"The New Rogues" - The Flash S03E04

This week on The Flash, we get the welcome return of everyone's favorite Flash rogue, Jesse Quick gets some action, a game of Choose-Your-Own Wells, and Caitlin on ice.

Oh, and a really awful Iris West subplot. Someone kill me now.

(Spoilers beyond the fold)

Let's get the horrible Iris West discussion out of the way first, because I kind of want to puke, so I'd rather talk about fun stuff after this.

In yet another week of the writers not knowing what the hell to do with Iris, they once again waste Candace Patton with a weaksauce subplot about Barry and Joe being super awkward whenever Barry and Iris are kissing while dad is there. Turns out that it's more Barry's discomfort than it is Joe's, although Joe admits what a lot of fans think: he doesn't really find the prospect of watching his adopted son and his actual daughter making out a delightful one.

Why you gotta make this so awkward, Barry, damn...
Still, Joe accepts that Barry and Iris are adults and "need to do their thing." Iris spends the episode annoyed with Barry for making everything awkward. The only slight up-side to this is when Barry is stuck inside a mirror, he tries to have a heart-to-heart with Iris, only to have her cracking up. This subplot ends (thank the gods) with Barry deciding that he really needs to move out of his dad's house and get his own place. My question here is, doesn't Iris have her own place? Why can't Barry and Iris go there for snu snu?

Anyway, regarding Iris herself, I have a burning question. Why can Kara Danvers be more useful as a freaking secretary (and now a reporter) then Iris West? And I don't mean Kara as Supergirl. I mean Kara has already had interesting subplots within the context of her normal-person job. Can we seriously not find something meaningful for Iris to do as a reporter with more experience than Kara? Goddamn.

Okay but that Jesse Quick, though! Thank goodness the joy that is Jesse Quick gets more screen time this week! She gets a training scene with Barry, and during one of the fight scenes, she gets to flex her muscles a bit. And she and Wally are so terribly adorable! I ship it!

Okay the fight scenes in this episode were pretty rad
Despite the fact that Jesse technically screwed up and as a result Flash ended up getting trapped in a mirror, she was great to see in action. She's a young superhero, of course she's going to screw up, but she's a quick study. She does, at least, get the chance to take out Top, one of the two freaks-of-the-week. I was happy to see her and Wally finally kiss, but super sad that she had to go back home to Earth-2 at the end of this episode. I'm sure we'll see her and Harry again later, but still. I want my Jesse fix every week!

This week's villains of the episode title were titular Flash rogues, a pair of metas who were created by the same initial dark matter shockwave that created Flash. A lot of fans were excited to see Mirror Master in the show. Honestly, though, he and Top were just an excuse to bring back Wentworth Miller's Captain Cold, in both a flashback scene that gives us the quick origins, and as a hologram used to trick Mirror Man into Barry's trap. I miss Captain Cold so much...

There were some majorly cool fight scenes with Mirror Man and Flash, but overall I felt like it was kind of a waste of a really cool villain. I mean, at least he's not dead, so there's always the possibility of his return, but I wish we'd had more of him.

Seriously neat fight scenes with mirrors...
The standout moments of this episode really had nothing to do with the ongoing romance plot, or the freak-of-the-week plot, and we got nothing about Alchemy this week (not even a Julian sighting!). Really what made this episode exciting with regards to the rest of the season was the further advancement of Caitlin's slow-blooming meta powers, and Wells.

Let's start with Caitlin. When the team needs extreme cold to get Barry out of a mirror he's trapped in, Snow secretly uses her budding Killer Frost powers to do it. Barry didn't actually see her do it, but just as Harry is exiting Earth-1, he warns Cisco that the device they built to get Barry out was not the thing that actually achieved it. It stands to reason that because of that little tidbit of information, that Cisco is going to find out really soon what is going on.

And of course, Caitlin is going to have a really hard time keep it a secret for much longer, because she's starting to take on Killer Frost's physical characteristics.

Ruh-roh, girl. Time to visit the salon... and start wearing lipstick
I'm genuinely excited to see where this is going to take Caitlin. She has spent three seasons being the quiet background scientist of the team, sometimes providing solutions, but most often just sitting in Harrison Wells' shadow, and with her plots always revolving around a love interest. I don't want her to turn evil, but I don't necessarily think she has to. She hasn't exhibited any of Earth-2's Killer Frost murder tendency and general sense of boredom with life. She seems to be our beloved Caitlin Snow... just cooler.

Speaking of Harrison Wells' shadow, when Cisco and Caitlin beg Harry not to go back to Earth-2 because we need him (seriously we do), he contrives a crazy plot to throw a "lure" out into the multiverse to find a replacement Wells who has all the knowledge he does. He does this by 'beaming" a complicated equation to solve out into the multiverse, and when the team finally get some hits, hilarity ensues.

The multiverse, as it turns out, is full of Wells. They get a Wild West Wells, and a weird French mime Wells ("Never trust a mime," - Harry Wells of Earth-2, words to live by). But then there was also this one:

Okay, sorry, but Steampunk Harry would have been my first and only pick!

What a pleasure to watch Tom Cavanagh flex his acting muscles and get to play some really wacky versions of Harrison Wells, adding to his repertoire of three serious Wells he's already played (Reverse Flash Wells, normal Earth-1 Wells, and Earth-2 Wells). It was clear that Tom had an absolute blast.

The team ends up picking Hipster Harry, though, who hails from Earth-19. He's not only super intelligent and willing to join the team, but he's also incredibly funny. Despite Harry growling a lot about it, they end up pulling H.R. Wells (as he prefers to be known) into Earth-1 (or Earth Prime, as Steampunk Wells called it!).

I would watch an entire episode of hilarious H.R. and gruff asocial Harry together in a room. Like forget Barry and the rest. Just Tom Cavanagh playing off of Tom Cavanagh for an hour. Seriously, it was such a joyful moment. I really hope H.R. doesn't turn out to be psychotic or evil or something, because he's just so much ridiculous amounts of fun.

Hipster Harry is second-best Harry (second only to Steampunk Harry, ok?)
As Jesse and Harry are about to speed off back to Earth-2, Harry tries to warn the team of something, but didn't actually get to hear all of it. Well, that doesn't bode well.

Anyway, "The New Rogues" was a mixture of meh with absolute awesome, so I can give this one a single thumb up.

We didn't get much of anything having to do with Flashpoint, unless you accept the fan theory that Caitlin's Killer Frost powers are only coming out because of Flashpoint. But on the changing timeline front, nothing new to add today.

Ivonne Martin is a writer, gamer, and avid consumer of all things geek—and is probably entirely too verbose for her own good.