THE FIRE OR THE ICE?
Note: The following review goes into detail about the episode. SPOILER ALERT!
The Flash is back from its holiday break. While “Revenge of the Rogues” sought to up the ante, the midseason premiere showed that sometimes the show’s ambitions get the best of it, leaving things feeling slightly off. However, this is still a great way for The Flash to come back, showing the consequences of Reverse-Flash’s rampage on the team.
Some time after the encounter with Reverse-Flash (now a Cisco-approved codename), Barry has been training harder than ever to get on his yellow counterparts level. The sense of defeat is almost apparent from the opening narration, with Barry admitting “I am not the fastest man alive.” His drive to push the limits of his abilities casts a long shadow across the episode, and Grant Gustin was able to completely nail Barry’s newfound humility and determination. But of course, there’s no rest for a speedster. Leonard Snart is back on the scene, and he’s brought another member into his crew: Mick Rory, aka Heat Wave. Now armed with a sub-zero gun and a powerful handheld flamethrower, Snart is out to get Flash’s attention so he can force a fight and eliminate him as a threat.
Barry’s debate between whether he should keep training or stop the Rogues forms the crux of the episode, and the episode gets a good amount of mileage out of the idea — especially when Joe finds out that Dr. Wells is steering Barry towards his pragmatic way of thinking. The added subtext now is that Wells has been revealed as Reverse-Flash. This gives a lot more weight to each scene, and the growing rift between him and Joe is one that’ll only get more interesting as the show goes on. We also got a follow-up to the short but sweet appearance of Firestorm in “The Man in the Yellow Suit,” with Caitlin tracking the name of comics character Dr. Martin Stein. However, where the episode faltered a bit was in the much hyped appearance of the Rogues, with a once-calculating Captain Cold showing a little of the ingenuity of his previous appearance. Some of this is explained as being a side effect of his newfound obsession with Flash, but Wentworth Miller’s big, operatic delivery made the character seem almost cartoonish at times. While The Flash’s willingness to embrace the more colorful side of comics is one of its strengths, there’s something about Captain Cold appearing on TV and threatening Flash that seems a little too cheesy. Prison Break alum Dominic Purcell did a fine job as Heat Wave, although he did join Miller’s scenery-chewing on occasion. Here’s hoping both actors dial it back a bit for their next trip to Central City.
“Revenge of the Rogues” was a great follow-up to “The Man in the Yellow Suit,” showing a determined Barry bouncing back from possibly his lowest point and managing to move everyone else’s stories forward in a meaningful way. While it was held back by the curiously hammy performances of Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell at times, “Revenge of the Rogues” made for an exciting start to the new year for The Flash.
How was the debut of Heat Wave? Are you excited to see more Rogues? Use the speed force to leave your comments for me on Twitter @MaxMielecki or in the area below. Also, be sure to follow us on @YouNerded.
85/100 – Great
*We do not comment on anything relating to previews for the next episode and beyond.
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