Yes, we are back, boy is that a really fun acknowledgement as we have now moved into the back half of the season and things seem to be ramping up with “Revenge of The Rogues”. Not only does Barry finally recognize who his true enemies actually are, but we are getting major progression on many season long plots that I thought would take a few more episodes to at least build towards. Let’s be honest, even Arrow has never really been good at building off the momentum of it’s christmas episodes which have each been spectacular in their own way. This week we got to see two prime A level Flash villains team up and got some important exposition on some plot details on Firestorm which before tonight was floundering at best. Best of all The Flash is finally known to the world, no more hiding or being a myth, Central City knows The Flash is out there and that he is a hero. So, let’s dive in.
Let’s start with the big highlight of the episode, as the Rogues now number two, three if you count the post emblem stinger, as Mick Rory has joined Leonard Snart’s team as Heat Wave. One thing I really love about the direction the show is taking with the Rogues is that they are using tech of some nature to challenge Barry rather than being metahumans. This manages to keep Barry honest when he is facing down criminals as he knows that any person could be just as strong as Captain Cold or Heat Wave and probably just as dangerous as well. What really elevated the episode was the strong portrayals of these characters by Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell. We already knew that Miller had his Snart persona down pat, but damn if Purcell’s Rory was not a special type of crazy. It’s clear that they are trying something new with Rory as he his much more of a mad dog off his leash rather than the contained manic firebug we often see in the comics. Luckily for us, Snart is still the one giving Heat Wave direction even if the hothead does not really want said direction. The episode definitely benefitted from Miller and Purcell’s previous work on Prison Break as their chemistry was spot on through out the entire run time.
Of course this all lead to Barry’s big coming out party as The Flash as Caitlin was kidnapped by Captain Cold and Heat Wave in order to force Barry into a big showdown. The visuals of the fight weren’t quite as amazing as Barry’s last encounter with Captain Cold or his fight against Reverse Flash, but the staging and sheer idea that Barry was taking on two villains at once was enough to make up for it. Watching Cold freeze the street/fire hydrant and then having Heat Wave blow up the car Barry was hiding behind was definitely cool for effect but it felt as if the budget for the fight was blown on the initial Heat Wave reveal. It was great that Barry and the Star Labs team realized that the way to beat the dangerous twosome was not to go fast but rather to slow down enough to make the two villains cross streams and incapacitate each other. It was a good enough brawl that could have been have been ever slightly more great.
Speaking of Caitlin she finally went digging into Firestorm, which they revealed to be an acronym way to log to actually spell out, and found out more about the mysterious project. This also gave the series a chance to introduce Jason Rusch, aka the second Firestorm, as well as a brief name drop of Dr. Martin Stein. It is easy to say that the Firestorm subplot is easily one of the weakest plots that has been introduced in the series, but Jason provided us with a giant info dump that made it move along at break neck pace. We now know Firestorm is a failed project in molecular transmutation that has been put on hold since Stein’s mysterious disappearance after they melted a concrete wall and somehow the military is involved. We gained way more insight into the entire sorry in a matter of three minutes than we did anytime Ronnie has showed up on screen. It is great to see Caitlin actually be proactive in the plot as she has seemingly been the least useful or proactive member of the team during the season.
The last strong detail of the episode was that Barry was bale to recognize his need to train as well as stepping out into the light to be recognized by the world. The flash can now truly become that shining beacon that Ollie was talking about way back in the pilot and now has no reason to hide his heroics from the public. The question now becomes how will the public react to the reveal as there are sure to be split opinions about the Scarlet Speedster and how the city/world want to treat him. I am a hundred percent positive that The General will do everything in his power to get his hands on Barry now as well as any other metahumans. I am excited to see how the world develops around this revelation as well as how Oliver and his team handle possibly being brought into the light.
Overall a really fun episode.
Final Grade A-
+Heat Wave and Captain Cold team up
+The Flash is now known to the world
+Firestorm plot finally picking up
+Little bit of Star Labs redemption with the cops
-Some questionable choices by certain characters
-Three WTF moments: Wells’ almost getting out of his chair at the beginning, Iris for some reason being at the fight, and Cisco tripping the bomb. All of them made me call the characters idiots.
-If we get a big Firestorm villain I call for Deathstorm, because then I can make a Crime Syndicate argument.
-So Pied Piper is coming next week and he seems like a super arrogant asshole. Seems about par for his character.
-Seriously how hard is it to keep someone locked up in prison? Granted the two actors were in an entire show about breaking out of prison but still.
–Ghostbusters surprisingly scientific. Good to know