The Flash: “The New Rogues” Review
By Jonathan Kincaid
Much happened in this week’s episode that made it particularly exceptional; we saw the introduction of the infamous metahuman Mirror Master who served as the episode’s central antagonist; the group started on the hunt to find a new Harrison Wells in the Multiverse to replace Harry in his absence; and we also got to see Caitlin’s steady transformation into Killer Frost. All of this(and more) made for a very eventful episode with many highpoints which were executed to near perfection. And in comparison to last week’s somewhat mundane episode, we’re reminded with “The New Rogues” just how good The Flash can be as a show(specifically on a technical level) when pivotal elements such as the CGI, score, and plot blend so seamlessly together.
Let me start off by saying that I’ve always hated the fact that the Rogues as iconic villains never really played a significant or extensive part in The Flash. I felt like a lot more could have been done them over a considerable stretch of time, and in a more interesting way at that. Not to mention the fact that speedsters have always been the show’s primary antagonists, be it Reverse-Flash or Zoom. To many, it’s become a really familiar and tiresome formula. So, it’s very much agreeable that having the Rogues play a more considerable role would be a breath of fresh air and mix things up nicely. With “The New Rogues”, we saw the long-awaited debut of two new villains: Mirror Master and Top. However, sadly to say, there’s still very little to suggest that the writers will be doing away with the villainous speedster motif this season.
Like many, I was extremely excited for the introduction of these two baddies, especially Mirror Master. However, apart from their very distinct costumes and exceptional powers(which I loved), there really wasn’t much substance or complexity to the duo of bank-robbing metahumans. They lacked depth and their motivations were rather underwhelming. Other than robbing banks and having a hazy vendetta against Leonard Snart, the two were simply meh at best. If anything, their presence merely served as a means for Jesse Quick to get some hands-on training. On one final note, it was also quite nice seeing Wentworth Miller back as Captain Cold. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of him throughout the Arrowverse as time goes on which will surely be exciting.
Regarding Jesse herself, she was absolutely incredible this week. It was simply awesome seeing her in action alongside Flash. As far as her costume goes, I personally love it. It’s very slick and suits her perfectly. But more than anything else, I really enjoyed seeing her hone her skills as a speedster by learning from Barry. It was somewhat different watching Barry take on the role of mentor and passing down his knowledge to her. She obviously still has much to grasp, but with everything she learned from Barry I think it’s safe to say that she’s well on her way to becoming an exceptional speedster. Moreover, I found her romance with Wally to be quite delightful. The two clearly adore each other and share good chemistry. Too bad that Jesse and her father went back to Earth-2 at the end of this episode, because I’m really curious to see what will become of Jesse and Wally on an intimate level. Still, needless to say, I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of the two together as the season moves forward.
Speaking of Harry, he was arguably one of the greater focuses of this episode. The way the group recognized him as an invaluable member of the team and acknowledged how important he is to their dynamic was really nice. And even if he isn’t going to be in this season to a great extent, at least we’re getting a replacement at any rate. But if Wells wasn’t in the picture at all, I honestly feel as though the show just wouldn’t be the same without him or some form of him a part of it. Thankfully, the writers seem to understand this, and they found a new and interesting way to keep Wells in the equation. Additionally, Tom Cavanagh really got the opportunity to shine and show off how incredibly versatile he is an actor by playing several quirky variations of his character which I thought was great.
The Wells from Earth-17 is an interesting one to say the least. He’s a more than welcomed change of pace from the ornery Earth-2 Wells as he’s far more easygoing and well-mannered. And the thing is, he’s obviously from a completely different Earth in the Multiverse, so it’ll certainly be interesting seeing how Earth-1 and Earth-17 differ and compare(assuming that’ll be explored to some measure later on). But frankly, this new Wells seems too good to be true, and that’s because we know that both previous iterations of the character have had their fair share of demons. I suggest that we remain wary of the new Wells(and not let his whacky demeanor fool us) for the time being as there’s no telling what his true intentions may be at this point in time.
Continuing on, this episode we also got to see much more of Caitlin and her predicament. In a successful attempt to free Barry from his mirror prison, she was inadvertently forced to risk revealing her new powers. As of now, there’s no disputing that Caitlin’s abrupt transformation into Killer Frost is undoubtedly the most major and palpable effect of the Flashpoint storyline. But at this point, she seems to have a relatively good grasp of her powers and how to use them for good. In any event, I’m just curious as to why she’s so keen on keeping her powers such a closely guarded secret from everyone else. Surely she realizes that all of her friends would be supportive and accepting of her. With that in mind, I think there’s something seriously amiss about the whole thing. At any rate, her dynamic this season will absolutely be a riveting and intriguing one and I can’t wait to learn more about her current state of affairs.
Lastly, another huge focus of “The New Rogues” was the awkward and uneasy link between Barry, Iris, and Joe. Now that Barry and Iris are openly dating, Joe is understandably having difficulty adjusting to them being together. Things between the three were rather uncomfortable, to say the least. This matter is ultimately addressed and settled by the time this episode concludes, but still, Barry and Iris as a couple just isn’t working for me. It feels very forced and unnatural, and in a way actually kind of creepy. If you ask me, I sincerely believe that the new romance between Barry and Iris will inevitably decline. I think it’ll be quite some time before that actually happens, and the writers will surely try to prolong their already unquiet love affair for as long as possible.
The Verdict: With the slight exception of Mirror Master and Top not being utilized to their full potential and being cast away in such a forgettable fashion, “The New Rogues” was still an overall exceptional episode with much to offer, including the thrilling debut of Jesse Quick in costume and the search for a new Harrison Wells.