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TV Review: The Flash - Season 1 Episode 22 "Rogue Air"

05.13.2015

EPISODE 22: "Rogue Air"

SYNOPSIS: After Dr. Wells gets the particle accelerator working again, Team Flash is forced to relocate the metahumans to another containment facility. Barry must seek out an unlikely ally to help him transport the captives to the new facility without incident. Meanwhile, the Arrow and Firestorm come to Barry's assistance in a long-awaited showdown with the Reverse Flash.

RECAP (Beware of spoilers!):

We’ve come a long way, FLASH fans. And with only the season finale left, our favorite TV show is bringing out the big guns (and guest stars). As penultimate episodes go, “Rogue Air” ended on a high note, but that’s not to say there weren’t a few hiccups along the way. We know the powers that be are gearing up for another FLASH/ARROW spinoff called LEGENDS OF TOMORROW, which will feature Wentworth Miller’s Captain Cold and a few other characters from THE FLASH/ARROW universe. So it’s no surprise that the central conflict of tonight’s episode resulted in an incredibly predictable outcome: the metahumans escaping imprisonment. This storyline didn’t completely mesh with the action-packed final scene and seemed thrown in as a setup for the new show. I would’ve preferred that this occur a few episodes earlier, with an entire episode dedicated to the metahumans’ escape, as well as one centered around the Flash vs. Reverse Flash showdown. Including it all in one episode made things feel a bit rushed.

This isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy the episode. In fact, I thought many of the character development scenes tonight gave us some of the best insight into Barry so far this season. We saw that being second best to Reverse Flash has taken a serious toll on Barry's psyche and discover what he was willing to sacrifice in order to finally get ahead of his opponent. And by the end of the episode it was also revealed how the characters on the show, especially Joe, feel about imprisoning humans without trial and how they view The Flash as morally different than the Arrow. Whereas Oliver is willing to blur the lines between good and evil, Barry can’t work that way; he has to strive for the good. Oliver has been Barry’s mentor in many ways, but now it’s time for him to be his own man and fight his battles based on his own moral compass, not what he thinks Oliver would do. This self-reflection and realization was a really interesting part of the episode, and will definitely help Barry going forward.

As the episode progressed, and the “jailbreak” gave way to the intense final action scene, my issues were pushed aside and I am again faced with dread over the fact that we are drawing closer and closer to several months of a FLASH drought. And if the previews for next week’s season finale are any indication, we are going to end very strong!  

When show-runner Greg Berlanti tweeted about tonight’s episode, “I think pretty much like every guest star we had this year shows up,” I had a feeling the doors of the Pipeline were going to open, allowing the five metahumans contained inside to be freed. And open they did. But instead of the captives leaving their Pipeline prison via sabotage by Dr. Wells (he only freed Peek-a-boo as a means of distraction while he escaped) they were actually moved from the facility for their own safety. In the stinger from last week’s episode, we saw Dr. Wells was able to get the particle accelerator working again using a new energy source. Because the metahumans were being held in containment cells in the accelerator, once it was fully charged and working again, they would be killed immediately. So Team Flash decides to move their captives to Oliver Queen’s favorite island, and the site of the secret ARGUS prison, Lian Yu. ARGUS agrees to send a plane to Ferris Airport to take the captives to their facility; all Barry needs to do is get them on that plane!

Meanwhile, after Dr. Wells escaped from S.T.A.R. Labs and Peek-a-boo was placed back in her cell (after a KO from Iris), Joe and Iris hear yelling coming from under the facility. There, they find Eddie; he had literally been under their noses the entire time! Iris also finds the engagement ring Eddie was planning to use to propose to her. After some light questioning from the team, where we see Eddie not being completely honest about his interactions with Dr. Wells, he is free to go back home. But Dr. Wells’ manipulative words and prophecies have obviously affected him, and when Iris confronts him about the planned proposal, Eddie not only refuses to propose again, he breaks up with her altogether. He tells her about the future newspaper byline and says he’s sick of there being three people in the relationship (himself, Iris and Barry). Even when Iris says she will marry him then and there to prove the prophecy wrong, Eddie kicks her to the curb. Are these the makings of a new villain and perhaps the main antagonist for season 2? Stay tuned.

Based on information from Eddie, Cisco discovers a new, futuristic power source is charging the particle accelerator; in 36 hours it will be fully operational. Cisco also discovers that same power source has been helping Dr. Wells in another way this entire time. Why has Dr. Wells been pretending to be in a wheelchair? Yes, it’s to draw sympathy and make him the person least likely to be suspected as the Reverse Flash, aka the Keyser Söze of the group. But the bigger reason he was always in the chair was because it somehow acted as a docking station for him. The new power source, which is so advanced it could fuel Central City by itself, motorized the chair and charged Dr. Wells with energy. This helped him go faster than Barry the entire time. Basically, Dr. Wells was juicing. But why didn’t Barry sit in the chair to get a speed boost? Did it only work on Dr. Wells? And what happens now that Dr. Wells doesn’t have access to the chair?

Getting the metahumans (Rainbow Raider, Peek-a-boo, The Mist, Deathbolt, and Weather Wizard) to the airfield is going to be a difficult task. And since Oliver and Firestorm are busy, Barry is forced to turn to an unlikely “ally”. Against Joe’s wishes, Barry enlists the help of Leonard Snart (Captain Cold) for transportation support. In exchange for his help, Barry agrees to erase Snart’s records from the internet and the police database. Easy peasy. Sidenote: Was anyone else yelling at the TV when Snart just walked into S.T.A.R. Labs again, unannounced. When are they going to start using security over there?! Snart brings his sister (the Golden Glider) to help out also. Thankfully for the team, she has her class A commercial driver’s license, which allows her to drive the 18 wheeler truck Cisco has fashioned to house the metahumans. This truck is outfitted with a power damper, which uses the wheelchair’s power source to keep the metahumans’ powers at bay. In no way will this go wrong!

Using a tranquilizing gas, the metahumans are knocked out and put into the truck’s holding cell. When they wake, they aren’t able to use their powers due to Cisco’s damper. But once the team gets to the airport to hand their captives over to ARGUS, the plan falls apart. Unsurprisingly, Snart sabotaged the power damper because he thinks his “rogues” will be more beneficial to him free, rather than in a prison in the South China Sea. When the metahumans realize they have their powers back, the Weather Wizard has lightning strike the incoming ARGUS plane, causing it to crash.

Although Team Flash tries to apprehend the metahumans, there’s just too many to overcome. Going :ahem: rogue, Snart kills Deathbolt, who was about to kill Barry, but also tells the other fugitives to escape and to remember that they now owe him a favor, as does Barry. Snart leaves Barry with a few parting words, mostly about how he should’ve never trusted a criminal and can only blame himself for what happened.

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, the particle accelerator is now fully operational. Thankfully, the team FINALLY turned on the security system, which alerts them to the fact that Dr. Wells is standing outside. Even though he knows he isn’t a match for his former mentor, Barry races outside to face him. In the midst of chastising Barry for trusting Snart, and gloating about being faster and more powerful, Firestorm and the Arrow show up to even the playing field. Barry says, “You can’t fight us all at the same time,” and with a flip of the ring, Wells decides to see if Barry is right.

Note: Are we supposed to ignore what is happening on ARROW? Just like the last time we had an ARROW crossover with Felicity Smoak and Ray Palmer, I’m not sure where this falls in that show’s timeline. Oliver is currently in the midst of becoming the new Ra’s al Ghul, and from what I’ve seen on the show so far, I don’ think the current Ra’s would be okay with his protégé taking a quick trip to Central City to help a friend.

Anyway, the final fight scene was entertaining, but it was so fast it became a little confusing to watch. I had to keep rewinding to make sure I understood everything. At the beginning, Barry and Reverse Flash are racing around so fast, Oliver can’t get a good shot in. Eventually, Reverse Flash slows down long enough to throw Barry into a sign. This gives Oliver the chance to shoot him with a special arrow full of Ray’s nanobots, which somehow disable his super speed. Reverse Flash rebuffs Firestorm with a gust of air from his ring, and then goes fisticuffs with Oliver. Just when Oliver is about to win out, however, Reverse Flash is able to vibrate fast enough to expel the nanobots, giving him his speed back. Weren't the nanobots supposed to suppress this? He quickly overtakes Oliver and when he is about to kill him, Barry rushes in to save the day. Phew! Barry and Reverse Flash race up to the roof of a building, which seems to have been the plan all along? Firestorm appears and shoots Reverse Flash, making him fall off the building onto a car below. Oliver is waiting and shoots him with another arrow, thus leaving him incapacitated enough for Team Flash to capture him. Firestorm and Oliver prepare to leave and Barry promises to help Oliver with an upcoming mission. Should we expect him to appear on the ARROW season finale?

 

STINGER: No stinger this week!

DC UNIVERSE EASTER EGGS: At the airport, awaiting the ARGUS transport plane, Barry mentions that the place was shut down when one of the test pilots disappeared. This is a reference to Hal Jordan (aka Green Lantern), who was a test pilot before becoming the Green Lantern. This isn't really a DC Easter Egg, but I also loved the use of Foreigner's "Cold As Ice" song playing in the bar.

COOL ALTERNATE USE OF "THE FLASH" POWERS: Barry used his super speed to flap his arms (I’m surprised it didn’t make him fly) and push The Mist’s toxic gas away.

FAVORITE QUOTE: At the end of the episode, Barry tells Oliver, “Nice haircut, and I see we’ve abandoned our traditional green.” On ARROW, Oliver is currently in the process of becoming the new Ra’s al Ghul, so the “traditional green” is gathering dust.

 

FINAL VERDICT:

Source: JoBlo.com

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