‘The Flash’ Post-Show Analysis Season 3, Episode 4: ‘The New Rogues’
Welcome back to Up To Speed, in which Flash TV show recappers Dylan Todd and Ziah Grace break down the latest episode of The Flash and talk about what works, what doesn’t, and where the series might be headed.
This week, two more classic rogues make their Flashy debut, the King of the Rogues drops in for a visit, and we visit a gallery of roguish alt-Wellses. "The New Rogues" was directed by Stefan Pleszczynski and written by Benjamin Raab and Deric A. Hughes.
Ziah: You know, Dylan, I actually had to check the writing credits for this episode, because I was so impressed with it. This was a good episode. Maybe the best episode? It had Wentworth Miller hamming it up and it sold Barry and Iris’ romance? What’s happening? Am I crazy?
Dylan: Yes, but for entirely different reasons, but we won’t get into that bag of hair you keep under your bed.
Ziah: It’s only a couple of years from being ready, Dylan, you said you wouldn’t tell.
Dylan: I lied. I’m a liar. But I’m telling the truth when I say that this was a darn fine hour of television. Flashpoint is really paying off for the Flash so far this season.
Ziah: Shhh, don’t sully this episode by mentioning that dumb name/crossover/company mandated bottom line.
So, before we get to the Wells-es we’re champing at the bit to get to, we should go give a summary. Mirror Master is finally here, Barry is feeling weird about macking on his pseudo-sister (finally), and Cisco, Caitlin, and Twells drain the multiversal well dry looking for other Wells to replace our favorite version. Anything I missed?
Dylan: There was some brief flirting between Jesse and Wally and Joe and Cecilia. From work. Love is on the air, man!
Ziah: Oh man! I was so excited for Joe to get his groove on. Cecilia from work was throwing him the eyes, it was wild. He’s going to have to give her the business beanie.
Dylan: Dude deserves it TBH. Go get you some, Joe.
Ziah: Okay, we’ve put it off long enough. Let’s talk about the Wells.
Dylan: Let’s. First off, how great is it that Earth-2 Wells’ first idea was, “Well, just got get another Harrison Wells, you dolts.” It’s crazy that this is on a television show in 2016 and it’s completely normal.
Ziah: Amazing. He’s just straight up beaming a MENSA newsletter into other universes, assuming it’ll be fine.
Dylan: What could possibly go wrong?!
Ziah: So, we run through the standard gamut of Harrison Wells cosplay: Old West Wells, Steampunk Wells, Mime Wells, and Recently-Divorced-Hey-Your-Friend-Is-Pretty-Mature-For-Her-Age-Huh Wells. Which was your favorite?
Dylan: I’m with Twells, they are all terrible. We wound up with Cool Step-Dad Wells, who is maybe the least offensive choice.
Ziah: I honestly disagreed with you so hard just now I sneezed, IRL. I just want you to know that.
Dylan: Wait, so you liked or disliked Hipster Wells? Cuz I sort of hate his dumb guts already. But I mean, the other three were cartoonishly awful. I’d probably have chosen gassy Deadwood Wells (Deadwells?), but that’s just because of his cool shirt.
Ziah: Oh, I hated “You’ve never heard of Jack Johnson? You’re going to love him” Wells. I just objected to you saying he was the least offensive choice. At least Deadwells would’ve had fun dialogue. Run (brap) Barry, (brap) run.
Dylan: It couldn’t be much stranger than Twells’ current line delivery though. Can you imagine having to spend more than eight seconds with any of the other ones, though? Mime Wells? Ugh. Victorian Steampunk Wells? Double ugh. If I had to choose one, I’d go with Porkpie & Vest Wells, too.
Ziah: Fair, I guess 2012 Lumineers-fan Wells isn’t the worst choice.
So, Barry and Iris were less creepy this episode! For some reason, them actually acknowledging the weirdness made it seem better to me. Barry trying to tell Joe about the Red Robins and the Bumblebees was actually some of my favorite parts of the episode. How’d you feel about this Brady Bunch-style bumbling?
Dylan: For the first time in a long time, I was strangely okay with it. I’ve obviously been very vocal about their relationship, but they have some good chemistry and they’re making it work. The bit with Barry in the Upside-Down/mirror universe, where they had their little heart-to-heart, worked. I’m not sure if they just wore me down or if they’ve actually managed to rehab it, but I’m reluctantly on team Barry/Iris, AKA Baris?
Ziah: I think it was the latter, but IDK bro. I get really bothered when I see issues that shows refuses to acknowledge as issues, or just paper over it (ride or die that Michael’s The Actual Worst in Jane The Virgin), so the fact that they actually acknowledged how weird it was helped a lot.
Dylan: Michael sucks.
Ziah: He punched a dude holding a baby! And that baby hit its head on the floor. I’m so glad you are with me on this, Dylan.
Anyway! Barry’s gonna move out! Good for you Barr. Even if you go from wine to beer like you’re starring in some sort of Reefer Madness-esque video for alcohol awareness.
Dylan: He’s got that super-metabolism, Z. They did a whole episode about it. It’s canon.
Let’s talk about how Mirror Master and the Top were kind of great. In a show where the a majority of the villains have been forgettable and kind of low-rent, it’s nice to see some villains who have cool powers, actual motivation, and could feasibly return at some point in time.
Ziah: Before we do, let’s talk about Mirror Master’s weird accent and how it sounded like he needed to chew through some marbles before saying anything first.
Dylan: Oh man, dude went through like three accents over the course of the show. But I can forgive that because it’s the CW. We’re lucky he was passably articulate as well as generically handsome enough to work. Also, we got a bad guy solution that involved Barry doing something beyond run really fast!
Ziah: Yeah! The solution was to use magic mirrors or something! But seriously, it was a fun time. I really liked seeing some villains whose goal wasn’t to kill Barry or one of the STARios; Barry having to stop them from killing their way through a city to get to an absent character was a nice twist on an old story. Plus, now we have Jesse Quick to fight all those dastardly evil women so Barry doesn’t have to hit them himself.
Speaking of, let’s talk about Caitlin becoming cold as ice, and possibly willing to sacrifice. It’s a really nice change for me to be interested in her character arc this season.
Dylan: I’m not crazy about her having to hide it, but giving her something to do beside stand to Cisco’s right or left and also mourn dead boyfriends, I’m cool with it. How goofy was that end teaser, Ziah? (Spoilers: it was incredibly goofy.)
Ziah: Honestly, if my closest friends in the world spent one or two episodes convinced I was gonna just flip out and murder them with ice powers last season, I probably wouldn’t be that forthcoming either, so I can’t blame her.
But in answer to your question: goofier than A Goofy Movie. Caitlin lives in a hotel now and has to keep giving herself haircuts to keep anyone from noticing that she’s going gray faster than Rogue from the first X-Men movie.
Dylan: So yeah, I guess we’ve got some sort of Killer Frost in the forecast.
Ziah: The '90s radical weather forecaster strikes again, I guess.
So, were you a little disappointed that Mirror Master wasn’t a bigger deal? I feel like we’ve been waiting three seasons for a famous Big Bad who isn’t a speedster, and MM was the only one left, so that’s out. The Flash definitely has an evil speedster problem, but at this point I’m not sure what they can do to fix it really.
Dylan: Yeah, I mean, it was a big deal for a CW show because he didn’t get murdered or locked up in a secret prison cell. He’s got a reason to come after Flash in the future, and if Captain Cold decides to put together a team of Rogues, he has a history with him and the Top to take the Scarlet Speedster down.
Ziah: I mean, you’re right as killer rain, but I was kind of hoping he’d be a season-long big bad, since I’m 85% sure that Dr. Alchemy’s going to get speed powers by the mid-season finale. The eternal curse of having speedster protagonists, I guess.
Dylan: Seems like the more Speed Force we come across, the more problems we see, right, Ziah?
Ziah: That’s the problem with the Speed Force. It goes faster, we go the same speed, am I right?
Dylan: And we’re back to Matthew McConaughey. So next week! There’s a monster in town and also Hipster Wells might be eeeeeevil. You stoked?
Ziah: The McConaugheyverse is flat circle, Dylan.
And I am in a constant state of stoked for evil Wells. I’m like California that way. See you next week Flashers!