The Flash‘s timeline is reset, causing the Rogue Gallery to cause havoc in Central City. Meanwhile, Barry struggles to deal with the changes he’s made by travelling back in time.
Nothing that comes after the “Out of Time” episode — aka, the one where Barry goes back in time, resetting the day’s series-changing events — could really match that intensity. The Flash was firing all cylinders and throwing caution to the wind for the major plotlines for its big time travelling reveal. “Rogue Time” settles the show back into its normal pace for an episode that can’t quite live up to the previous episode’s promise.
Which is understandable because it’s not in the show’s DNA to be able to burn through that much plot and revelations in one episode. The biggest reveal — that Wells is from the future — is brushed upon, briefly, when it should have been one of the main focal points of the episodes. The episode teases some Wells and Cisco scenes, but Cisco’s instead trapped in an inferior subplot with his previously-never-mentioned brother.
So the episode — rightfully so — focuses on Barry using his pre-cognition to alter the timelines, against Wells’ advisement. Barry has knowledge of most of the day before — he knows the Weather Wizard is hunting down Joe, he knows Singh is almost mortally injured, he knows a tsunami is about to hit Central City and he knows that Iris’ feelings are reciprocal — and he makes radical steps to amend most of these grievances. But the show doesn’t want to commit to those negative possibilities, like that whole mess with Iris and Eddie that’s too neatly resolved.
The previous episode was so excellent because it brilliantly blew everything up and then hit reset. The changes to this timeline’s events are drastic enough, but it tries too much to wrap its storylines up very neatly.
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Confessions of the Heart
The writers must have had a good laugh plotting the threads for the Barry and Iris romantic parts. That beautiful, shipper-worthy scene where the two finally kiss was lovely in “Out of Time.” In “Rogue Time,” it doesn’t exist. Nor do the adrenaline-filled circumstances that led Iris to uncover her deeply buried feelings for Barry.
Poor Barry. He comes off as a creep to Iris and Eddie — who hilariously punches him for his actions — but we know that Barry knows there’s something between them. It’s heartbreaking to watch Barry, grinning from ear to ear for their “date,” comprehend that Iris isn’t there yet.
The decision for this outcome (thanks to the reset) was seen from miles away, but The Flash‘s refusal to have Iris and Barry on the outs hurts its “reset” storyline. The sloppy explanation from Caitlin about “lightning psychosis” immediately resolves Barry from any wrongdoing, and it feels like the writers are stepping back from the chaos they’ve just made.
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The Rogue Gallery
After Barry disposes of the Weather Wizard (via his super illegal detainment facility), a new problem emerges: Leonard Snart and Mick Rory are back in town to cause some trouble. With their guns gone, they decide to piss off the local mob to attract some attention while they try and get their guns back.
How do they do this? They send Snart’s sister Lisa (who will always be Jane Sterling to me), wearing a terrible wig, to seduce the not-so-lucky Cisco into making new guns for them, including a toxic gold one for Lisa Snart, and to identify the Flash. When Cisco refuses, they threaten his brother Dante, who we’ve just met.
I’m happy Cisco has a storyline, but man does this feel rushed. In an already-packed episode, The Flash decides to devote time to Cisco’s family, introducing a semi-estranged brother played by CW recurring player Nicholas Gonzalez. Sketched pretty thin — with Dante’s main characteristics being that he’s a failed/struggling pianist insecure about his brother — the relationship between these two could have worked if it wasn’t introduced in this episode. We’ve spent 16 episodes with Cisco and Barry and their friendship. One episode of Cisco and Dante’s vague and tense relationship can hardly do it justice. Though it’s great to see the Rogue Gallery (as Barry later calls them) together, the plotline rests so much on the Cisco and his brother storyline for it to really stick.
After Cisco and his brother are released (though we never see the brother again), Team Flash finally realizes that Central City’s favorite criminals plan plenty of distractions so they can pull off other, better heists. The Flash tracks them down on motorcycles, taking them out one by one, and isolates Snart in the woods for a negotiation of sorts. The Flash challenges Snart’s arrogance to continues what he does without hurting anyone — including Barry’s friends and family — and Snart agrees to keep his secret.
The compromise between Snart — who Wentworth Miller is clearly having a lot of fun playing with a crazy Mid-Atlantic accent — and Barry is an interesting resolution to the supervillain-learns-hero’s-identity plotline, but again: it’s so neatly tied up. The Flash‘s timeline story was great because it was messy. But now almost everything is on track again.
With the exception, of course, with Iris’ colleague being murdered by Wells. Barry finds it suspicious enough to call Joe in, though, so at least there is some progress on that front.
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— Wouldn’t there be two Barrys if he was sent back in time? Otherwise, I’m confused as to how a future Barry ever runs back to the night of his mother’s murder…
— I’m starting to think that Eddie is being used as comic relief at this point. The fakeout for his punch-turned-hug is hilarious, but it’d be nice if Eddie felt like a character or person.
— Thanks to the Cisco-Dante plot dud, we’re deprived of a lot of Joe. Sure, he drops by Iris’ work to dispell love advice, but his scenes are too few for my taste.
— “Leave this city.” “No. I really like it here.” Everyone should bow down to Wentworth Miller’s line reading. Just so good.
— How chilling are the scenes between Cisco and Wells this time? With the echoes of their previous conversation, you can almost see Cisco experience some intense deja vu. And better yet, you can see how much Wells really does love Cisco as a son here, even though he murders him in another time. I was really hoping that the Rogue Gallery would capture Dr. Wells instead. It would have been so much more powerful.
— Theory Corner: One day, Eddie will get a storyline of his own! Hopefully soon!
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8pm on The CW.
(Image courtesy of The CW)