It’s been far too long since we last checked in with the Scarlett Speedster, and tonight’s episode is a great way to kick the second half of The Flash‘s already exceptional first season. “Revenge of the Rogues” is an exceedingly fun episode that takes a step back from the Reverse Flash mindf— to focus on this season’s other major story arc—the creation of Barry Allen’s Rogues Gallery. However, it is also a momentous one for The Flash: It features the first appearance of Mick Rory, a.k.a. Heat Wave (Prison Break‘s Dominic Purcell), The Flash‘s first supervillain team-up, and Barry Allen’s first major steps toward becoming the hero that Central City will one day honor with a museum.
Villain of the Week: Mick Rory, a.k.a Heat Wave and Leonard Snart, a.k.a Captain Cold
The last time we saw Team Flash they were licking their wounds from their first encounter with Reverse Flash—who the showrunners and Tom Cavanagh have confirmed is Dr. Harrison Wells. At the top of the hour, the team is back to work and determined to be ready for the next time they go up against the Man in the Yellow Suit. It’s all very “I’ll Make A Man Out of You” as we find Cisco, Caitlin, and Wells helping Barry, who obviously took their defeat the hardest, working his ass off to become as swift—nay, swifter!—than
the coursing river the Reverse Flash.
“My name is Barry. I am not the fastest man alive. That title belongs to the man who killed my mother—but not for long.” This must be the show’s shortest opening monologue to date because there’s no time for internal monologuing! Barry Allen isn’t screwing around anymore.
Having successfully stolen the tachyon device and convinced Barry to devote himself to getting faster, Wells is also in an unusually cheery mood at the beginning of the episode—like actively using and endorsing Cisco’s code names good mood. Thankfully, the show does not let itself get too carried away with the midseason finale’s big reveal and avoids making everything Wells says come across as uber-suspicious.
Meanwhile, Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller)—with hothead Mick Rory by his side—has returned to Central City with the sole purpose of killing The Flash. Snart and Mick purposefully trigger a warehouse’s alarm to bait the Flash into a trap, but, unfortunately, he doesn’t take the bait and the two men leave the warehouse disappointed and empty handed. When the cops show up and find out nothing was stolen, Barry and Joe quickly realize that it was supposed to be a trap for The Flash.
As we’ve learned from the first two and a half seasons of Arrow, the writers aren’t fans of subtlety. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the writers have a field day with how different Snart and Rory are. Whereas Snart is cold (too easy), calculating, and quiet crazy, Mick—an arsonist by trade—is the complete opposite: He’s impulsive, loud, and “uses his crazy eyes to stare lovingly into a flame from a lighter and offers to burn your skin off to ‘reveal your true self'” crazy. Purcell, who’s clearly having the time of his life in this role, plays Mick very over-the-top and, a few times, comes close to becoming insufferably cartoonish.
Still determined to draw the Flash out to test their new weapons, Snart decides they are going to steal a painting called “Fire & Ice.” An expensive abstract modern masterpiece, “Fire & Ice,” is supposed to represent “the dichotomy of being”—because screw subtlety! The Rathaway family, one of Central City’s wealthiest families, recently bought it in Europe and is flying back with it the next day. (More on the Rathaways later).
Ever the narcissist, Wells tells Barry that he should focus on training to fight Reverse Flash because he’s the more formidable. Playing on Barry’s compassion for others, Wells reminds Barry that the last time he fought Cold a train got derailed, thus more live would be saved if Barry forgoes another big confrontation and allows Wells and Cisco to help the police out this time. When Barry informs Joe of his decision, Joe immediately suspects Wells hand behind all of this and confronts him once Cisco’s finishes presenting the equipment he designed to protect the CCPD from Captain Cold’s gun.
NEXT: Captain Cold and Heat Waves cross streams