By: Kyle Shultz
Much like Arrow’s first mid-season finale episode, The Flash’s mid-finale was epic; and much like our emerald clad archer, our favorite speedster suffered his first real defeat, although it wasn’t as bad as Ollie’s defeat, given that Barry has a super healing ability thanks to his speed ability. One of my favorite things in this episode was that Barry’s defeat affected him heavily; addressing that he has been training the entire month the show was off the air was a nice little cover-up for the winter hiatus. Even though it likely won’t happen until the season finale, I love that Barry’s main focus is amping his speed to prepare for another fight with Reverse-Flash. The question isn’t “Will he ever see his mother’s killer again?” it’s now “Can he push himself to beyond his limit and overcome his arch-enemy?” Having Barry devote all his focus from crime fighting to training was something that I honestly didn’t expect to see in this episode, mainly because this really brings a question of identity to the show, which is cool seeing that Arrow has that same theme going this season, and they’re in the third season.
Other than Barry dealing with defeat in this episode, “Revenge of the Rogues” gave us the return of Captain Cold and the introduction of Heat Wave. I loved Wentworth Miller’s introduction as Captain Cold back in “Going Rogue”, and I’m excited to see him return & bring in a fellow “Prison Break” alum. Dominic Purcell as Heat Wave was perfect, and even though some of his scenes were a bit over the top, I bought him in the role. The team up between these two sort of elemental villains helped in making this episode as fun and exciting as it was. Both of these actors seem to have an abundance amount of fun in these roles, and that is never a bad thing. Bringing in Heat Wave shows us that we will eventually witness The Flash’s team of villains called “The Rogues”, I’m excited to see the return of both these villains, and how this show handles The Golden Glider, which gives us Peyton List in the role, who we know from Smallville as Lucy Lane & from the short lived series The Tomorrow People; I’m excited not to only see her in the role, but her costume as well.
One little thing that bothered me the most was that Central City PD was lacking a lot in the scenes they were in. You could argue that they were just in awe of what is happening in front of them. They witnessed The Flash for the first time, & these two bad guys with guns that shoot fire & ice are fighting him. I would be a bit surprised too. Although, I do like how Eddie felt the need to help The Flash when Captain Cold & Heat Wave cornered him. Seeing Eddie go from wanting to lock up The Flash to saving him was an outcome I never saw coming, especially after last time the two crossed paths, Barry kicked Eddie’s ass; I thought he would’ve just sat back, but I’m glad to see his character evolve more. Joe and Wells’ rivalry is continuously evolving, Joe doesn’t seem to be too sold on Wells & it’s definitely a dynamic I cannot wait to see play out. Speaking of these two, Barry is kind of pulled between the two mentors he has in his life right now. Wells is trying to make him this faster and stronger machine, whereas Joe wants him to be the hero of this city, running around saving people, doing what he does best. Having these two opposite spectrums of mentors in this show to eventually become rivals is awesome. I’ve always stated that Wells has more Hunter Zoloman/Zoom in him than Eobard Thawne; I say that because Zoom torments the heroes in the comics, he makes them these better and faster heroes & Wells is doing just that. His true intentions are becoming clearer with each episode, and he actually almost ousted himself in the opening by kneeling out of the chair, getting ready to save Barry during a training session. His plans with Barry are about as secret as his secret behind himself is.
The sub-plot of Firestorm had some small screen time in this episode. Unlike the last episode, where I felt the Firestorm material got in the way, it didn’t this time around. Discovering that Firestorm wasn’t just a word Ronnie was saying, but that it meant that it was a project at STAR Labs. This episode gave us Jason Rusch, who in the comics was a teenager who became Firestorm, in this show, he brought up Martin Stein, who in the comics fuses with Ronnie Raymond to become Firestorm. Making the idea of elemental transmutation a thing in this show shows us that Firestorm is as much alive as a hero as The Atom is in Arrow. Though we might see Firestorm suited up before we do The Atom in this universe. Cisco had some fun material to work with in this episode; his quick witted banter was enjoyable as he came up with names for Reverse-Flash & Heat Wave & it’s enjoyable to see him rub off on Wells. Cisco’s role in this episode, as well as Caitlin, was nearly front and center, perhaps we’d soon enough get an episode or two just dedicated to these two characters.
“Revenge of the Rogues” was the first episode for the 2015 season, and it was eventful. We’re starting to see more and more classic villains from The Flash’s Rogue’s Gallery in this show & at this rate; we’ll soon see the full team of The Rogues cause chaos for our Scarlet Speedster. Firestorm’s story is slowly moving forward & Barry’s relationship between Wells & Joe were explored. We’re in our last half of the episodes for this show & it can only get better from here.
Overall Grade: 9/10