THE FLASH Recap “The New Rogues”
By Justin Carter
“Do these pants make my butt look big?”
“I’m literally stuck in a mirror.”
When The Flash is allowed to go all out in terms of silliness and sheer fun it does so really well.
This week’s episode does a great job of reminding us of that, starting with the villain fans have been waiting to see for some time now — the Mirror Master. He’s regarded as one of the most well known rogues of the Scarlet Speedster, here re-imagined as criminal underling Sam Scudder who disobeyed his boss Leonard Snart and got into a messy fight the day of the accelerator blast. He ended up being transported into the mirror dimension for three years before coming back with a bone to pick with Snart for trying to kill him. Along for the ride is his girlfriend Rosalind Dillon, now nicknamed Top, because she induces vertigo at whoever she looks at … and also because Cisco wanted to name her after Harry stole his thunder with naming dibs on Mirror.
It’s a shame that the episode doesn’t do a whole lot with the pair of villains that they’ve got on hand. The mirror play with Scudder is very creepy when it’s first displayed with an angry hand sticking out and grabbing a poor soul, but he doesn’t use it for much beyond an easy means of escape. There’s a fun chase scene wherein he and Top use the glass of skyscrapers to elude Barry and Jesse, which frankly, the episode could have seen more of, and Top’s vertigo ability makes for some trippy (if not near headache-inducing) visuals. They’ll likely be back by the end of the season (hopefully with other Rogues in play), and with them some personality as well. Hopefully.
The addition of Leonard Snart (re-addition?) lends some snarky fun to the proceedings as well. Even though he’s not in the episode much, his presence is felt throughout, from Barry briefly mentioning the criminal’s time travel adventures to duping the pair of criminals with a hologram. Wentworth Miller is once again in top form here, and his first appearance at the beginning of the episode comes with plenty of winking references that walk the line between cheesy and clever. Even when he’s not around, the actors bounce off of each other so well that you’d think Miller came in and punched up the script to allow for more character moments.
Never is this more apparent than when Cisco, Harry, and Caitlin decide to use the multiverse as a way to find other Harrisons (Harrisi?) to stay on Earth-1 permanently as Harry and Jesse prepare to go back home. Whoever pitched Tom Cavanaugh pretending to be a mime, a 1920s Wells, a Wells better suited for Westworld, and Starbucks hipster Wells deserves a gold star. It’d be funny on its own, but Harry’s deadpan refusal to accept the first three choices is just icing on the cake. It is a shame that Harry and Jesse have to leave, because with his returning desire for a Big Belly Burger and friendly villain-naming rivalry with Cisco, and Jesse’s new speed powers and youthful energy, it’d be great to have them around full time. I’m sure that Hipster Harry (self referred to as H.R.) will grow on me over the next couple of episodes, but right now, he’s got some expectations to live up to.
Even the romance is given a burst of adrenaline, when it’s been one of the more troubling aspects of the show as of late. Jesse and Wally finally get the conclusion to the romance that the show’s been teasing since they first locked eyes a season ago, and she even helps him accept that he’s not a speedster, at least until Alchemy shows up. Barry and Iris get their own adorable moments as well, such as when he tries to awkwardly talk about kissing his girlfriend with Joe. That kind of talk is a pain to go through, and the scene just keeps getting more cringe-worthy to the point where you want Barry to keep talking instead of shutting his mouth.
It’s nice to get to watch an episode of The Flash that brings the laughs along with the action, which is what we’ve got here. And if that also means we’ve got a new Harrison Wells, then that just makes things even better!
- This is something I’ve seen on Twitter after the episode ended, but does Barry and Iris’ relationship count as incest? They’re not related by blood, but with that in play and Joe adopting him, it is more than a little weird. I wouldn’t fault the writers if they addressed that in a future episode, is all.
- With Snart now dead thanks to Legends of Tomorrow earlier this year (oh yeah, spoiler alert), I have no clue how that show is going to bring him back as a baddie for season two beyond time travel.
- Harry and Cisco get a hug goodbye, which indeed gave me a ton of feels.
- Okay but really, what’s the likelihood that HR is in some way connected to Alchemy? I refused to believe that there’s a Harrison Wells in any reality that also doesn’t have a secret agenda.