“The Flash” is getting stronger every episode, and while “The New Rogues” left something to be desired within its central plot, the character developments and forward movement in its subplots made the episode fun and interestingly dynamic. The episode introduced two new rogues, teased the return of Captain Cold, put Jesse in her new suit, and gave us a new incarnation of Wells, product of Earth-19. The episode’s subplots reiterated the strength and importance of Barry’s relationships to the show’s core. The character growth was well-developed and made for some really great moments that I wish had also been extended to the week’s villain.
Sam Scudder, aka Mirror Master (Grey Damon), is one of The Flash’s most well-known villains in the rogues gallery. Because of this, I expected more out of what we got. His powers, which he got on the night of the particle accelerator explosion, allow him to manipulate and bend any reflective object, in this case mirrors. Finally free after being stuck in a mirror for almost three years, he easily locates his girlfriend, Rosalind (Ashley Rickards), who Cisco later dubs Top because of her ability to give people intense vertigo, to settle a score with Captain Cold. It isn’t clear here whether Leonard Snart is still alive, but it was nice to see him, even if it was only a short-lived and teasing appearance. I enjoyed the Bonnie and Clyde kind of thing that Mirror Master and Top had going on, but their story fell short. Mirror Master is supposed to be this amazing rogue, but the episode didn’t really do him any justice. However, since he isn’t dead, there’s the possibility of him returning and becoming more memorable or they could bring in another Earth’s version of him and do it that way.
And he’s nice and he’s not evil. And that’s a combination of Wells we haven’t had thus far.” – Cisco on what he thinks of Earth-19 Wells.
A lot of the episode’s focus is on Caitlin and Cisco seeking out another version of Wells. Since Wells and Jesse will be back on Earth-2 soon, the team finds that it’s just not the same without him and sends out what can only be described as a multiverse casting call. This allows Tom Cavanagh to play multiple versions of his character in one episode, which was pretty entertaining to watch. The team settles on the Earth-19 hipster version of Wells, but is he trustworthy? What does the team really know about him other than the fact he’s a doppelganger? It’s apparent, at least for now, that in desperately trying to keep Cavanagh around, the show doesn’t particularly know what to do with him. I enjoy Earth-2 Wells and think his dynamic with the team, most especially the one he has with Cisco, is a strong one and wish he and Jesse would stick around for a bit longer. What hipster Wells will bring to the show remains unknown, but the least it will do is give us another take on his character.
Jesse continues her training with Barry, but her need to help and rush into action gets Barry stuck inside a mirror. She gets a pep talk from Wally about it being ok to make mistakes at first and the pair grow closer. However, Wally is understandably cautious about starting a relationship with Jesse. She’ll be going back to Earth-2 and where would that leave them? Is there a way to do multiverse Skype? Inter-dimensional FaceTime? Parallel universe visits from time to time? Wally embraces it while he can and while I have no doubt that we’ll see Jesse again, it’s definitely sad to see her go.
Elsewhere, Barry and Iris (but mostly Barry) are dealing with their new coupledom. Well, they’re enjoying the hell out of being together, but Barry is reluctant in displaying any public affection in front of Joe and Iris becomes frustrated with him because of it. Upon closer examination, fear of moving forward and a sense of insecurity have dominated a lot of Barry’s life. It’s part of the reason he never really moved past his mother’s death, the reason it took him so long to tell Iris about his feelings, and now the reason for some of the lingering awkwardness in the changing dynamic between himself, Iris, and Joe.
Their situation is unusual and Barry is testing out the waters, careful of disrupting the current dynamic; so much so that he goes out of his way to make it look like nothing at all is going on between him and Iris in front of Joe at first. And although most of it is played for humor, it was nice that it didn’t take Barry long to get to the root of the problem: It was him all along. He’s nervous about the dynamic change and he’s afraid he’ll mess everything up when he wants it to pan out successfully. It’s like he’s afraid of letting himself be happy. This information also changes the perception of some of his recent decision-making. The conversation he has with Iris while stuck in the mirror gives us proper insight into his mindset and one that’s been needed for some time.
“You’re right, it’s not Joe. It’s me, it’s my problem. I’ve just been feeling nervous about this new dynamic between the three of us. I have everything I’ve ever wanted right now. I’ve never had that in my life. In a lot of ways it’s scarier than having nothing because it’s easier to fail than succeed. And I really want to succeed.”
“The New Rogues” is a fun and well-paced episode. The episode is pivotal for the majority of the characters and it touches upon some emotional stuff while keeping it light-hearted. Mirror Master and Top weren’t all that, but I am positive we’ll see them again someday and perhaps then they can be further developed as characters. Jesse and Wells left far too soon and all the romantic subplots were well done and realistic. One of the biggest plot takeaways from the episode, however, is Caitlin’s metahuman development. The machine used to get Barry out of the mirror never actually worked and so she used her cold powers to freeze it. No one sees her do it, but Wells suspects and relays the information to Cisco. The end of the episode finds Caitlin with some white in her hair and a blue tinge to her lips. It’s interesting that she continues to keep her powers a secret and I wonder why she hasn’t told the team about them since they’d only be willing to help. Theories and thoughts aside, it was a solid episode despite some flaws.
Next week we meet Caitlin’s mom and Julian actually lets Barry assist a case!
- “Jesse Quick. Quick to rise, quick to fall.” “Quick to learn.”
- Let’s be real, although it’s a new change for him, Joe has been team Barry/Iris since season one.
- Wally and Jesse are adorable and I really want them to maintain some sort of relationship.
- I’m sure I’m not the only one who wondered why Barry and Iris didn’t just go to her apartment. I know she doesn’t live in at her dad’s house. Maybe she has a weird roommate?
- Barry is getting his own place. How long do you think it’ll be before he and Iris move in together? My guess is by Christmas at the latest.
- There were so many versions of Wells in this episode. HellsWells, Wells from Terra Prime, French Wells, Mime Wells. And finally, Earth-19’s Hipster Wells.
- Jesse shouts Barry’s name while in the middle of the street. Seriously, how does all of Central City not know his “secret” identity at this point?
- That couch scene though… so passionate. The thirst is real, folks.
- “I’m just gonna research this meta that no one cares about,” Barry says bitterly to an empty room.
- All the Wests were getting some love. Even Joe! DA Cecile Horton is back to make that happen.
- Barry was trying too hard to look casual when Joe walks in the door. Because Joe is going to believe that he and Iris were just playing chess? And that pillow was not there beforehand.
- Cisco competing with Wells over picking a metahuman name. I love these two together.
- “Do these pants make my butt look big?” Iris trolling Barry the entire episode was hilarious.
- Wells admiring his doppelganger’s handsomeness. Tom Cavanagh had too much fun with this.
- “I can’t tell if I’m leaving or if I’m getting kicked out.” You’re being kicked out, Barry. That scene was so heartwarming.
- “I love you. I love her. I don’t love watching you two make out.”
- Another Barry rolling his eyes at Julian moment. Poor guy wasn’t even in this episode, but just the mention of him gets Barry irritated.
- Jesse wanted to train more, but let’s be honest, she wanted to stay longer because of Wally.
- Caitlin’s hair is turning white. Will she go full evil?
"The New Rogues" is a fun and well-paced episode. The episode is pivotal for the majority of the characters and it touches upon some emotional stuff while keeping it light-hearted.