A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
Time travel is a tricky, tricky beast to get a capable handle on. By far the most important aspect of time travel is to lay down the rules by which it operates within said world. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, for example, accomplished that feat with seeming ease. The Flash doesn’t complete the job. While last week’s episode tapped into the sense of thrill and euphoria that time travel can inject into a story, Rogue Time subsequently was saddled with the responsibility of actually explaining how time travel worked within The Flash. It is a responsibility that the episode simply isn’t able to carry on its shoulders. There really doesn’t have to be a complex, dense explanation, but a linear one that makes sense would certainly suffice. “Time shouldn’t be meddled with because it will make up for the terrible events that have happened from somewhere else” is an intriguing thought, but it begins to lose its inherent dramatic value when it is repeated a dozen times over by the same character instead of being explained. Perhaps future episodes will enlighten the audience a bit, but as of now there’s a gaping hole that should be filled in sooner than later.
Cisco no longer ends up as a trapped animal in Wells’s cage, but he ends up in a fairly difficult situation of his own. We begin with Caitlin and Cisco arriving at his house for his brother Dante’s birthday party. Dante, frankly, is quite an ass and Cisco wastes no time in getting the hell out of there. This is where Captain Cold and crew return. Wentworth Miller was quite good in his debut at the beginning of the season, but I’m not sure what has happened to his performance since then. It’s as if a completely different actor has stepped into the character’s shoes, an actor that espouses an extremely limited ability to, well, act. There’s not an ounce of catharsis or even basic complexity in Miller as the Captain and the same could be said for his heated companion. Peyton List as his sister Lisa Snart (that last name is so awful) is the one bright spot in the group, but the entire plot ends up circling in what feels like rudimentary plot stakes, especially in comparison to last week. There’s a massive revelation at least, towards the end, but the journey taken there felt remarkably long considering how short it was.
Their arduous journey begins with one this “gem” of a line: “You stir up trouble, trouble is bad for business.” The trio afterwards proceed to steal a plethora of cash from a casino via an attack on a giant semi-truck. But more importantly they take Cisco’s ass of a brother Dante hostage in order to get their weapons back. The plan works just as well as it could, but far more arresting was the exploration of the relationship between Cisco and his brother. It’s one of those quiet little scenes about the human characters in a show bustling with metahumans that is not dealing with awkward romance angles or life and death situations. Okay, the two are stuck in a pretty terrible life and death situation, but a few pieces of dialogue aren’t concentrated on that, they’re instead focused on rebuilding the relationship between the two fractured siblings and that focus pays off when Dante is tortured to the brink of death and Cisco is forced to give up the Flash’s identity.
By far the most fascinating character arc this hour belonged to Dr. Wells. His quiet meeting with Cisco after the hostage ordeal was an eerie sequence that cleverly called back to last week’s heartbreaking murder. “You have shown me what it’s like to have a son, ” he says quietly and it’s chilling. Even more so is his final act of the episode. Iris’s boss Mason Bridge has openly investigating Dr. Wells for quite a while and his vindictiveness has only grown as time has passed. There’s evidence and he won’t let it go until he gets to the bottom of it all. That strength of journalistic integrity has made him into a much more sympathetic character and right then the Reverse Flash appears. It’s a superbly shot sequence, macabre and dark as the Reverse Flash coldly murders Mason. When Barry is just about to leave STAR Labs for the night, he was about to ask Dr. Wells a question before he notices a newspaper headline scrolling down his monitor. There’s a picture of Mason with a headline of him going missing. Barry looks upwards at Dr. Wells with more than a bit of hesitant suspicion as he exits and goes to Joe. How soon until that certainty is confirmed?
Great/Not So Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+The running theme of identity
+“I was there… yesterday.”
+“Make me proud.”
+“Can’t a girl be an engineer?”
+The saga of the abandoned cronut
+Mob war… Gotham crossover?
+“Story of the century, this century anyway.”
+Lightning Psychosis was absolutely hilarious; Caitlin is a genius.
-Gold gun is obnoxious
Title: Rogue Time
Story by: Grainne Godfree
Teleplay by: Brooke Eikmeier & Kai Yu Wu
Directed By: John Behring
Image Courtesy: Movie Pilot