Tuesday night’s episode of “The Flash” concluded the story from last week’s episode “Out of Time” while giving fans new elements of mystery to a fantastic first season. “Rogue Time” was an exciting episode that delivered on a week’s worth of wondering what the repercussions of Barry traveling back in time would be, and showcasing Prison Break stars Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell once more. Having Miller’s Captain Cold and Purcell’s Heatwave appear more than just once has increasingly added to the comic book styling of CW’s “The Flash” and have given fans a promising start to Central City’s Rogues Gallery. Miller and Purcell are very likable and with the high budget and effects, it really makes you wonder why WB and DC would decide to go in a different direction for “The Flash” movie. It’s understandable that they are seeking to develop what they call a “multiverse” to allow them the option to tell the best stories possible without tying all the franchises together, but CW’s Flash is so much fun that it would have been great to see Grant Gustin join the likes of Henry Cavill and Ben Affleck on-screen. Maybe one day with a “Crisis” film akin to the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s “Infinity Wars” two-part movie.
After The Flash punched a hole through the time space continuum in last week’s episode, we learn through Harrison Wells (now known only to the audience as Eobard Thawne) that Barry’s created a “temporal inversion.” Wells checks with Gideon, the future construct that he checks in with, to learn if history has been altered, but to his satisfaction, the future remains intact. Wells does go on to warn Barry about the dangers of reliving a day and of how if he doesn’t say and do everything exactly the same, the consequences could be dangerously high. Barry agrees, but once he remembers the destruction Mark Mardon a.k.a. Weather Wizard caused, he stops him long before Det. West could get to him. Mistake one for Barry.
Since Mardon is now in custody, Barry has inadvertently created a ripple through time that is felt well until the end of “Rogue Time.” Right before Barry revealed himself as The Flash to Iris, she confessed that she loved him. He then went on to run around the tsunami created by Weather Wizard, but ran back in time. Since Barry stopped Mardon before he could create the tsunami, Iris telling Barry how she felt never happened. So, naturally, after he breaks up with his current girlfriend and journalist Linda Park, he asks Iris out for coffee so he could talk to her. He tells her that he knows how she really feels about him and asks if they could start a relationship, but this upsets Iris as she tells Barry that it’s Eddie Thawne whom she really loves. Iris believes Barry has made her out to be the bad guy yet again for having to reject him a second time and angrily leaves. This leads her to telling Eddie what had happened off-screen only to find Eddie punching Barry later on. Sadly, the events don’t play out at all like Barry had thought and he confides in Wells about that portion of what had happened. Wells reasons that her feelings are buried deep down and it was the impending catastrophe that conjured them in the future. If Barry didn’t stop Mardon and let the events play out just the same he would have still kissed Iris and known that she loved him. She would also know that he’s The Flash… and Cisco would still be dead.
Since events have played out differently, Cisco is still alive and unaware of Wells secrets. This time around no one has started investigating Wells and no one is suspicious of him actually being the Reverse Flash. In a clever twist of events, Wells still takes Cisco down to the particle containment unit that failed (the area from last week where he killed him after revealing his true intentions), but tells him that he’s like a son to him. This plays out well after Cisco has an unfortunate encounter with Captain Cold, Heatwave, and Cold’s sister Lisa Snart a.k.a. Golden Glider. Earlier, Cisco was abducted by the trio, and used to re-create their weapons so they could go to war with the Santini mob family in an attempt to take over the city. After freezing Cisco’s brother’s fingers, Leonard Snart a.ka. Cold demands who The Flash really is and Cisco tells him. The story line for Cisco Ramon was well handled as he’s a great character in his own right. He’s smart, sweet, and a likable member of S.T.A.R. Labs. It was painful to watch him get killed by Wells during the events of last week and it was sad to see him so guilt ridden over being forced to help Snart and give up Barry. But, it was rewarding to see Barry forgive him as he recognized that he was ultimately responsible for everything that had happened as he was playing with time.
Barry eventually tracks down Captain Cold, Heatwave, and Lisa Snart as they attempt to rob an armored truck. The Flash knocks them off their bikes while making away with Captain Cold. They talk about the future of Central City and of being locked in a perpetual battle with one another. Leonard Snart refuses to leave his city as its his home, along with not giving up on his life of crime as he’s good at it. Knowing that he’s at a standstill with his foe, as Snart now knows that he’s really Barry, he allows him to go under the condition that he won’t kill. It’s a highly interesting element of the superhero series as we continually explore the relationship The Flash has with Captain Cold. They have a mutual respect and tolerance for one another that is far different from the relationships other heroes have with their villains within the DC Universe. It was a great wink to the audience and to the idea of Barry changing time when he calls Snart’s group the “Rogues Gallery” with Snart taking a liking to the moniker.
“Rogue Time” could have been a cop-out episode for the writers after they presented us with bombshell after bombshell in last week’s “Out of Time.” But, by presenting an intriguing time-travel concept, delivered on a worthy follow-up that didn’t disappoint. There were enough developments to change the tone of the show from last week’s happenings and enough surprises to keep us guessing until the season finale. It was interesting to see Cisco develop more of a relationship with Wells after their encounter last week and predictable that Iris would reject Barry as he never would have expected after her confession prior to him punching a whole through time. The real highlight was of Wells as the Reverse Flash paying a visit to Mason Bridge and killing him. After several episodes of Bridge investigating Wells from behind the scenes, it was bound to happen that they would cross paths. Interestingly, earlier in the episode, Barry approaches Bridge and tells him that he’s wrong about Wells. Possible alteration to the timeline caused by Barry? Could be and now Bridge is dead leaving Barry highly suspicious of his mentor. I love that “Rogue Time” ends with an after credit scene focusing on Barry instead of Wells as he tells Det. Joe West that he now believes them. They have terrific chemistry together and as Barry’s father figure, I’m glad he finally trusts Joe about Wells. It’ll be very interesting to see where this development leads. The CW’s “The Flash” remains right next to “Arrow” in terms of a clear-cut story of heroes and villains. “The Flash” remains exciting as ever and a real plus for DC’s approach to story telling through television.
“Rogue Time” gets five out of five stars. “The Flash” airs on The CW, Tuesday nights at 8 pm. Check your local listings.