Ok, much more balanced but still super fun that is this week’s The Flash in a nut shell and man was it enjoyable to watch everything unfold from week to week. Take “Rogue Time” for example, Barry is told to do one thing, not screw up the timeline in anyway, but leave it to Barry to completely ignore the golden rule of time travel. I love a good time travel plot and “Rogue Time” manages to capitalize on a lot of the better aspects of your average butterfly effect scenario. Dealing with last week’s villain immediately in order to capitalize on the return of the Rogues, the episode choses for a large part to focus on Cisco as the lighting rod for the B plot and manages to deftly build the episode around a lot of the same plot points of last week. However, this episode manages to do so much more and elevate the relationship of the team in a completely different way.
Like I said, Cisco has been a lightning rod for plot in the past two weeks, but I feel this week really managed to capitalize by bringing in Cold as Cisco’s foil. Since his debut Cisco and Snart have had a nice little rivalry and even though this episode featured their first actual face to face since Cisco named him it felt as if there was a natural chemistry. Carlos Valdes really flourished in his interactions with Wentworth Miller and the guy who played Dante, nailing the right mixture between jealous and loving brother, but the best moments were the little ones. Moments like Cisco trying to outthink Snart by messing with the firing pin and just being snarky in the face of danger really nailed the major outlines of Cisco’s character. However, the big moments nailed the big moments of Cisco’s character.
I loved seeing Cisco confess to Barry that he told since Snart was originally a point of confrontation between the two, so for Barry to completely understand the choice that Cisco made just helped to solidify the team. In the same fashion you had Wells/Thawne delivering pretty much the same speech to Cisco as he did last week only without the reveal of his true identity or the murder. Despite everything we know about Cisco he is the most fallible of all of our main characters and he is constantly confronted with the mistakes his intellect causes. This allows him to grow in a very different way from Barry who is really just constantly pushing the limits of his powers. Cisco’s home life was not exactly all roses, but at STAR Labs he has found where he belongs, and Cisco will do everything in his power to protect the team.
One the villain front if I had to rank Rogue episodes this was by far my least favorite for the most part. The problem with having so many villains, four if you count Weather Wizard, is that they all have to get some element of a payoff in their storylines. This is especially problematic when you are also introducing Lisa Snart, aka Golden Glider, into the mix as well. Unfortunately there really were too many spinning plates at once as Glider’s debut really fell flat and one noted, and Heat Wave really didn’t have much to do at all. Although Cold managed to get some amazing material, his stuff with Glider and the final confrontation with Barry, it just felt like it was way too much for a single character to shoulder. Heat Wave really should have been given some sort of material that was not simply being the enforcer of the Rogues, he could’ve easily had a character moment that elevated this all and made it feel like he was vital to the episode.
The best scene for me however was Cold and Barry finally getting the face to face I have wanted. The Captain Cold we have been exposed to while great has suffered from not being like his comic counterpart as he is willing to kill in order to complete the job, but as of this week that has changed. Barry and Cold have reached an agreement of mutually assured destruction as Cold knows Barry’s identity and Barry knows he is the only thing even making Cold’s “job” remotely interesting. Both Wentworth Miller and Grant Gustin nailed the little aspects of the agreement with Cold reveling that he is in control of the situation for a time and Barry being angry at the fact Cold has a power over him no one has. For Barry to give Cold the “rules” of their interactions is a nice twist on the usual dynamic and it will hopefully lead to some more natural Rogues vs Flash interactions. I also enjoy the fact that this makes their face offs all tied up at one win, one loss, and a draw. This will add a nice bit of competitiveness to the Rogues eventual return/ face off with the Scarlett Speedster as if we have learned anything from Cold’s previous appearances, he loves to win and outsmart people.
Overall it was a good episode but not quite as great as it could have been.
Final Grade B-
+Cold and Barry’s “agreement”
+Carlos Valdes being great throughout
+Fun time travel antics
-Rest of the Rogues kind of useless
-Relationship material was boring
-All of the big reveals washed away
-Ok so Golden Glider’s powers have either historically been gem based or air based. That gold gun, super stupid.
-All I could think during every scene involving Dante, is man he deserves worse that this for being a dick to Cisco
-Wells proceeds to murder Mason immediately after Barry tells him something was up. How does he not think that would be suspicious as all hell.
-I can’t say it enough Miller kills every scene as Captain Cold, it is absolutely perfect.