Previously on The Flash
Magenta focused on the awkwardness of dating between Barry and Iris, as well as Caitlin’s sketchy behavior as she continues to hide her cryokinetic powers. Yearning to become a speedster, Wally tries to understand why he wasn’t affected by the particle accelerator explosion, whereas Jesse was. Taking into account Jesse’s new powers, Dr. Wells had come to the realize that he can’t continue to shelter Jesse from living her life and making her own decisions. With Dr. Wells slowly letting go of his overprotective nature, Jesse is given Trajectory’s speedster suit for training with Barry at S.T.A.R. labs and in the fight against metahumans.
The New Rogues
In The New Rogues, two new metahumans, Mirror Master and Top, team up to finish a personal vendetta against Leonard Snart (Captain Cold). Whenever the word “rogue” is used in the title, it’s indicative of the presence of Captain Cold, who only appeared at the beginning and end of the episode.Unless the title is foreshadowing a new band of rogues joining Captain Cold, there was hardly any plot actually involving Cold himself. Because Captain Cold is currently in Legends of Tomorrow (Thursdays 8/7 Central on the CW), in order to utilize the character to lure Mirror Master and Top, the gang uses their hologram technology from Season 2. It’s great to see a show keen on recycling equipment seen in previous episodes.
As the name implies, Mirror Master is able to exist in a “mirror dimension” that allows him to travel as he pleases via reflective surfaces such as mirrors, whereas his love interest, Top, has the ability to induce vertigo and disorientation in her victims. After Cisco and Dr. Wells ceremoniously name the two villains, Dr. Wells mentions that on his earth that there is a similar Mirror Master, except he uses a gun. This quick line pays homage to Evan McCulloch, Mirror Master in the comics, who commonly uses a laser pistol. Unlike Top in the show, Top’s character in the comics, Roscoe Dillon, has a larger suite of abilities including the ability to spin rapidly, telepathic powers, and increased intelligence (a byproduct of spinning intensely). After such a long wait for Mirror Master to appear in The Flash, the episode felt underwhelming in the representation of its new villains. Perhaps I was expecting a little more screen time for Mirror Master, such as a two-episode arc, or the goofy costume he wears, but having Barry trapped in a mirror definitely made up for my unmet expectations.
When Barry got trapped within a mirror, the only possible way to get him out would involve freezing the mirror to extremely cold temperatures. This was obviously a set up for Caitlin to use her powers, which she did while remaining hidden. At the end of the episode, I was ecstatic when Dr. Wells whispered to Cisco that there was only one person in the room who could have helped Barry escape. I know once Dr. Wells returns to Earth-2, nobody can replace his wit or striking observations. I’m not sure why Caitlin is still hesitant to inform the gang of her abilities, but my suspicion is that Caitlin had been affected more than the others in this fractured timeline.
Similar to comic books, filler episodes may not contribute largely to the main plot of the season but tend to focus on the finer details of the supporting characters, such as Caitlin. With each passing episode, I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for Caitlin to finally tell the gang that she has meta powers, yet she continues to lie. So regardless of the mediocre episode, I was happy that Mirror Master was chosen mainly to drive Caitlin’s narrative. With all the other characters largely established, Caitlin has only recently struck my interest. After Barry returned to the fractured timeline, all his friends seemed different to some extent except for Caitlin. Her outward appearance and personality didn’t really seem too different from Season 1 Caitlin until the very end of Paradox, which revealed her vulnerability and fear to the meta abilities she possesses. I’m hoping the next episode, Monster, delves more into Caitlin’s motives for hiding her abilities.
Lastly, one story arc in the episode that I found unnecessary was finding a replacement for Dr. Wells from another “Earth”. Cisco mentioned how the group just isn’t the same without “Harry”, which leads Dr. Wells to propose a search for all the Dr. Wells on every possible multiverse Earth. His assumption is that there are other Harrison Wells that are geniuses who should be able to fill the void for when he and Jesse return to Earth-2. The responses from the multiverse Wells are comical, albeit feel out of place for the show. After rejecting multiple Wells, the last Wells that is liked by Cisco and Caitlin largely resembles the character that Tom Cavanagh portrayed in Scrubs, Dan Dorian. Earth-2 Dr. Wells instinctively advises Cisco and Caitlin to not recruit the hipster Wells, but they do so anyway.
In the next episode, Monster, hipster Wells is portrayed as untrustworthy due to his strange behavior. The New Rogues was the first filler episode that didn’t revolve around Dr. Alchemy, so it’s possible that Monster will reveal hipster Wells motive or a possible connection with Dr. Alchemy. The Flash airs on The CW every Tuesdays at 8/7 Central. You can also watch The Flash on the CW app or a day after the show airs for free!