You have to feel sorry for the likes of Ford, Hamill and Fisher as there’s such a gargantuan level pressure and expectations upon them going into The Force Awakens. Not just to recapture the characters we remember and love but also to re-find their group dynamic as a cast. To look like their decades apart have just flown by like they never really parted. We love it when our favourite actor combinations reunite again but sometimes to we expect too much magic from them. As this week’s Flash proves..... no, we most certainly don’t. Form is temporary but class is eternal as this episode’s reuniting of everybody’s favourite escape artists proves that they truly are a class act together.
Rouges Revenge – Barry is training harder than ever his encounter with The Reverse Flash. Yet the return of Leonard “Captain Cold” Snart, along with his loose cannon pal Mick “Heat Wave” Rory, demand his full attention when they kidnap Catlin to lure him into a deadly show down.
Episode four’s “Going Rogue” story was one of the most enjoyable offerings of from Flashville so far. Even before getting his new favourite gun, Wentworth Miller’s Snart was easily the coolest character around and its concluding “I’m putting a team together” tease delivered one clear message; The Rogues have been born. Now this speedsters opening 2015 salvo sees their first group outing as they look to be a menace in south Central City. This time the message is less The Rogues are here and more “The Rogues are so freaking awesome we don’t ever want them to leave!”. Characters, charisma and chemistry all combine to see them taking the series to new levels and being endlessly enjoyable to watch. Wentworth Miller’s Snart and Dominic Purcell’s Rory light up the screen so well together you’d swear Prison Break only finished filming last week (Fox is talking of reviving the show.... they’ll have prise this pair from our cold dead fanboy hands). Their timing could not be more perfect if the Clock King was regulating them and in every aspect of their unstable confrontational relationship they completely steal this episode. They perfectly mirror their comic characters of polar opposite personalities; Snart cold and calculating, Rory the rash hot head. While their mega gun wielding action sequences are great (the big show down effects really kick ass) you could quite happily watch the pair on Jerry Springer for an hour just arguing and fighting everything out. It’s good to see the bigger focus given to Heat Wave as the new character who makes for the most fun performance this season as the deranged pyromaniac. He gets some scorching lines to boot; on the police “Why do they call you people the heat? I’m the heat!” and on fine art “it represents to me that people with lots of money buy dumb stuff”. The episode’s conclusion joyfully implies The Rogues will be both a significant presence and expanding their ranks. Though unseen, the ending introduces the shows second ex-Tomorrow People casting to give them a much needed women’s touch. Plus the rich expensive art buying couple mentioned as the Rathaways must be noted as the parents of Hartley “The Pied Piper” Rathaway who’s already been confirmed to appear next week. As daddy Rath remarks “I don’t have a son anymore” it’s safe to bet that their domestic difficulties will be a factor.
Outside of the Rogues there’s some great development this week between Barry and Harrison Wells relationship. After officially confirming that he is the (or at least a) Reverse Flash Tom Cavanagh is absolutely revealing in placing as much double meaning into his lines as possible. It’s so good you almost want to see a yellow suited translator in the corner of the screen narrating his subtext as refers to the pair of them as partners and saying that they’re in this together. It’s so wonderful to have such a fascinatingly complex villain within the main characters like this as our perceptions of Harrison’s intentions seem to be changing almost every week. Though this episode returns to the core idea that, for reasons unknown (powering the cosmic treadmill?), Harrison needs The Flash to reach the full potential of his speed powers. The early moment of Harrison slipping his foot down and almost blowing his cover for fear of Barry’s life in the drone training is just incredible. For all his ideals of the future, Harrison’s character is always at his best when under threat of random variables that he can’t control. As for the drone attack opening, although sadly we didn’t get to see the one with lasers in action, how cool was that slow-mo missile spin? It almost rivaled his boomerang catch in Starling City.
Elsewhere in Barry’s social network it’s great to see The Flash and Eddie becoming best bro’s forever. The Barry/Eddie friendship scenes in the Girder episode were a highlight as they bonded over a history of bullying and now this pair look set to deliver some thrilling heroics together. Eddie’s shield save was both a cool on screen moment and real turn of character endearment to him. Recently he’s been heading up the anti-vigilante task force and rather cold towards Barry after clocking the love triangle the three of them were in; this episode does a great job of reinstating his likable credentials. That equilateral looks still to be the long game though. In particular it looks set to the catalyst for Eddie’s transition to antagonist. The show’s creators have confirmed that he has a place in the master yellow suited equation. So if Barry (masked or not) goes behind his back to steal Iris, The Flash could have a new Thawne in his side. Although the episode’s handling of the Barry/Iris tension is one of its weaker elements. The other is the delving into F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M. with Catlin. While it’s great to see this progressing and meet the big comics player of Jason Rush things really feel .... well, too rushed. Catlin’s barely sat down with the guy before he goes into paranoid “they’re out to get me“ mode. Timeframe permitting this would have been much better suited as the central focus of a later episode. Though this could easily have been some much needed groundwork before episode 13 (entitled “The Nuclear Man”) which implies a big focus on the Firestorm character.
It’s been a long 6 weeks without a red streaking smile across our faces and this episode just goes to remind us why missed it so much. A fantastic fun blend of action, humour and great characters all smothered in extra geeky delights. We were already thinking it with Cisco made the Ghostbusters references but that didn’t stop them being so glorious (even Space Ghost made an appearance). Both in the short and long term the series is heading in the right direction. This Rogues revenge is nothing but sweet.