Well, it was a Mirror Master and Top thats for sure. Maybe it’s just a matter of having wanted something for so very long that it feels lacking, or that Mirror Master and Top weren’t quite the rogues I was expecting but “The New Rogues” just felt a little bit off. I mean this felt like an off week episode of The Flash and not an episode that the writers wanted us to pay attention to. I mean this is an episode with a lot of stuff going on in the fore and background and yet the timing just felt off and somethings were just plain not fun. Mirror Master should be more Mirror Master like, Top should be more Top like, Harry should be more Harry like. Everything in this episode just felt like a poor reflection of where we are supposed to be and what we are supposed to be seeing at this point in the season.
Let’s start with the biggest topic of the episode the debut of two new Rogues, Mirror Master and Top. Each character managed to succeed in their way whether it be the cool displays of Scudder’s powers or Top being more imposing that her comic counterpart, but they left a lot to be desired as well. First big issue is Top was not really Top. Her vertigo inducing powers while cool make more sense for Count Vertigo that and person who is supposed to spin around really fast. While the visuals more than made up for the lack of actual Top abilities she did leave something to be desired in terms of taking on the heroes and being able to stand up to Jesse and Barry. Same thing goes for Mirror Master who was really one note and uninspired. All he cared about was running the city and getting back at Snart, no deeper meaning or fascination to explore his powers. He was all flash and no substance, which is really doing a disservice to the character after all the other major rogues got decent intros. Hopefully he will develop more in future appearances or we will get to see the true Mirror Master who is apparently chilling on earth two.
As for Jesse she continues to be a strong addition to the team and is developing into a well rounded speedster. I especially enjoyed that Barry is developing more as a teacher and mentor, taking everything he has learned from Thawne and Zoom and actually putting it to good use with Jesse. She will be prone to make mistakes as she did with Top initially, but the fact she has managed to overcome those issues and adapt to the situations around her already proves she is smarter than Barry in some regards. Violett Beane also does an excellent job of rounding out Jesse’s personality as unlike Barry she actually has someone she is able to relate to and talk to about her powers. Barry was just tossed into the world of speedsters, but Jesse has the benefit of seeing the good and bad of being a speedster. Also having Wally as her confidant makes way more sense that Iris as he is intrigued and excited by the possibilities of speed as to merely being confused by them.
As for Iris, seriously what the hell was with this week’s Barry/Iris plot. It was quite possibly the most uncomfortable and awkward thing I have ever watched on tv and really did nothing to enhance their overall story. I mean there was just way to much time dedicated to this and not a whole lot of importance, like Barry dealing with the fact he technically wants to be in a relationship with his adoptive sister. We knew this was going to be awkward as all hell there was no need to spend nearly a quarter of the run time on something that was played for awkward laughs at best.
As for the last big plot, we are now formally introduced to this years Harrison Wells, or as he calls himself HR. It was pretty enjoyable seeing Harry and the gang audition his replacement and seeing how he interacts with the different members of the team. I am intrigued by his laid back attitude and the fact that Harry does not trust him, even though this may just be out of jealousy. There was also solid development for Harry as a character as he openly admits that despite it being his idea to find his replacement, he does not want to seem easily replaceable. It easily the most development he has gotten as a character and it helps to prove even the great Harry has a fragile ego about a lot of things.
Overall it was a solid endeavor, just slightly lacking for the big moment of introducing Mirror Master.
Final Grade C+
+New Rogues seem interesting
+Nice character development for Jesse
+Fun Harry side plot
+Killer Frost tease
-Mirror Master deserved a better intro
-The awkward Barry/Iris subplot
-Top is not really Top
-Gotham by Gaslight Harry may be a super large tool, but was still fun to see. HR though is probably evil.
-The Killer Frost tease at the end hit all the right notes.
-Seriously, we don’t even get to see the mirror world, what a cop out.