The Flash recap: 'Revenge of the Rogues'
Captain Cold and Heat Wave kidnap a member of Team Flash, and the world finds out about The Flash.
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
To the CCPD’s surprise, Cisco’s shields actually work against Captain Cold’s gun when they interrupt his attempted theft of the painting. Unfortunately, they weren’t prepared for Heat Wave’s gun, and the rogues manage to successfully steal the painting.
Cold and Heat return to their secret hideout and immediately start butting heads over their next move. Mick wants to sell the painting and make it rain, cash-wise. However, Snart is still determined to kill the Flash because he’s the only thing that’s preventing them from using their cool toy guns to turn Central City in their own little supervillain paradise where they can do and take what they want. (ASIDE: Forgive me for slightly overanalyzing, but this scene made me think about the role superheroes play in creating their super-villains. The Flash’s existence changes the game, and thus this forces criminals like Leonard Snart to step up their game to keep up. It is also worth noting that this episode marks the first time that supervillains have made killing the Flash their primary goal.)
Having realized that the Flash’s weakness is that he cares for people, Snart and Mick decide to kidnap Caitlin. In a video message that looks like a terrible ’90s hip-hop video and is broadcast all across Central City’s TV stations, Cold challenges the Flash to reveal his existence to the rest of the world and fight them in the open or watch Caitlin perish. Honestly, epic is the only way to describe The Flash showdown against Captain Cold and Heat Wave. With some help from Eddie, who jumps in at the right moment with one of Cisco’s shields to save him from a double whammy from both guns, Barry is eventually able to make Cold and Heat Wave’s guns cross streams, which cause them to cancel each other out and send the rogues flying.
If we’re talking in Disney movies again, this fight was Barry’s “Hercules vs. the hydra” moment. With this very public win, Barry goes from zero to hero, from urban legend to someone cops who witnessed the fight are praising. An earlier episode has already been called “The Flash is Born,” but it is in this episode that The Flash is born for Central City. Also, things are looking up for S.T.A.R. Labs’ as Captain Singh makes a point of thanking Mr. Ramon for his help, something he made a point of not doing when first Cisco first presented their shields.
In tonight’s stinger, Snart’s little sister Lisa ambushes her brother and Mick’s convoy and frees them.
It’s moving day
While all of the Captain Cold and Heat Wave drama is going on, Iris is busy packing up all of her things because she’s moving in Eddie today. Since Barry confessed his love for her, they’re pretending like it didn’t happen. Barry tells Caitlin that he regrets telling Iris how he feels because now things are awkward. Thankfully, Caitlin gifts him some much-needed wisdom: “Things weren’t normal with you pining after Iris and her being totally unaware, whatever happens next, it will be better.” Barry takes this to heart and on Iris moving day he tells her that things will be awkward now, but with time they’ll get past it and get back to being best friends and she’ll be happy with Eddie. It’s actually a cute exchange.
Know what’s even better? Barry deciding to move back home with Joe. Would anyone else be opposed to an online miniseries focused on Barry and Joe’s home life? I bet you it’s filled with joyous singing!
A military conspiracy?
Elsewhere, Caitlin, with Barry’s help, figures out that “Firestorm”—the last thing Ronnie said to her—is actually an acronym for a scientific study at Hudson University concerned with transmutation, which is “the process of altering the structure of an element by unzipping the atoms and rebuilding it to create an entirely new element.” Caitlin tracks down Jason Rusch, one of the students who worked on the project, but he’s initially unwilling to talk about it because he’s scared people are after him. Jason tells Caitlin that Professor Martin Stein, the project’s team leader, published their research without the university’s permission and the university got pissed and shut them down. So, Professor Stein tried to secure private funding from a friend, but Jason hasn’t heard from him since. Then, one day, the military showed up, almost definitely led by General Eiling (Clancy Brown), and confiscated all of their research.
Wall of Weird:
— When the Rathaways disembark their private jet, their driver tells them that their son, Hartley, called again. Mr. Rathaway responds that they don’t have a son anymore. In the comics, Hartley Rathaway is also known as Pied Piper, one of the Flash’s rogues who eventually tries to go straight. As reported last year, Smash‘s Andy Mientus was cast in the role and will appear in episodes 11 and 12. During the particle accelerator explosion, Hartley lost his hearing and returns next week to seek revenge from his former mentor, Dr. Harrison Wells. Sooooo… drama!
— We also know that The Tomorrow People‘s Peyton List has been cast as Captain Cold’s sister Lisa Snart. According to TVLine, she’ll make her first appearance in episode 16.
— Who thinks Professor Stein’s “friend” was Dr. Harrison Wells, and that Stein was at S.T.A.R. Labs on the night of the explosion? Also, commenters, doesn’t Jason Rusch eventually become Firestorm, too, in the comics?
— Wells likes Ghostbusters.
— Barry thinks he and Wells are friends, and Wells thinks they’re just partners.
— “I mean, I’m a millennial. That’s what we do,” Barry Allen on moving back in.
— “Why do they call you people the heat? I’m the heat!” yells Heat Wave as he attacks the police.
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