The Flash: 3.04 The New Rogues
This week's episode The New Rogues did just what the title suggested; establish two new metahumans Mirror Master and Top, in an attempt to replace Captain Cold and Heatwave that are long gone following their transition to Legends Of Tomorrow. And they were some really interesting villains too, ones that I would like to see recur on the show. But there was also a really odd storyline where the team at Star Labs searched for a replacement Harrison Wells. Was it just me or did it seem utterly random and potentially a little bit stupid?
Yes, Earth 2 Harrison Wells wanted to return home with Jesse, who has now adopted the mantle Jesse Quick and got to get in on the action again this week. It is a natural transition for his character but that does leave the large Tom Cavanagh-shaped hole in the show. Whether it is evil Reverse-Flash Harrison Wells or snarky alternate Harrison Wells, his character (or characters) are just as essential as Cisco and Caitlin. I can see why the writers wanted to find a way to have him and still make it believable (after all, why would Harrison Wells not return home?). But sending out a message to multiple alternate worlds...isn't that just inviting trouble? Have they learned nothing from Zoom? And Harrison Wells 3 (from Earth 19) might seem fun, but are they just inviting trouble, particularly when most of them have faced their evil doppelgangers before? Still the scene where they review the transmissions from the alternate worlds was a lot of fun - particularly the mime!
There was also a retro feel to this week's episode as we were thrown back to the events three years ago where the particle accelerator explosion created a city full of metahumans. It was a welcome return for Wentworth Miller's Leonard Snart, who I never particularly cared for in The Flash but loved in Legends Of Tomorrow (I'm still snarked at what happened at the end of season one - pun intended). This time he faced off against rival Sam Scudder (Grey Damon) and his girlfriend Rosalind Dillon (Ashley Rickards), Sam becoming trapped inside a mirror with the ability to create wormholes through reflective surfaces and Rosalind with ability to create extreme vertigo in her victims. Both were very cool abilities and led to some excellent action sequences as Barry and Jesse fought them, chasing them up the sides of skyscrapers, Sam jumping through wormholes while Rosalind defeated Jesse with vertigo. Barry becoming trapped inside a mirror was a brilliant effect too.
There were a few things I loved this week; Harrison beating Cisco to the punch by naming Sam Scuddon "Mirror Master boom!", while Cisco named Rosalind Dillon the slightly less impressive Top. Using scientific theory to explain their abilities and the method to free Barry by slowing own the particles trapping him (there hasn't been enough of that in recent times) and Caitlin using her developing abilities to freeze the mirror and break Barry free. Of course, that didn't work out so well for her as it accelerated her path towards becoming Killer Frost in the episode's cliffhanger. The final showdown was thrilling too, as Jesse Quick beat her new arch nemesis Top and Barry trapped Mirror Master in his own reflective prison. While it feels as if the show has one two many speedsters some times, I've quite liked Barry's mentoring of Jesse (I loved that "Oh, my God. I've become Oliver" line!) and it will be shame to see her go so soon.
The other thing that really continues to work this season is the developing relationship between Barry and Iris. There is no angst, no drama, just a few amusing quirks as they get use to how their new romance fits into their relationships with Joe. It shows real growth in these characters.
The New Rogues might have had the rather odd search for Harrison Wells storyline (were they just going to kidnap an alternate Wells and make him their 'friend' if no one responded?) but it also had two great metahumans and a vibe that really captured the fun of season one. There was no on-going Alchemy storyline this week (bar one reference to the cell attack from the end of Paradox) but we didn't need it. This was The Flash doing what it does best. Let's hope it continues in this vein. And the sooner we get more Killer Frost in the mix, the better!