The Flash: 1.16 Rogue Time
Had this episode come later in the series, it might not have been the disappointment it was. But given the dramatic events at the end of last week - Barry revealing his secret to Iris, the Weather Wizard unleashing a tidal wave on Central City and Wells killing Cisco - the episode tied everything up remarkably quickly and moved on to the next set of bad guys. The credits had barely rolled and Barry had already located and locked up Mark Mardon before he could cripple police Captain Singh or devastate the city.
Barry travelling into the past was obviously going to change things and I had no doubt that he would find a way to save Cisco but while the episode tried to touch upon the effects of having the knowledge to change the future, its execution was very unsatisfactory. Mardon's revenge story line got swept under the carpet, with the villain having barely more than a cameo when Barry captured him. The return of Captain Cold, Heat Wave, along with Cold's sister, Lisa / Golden Glider, seemed out of place and I would have preferred an episode that tied up Mardon's story line in a better way and then played with the changes in the timeline, without the need to add another threat.
Barry and Iris for example. I found the premise interesting; Barry getting her to admit she loves him because he witnessed it in his own timeline. I even loved that he handed it so badly, jumping in and telling her that she loved him as if she would respond by jumping into his arms. There was still an argument for him telling her about his abilities but instead we got the same old scene with her letting him down and their friendship at stake. Eddie even punched him, which I found amusing. Did I believe Caitlin's story - that the effects of the lightning made him a little crazy - of course not. It was even less believable that Eddie would give him a hug and they would all be friends again. Barry needs to tell her or this will become tired fast.
Cisco's story took a rather different route as we were introduced to his brother Dante. Kidnapped by Captain Cold and his 'rogues', he was forced to make Lisa her gun - he really is a genius if he can make a gun that encases anything and anyone in gold in just a couple of hours - but really it was all about family. The bond between Leonard Snart (Cold) and his sister, Cisco and his love / hate relationship with his brother and the ready made family in Star Labs. Cisco gave up the Flash's secret identity to save his brother and rekindle their bond, even if it appeared to come at the cost of his friend and job.
All of which led to the return to that lab as Wells confronted Cisco as he quit the team. It was one of the highlights of the episode, a reversal of that dramatic scene from last week, as Well's not only admitted Cisco was the son he never had but convinced him to stay. There was a moment where I wondered if events would play out the same - perhaps Wells revealing the Reverse-Flash recording. But they didn't allowing the mystery to linger just a little longer.
There were some great things in this episode . The rogue's attack on the truck and Cold's conversation with the Flash for example. I loved Cold's subtle reaction to Barry calling his gang rogues like it was a badge of honour. I still find Wentworth Miller's acting a little hammy but he is getting better as a character. Not sure I can see him week on week in the new spin off show though. Dominic Purcell's Heatwave is still OTT too.
The best bit had to be the final few minutes - again - as the Reverse Flash killed his next victim, this time murdering poor reporter Mason Bridge as he closed in on his story about Wells. I loved the use of the vibrating hand through the heart trick again and his sly reference that he was on to the story of the century - just not this century. Just as interesting was Barry's realisation that Wells was not what he said he was. Now the audience knows the truth it is going to be interesting to see just how the team uncovers the clues in the weeks ahead.
So despite a frustrating opening, this week's episode still managed to come up on top with a great ending that set the scene for the final run of episodes. Flash versus the Reverse Flash is going to make for a thrilling finale. Now we just need more the mysterious Gorilla in the sewers Grodd. Oh and Iris to discover the truth. Because if she is still in the dark come season two, I will not be amused!