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TV Review: The Flash - Season 1 Episode 16 "Rogue Time"

03.25.2015

EPISODE 16: "Rogue Time"

SYNOPSIS: After unintentionally time traveling, Barry re-lives the previous day (last week's episode) and against Dr. Wells' advice, makes major changes to the timeline. But what kind of consequences will that have on the future?

RECAP (Beware of spoilers!):

Last week’s spectacular episode of THE FLASH is a hard act to follow. After all, we were given a big character death (Cisco), learned important information about Dr. Wells’ motivations, and Barry time traveled. But while I had a few issues with aspects of the time travel plotline, tonight’s episode was a really entertaining, creative follow-up. In case you weren’t already convinced, these solid back-to-back episodes of THE FLASH prove it is the best comic book show on TV, and also holds its own as a smart, well-written drama.

It’s no surprise that the huge twists from last week didn’t stick around for long. Although I worried tonight’s “reset” would be an annoying cop-out, it was handled in a really smart way and didn’t shy away from focusing on consequences. As Dr. Wells points out, time-travel is a very dangerous power and even the slightest alteration in the timeline could have an enormous effect on your future. Time always finds a way to correct itself and if you change the events of the past, there is always the lingering threat that something worse will happen instead. Now that we know Dr. Wells is from the future, it’s obvious he’s speaking from his own experience. The last thing he wants is Barry messing up his plan, so the more he can do to discourage Barry from time traveling, the better. But, regardless of Dr. Wells' wishes, I think it's safe to assume that this episode was setting the stage for Barry's inevitable trip back in time to revisit the night his mom died, and the consequences that will have on THE FLASH.

Last week, while Barry was busy trying to save the city from a tsunami created by Mark Mardon (the Weather Wizard), Cisco and Caitlin found out Dr. Wells wasn’t who he said he was. But unfortunately, Barry never learned that information. So now that Barry has broken through the time continuum, and is reliving the previous day (a la GROUNDHOG DAY), the knowledge of Wells’ true intentions is lost to time. But before we can get too upset about that, Cisco’s voice comes through on Barry’s ear monitor asking why he isn’t at the morgue yet to investigate the coroner’s murder. Yay Cisco’s alive! And as you may remember, it was at this time last week that Barry first started to sense something was different with his powers. As he was speeding to the crime scene, he saw a reflection of himself in the flash. Now we know this image must have been a glimpse at his future self. But if this is the past, why aren’t there two Barry Allens running around? Does the presence of one cancel the other out, or is this an alternate reality? The show doesn’t really explain and we are left to draw our own conclusions, or just not really worry about it. I choose the latter.

Now that Barry realizes he has the opportunity to relive the day and prevent bad things from happening, he speeds to the morgue. Because he already went through everything once before, Barry is able to quickly tell Joe what is going on with the murder and who the suspect is (Mark Mardon). Back at the lab, he’s also eager to finish his friends’ sentences. Of course, this isn’t lost on Dr. Wells, who immediately takes Barry aside to ask whether he time traveled. But, unfortunately for Barry, Dr. Wells isn’t a friendly ear. Due to the fragility of time, Dr. Wells doesn’t want to know anything that happens in the future and also warns Barry that a change in his actions from the previous day could result in a cataclysmic event. So, he needs Barry to do everything he did the day before and not tell anyone about the future.

Of course, Barry can’t stick to that promise for long, especially after he sees the police captain healthy and walking around the precinct. In the fastest criminal apprehension ever, Barry speeds over to Mardon’s “secret” hideout, where Joe found him last week, and brings him back to the Pipeline. Cisco and Caitlin are excited that this was such a quick apprehension, but Dr. Wells knows better. This major deviation from last week’s episode creates a monumental shift in the timeline.

The first major change involves Cisco’s death (or lack thereof). In last week's episode, Cisco didn't attend his brother’s birthday party, choosing to spend his time watching an old movie with Dr. Wells instead. However, in the new timeline, Cisco decides to go, and he brings Caitlin as a buffer. As it turns out, Cisco doesn’t have a good relationship with his family. No matter how successful he is, his dickish brother Dante is the golden child. Because he felt so unwelcome, it doesn’t take long for Cisco to leave.

To recover from the party, Cisco meets Barry at the bar for a drink. As they’re talking, a beautiful woman hits on Cisco and buys him a drink. The two hit it off and she brings him back to her mansion. But, it’s too good to be true. The woman is actually Leonard Snart’s (Captain Cold) sister, Lisa (Golden Glider). Snart used her to capture Cisco, who he wants to use to make new guns for himself and Heat Wave; Lisa demands a gold-shooting gun. At first Cisco wants no part of it, but is quickly convinced otherwise when he sees that Snart has also captured his brother.

Shouldn’t the fact that Lisa’s gun shoots GOLD mean she is set for life with money? But as Snart says later on in the episode, maybe it’s all for the thrill? Also why weren’t these villains around during last week’s episode? Nothing Barry did should have affected their presence in Central City. Was Barry too preoccupied with Mardon to notice?

With their new guns, the villainous “Rogues” attack a casino owned by the Santini mob. They’re able to shoot a few people, but Barry quickly shows up to save the day and demands Cisco’s safe return. Back at the villains’ hideout, Snart agrees to spare the brothers' lives if Cisco discloses The Flash’s real identity. Not wanting to be responsible for his brother’s death, Cisco tells Barry’s secret. Once released, Cisco immediately goes to S.T.A.R. Labs to tell the team what he did. Barry isn’t upset with Cisco and instead blames himself for what happened. But that doesn’t make Cisco feel better, and he resigns from the team, saying he doesn’t want to put Barry in that sort of jeopardy again.

It takes a heart-to-heart with Dr. Wells to get Cisco back onboard. And although it takes place in the same room that Dr. Wells killed Cisco in last week, creating a lot of anxiety for us at home, Dr. Wells again tells Cisco he is like a son to him. He brought Cisco into that room so he could remember that even though they “failed” to contain the Reverse Flash, the team kept going and continued to protect each other, regardless of any setbacks. This time, Cisco makes it out of there alive.

Meanwhile, Barry and Caitlin discover that the casino wasn’t the Rogues’ real target. Apparently, whenever casinos are under attack, they send their money out of the building. The Rogues planned to attack the armed vehicle that was carrying that money. Barry speeds off to prevent the robbery from occurring, and is able to take Snart into the woods to talk to him about the fact that he now knows his secret identity. The interaction between Snart and Barry was a bit convoluted, but from what I could gather, Snart lets Barry know that if anything happens to him, there will be a video uploaded to the internet that will reveal The Flash is Barry Allen. Barry, on the other hand, tells Snart to commit crimes without killing, and if he continues to harm people or messes with Barry’s friends or family, he will bring him to justice, regardless of whether people find out his identity.

The second major change in the timeline is a heartbreaker for Barry. Because Iris declared her love for him at the end of last week, Barry decides to break things off with Linda. Sorry Linda, his heart just doesn’t ache for you. Thinking he will get Iris to admit her feelings to him again, he meets her at Jitters for a coffee date. Barry again admits his love for her, but is quickly rebuffed. She claims she still loves Eddie and is sick of Barry making her be the bad guy. A dejected Barry goes to Dr. Wells for advice and is finally given the okay to talk about future events. Dr. Wells tells Barry the tsunami was a life-or-death situation, and that caused her to realize her feelings. Since coffee is not the same jarring circumstance, she wasn’t as willing.

Apparently Iris tells Eddie about Barry’s love declaration, and Eddie punches Barry in the face. But Caitlin is able to smooth the situation over by claiming Barry has “lightning psychosis”, which is what caused his strange, affectionate behavior. But this whole situation brings up another time-travel issue - what happened to the bowling double-date? That happened before Barry ran off to the morgue, and I think was another major catalyst for getting Iris to admit to her feelings. Why wasn’t that mentioned by Eddie, Linda, or Iris?

The episode ends with Dr. Wells, as the Reverse Flash, confronting Mason Bridge about his upcoming exposé, which reportedly linked Dr. Wells to Simon Stagg’s disappearance. Dr. Wells kills Mason the same way he killed Cisco last week and wipes the computer clean of any evidence against him.

 

STINGER: When the episode ended, Barry saw a news report that stated Mason Bridge was missing. Since he knows Mason had some damning evidence against Dr. Wells, he realizes Dr. Wells must have had a part in it. So, he asks Joe to meet him in his forensic lab/loft. There, he admits that Joe may have been right about Dr. Wells all along.

DC UNIVERSE EASTER EGGS: The “Rogues Gallery” was mentioned, which is a team of villains that went up against The Flash. Also, Heat Wave and Captain Cold met with a mob boss from the Santini family. The family most famously operated out of Gotham and was a rival for The Penguin.

COOL ALTERNATE USE OF "THE FLASH" POWERS: Although it was unintentional, Barry was able to go back in time and relive the previous day. Because he created a new timeline, he saved Cisco’s life.

FAVORITE QUOTE: Cisco to Captain Cold, "Please, don't kill me for kissing your sister.”

 

FINAL VERDICT:

Source: JoBlo.com

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