash into the spotlight of Central City like he’s never been before. Now The Flash isn’t just a rumor or a mystical blur of red; he’s now someone citizens may call a hero.
Of course, just because they’re captured doesn’t mean that Captain Cold and Heat Wave aren’t gone for good – not even close. Instead, the ending tag scene is of the two being stopped by who we can only assume will be a new baddie as the Rogues continue to build their team.
However, the best scene of the episode, even with the fight scenes and humor, is the heartfelt one between Iris and Barry. I don’t often see leads like Barry who “lose the girl” and who don’t carry grudges. Eddie helps The Flash, and Barry likes Eddie and he loves Iris and wants her to be happy. He doesn’t guilt her, doesn’t try to sway her; Barry isn’t a manipulator and one might say his greatest weakness is how earnest he is. He tells Iris he can see the future and it involves her being happy with Eddie, the two of them going through a rough patch because the uncomfortable nature of their situation is unavoidable, but that eventually the two will be best friends again. It’s a sweet scene and one that’s laced in the shared affection between the two.
The fact that the next scene involves Barry moving back in with Joe to keep him company after Iris’s departure only makes it better.
The episode suffers a bit when it feels the need to rely on exposition-heavy dialogue to make sure the audience is kept up to speed (heh), but regardless, this is yet another sure- footed episode that plays with ideas and storylines we already knew about while setting up fresh and exciting plots. I continue to be impressed with just how confident of a show The Flash is and just how quickly it’s pulled us into its world. At only episode ten it’s easy to see how the show could fall into a rut, but the showrunners have proven reliable storytellers so far and it seems like they may continue to impress throughout the season’s run.
Who else is excited for the show to be back? What do we think of Firestorm and how ridiculously long of an acronym it is? Why do they keep making us love Wells?
Let us know what you thought in the comments!