THE FLASH Runs Hot and Cold

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Episode 110 “Revenge of the Rogues”

[Photos: The CW]

The Rogues are back. Well, two of them, anyway. Captain Cold wants to ice the Flash, and Heat Wave’s temper flares up as the two almost come to blows over priorities.

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(By the way, I’m still waiting for Caitlin Snow to come into her own as Killer Frost. It almost felt like we were going to get that in this episode, but ’twas not to be.)

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Barry spends the beginning of this episode driven to make himself faster, so he can succeed the next time he faces the Reverse Flash — a moniker Wells rather likes — and in the meantime, Captain Cold and his buddy Heat Wave are causing havoc in Central City. The Rogues are following Snart’s plan to lure the Flash out of hiding, prove to the city that he exists, and then destroy him in an attempt to demoralize the city.

Ultimately, it’s about Snart’s plan to take over and be Big Mob Boss, basically, almost like making himself a Carmine Falcone type with control of everything.

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However, Snart’s buddy Mick has a bit of a temper. He’s a hothead, let’s say. And during the caper wherein they steal a fabulously expensive painting just to bait a trap for the Flash, Mick finally decides he’s had enough. He wants to dump the painting for millions and stand in tall cotton. Instead, Snart convinces him that his way is better, and more profitable, in the long run.

Cisco and Wells come up with a heat-ribbon modification to the Central City Police’s riot shields, and it delivers protection against Cold’s gun.  But Heat Wave’s blaster is a surprise, and Joe just barely manages to shoot and damage the heat gun before things get really bad.

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The thing is, Flash isn’t cooperating with Snart’s plan, since he’s not showing up anytime Snart and Rory break in anywhere. So Snart takes it up a notch, kidnapping Caitlin on her way from a meeting with Jason Rusch (more on that in a moment). Now it’s gotten personal, and Snart hits the airwaves — just how do the villains always manage city-wide every-channel broadcasts? — to call out the Flash for a meet and greet.

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Now, when Cisco and Joe make it to the booby-trapped warehouse where Caitlin is confined, I saw this as a good spot to trigger an event that would deliver Killer Frost. But I suppose there needs to be some underlying emotion that’s not there yet, since Frost eventually becomes an enemy for Barry. So, maybe something after Firestorm is a solid hero-type character?

OK. Back to Jason Rusch and Project F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M. (gah, it’s worse than typing S.H.I.E.L.D.)… Rusch and his mentor Professor Martin Stein were working on a project built around the transmutation of matter — breaking an object down to its component molecules and rearranging them into a new object. Concrete becomes soda, that sort of thing. Rusch tells Caitlin that he got an urgent phone call from Stein just before the professor disappeared, and the day after Stein published his research, the military confiscated everything.

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Now, Rusch is looking over his shoulder and wondering where Stein may be. But it’s interesting that there’s no mention of Ronnie having any connection with either Stein or Rusch. This leads me to theorize that Stein decided to hide from “interested parties” by holing up at S.T.A.R. Labs, specifically, down near the particle accelerator. Which puts him in close proximity to Ronnie Raymond, and that’s how the two are fused into Firestorm.

Stein and Raymond were the original combination for the character, and it’s nice to see the show honoring the original pairing rather than go with the New 52 combination of Raymond and Rusch.

Eventually, Team Flash figure out that in order to defeat Captain Cold and Heat Wave, they have to get the two guns aimed at each other. Crossing the streams will cancel them out and cause a feedback blast.

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So, the Flash makes his public debut in a face-off against two Really Bad Men. And guess what the police have done? Evacuated the area (take a hint, Zach Snyder). And when it looks like things are going to spread out of the containment area, it’s Eddie Thawne who prevents Captain Singh from expanding it, telling the boss that they can’t let the fight get out of the controlled space. Thawne even goes to Flash’s aid with one of the SmartShields™ developed by Cisco.

So… Eddie… about that task force…

Speaking of which, Eddie and Iris are finally moving in together, and Barry is totally fine with it. Except he’s not, and Iris knows it, and she might even be having second thoughts, except she’s not. Or at least, that’s the story and they’re sticking to it. For now.

But it does give Barry an excuse to move back in with Joe. His room is still there — having not been turned into a gym yet — and since Joe already knows Barry’s secret, the whooshing in the middle of the night won’t be suspicious. And the Flash Cave is born.

Couple of interesting moments with Wells in this episode, too. He almost gets up out of his chair during Barry’s practice runs with Cisco’s drones, and at one point during the hour, says to Barry “I hope we’re not enemies.”

Grant Gustin has already teased a major twist at the end of the season, and he says it’s nothing like the theories you might find among fandom. So could Wells accidentally out himself as one of the Reverse Flashes?

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Time will tell. Not much longer now before we see a Firestorm under control, and it will be very interesting to see how they handle the conversations between Ronnie and the incorporeal Martin Stein. More work for the FX guys…

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And how many of Cisco’s fire suits are left before Barry needs a new design? Something more along the lines of the traditional bright red?

[Show web site at CW]     [Previous Recap: “The Man in Yellow”]

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Jason P. Hunt

Jason P. Hunt (founder/EIC) is the author of the sci-fi novella “The Hero At the End Of His Rope”. His short film “Species Felis Dominarus” was a finalist in the Sci Fi Channel’s 2007 Exposure competition.

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