After a lackluster second episode, I predicted The Flash would come through with a strong third episode. Season nine, episode three, “Rogues of War,” checked all the boxes. The episode moved the season forward by revealing our big bad’s motivations and identity. At the same time, the episode gave us the awesome fights and lighthearted moments that make The Flash is so fun to watch. Let’s recap.

The Big Bad’s Plan

Episode three began with Andrea Wozzeck, a/k/a the Fiddler, and Owen Mercer, a/k/a Captain Boomerang, stealing a temporal scanner from Taft Industries. They had the help of a third member of The Red Death’s Rogues, Michelle Amar, a/k/a Murmur. Murmur is an angry medical student turned serial killer who is very creepy and doesn’t speak.

So far, the Rogues have stolen the Roemer accelerator battery, Hartley’s sonic gauntlets, and now a temporal scanner. All the Rogues need is a quantum vibration engine to complete the components needed to build a cosmic treadmill – like the one Godspeed used to travel back in time. It’s unclear what exactly the Red Death wants to use the cosmic treadmill for, but it can’t be good.

The Flash… I Mean, Barry’s Criminals’ Plan

Regardless of the Red Death’s plan, Barry knows that a cosmic treadmill in the wrong hands jeopardizes the entire timeline. So, Barry and Iris talked to Hartley to find out more information about the quantum vibration engine. Conveniently, Hartley was already planning to steal the only quantum vibration engine in existence to supercharge his new gauntlets. Hartley said the engine is worth a million dollars, which seems a bit low.

The engine was in the Department of Defense’s possession. Unfortunately, Team Flash has a poor relationship with General Eiling, so reaching out to the government for help was a no-go. Instead, Barry needed to steal the engine before the Rogues did. The Flash can’t be caught stealing from the feds, so he would need to do so as Barry Allen, the CSI.

The DOD kept the engine in a vault surrounded by four meta-dampeners. So, in turn, Barry and Hartley had to recruit three others to help steal the engine. For whatever reason, Barry couldn’t ask other heroes – Oliver Queen must have been too busy. So, Barry recruited his own team of rogues (criminals) rounded out by Jaco, Mark, and Goldface. Initially, it appeared that Jaco agreed because he is basically a good guy, Mark agreed because it’s what Frost would have wanted, and Goldface agreed because the Rogues could time travel to the past and steal his turf.

It quickly became clear that the criminals all wanted the engine for themselves, causing Barry to lose trust in them. Unsurprisingly, the criminals decided to do the plan without Barry.

The Red Death, The Benefactor, Batwoman!

Iris couldn’t shake the feeling that the Rogues were working for a benefactor bankrolling their mission to build a time machine. Who’s bankrolling Team Flash, by the way? Anyway, Iris seemed both wise and desperate to break a big story before she gets pregnant with Nora in a few months. So relax, Iris – we know you win at least two Pulitzers!

Just as Barry left to find the criminals, Chester discovered that the tech used for the Rogues’ weapons came from Wayne Enterprises in Gotham City. Yay, we’re getting a crossover! At this point, I realized I should have noticed the bat symbol on the Red Death’s suit sooner.

Barry met up with the criminals and revealed his “secret” identity to get their trust back. The plan was back on. Hartley was to keep the engine and pay the criminals $250K each for their trouble. Everything went according to plan until Mark betrayed the criminals and helped the Rogues get the engine. We got some cool fights between Mark and powerless Barry, Goldface and Captain Boomerang, and Murmur and Hartley. The Fiddler and Jaco apparently fell in love while fighting. Ultimately, the Red Death robbed us of a fight between Barry’s criminals and the Rogues.

At the end of the episode, Mark demands that the Red Death help him save Frost, as promised. The Red Death put Mark in his place, unmasked herself, and said, “I am vengeance.” The Red Death is Batwoman! I’m pumped to see where this goes. Batwoman looked possessed, and Barry suspects she is the new negative speed force avatar.

Barry and Iris’ Babymoon

I particularly enjoyed Barry and Iris taking a cooking class in France for their babymoon. I respected them for making a perfect crème brûlée, even if it took 40 tries in Flash time. But when Barry asked for a doggy bag, I cringed. C’mon, chef!

Barry and Iris have already crossed off visiting Big Ben at midnight, an on-the-water picnic at the Venice canals, and a few others I couldn’t read from the comfort of my couch. They have some shocking ones left to go. Pizza from three countries in Europe? If I were the Flash, we’d call that Friday night. Mezcal night cap in Cabo? Me every Taco Tuesday. I’ll give them a pass on the sunset cruise off Kauai and camping under the Northern lights – they do have to save the world, after all.

Allegra and Chester

They’re really trying to make me care about Allegra and Chester’s relationship. Khione inserted herself and called Allegra a dandelion or something, which seemed to help the situation. I sort of tuned out for this entire storyline. I did laugh when Khione named her plant Kesha.

Final Thoughts

What an episode! Hartley, Goldface, and Jaco told Barry to call them after Team Flash figures out Batwoman’s weakness (if any). I guess it’s true what they say – the enemy of my enemy is my friend. I can’t wait for next week. What do you think of this season so far? Let me know in the comments below.