While The Flash has certainly not shied away from campy superhero goodness, this episode definitely turned the camp up to 11. Also, before we get into spoilers, if you were a fan of Prison Break, you need to watch this episode. Anyways, here we go!
Warning! Spoilers for Flash Episode 10: Revenge of the Rogues ahoy!
After the disastrous events of Episode 9, The Man in the Yellow Suit, the return of The Flash has Barry (Grant Gustin) focusing on becoming faster and better than he was before. He has been shaken by his encounter with Reverse Flash and is now training harder than ever. “My name is Barry Allen, and I am not the fastest man alive,” he admits solemnly. This is a different Barry than we’ve seen, a truly shaken Barry. He’s always been dedicated to saving people and stop villains, but now he’s willing to ignore bad things happening around him, at Dr. Wells’ (Tom Cavanagh) urging, to focus on his training. There also was an interesting moment during the drone training where Dr. Wells almost stood up as a missile was fired at Barry during. Considering that all signs point to him being Reverse Flash, was he going to intervene if Barry was unable to avoid or stop the missile? Would he be willing to jeopardize his secret to protect Barry? It’s hard to get a bead on his true nature. Assuming he is Reverse Flash, he’s willing to kill Barry’s mom, threaten Iris, beat the shit out of himself(? Still not sure how he managed that), but would he be willing to save Barry and then explain his reasons for why he did everything he did? Does he feel any remorse, or is it all justified in his eyes? How will it go down when it all finally hits the fan?
Anywho, the main thrust of this episode was the return of Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller)! And, introducing Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell)! I love that the Flash has, from the get go, embraced it’s comic book roots and it’s colorful characters. It is unapologetically a comic book show, and that makes it so much fun. Also, the reunion of Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell was a great nod to Prison Break and these two clearly have a blast with their characters. They chew the scenery every chance they get and it’s pretty damn entertaining, if over the top at moments.
One thing that did annoy me about the episode, however, was Captain Cold’s motivation. I get that he’s angry at Flash and wants revenge, but when a villain’s motivations are pretty much just vengeance, I find it rather weak storytelling. I know that he’s saying that if they get rid of Flash then they’ll be able to operate without interference, but they could also just go to another city and operate without interference. I also recognize that this wouldn’t be good television, but I was just hoping for a little more. I do like that Heat Wave calls him out on his actions, and that these two bicker like brothers, it’s a good character dynamic, hot and cold and whatnot.
I very much so did enjoy that with Barry focusing on his training, Cisco (Carlos Valdes) and Dr. Wells had to step up and use their ingenuity to come up with a defense against the cold gun in the form of heated shields for the police. They couldn’t rely on Barry to take care of things and so they put their big brains to work. The police, however, weren’t so keen on accepting their help, as many people in Central City still blame Wells and Star Labs for the explosion one year prior. But they accept the equipment, begrudgingly, and put it to good use blocking Captain Cold’s gun. It all falls apart, though, thanks to an unexpected attack by Heat Wave, and the bad guys get away. But still, it was cool seeing Wells and especially Cisco out mending fences with people who felt wronged by them.
While all this is going on, Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) is investigating something that her (now back from the dead and on fire and flying) fiancé said to her: “Firestorm.” Turns out, after a little digging, that it’s an acronym, which leads to her a missing scientist who worked on project F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M., which was all about mutation, or something. While she’s out and about, she also gets grabbed by Captain Cold and Heat Wave, as she is known by Captain Cold to be one of Flash’s associates. They use her to get Flash to come and face them, as he had been a no-show so far every time they tried to lure him out. While I enjoyed her rescue by Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Cisco, I am getting annoyed that the women in this show are pretty much relegated to the sidelines or the role of damsel-in-distress. Not that Caitlin’s investigation isn’t interesting, nor do women have to be fighters to benefit the show, but still, let’s get some more kick-ass ladies in The Flash, what do you say? It’s worked for Arrow, how about you give it a try?
The fight between Flash, Captain Cold, and Heat Wave was pretty great, with Flash running like a maniac to dodge their blasts, Captain Cold turning the ground to ice so he smashes through a frozen pillar of water, and Eddie (Rick Cosnett) saving Flash at the last second! Eddie has definitely come around to Flash after getting beaten in the street by him. Full 180, way to be understanding, Eddie. Then, love the reference to Ghostbusters when they decide that crossing the streams of Captain Cold’s and Heat Wave’s guns might be the only way to negate them. And it works! Barry saves the day, not by going faster, but by slowing down and taking some punishment in order to get them to cross the streams and defeat one another! They must have never seen Ghostbusters.
I’m so glad these characters will be coming back again, most likely with their own, better weaponry as they stated that they learned every facet of the guns. They’re fun characters, both more than a little crazy in their own way, and I can’t wait to see what happens next time they clash with Flash. Also, who is Captain Cold’s mysterious sister savior? Little sissy Snart, busting them out of the police van! (Not quite a prison break, but I do wonder if that was intentional)
The episode wraps up with Iris (Candice Patton) moving out of Joe’s house to move in with Eddie. She and Barry are still uncomfortable around each other since Barry’s admittal to being in love with her, but there are glimmers that they will be all right. I still just want Barry and Joe to tell her that Barry is the Flash. It makes no sense not to! She’s just in danger and she has no idea why or even how much. I can’t stand it! Fucking Joe and Barry! Tell her! Tell her already! But I digress. At the end of the episode Barry moves in with Joe, and I am actually really happy about that. They have a familial bond that is both father-son and buddy-buddy, and their on-screen relationship feels very real.
This was a great episode after a long break, and it was very fun. The small gripes: Iris didn’t have much to do, the villains’ motivations were sort of lacking, the cops really could just shoot the bad guys pretty easily, women are mostly stuck on the side or captured. But the character interactions were genuine, the comedy was funny, and the action was exciting! Drink a beer that does nothing, eat some pizzas, and enjoy!