Monday, October 05, 2015

The Flash Review Season 1 - The Rogues

As the Season 1 turns to Season 2, and I've run behind on reviewing the season, let's take a breakdown of what's been happened.

Starting with the Rogues.

We've already seen Weather Wizard I, Multiplex and Simon Stagg, The Mist, and Captain Cold. Out of them, only Mist and Cold are actually still alive, one imprisoned and one on the run.

As the season progresses there are more Rogues to meet.

Plastique appears as a soldier who ends up merged with high explosives.It makes it difficult for her to touch thing, as it tends to lead to detonation.

It also gives an excuse to stick in a joke I had made for the episode review.

That was worth it, right?

Plastique proves to not be much of a threat, as she has no interest in doing bad things. She just wants a cure. But there is no cure.

In the end she and the Flash find a new threat. General Wade Eiling (played by Clancy Brown, of Sheriff Clancy Brown fame on Sleepy Hollow). He's a military man obsessed with creating an edge for US Military. He wants super powers on the battlefield, under his control. He has a history in comic books as a problem for heroes. How they will go here is not yet clear. But being the stubborn close-minded type he is offers plenty of danger already.

In the end, Wells manipulates Plastique to attempt to murder Eiling. In the process, she's killed. Her body goes into critical mass. Barry has to race her out into the water to create some distance between the explosion and the city. And it leads Barry to learn how to run on water.

Next the Flash has a run in with Girder. He turns out to be a school bully of Barry's. He now has skin that takes on dense metallic properties. He's built like a steel building. And Barry struggles with the fact he can't just run up and punch him.

(It should be noted that they did switch the character from black to white.)

He plays the role of the bitter high school grad who's life went nowhere. In the end Barry masters a supersonic punch and drops Girder. He then reveals his identity to Girder...Secret ID, Barry. Maybe this is leading to him having an open ID, like Wally West did as the Flash...But the Reverse Flash has said that he had to discover Barry's identity in the future. So it seems like it is a secret, even 100 years from now,

Girder makes another appearance, when Wells releases him to go after another Rogue. This leads to Girder being killed. Another Rogue down.

The rogue that kills Girder is Blackout. He was struck by the Particle Accelerator blast while climbing an electrical tower. He then accidentally killed his friends, hitting them with an electrical blast and sucking the life from. An electrical vampire. He blamed Wells for what happen and went after him.

He attacks the Flash first, and in the fight Barry is a little cocky. He gets hit with a large blast, and has his access to the Speed Force/his powers taken from him.

Blackout then strikes STAR Labs, which leads to a short fight with Girder. Then Barry gets in Blackout's way of killing Wells, and the blast helps restore his powers. He then manages to overwhelm Blackout's power, and Blackout burns out.

Then Wells takes some samples from his body, interested in how he affected the Flash's powers. ...That hasn't come back up yet.

We also meet the Clock King, who was already a villain of the Arrow. He's passing through Central City, in the hands of the police. He manages to take police headquarters hostage. While the Flash is stuck dealing with Blackout, Iris West has to deal with Clock King.

Next up is Rainbow Raider...or Prism. He shoots out colored light from his eyes that induce rage in people. For some reason, in the Flash it creates a slow burn of rage that sends him running around town causing chaos. But he isn't too hard to take down. He does live at least. One more Rogue in the cells.

In the next Arrow episode Barry helps with Captain Boomerang. A deadly assassin with a bag full of deadly boomerangs. Hey, it works. We'll see if he ever visits Central City.

The Reverse Flash is next...But maybe we should wait for the moment on him.

Captain Cold is soon joined by Heatwave, a pyromaniac with a STAR Labs designed flamethrower. The pair make the core of the Rogue's, teaming up to take down the Flash. It ends with them in prison, though they know more and more about Barry's support network.

Next time they meet, they finally learn who the Flash really is. Cold and the Flash set up some rules. Barry will hold back on Cold and his crew, but they stay away from his friends and family, and Cold has to agree to not kill.

When Cold and Heat returned, they bring Cold's sister Golden Glider. She's a campy femme fatale, who ends up with a gun that either turns or encases things in gold (or a gold-like substance). It's a departure from her comic form, but I welcome another scifi gun wielder on the show.

Pied Piper appears next. A former assistant to Wells, he is a brilliant and calculating mind. He also has a massive and arrogant ego. He hates Wells and holds him at fault for ruining his life. He''s deaf, but created his own special hearing aides...And a set of sonic weapons.

He uses his weapons to go after his family (who we got to see the episode before Pied Piper makes his appearance. Captain Cold and Heatwave targeted them. I did initially wonder if Pied Piper was already working with them, but it seems to be coincidence.), and then to go after Wells and Barry. His focus though is on bringing down Wells.

After he's bested by Barry they lock him up in the particle accelerator which rather bothered me, as the point of those cells is to hold people who have powers the police and prisons can't handle. Pie Piper can be disarmed. Without the hearing aids and weapons he is the same as most criminals. Cold and Heatwave got beat in front of the police, so they took them. And taking and holding Piper is a clear slide into self-interested imprisonment.

As it is, it does turn out he was at least partially right. Wells is not a good man, and has chosen to hurt people. So it seems that STAR Lab's team and the Piper actually do have a lot more in common. But for now, he's managed to escape on his own. We'll see if they all come to terms.

Hopefully, like in the comics, Pied Piper will be able to grow into an ally of the Flash.

Peek-a-Boo is another interesting Rogue. She has the power to teleport to any point she can see. She seems like a person who's had some bad luck in life and decided to abuse the power she gotten. Of course she was willing to go aggressively after Caitlin, but the team did lock her in a box for what may have been the rest of her life...

While the first Weather Wizard died, it seemed likely, based on comic history, that a Weather Wizard II would appear. And the original's brother does emerge, and have the same powers. And he goes after Joe West for revenge. In the end he nearly sends a massive and deadly wave into Central City. Luckily, time travel.

Though once you've pulled that trick, you have to worry about him being free. Will he never try that again? Maybe he'll focus more on schemes now.

Trickster I appears and gives us a wonderful dose of Mark Hamill. He's a madman with a skill for creating interesting and deadly jokes. He was sent to prison years back, and put in a sealed cell to keep him from killing guards. They do a nice job of making him a deadily and cunning criminal. He's a little goofy, but always on the verge of mass murder. He stays in prison until Trickster II appeared.

The second Trickster acted as a tribute act to the original. And the original acted as if he was enraged. In truth they were father and son, and plotting to help him escape and then blackmail the wealthy of Central City.

The pair have a very comic booky caper. But they both end up in prison, after the Flash escapes and explosive bracelet (learning to vibrate through a truck to get it off).

Bug-Eyed Bandit appears in a crossover episode. She has built some robotic bees to swarm and kill people she has a grudge against. Another tech villain. Good.

Everyman proves to be tricky to catch as he jumps from looking like one person to another. It leads him inside STAR Labs at one point, and into a cell by the end.

But he isn't there long as Wells makes him impersonate him, in a ploy to trick Barry. It results in Everyman's death.

Grodd hangs over the season from the start. He then shows hints of being around. And being far from an ordinary gorilla. Then he starts taking captives.

When we fully see him he is the giant beast we know and love. An angry mind, and a powerful telepath, eager to tear into the heads of anyone who threatens him. He seems to be growing smarter and smarter, how far will he go?

When the Flash goes at him, he proves to be hard to best. He's too big to pummel. Then when the Flash runs at him at supersonic, Grodd catches him. Physically and mentally he is a threat. And even a train collision doesn't stop him. We'll see what he's plotting come next year.

Deathbolt is another Rogue, who happens to be in one of the cells. He isn't actually in any episode of The Flash. But he appeared on Arrow. He was either sent to Central City, or was caught there between episodes. His power is to fire plasma bolts from his eyes.

After being introduced, he's killed by Captain Cold during his ploy to get all of the Rogues out of custody. Will he be missed? No.

So that leaves around 4 Rogues in the particle accelerator at most. Those killed before or after capture helped keep that number down. But keeping them down there...

They were tiny cells. They seem to have no facilities in them. It seems horrible, even for supervillains.

We do know that Team Flash would get them food that they liked, and we even see that they were given some personal items (Weather Wizard II was seen in Rogue Air with a baseball mitt). But how do they go to the bathroom? And how do they get them their food? Knock them out with gas?

It was a bad situation, as Joe says. And at first, it seemed like a troubling but acceptable stopgap. Then near the end of the season, nothing has changed or evolved. It became a norm that the team didn't think about. It seems like an apt representation of what we as a society get up to with imprisonment and incarceration.

And with them all in one haphazardly made prison, outside the law, was bound to end bad. And when they try and move them all to a proper black site prison (proper blacksite prison...), all but one escapes (the one Cold decided to kill). It was a messy business that needed to be called out.

But, hopefully, that is over...Well, there is Harrison Wells.

The Reverse Flash is a man from over a century in the future who is determined to outrun and murder the Flash. Edobard Thawne came from another time and was dedicated to bringing doom to the Flash. His success proved his undoing.

He tried to kill Barry, failed, and then killed his mother. The Flash was no more. And with no Flash, the Reverse Flash was cut off from his powers.

Trapped in the past, with no powers. He had to start over.

But he wasn't going to wait the many many many years it was supposed to take the Flash to get his powers. He needed to jump start the Flash as early as possible. And that would take a particle accelerator.

He stole Harrison Wells life. Built STAR Labs. He then brought forward the events that created the Flash, and scores of super beings.

With his time, tech, and knowledge. He worked around everyone. From the beginning he manipulated everyone. He used people. He killed people. He created a hero in the Flash. With a Flash, there can then be a Reverse Flash again. And as he needed Flash to reach his full potential, the Reverse Flash helped push him. The Reverse Flash also had to embrace the Flash, support him, and help him.

Still, he waited, knowing it was only a matter of time until Barry worked out the truth. So as Barry worked out the truth, Wells manipulated him more and more.

That is another aptitude of Wells. He is a chess player with an inscrutable face. And that makes me wonder about what he's trying to do with Eddie Thawne. Keep him out of the fight, or was he trying to shape him to be the man that forged the Thawne legacy?

Could he could be priming him to take on a role in the family lineage? Or just starting the family feud with the Allen family?

Eddie was critical in the end, and he played the role Reverse Flash couldn't predict. But what became of the Reverse Flash?

The timeline seems intact. But the Reverse Flash is gone from history. So Barry's mom shouldn't be dead.

I guess we'll see how time works on the Flash in Season 2.

Next time, we see where the good guys are, and what we may hope for.

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