The Flash, Season 3, Episode 4: “The New Rogues”
After a depressing start to the season, The Flash has dialed up the fun factor once again and, while it’s too early to declare the show is out of its funk, more episodes like this one will go a long way to that resolution.
It’s notable that this is the second episode in a row where Barry wasn’t weepy. The show is found humor in situations that have recently been the source of melodrama.
Most notably, Barry and Iris’ relationship was actually played for laughs. It wasn’t just the absurdity of the constant calls to thwart evil while the couple were trying to canoodle. For the first time, the show (however backhandedly) addressed the awkward effect two people raised as siblings getting all PDA has on the rest of their circle. If there’s one thing Grant Gustin does better than weepy, it’s awkward.
The episode also gave Tom Cavanagh another opportunity to stretch his comedic acting legs. With Earth 2’s Harry Wells returning to his own corner of the multiverse, Team Flash decides it needs a Harry (something I concluded last week), so they send an audition call across the multiverse and set up their own inter-dimensional Tinder session to seek a substitute.
This, of course, gives Cavanaugh an opportunity to raid the wig and mustache department, as well to try on some new accents – all to hilarious ends. The team settles on a Wells who has a Matthew McConaughey vibe, and should be a source of touchy feely hipster/stoner fun for a while.
Amongst all the fun was the Season 1 monster-of-the-week story structure. Mirror Master and Top are on the loose thanks to crossing paths with Captain Cold back in the day. It’s a solid adventure and a chance for Barry to play the mentor to Jesse Quick.
The show really broke the bank this episode in the effects department and it was a good, if a little cheesy, display. This might mean Team Flash won’t leave S.T.A.R. Labs for a couple of episodes, but the showy display was worth it.
The episode did very little to move the plot involving Alchemy, Dr. Alchemy, forward at all, but this show needed an attitude adjustment more than it needed narrative momentum. The farther The Flash continues on this brighter timeline, the better off everyone will be.