Yes, awkward appears to be the overall theme for episode 4 of The Flash, “The New Rogues”.
One exception is the introduction to our new villains, Mirror Master and Top. These are two of core characters to the villainous group known as the Rogues, of which Captain Cold was also a member. It was a nice callback to the comic character when Harry mentioned his universe’s version (someone who took over Scudder’s mantle in the comics) needing a mirror gun. Also, Top has changed in two ways. First of all, Top’s a woman! Also, instead of being able to spin like a top (which would explain the name), she can give people extreme vertigo. These two are confident (albeit, a little shallow in their motivations) and don’t do awkward.
Almost everything else in this episode? Yeah, awkward applies. Barry and Iris can’t seem to catch a break, since making out in front of Joe causes discomfort for everyone except Iris, apparently. Honestly, I get it. Joe raised Barry since he was just a kid. He’s lived in that house, and is already family. The romantic moments between Barry and Iris is sure to cause some discomfort. And WHY make out on the family couch? They have rooms, you know. Poor Joe just can’t catch a break. Between Barry and Iris, and the new, very obvious romantic interest of Cecile, Joe is forced to face things he’s just not quite ready to deal with yet.
I found Iris completely dismissive of any reasons to feel awkward about the whole thing, and I guess I’m just a really private person, because I disagreed with her. Heck, I felt awkward just watching. So, it’s a good thing Barry’s choosing to get his own place, to avoid having poor Joe to walk in on… whatever those two might get up to in private.
Barry just seems to breathe awkward at any opportunity, from dodging Iris’ questions about PDA, to his exchanges with Joe about the new family dynamic. And that’s just this episode. Although, I thought it was cute the way he replied, “I love you, too,” to Joe during their little talk. I’m wondering if or when we’ll get to see the confident quipper that I’ve loved from other versions of the Flash. Not that I don’t love this version of Barry, I do! But, you know, expectations.
S.T.A.R. Labs’ resident geek squad fluctuated between bickering tension and awkward. Cisco and Earth 2’s Harry continued to grate on each other’s nerves, even though they work well together. Since Harry’s such an important part of the team, they can’t just have him leave. So why not just replace him with a different version? Only in the Flash universe (or is it the Arrowverse?), can this be considered a logical conclusion.
The replies of the other Harrisons were so cringey. I understand they were meant to highlight just how great Hipster Wells would be for the team, but really. I wonder how a couple of them even figured out how to reply. While Tom Cavanagh really got to show his range here, I really hope they tone down HG’s antics. He seemed a little too goofy. As for how HG will work out for the team? Let’s just hope Cisco’s remark, “He’s nice & not evil, combo we haven’t had before,” doesn’t come back to haunt them. Oh, and did anyone catch the literary reference, with his name? H.G. Wells?
Jesse, oh Jesse. Is there anything more embarrassing for a young adult that being rejected after going in for the kiss, and being told “Let’s just be friends?” How about, after being told to “stay here,” going after the baddies, and almost falling to your death, resulting in getting Barry trapped in a mirror? Luckily, Wally was able to talk her out of quitting, on both accounts. Here’s hoping the new inter-dimensional communication system will help them stay in contact.
Caitlin avoids most of the awkward this episode, but continues to hide her powers, and does end up with an icy shower on accident. Less awkward, more uncomfortable. She does need to come clean about her powers. Almost all her friends have powers. Yes, she’s afraid of becoming like Killer Frost, but isolating herself from the others isn’t going to help. She needs to trust her friends, and maybe find a way to control herself.
Other things about this episode: They’ve set it up for Mirror Master to escape from his holding cell. At some point, all it’s going to take is one slip-up. It was nice seeing Snart make an appearance, and for Barry to reference the Legends of Tomorrow series. Also cool was the return of the hologram tech, and the mirror setup that Barry used to take Mirror Master down. Barry called back to when Oliver helped him out in “Flash Vs Arrow,” and his little quip about becoming Oliver reflects his growth as a team leader. If there’s one constant among the universes, it’s apparently Big Belly Burger.
One more thing: Does anyone else wonder what Harry was going to say before getting pulled back to his own Earth?