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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews The Flash Season 9 Episode 3: Rogues Of War

February 23rd, 2023 by Todd Black Comments

At this point, I can’t help but wonder if the team behind The Flash is just ignoring the past to try and tell the stories that they want to tell. Because in “Rogues Of War,” we had NUMEROUS storylines and beats that made no sense for the simple reason that they conflicted with things that Barry learned in the past or said he wouldn’t do again.

The overall story was that Barry and crew realized that the “New Rogues” were trying to build a Cosmic Treadmill. A bit random, but I’ll roll with it. The good news was that they didn’t have all the pieces they needed to make the thing. The bad news was that they were obviously going to get it soon, and so Barry needed to stop them. How? Well, after getting info from Hartley (who somehow had a top-secret DOD file…), he came up with a plan to steal it first. But the “twist” would be that Barry needed to make his OWN Rogues team to make it happen.

And that right there is the first of many missteps in this episode. Barry worked with criminals before…back in Season 1! Remember “Rogue Air”? He thought for sure that he could trust Snart because of the “gentlemen’s deal” that he made with him. It blew up in his face, and people died as a result. What’s more, the sole reason that he didn’t go to the people at the DOD was because of the reveal that General Eiling ran the place. While I appreciate them referencing Clancy Brown, they didn’t even ATTEMPT to have Barry ask him for help. He’s willing to trust criminals and ex-rivals, but he can’t even ASK a government person to “do the right thing”? Really?

What’s more, given that three of the four that he asked were jerks in one form or another, he didn’t even SUSPECT that one of them could backstab him. You know, just like Snart did? But no, instead, it was “I trust them to do the right thing,” which, if you recall, is what Snow said would happen…and she was wrong. She’s still a terrible character, by the way.

And that brings us to the second recurring problem. Barry, at this point in his career, should know that he needs to put faith in people and not push them away…just like what happened with the Forces when he trained the Strength force. Except, he made the same mistake again. Yes, he rebounded, but it should’ve never gotten to that point. Barry should be at “peak Barry” at this point in his journey and yet he’s making the same mistakes that Season 1-3 Barry would make, and that’s wrong.

It’s not just him, either. We soon learn that Iris is mad at “not having enough time” to grow her career once Nora is born. …why does she fear that? Her dad is perfect proof of having time to advance your career once your kids are old enough. Plus, she seemed to have forgotten wanting to “live in the moment,” which is what she drilled into Barry’s head in the premiere and the fact that Barry KNEW part of her future and that she would get two Pulitzer Prizes…WHICH HE THEN REMINDED HER ABOUT! It was so odd and confusing that she needed a story “right now” when that wasn’t true at all.

Oh, and let’s not forget that in the time loop episode, she made her own choice to expand her brand and not sell to CatCo. So she’s got plenty she can do before having Nora…so what was she so stressed about again?

Shall we talk about the Chester/Allegra stuff? No? You don’t want to do that because it’s a really dumb relationship that they’re handling incredibly poorly? I agree!

So getting back to the main plot, Mark’s betrayal was interesting but hardly surprising. Again, something that Barry should’ve thought about. Because even without the “benefactor,” it’s not hard to think that he would’ve done something to get the engine for himself if it could help get Frost back.

Having the “Barry Rogues” now be on his side is a fun twist on things, and since we know more allies will come in the future, there is potential for what could happen next.

That being said, the “truth” about the Red Death was…not interesting at all. We already knew that Red Death was Ryan Wilder, but the question was, “In what form?” In the comics, the Red Death was an Elseworld fusion of Batman and Barry Allen after…well, it doesn’t matter. But many likely thought it was a future version of Ryan or alternate universe Ryan coming to haunt Barry. But no, it’s just regular Ryan…infected with the Negative Speed Force. …because of course it is. Oh, and apparently, Ryan’s been missing for weeks, and the Bat-Team…didn’t raise any alarms. Really? No one thought it’d be a good idea to reach out TO THEIR ALLIES FOR HELP TO FIND BATWOMAN!?!?

Oh, and Ryan saying, “I am vengeance” like she did…? Yeah, that was really flat.

In the end, “Rogues of War” felt like a rehash of many things from the past with very predictable results. Who knows what’ll happen next, but I’m not exactly excited to fine out.


Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians ( He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!