‘The Flash’ Season 1 Recap, Episode 10: ‘Revenge of the Rogues’
Welcome back to Up To Speed, home of the the Flashest Recaps Alive. Here we’ll recap the episode, dispense some Flash Facts and talk about what works, what doesn’t and where the series might be headed, as we try and keep up with the adventures of Central City’s (for now) second-fastest man, Barry Allen, more widely known as The Flash.
This week, we’re back from hiatus and looking at the tenth episode of the first season, “Revenge of the Rogues,” featuring a double-shot of dastardly villains, plus Danger Drones, butt-splosions and Joe West's Business Beanie™.
FLASHBACK: What Happened This Week
First off, welcome back! Hope everybody had a good holiday. To kick this off right, go ahead and cue up this track as we start our recap for "Revenge of the Rogues," another Kai Wu/Geoff Johns joint.
We start off with Barry's voiceover, and he's lamenting the fact that he knows that he's no longer the fastest man alive. That distinction belongs to the Reverse Flash, who, if you'll remember, showed up and then beat the ever-loving turds out of Barry last episode. So Barry's out with the S.T.A.R. Labs crew of Cisco, Caitin and Professor Evil McWheelchair's, aka Harrison Wells. They're chasing Barry around with a drone that's shooting live ammunition at him, (you know, normal hero stuff) sort of like an outdoor Danger Room. Barry's not doing so hot, he's all out of breath and barely dodging the bullets they're shooting at him, let alone the missiles.
At one point, it looks like maybe Barry's gonna get murked by a missile, and Wells ever-so-slightly moves his foot off his wheelchair like, "Oh snap, am I gonna have to save this guy with whatever sort of powers I'm hiding?" but Barry manages to toss the missile back at the drone, which seems wasteful, but I'm also not a super-scientist from the future who's probably made a bunch of money betting the house on the ponies, Biff Tannen-style.
Barry finishes off their workout by eating roughly one million hamburgers and Wells gives him a talk about how he needs to focus and not waste his time on stuff like, you know, helping people. Meanwhile, in a garage full of expensive custom cars, something freezes the door enough so that a car can run through it like glass. It's Captain Cold! And he brought the shadowy figure from the end of his introductory episode with him! You know, the guy who likes fire? So it's fire and ice! Get it?!
Anyway, we get the mini Prison Break reunion that we as a nation have been clamoring for when Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell show up as Cap Cold and Heat Wave. They're ostensibly there to steal cars, but Cold really just wants a chance to take a shot at The Flash, and the Flash is busy blowing stuff up, so they bolt. Captain Cold's parka game is strong, BTW. Heat Wave sort of looks like the digger guy from Atlantis: the Lost Empire when he was younger and hung out at the gym like a lot.
The next morning, the usual cops show up to CSI the place and Barry mentions some sciency gobble-gobble which means, basically, that the door was frozen and the car ran through it. Using their combined powers of deduction, Barry and Joe manage to work out that it's Captain Cold and that he's after the Flash. Also, Eddie is there. Hi, Eddie. How are you doing?
At their hideout, Mick Rory, aka Heat Wave, is basically making out with his lighter because he's a Geoff Johns character and they tend to be defined by one aspect of their gimmick. Heat Wave loves fire. Anyway, there's an expensive painting titled "Fire & Ice," just in case this wasn't already very on the nose, and Leonard Snart, aka Captain Cold, wants to steal it. It belongs to the Rathaways, which is a familiar name for Flash fans, but we'll talk about that in a little.
At S.T.A.R. Labs, Wells doubles down on talking Barry out of confronting Captain Cold, pointing out that the last time they fought, a butt-ton of damage went down. Wells says him and Cisco can help the police come up with a solution for catching Snart. Barry begrudgingly relents.
At the police station, Iris and Eddie are talking about moving in together, when Barry comes in the room pouting, asking where Joe is. Things are still awkward from Barry's bombshell last episode where he broke the news that he was crazy in love with Iris. Barry finds Joe up in the lab, where he has coffee waiting for him. Joe wants to figure out how they're gonna get Cold, but Barry's like, "Nah, I gotta focus on blowing drones up," and Joe is like, "What?" and then Barry sort of walks out of the room.
Later, at the West homestead, Iris is packing. Joe finds an old stuffed turtle named "McSnurtle the Turtle," and that is a hilarious name. Barry shows up cuz Iris found an old backpack full of his comics (you really only see this Space Ghost issue of Cartoon Network Starring…), which is not a very good way to store your comics, bro. Buy a longbox or something, you cretin. Barry is still all awkward, so Iris books it out of there, which raises Joe's suspicions. Barry tells him that he told Iris and Joe's like, "Aw yeah, that explains that." Then he talks Barry into cleaning up her mess, which makes me wonder how often people try to pass-agg him into doing stuff for them.
At police HQ, Cisco shows off the anti-cold shields they came up with for the cops to use against Snart. Some wisenheimer points out that maybe S.T.A.R. Labs isn't the most reliable source for technology after it, you know, blew up a sizable chunk of downtown less than a year ago. But the shield seems to work, so Wells is pretty happy. Joe, who is wearing a pretty great beanie, confronts Wells about Barry's sudden laissez-faire attitude to saving people from guys with mega-cold guns. It's a pretty good Cop Dad vs. Science Dad showdown.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Caitlin is doing research into one of the last things her recently-resurrected-and-also-on-fire fiance said to her before he blasted off into the night: "Firestorm." Then she gets all sentimental about how Ronnie got her to try all these new things in their relationship like Indian food and SCUBA diving and breakfast foods that were not made up primarily of bran, but then Barry makes an impossible leap and asks, "What if Firestorm is an acronym like SCUBA?!" And sure enough, it is.
Caitlin pass-aggs Barry into reading the looong entry about the program they find, and I'm not gonna type what it stands for cuz it's dumb, and I'm not gonna type out what the project was, cuz it's more silly pseudo-science. (Something about unzipping atoms and then recombining them?) Suffice it to say that it has the power to turn people into fire-shooting metahumans. They manage to ID a student who was working on the project, and Caitlin's says she's gonna look him up.
Meanwhile, at a rich person's private jet place, the Rathaways are getting off their plane with their new painting, the fire and ice one. Mr. Rathaway seems like a real braggy douche. He also looks a little like an even-more-worn-down Michael Madsen, which makes me wonder why they didn't just get Mike Madsen to play this guy. A quick look at his IMDB profile shows that he is not necessarily picky when it comes to saying "yes," to projects. Anyway, one of Mr. Rathaway's servants mentions their son, Hartley, to Mr. Rathaway and he's like, "We no longer have a son." Hartley Rathaway, you may know, is the alter ego of Flash Rogue The Pied Piper. Will we see more of him in coming episodes?! You'll have to read the whole recap to find out! (SPOILERS: Yeah, it looks like he's gonna be in next week's episode.)
Cold shows up and steals the painting, but the cops arrive with their shields and Cold is like, "Aw man," but then Heat Wave comes out with his gun literally blazing and then it is the cops who are "Aw man"-ing. They switched it up on them! Luckily, Joe shoots Heat Wave's gun as Heat Wave is yelling about how much he loves fire, so they gotta get out of there with the painting, and yet again, The Flash can't be bothered to show up.
At their lair, Heat Wave goes out of his way to mention that he's memorized every piece of his heat gun, almost like it's being set up for him to be able to make a new one in the future. Cold and Heat have a Reservoir Dogs standoff, but Cold is like, "How can I stay mad at you?" moment and lays out for Heat Wave that they can sell the painting or they can take what's behind door #2, which is total domination of Keystone City. Heat Wave, being a wonderfully one-dimensional maniac, thinks about it for 2.5 seconds and then burns the minimalist modern painting.
Caitlin meets with Jason Rusch, the student who was working on F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M. before it got shut down. They talk nerd stuff, but the important thing is that there was a Professor Martin (unfortunately not Franken) Stein, who was doing science stuff, but his funding got cut off. Rusch also mentions that the army came in and gobbled up the leftovers of F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M., which means we are definitely going to see more of Actual Giant Clancy Brown's General Eiling. Caitlin leaves the meeting and is Googling Martin Stein, who apparently has gone missing, but she's hijacked by the Icy/Hots.
Wells and Barry have a talk about Wells pushing Barry to train. It's gets creepy cuz Wells pours on the Number One Fan routine. Thankfully, Cisco comes in and is like, "Okay, here's where we figure out the science-y way to defeat the bad guys, so her goes: we need them to cross streams like in Ghostbusters."
Barry gets a call from Joe, who's found Caitlin's car, which is kind of sad cuz they find the car in the morning and she got abducted at night, so nobody really noticed she was missing for like all night, but whatever. Barry starts freaking out, so they head back to Police HQ to figure out where Caitlin is. Eddie comes bounding down the stairs, and, in his best "I'm Helping!" voice, tells them the identity of Snart's partner. We already know his name because we're cool people, but let's just let Eddie explain how Mick Rory is a serial arsonist who got hell of burned but escaped when his ambulance got in an accident, because poor Eddie needs to feel like he's doing something.
Then, something glorious happens: some cop yells out, "It's on every channel," and guess what the Icy/Hot Bandits did? They hijacked the TV transmissions for the city, which is such a classic, classy super villain move. Good job, guys. They call out The Flash, and dangle Caitlin in front of the camera in an attempt to lure him out.
Back at their hideout, Heat Wave is talking to Caitlin about fire and you get the feeling that this is a guy who wants to spread The Good News about fire to everybody he meets. He sets a bomb under her chair and they're like, "Smell ya later." Barry goes to meet the Icy/Hot Bandits in the streets, and have his big introduction to the public at large. There's a lot of ice- and fire-shooting, but Barry can't get them to cross streams no matter how much he tries.
Meanwhile, Cisco and Joe are looking for Caitlin. They find her pretty easily, but Cisco triggers the tripwire for the bomb. Luckily, Joe manages to dive and get her out of the way before her ass literally gets blown up.
Back in the streets, Eddie's feeling heroic, grabbing a shield and covering the Flash right when they were gonna freeze/burn him to death. Wells suggests that maybe going fast isn't the way to "get 'er done," as the poet says, so he starts striding slowly towards them like a cool dude, tricking them into crossing streams and knocking them over. Barry thanks Eddie and flashes off into the night.
At the police station, the Keystone cops continue their proud tradition of perp walking the bad guys through the middle of the station, because that seemed to be a good idea for the Clock King. Eddie gives Cisco the freezey-burny guns to dispose of, and Barry manages to overhear some cops talking about how cool The Flash is and how they wonder who he is IRL.
At the West home, Eddie and Barry are bringing the last of Iris's stuff downstairs and Joe's saying his goodbyes. Eddie tries to be A Real Cool Guy for Joe, but, as per usual, Joe manages to make him emasculate himself by merely saying nothing. Truly he is the Alpha Dad and poor Eddie is merely an Omega Boyfriend. Barry and Iris get a chance to talk alone, and Barry gets a change to de-awkward-ify their relationship. Surprisingly, it pretty much works.
Once Iris is safely away, Barry and Joe have a sweet little chat about how Barry should just move back home, and before Joe can clarify if he's just being polite, Barry's literally standing in the living room with all his crap.
EPILOGUE: Snart and Rory are in the prison transport vehicle, headed to Iron Heights. Rory's giving Snart a hard time cuz it looks like his plan didn't really work out, but OOPS, the van is suddenly stopped and the back door ripped open and WHO'S THIS, it's Snart's … SISTER?!
FLASH FACTS: Random Observations
Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell both seem to be having a fun time playing their characters. I feel like they want to be even campier, but are being held back by the fact that this is a TV show that, while mildly goofy, has yet to go whole hog on superheroic lunacy. I'm hoping that as we see more of these guys, they'l settle into their roles a little more comfortably.
You might recognize the name Jason Rusch as the third Firestorm, created by Dan Jolley and Chriscross in 2004. Professor Martin Stein is the other half of the Ronnie Raymond Firestorm. He'll be portrayed by Alias' Victor Garber sometime down the road.
There's an attempt to make Heat Wave super-menacing by having him threaten to burn Caitlin's skin off, to "see what her true form is, or whatever, but I feel like that's kind of wrong-headed. It's okay if he's just a lunkheaded firebug of a criminal, he doesn't have to have a "profile." This is The Flash, not Hannibal.
Hartley Rathaway is the Pied Piper, who we see as the villain in next week's promo. Originally created by John Broome and Carmine Infantino in The Flash #106, he pretty much does what the name implies: he controls people's actions through sound manipulation.
FLASH-FORWARD: Future Happenings
Next week! The Pied Piper, apparently!