The saga of XS betraying her family, then not understanding why they’re upset, and everyone overreacting, continues. She’s back from the future and making new friends that Team Flash would definitely not approve of. And, just to make things as confusing as possible, the episode is called “Gone Rogue,” which I guess is a nod to “Going Rogue,” the fourth episode of season one. Sadly, they don’t have anything equal to Wentworth Miller’s brilliant Captain Cold or Emily Bret Rickards’ Felicity Smoak guest starring in this one.
The show opens with XS committing burglary. Not a great sign for her status as a hero. But, while she’s stealing blueprints, there’s a nod to a fantastic comic book writer, as the place she’s breaking into is “G. Simone and Associates.” While Gail Simone isn’t known as a Flash writer, she did write Ragdoll for a long time in Secret Six. Gideon, not really capable of making decisions on her own (the one on Legends is a lot more self-aware), suggests contacting Flash when XS sees what she’s up against, but XS isn’t having it. Team Flash sets up a series of special sensors all over the city to try and find their wayward speedster. Ralph and Caitlin are going on a field trip to the Tannhauser arctic lab to look for more clues about the new Cicada.
While the team is getting ready to respond to a break-in alarm (from the opening scene), there’s banter about the Book of Ralph, Wells’ early-ending relationship with Rene Adler, and secrets in relationships. Barry, Joe, and Cisco figure out that XS is likely responsible for the break-in, and make some disturbing deductions. Elsewhere, Nora is making new friends: Weather Witch, Bug-Eyed Bandit, and Ragdoll. She outlines some of her plans, and then makes a surprising announcement.
At the lab, Ralph dubs their foe She-Cada (Cisco may have some competition) as he and Caitlin search for clues. They talk about damage to the lab and Killer Frost mourning Thomas Snow even more than Caitlin, or at least having a harder time with it. Cecile and Iris puzzle out some of what XS is up to, and Cecile is blindly optimistic about it. Iris is worried about what’s going on with Nora, and tries to figure out why she’s acting this way. Barry, Cisco, and Wells are also talking about Nora, until an alarm goes off at the STAR-chives, sending Barry off to investigate.
Wells and Cisco consider joining Barry in talking to Nora, but get their own distraction as some unwelcome visitors show up at STAR. Barry’s attempt at reconciliation with his daughter goes badly, as she’s too wrapped up in grand theft meta-tech and rage. Barry, after recovering, speeds to Iris’ office, to update her and Cecile about what’s going on with Nora. Cecile proves she’s not exactly technologically gifted, and they see the problems Wells and Cisco are having.
Cisco and Wells find out why they’ve been kidnapped, and by who. Cisco’s delighted greeting to someone he hasn’t seen in a while is probably the best line of the show. XS makes her demands, and Cisco’s amusement fades quickly as we see how far she’s willing to go. Wells tries to apologize to Nora, but she’s not really interested. Ralph bemoans his love life, makes a more embarrassing than usual mistake, and he and Caitlin figure out what Cicada was up to in the great white north.
Wells muses on his history of being tied up and offers a surprising theory about something going on with Cisco that I really hope he’s wrong about. The rest of the team talk about the group XS had assembled. Barry and Iris stop to argue more about what the Nora/Thawne partnership might mean. Barry hates Thawne so much he can’t think straight, and Iris is being a bit blind in my opinion. Iris makes a very emotional appeal that Barry isn’t in the mood to listen to.
Weather Witch and XS are working on their scheme which includes making some fake IDs. XS’ has the name Jenni Oognats, which is her name in the comics (remember, she’s from the 30th century). Weather Witch reveals she knows at least some of Nora’s secrets. The two then talk about their experiences with their parents. Bug Eyed Bandit and Ragdoll don’t seem too enthused about parents or mentors, either. Cisco finishes his task and gets it turned on him for his efforts. Barry and Joe have a discussion about how hard it can be to be a parent. In Barry’s defense, he missed a lot of parts of being a father through no fault of his own. Cisco and Wells get loose, with a mention of Thaddeus Brown of Earth-51. In the comics, Brown taught Mister Miracle how to be the world’s greatest escape artist.
The Young Rogues make their appearance at their target, and the people who think they’re in charge don’t stand a chance. Their plan to get in to the big secured room doesn’t really make sense to me, but it works anyway. What I said about the people who thought they were in charge goes for XS as well, as the room’s meta-damper works its magic and the speedster isn’t so speedy anymore. Bug-Eyed Bandit and Weather Witch have their own plan, and it’s not at all what XS was aiming for. The two villains make their demands. Flash shows up, sort of, and Weather Witch recognizes a trick she’s seen before. The villains get another surprise when they find out who some of the hostages are, and things turn chaotic. There’s some family bonding and heroics as some of Team Flash shows up to save the day.
The West-Allen family have a long-overdue talk where no one is banished or blasted. Nora reveals the plan she’s been working on, set in motion by Thawne in his cell in the future. It’s actually not a bad plan, which Barry shows some maturity and agrees to. Cisco runs some tests and thinks it might work. It revolves around a “mirror gun” they stole from the secure room at McCulloch Technologies. McCulloch is the name of the second Mirror Master in the comics.
The episode ends with a few interesting scenes. The team has a plan now, but still don’t know how to find Cicada. Ralph and Caitlin return from their expedition with some disturbing news. And the “She-Cada” (thanks, Ralph) works on one of her own projects, letting us see that either she’s haunted or hallucinating. Maybe both.
What I liked: The nod to Gail Simone was something I liked, since she’s one of my favorite comic book writers. The McCulloch Easter Egg was nice, too. It was an interesting team XS put together, and we learned a bit about most of them. Ralph’s scene with Caitlin was both sweet and entertaining. Joe had some good advice for Barry. The Young Rogues were a good team (who went down too easy).
What I didn’t: I think they’re overall a good couple, but Barry and Iris have been on opposite sides of this whole mess with Nora, and they both have elements of right and wrong. I’m also sick of the family drama. I really hope Wells’ theory about Cisco is wrong. XS makes bad decisions no matter whose influence she’s under, and is amazingly naïve. I actually wouldn’t weep if she’d go back to when she came from. As I said, the break-in plan had a major flaw, since the power dampers should have stopped it from actually working.
It was an erratic episode. I’m not sure how I feel about parts of that. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5 and see what they move on to.