A quick housekeeping note. We originally started these discussions about geeky television as a point/counterpoint but it evolved organically into something a little more complicated, so we’re changing the name of the series to reflect that. Each week, you’ll find a “Same Geek Channel” on our current favorites of Gotham, Sleepy Hollow, Flash and Arrow.
We’ll have to concentrate on something different when the current television season ends, such as binge on the Daredevil Netflix series, but until then, we hope you enjoy our give and take on these shows.
And now onto this week’s episode of the Flash.
Mordechai: Let me begin with an apology of sorts. Last week I said Iris was the worst character on either show. This is because, apparently I’d finally imbibed enough to forget that Laurel exists. One major difference is that while I don’t like the writing for Iris, I actually think Candice Patton is doing a bang-up job with what she’s been given. In the case of Laurel, however, I’m just not feeling it. No offense meant to Katie Cassidy, but every time they have a scene focusing on her I replay the following MST3k skit in my head.
But enough about Arrow, let’s talk Flash. Specifically this week’s episode “Revenge of the Rogues.”
We open with Barry training against a drone, piloted by Cisco. Barry is fixated on using his speed better and has been focused on this for the last month. Despite Caitlin’s “advice” of “Barry, run away” (his go-to tactic), we see Barry instead run towards missiles fired by the drone, grab one, and send it back. Very cool moment.
Not as cool as the moment where we see Harrison Wells tense up and start to move to save Barry. No-one else sees it, mind you. Still, ooo.
Corrina: Where are they getting money for those drones? Did they buy them from the same military surplus officer that infamously sold the submarine to Mr. P.N. Guin?
But I digress.
Barry catching the missile is supercool and had me geeking out. There’s much to enjoy in this episode, especially the action sequences. It reminded me why I keep watching. And then there were the parts that showcase why I contemplate giving up on the show: the roles of Iris and Caitlin.
Mordechai: Meanwhile, Len Snart (Captain Cold) has teamed up with his old friend, Mick Rory, aka Heatwave. In the comics, Heatwave is a pyromaniac. They kind of take it to levels of unsubtle goofiness at times. In the comics, they’re members of the Rogues. In fact, there’s a blink-and-you-miss-it reference to another classic Rogues member, and that’s not counting the scene at the end.
What was always great about the Rogues is they seemed more interested in fighting the Flash than actually stealing things, and we see that here as well. In fact, Harrison Wells talks Barry out of going after him because he makes the point that they’re interested in fighting Barry, and if he doesn’t show up, then they’ll go. You know, for a secret evil mastermind, he makes a valid point.
Corrina: Harrison’s right but somehow I wonder if it’s a little early for the “your presence make the freaks come out and causes our city to be more dangerous discussion,” since it’s only in this episode that the public finds out the Flash is more than an urban myth.
Still, Captain Cold and Heatwave are long-time Flash villains nicely translated to television. I even like Heatwave’s pyromania. But I wonder why someone as analytical and careful as Cold would team up with someone so volatile who clearly can’t be controlled.
In any case, Harrison’s warning to Flash to avoid a confrontation covers his ulterior motives: he needs the Flash to be better because of the upcoming Crisis that’s being teased by the secret room in S.T.A.R. labs.
If the comic characterization holds true, Harrison is going to be revealed as one very screwed up guy.
Mordechai: Joe and Caitlin’s respective reactions to Barry letting them know he told Iris how he feels are priceless.
All the more so because at first Joe thinks Barry is talking about his being The Flash.
Corrina: Barry: Hey, Joe, I told your daughter the truth! Oh, not about the big thing where I’m the guy she’s crushing on and writing the blog about and where I keep my secret from her because that would put her in danger despite the fact she’s already in danger. That would be silly.
No, I told her I’ve been waiting to be her boyfriend for years. And she took that weirdly? Who knew?
Mordechai: Meanwhile, Caitlin has a poignant line with “Things weren’t really normal with you pining after Iris.” Well said. And then it happens. We get a forced scene of her waxing eloquent how she used to be so ordinary and only Ronnie made her whole (insert sound of me vomiting here) just so she can mention scuba diving and Barry realize Firestorm is an acronym. Just…so bad.
Corrina: I love how every discussion with Caitlin inevitably turns to the person who’s really going to be important on the show: Ronnie Raymond aka Firestorm. I liked her investigating F.I.R.E.S.T.O.R.M but her “Omigod, it’s 800 pages” seemed ridiculous, given she’s a genius scientist. It reminded me too much of Iris’s early “school is hard, Barry!’ phase.
Jason Rusch’s appearance is welcome. So far, CW has been aging down heroes, like Wildcat on Arrow. But this time they aged-up Jason Rusch and it works.
Mordechai: Stein went to a friend for private backing. We all know it’s going to be Harrison Wells, right?
I’m going to vent again about Iris, sorry. As I said above, the actress is great. She really pulls off “I was just thrown a major curve ball by a lifelong friend.” That part’s great. What I wonder is why the writers felt the need to have her and Eddie mention that they met when someone mugged her.
Corrina: Oh, teacher, I know! Pick me!
The answer is that Iris is attracted to heroes and Eddie became a hero to her in that moment. She also crushes on the Flash because he’s a hero. And once she finds out how heroic Barry really is, her opinion of him will change.
This makes Iris shallow. This annoys me because she should be written smarter than that. But I’m sure the scene with Eddie coming in to save the day for the Flash was to point out to the audience that Eddie can be heroic too.
Mordechai: Aside from Iris having really bad luck with having her things stolen, there were a thousand organic, non-dramatic ways for them to have met. I mean, he’s her dad’s partner and she lives at home and is apparently at the precinct quite a bit – why wouldn’t they see each other? It feels almost as forced as Caitlin’s ode to defining herself by a man. Almost.
Corrina: I’d like to add that the first time we see Iris this episode is when she visits Eddie and there’s PDA and that scene is solely for Barry to walk by and look sad. Because we need to feel so sorry for Barry that his beloved Iris didn’t understand that he wasn’t being at all creepy by dreaming of her being his girlfriend while she slept in the next bedroom. For years.
Mordechai: And Caitlin gets to play the damsel in distress. Heatwave and Captain Cold get tired of waiting for The Flash and come after his partners. So of course, they go after her.
Corrina: Why not kidnap Cisco??
Mordechai: I know, right? Especially considering Cisco’s the one who threatened Snart last time.
And Caitlin doesn’t even do anything interesting as a captive. She screams and looks scared. So in this episode, she doesn’t want to read 800 pages and absorb the information because it takes too long – even though she has more education than Barry and should be the one sorting through the report, and then she’s kidnapped, sits around, and waits for people to rescue her.
Mordechai: I love how the villains somehow take over every single TV channel to out the Flash as real and challenge him to face them. Which is actually good. I was getting tired of the “urban legend” aspect. What’s not good is that once again, people with normal reaction times are a challenge for a guy with super speed. Barry knew where they were; he should have been able to zip in and knock them both cold (pardon the pun) before they had time to react.
Corrina: Me watching that scene: Why doesn’t he zip past them and grab their guns? Game over.
My husband: Because there’s still about twenty minutes left in the show. And they wanted to show a big fight scene.
It is a good fight scene. I think it would have been funnier if Barry just grabbed their guns and said “really. guys?” Then that time could’ve then been devoted to Joe, Cisco and even Caitlin working together to defuse the bomb.
But let’s talk about Iris in this scene because here was a chance to truly showcase how great she can be.
I hoped she was there to help out the Flash any way she could. But, no Eddie gets the heroic moment while she stood around and looked worried. I don’t care about Eddie. He’s pretty but basically uninteresting to me. I care about Iris. It would’ve been awesome to see Iris grab the police shield and save the Flash.
As it was, she just stood around and looked scared.
Mordechai: Disagree on the fight scene. For one thing, what the heck was up with the cops doing crowd control? They’re literally saying they need to expand the perimeter as two dudes wreck the city trying to kill a third. Get a damn sniper on the roof and take Cold or Heatwave down!
Corrina: Cold and heat effects to showcase! By the way, those weapons had serious range.
Mordechai: Also, it’s like the writers keep forgetting that Barry has super speed, not just “kinda fastness.” How the heck is he having trouble getting them to cross the streams? And his solution is a bit insane. Letting them hit him? So the Flash’s speed aura can handle temperature extremes where matter would come apart? Heck, so S.T.A.R. Labs shields can?
Corrina: But we’re watching a show where a guy runs faster than the speed of sound because lightning, something something, particle, comic book science something accelerator. Not to mention that same comic book science created the other metahumans with completely disparate powers. So I’m willing to go with the flow on speed aura and S.T.A.R. police shields.
Mordechai: Tom Cavanagh killed it this episode. From the amusing (“Cisco and I will work with Joe, and the police, to devise a way to catch cold… yes, I said it, Cisco, as soon as it came out of my mouth I heard it”) to the subtle and sinister (“I hope we’re not enemies”) to the unexpected Ghostbusters comment. Harrison Wells is just perfect in so many ways.
Corrina: So far, Cavanagh is doing fine but, to me, they’re telegraphing him too much. His role lacks subtlety. But (and I have absolutely no justification for this), I like Cisco. I liked his big speech to the police force. And I like his puns. But then, I’m one of the weird people who liked Vibe in the comics.
Mordechai: So you were the one.
Corrina: Me and Geoff Johns, apparently.
Mordechai: Glad Barry and Iris actually talk at the end. Thankfully. It’s a well done scene, with the perfect level of discomfort. I do think it’s interesting that Barry was able to run home, pack his things, and come back in less time than the entire fight scene took.
Corrina: No one was shooting at him when he was moving boxes.
Mordechai: So Eddie is a hero, the Flash is a hero, S.T.A.R. Labs are good guys again, Barry’s living at home and…oh hey, Snart and Rory make a break on the way to Prison. Deja vu.
And now my biggest issue with the episode: At the end, Eddie just hands the guns to Cisco, saying “We won’t be needing these for the trial” You WON’T, Eddie? They’re weapons of mass destruction that were just used to attack the city. Why the hell won’t you? Other than there being no trial, but that scene came later.
Corrina: It’s better than on Arrow where the case against Moira Queen for multiple counts of murder is over in one day! If you expect proper police procedure in The Flash, you’re going to continue to be disappointed.
Mordechai: I just want one TV cop show where chain of evidence is a thing. Just. One.
Corrina: Gotham at least has a reason for bad chain of evidence: the cops are corrupt or incompetent.