The Flash: 1.22 Rogue Air
This week's episode of The Flash was both a frustrating affair and had moments of brilliance too; like last week's Grodd-fest, there was some very good filler for much of the episode as Barry found himself taking on all the rogues but it was just that; filler.
The show has struggled to decide what to do between the time Well's revealed himself as the villain he was at the end of The Trap and the momentous battle that closed out this week's episode. We kept hearing that Barry was searching for Eddie for a whole two weeks but I still didn't get that sense of urgency; even Iris seemed more resigned to what happened then frantic that her boyfriend had been kidnapped by a mad supervillain.
I also wasn't so convinced by Barry's decision to ally with Leonard Snart / Captain Cold but then perhaps that was the point. If Oliver Queen has gone 'really dark' over in the third season of Arrow then Rogue Air was about Barry Allen's flirtation with the darkside, starting by allying with one of his mortal enemies in the name of the 'greater good'. The question of what would happen when all those metahumans they captured got loose was answered - sort of - as the discovery of Well's device in Star Labs forced him to take action and save the villains rather than leave them to die.
Again there were plenty of ties to the bigger universe as Barry came up with the plan to transport the metahuman prisoners to the Argus prison on the island of Lian Yu. His line "Oliver is in Nanda Parbat wherever that is” was an amusing prelude to his eventual rescue of Team Arrow at the start of the Arrow finale My Name In Oliver Queen, while Oliver's request for a favour at the end of the episode obviously set up this event. I wonder if the recent gaps in Sky 1's airing of The Flash has put things out of sequence between the two shows; there was definitely a disconnect between them.
If things seemed to be in 'filler mode' before Oliver teamed up with Snart, then events took up an upwards turn once the plan to get the metahumans out of Central City was underway. After a fantastic bit of awkward flirting between Cisco and Lisa Snart - given her official comics title of Golden Glider - the suppression device on the transport holding the villains failed and Barry's worst nightmare came true.
The battle between the Flash and Weather Wizard, Rainbow Raider, The Mist and Deathbolt was a brilliant action sequence, following an earlier escape attempt by Peek-a-Boo inside Star Labs (Iris saving Caitlin was a great moment too). Even better was the twist that Barry - and the audience - should have seen coming; Snart blasting Deathbolt in the face with his freeze gun, killing him because he was owed money and then currying the favour of all the other 'rogues' before they were allowed to escape.
It certainly cemented Captain Cold as one of the bigger bads of the series, though given his role in the new DC's Legends Of Tomorrow I am intrigued to see what he will do as a leading member of 'the rogues' in the next season of The Flash. Also, perhaps I am just used to it now, but I found myself warming up to Wentworth Miller's slightly hammy performance too.
The discovery that Eddie had been a prisoner in Star Labs itself was another great twist - i.e. the last place anyone would think to look and the events of Well's revelations looked to have ended his relationship with Iris. As for the device Wells created, I am looking forward to seeing what the ramifications of the next explosion will have on the city.
The final battle was a huge amount of fun as Barry teamed up with Arrow and Firestorm to take down Wells. It was great to have three heroes united - though I'm not sure where this sits in the Arrow continuity - and the guest stars certainly brought something to the fight, resulting in Well's eventual capture. I don't believe for a second that they will be able to contain the Reverse Flash for long, but with the finale next week all bets are off.
It has been nice to see that The Flash has not gone down the truly dark, grim path of the third season of Arrow, even with the stakes as high as they are now. The Flash continues to blend action and drama with a great sense of fun and even with Barry dabbling with the dark side, the episode never truly veered away from that. With just one more episode to go, Tuesdays are going to start to feel a little duller very soon...