Rogue Time sees Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) dealing with his first hands-on time-travel experience, whilst Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell) are back on the scene and have brought company with them.
Given how The Flash has gone back in time to a period that he’s already lived through, there was a worry that viewers may just be subjected to essentially the same episode as Out of Time all over again. That itself was a good episode, but we don’t need to be seeing the same thing all over again. Luckily, that’s not the case.
When Barry first lived these events, Clyde Mardon (Chad Rock) returned as a version of Weather Wizard and put a beating on Joe (Jesse L. Martin), then the impending tsunami on Central City caused Iris (Candice Patton) to reveal her love for Barry and then for Barry to follow suit by revealing to her that he is indeed the Scarlet Speedster, the Sultan of Speed… The Flash. Oh, and on the topic of reveals, Out of Time also saw Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) partake in a Bond villain-esque reveal of his evil plan to Cisco (Carlos Valdes) in a tale that led to the death of S.T.A.R. Labs’ resident quirky geek.
Upon realising that he’s travelled backwards in time, Barry is left with the predicament of just whether or not he should alter the events that he knows are coming. After all, he now knows that Weather Wizard is going to rear his head and do harm to Joe and Captain Singh (Patrick Sabongui), and is aware that Iris really does have those feelings for Barry. The ever-clued-up Wells easily picks up on the fact that Barry has time-travelled and stresses to him to not change a single thing and to not speak to anybody about what he “knows” is ahead. Despite this, Barry’s good nature gets the better of him and he locks up Weather Wizard and opens his heart to Iris after breaking up with Linda (Malese Jow) in order to pursue young Miss West, thinking that he’s saved Central City from a tsunami, Joe from a severe beating, and has finally landed his ‘one true’. Obviously things don’t work that easily, Barry. And also, it has to be said that Iris is a bit of a dick in the show, with Linda being a far, far, far more appealing option. Just sayin'...
As Wells points out, if you change something that was meant to happen then chances are it will still happen anyway but just with an extra kick (kinda like Final Destination). And so with Weather Wizard locked up, we have The Rogues on the scene once more, complete with Lisa Snart (Peyton List) and her seductive female charms… which work wonders on Cisco. That said, we’re pretty sure her charms would work wonders on any hot-blooded male. But alas it is poor Cisco who is seduced here, with it all a rouse so that the tech-savvy Ramon can get cracking on new weapons for Captain Cold and Heat Wave. Oh, and a gold-based weapon for Lisa which helps her with the Golden Glider moniker that she’s known for in the funny books. Just to twist Cisco’s arm a tad further, Cold brings brother Dante Ramon (Nicholas Gonzalez) in as a deal-breaker, threatening to do off with the brother which Cisco has a fractured relationship with. With all of the cards in his favour, Snart uses this to extract a particular piece of information: just exactly who is under the mask of The Flash.
Back to Barry Allen, and his confession of love for Iris only lands him in hot water with her and later with Eddie (Rick Cosnett), who lands a haymaker on the man pandering after his girlfriend. At first you think that this could maybe be the trigger for something else further down the line for the character of Eddie Thawne, but we’ll see. That particular thread of thought seems to end up shot down by the episode’s close, though. But you never know what’s just around the corner for Detective Pretty Boy…
A key theme to this episode is a young man struggling to handle the knowledge of the future. Any genre fan worth his salt knows that you really, really shouldn’t mess with things too much on that front. Clearly when it comes to time-travel, a David Prowse type is needed to guide you through certain codes. And then there’s the inevitable question, touched upon here, of whether Barry will go back in time in order to try and stop his mother’s death. We think we all know the answer to that particular question.
Harrison Wells is, as ever, an intriguing one in this episode. Whilst he doesn’t want to know the future (even though he totally can see waaaaay into the future anyway) and stresses for Barry to not change a thing (in case the future that Wells knows of gets altered), he lets his guard down and has a father/son-like chat with Barry about the troubles he is going through. Young Barry Allen needs to talk to somebody in order to lighten his load, and Wells plays the listening, sympathetic role rather well. But then you look at another part of the episode, where Cisco quits S.T.A.R. Labs after giving up The Flash’s identity, and Wells begins to go through some of the same processes that ended up in him killing Cisco in Out of Time. Luckily things get cut off before Wells can reveal his master plan and “have to” off Cisco here.
In terms of big changes from last week, the major one is the death of Mason Bridge (Roger Howarth) by Reverse-Flash. The major ramification of this is that, with Barry fully aware that Bridge was looking into the possible questionable actions of Harrison Wells, The Flash is now starting to believe that Wells may not be quite the man he says he is.
Another strong episode from The Flash, and it was a joy to see Leonard Snart back in the game. Wentworth Miller is pitch-perfect in how he handles Captain Cold, and it’s a genuine joy to see him on screen. But forget Captain Cold, Heat Wave and Golden Glider, for if Barry Allen follows his concerns then it looks as if he could be on a collision course with Reverse-Flash sooner rather than later.
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