A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
The penultimate episode of The Flash’s first season is primarily concerned with the rogues that were housed in the Central City prison being transferred to another black ops site. Dr. Wells has left behind a mysterious device that has been charging the particle accelerator but is futuristic enough to the point where even Cisco is afraid to touch it, just in case something untoward happens. It’s a logical mindset in an episode about everyone confronting the logic of their own choices and ideas, primarily the rogues’ continued imprisonment. With everything going on, like their former boss and confidante being an evil person who is someone else completely and hailing from the future, the rogues in the STAR Labs cells kind of became an afterthought. The initial idea was rehabilitating these rogues by getting them to transfer their power over to the good side for lack of a better phrase, not the secret incarceration it became. As Wells’s device begins its thirty-six hour countdown, the team has to find a way to transport the rogues out of STAR Labs, or they die.
It’s a tough decision to make, but the writers handle it with the appropriate nuance. From Joe’s point of view, transporting prisoners from one black site to another is simply unethical and once they’re there, then what? Then will they be actually rehabilitated towards the right side, or will the inevitable superhero problems cause them to simply forget about that again? His conversation with the defense attorney Cecile points towards the ethnical and very legal problems that could arise quickly enough. From the point of view of someone who works in the legal framework, black sites existing at all is an unethical stain on the justice system, multiple black sites is something far, far worse. Providing government support to ensure the transfer of “bad people” from one black site to another is a step Cecile simply isn’t willing to take. She leaves Joe with a warning that he needs to separate himself as quickly as possible to the farthest extent possible – just in case one day Cecile is prosecuting him for breaking the law himself.
Barry makes what Joe calls a fairly stupid decision, making a deal with Captain Cold to help transport the rogues because no one else would do so. Knowing beforehand that Cold was going to make an appearance, I had prepared myself for the appropriate amount of irritation. It was thusly hardly surprising that after about a few minutes, his appearance began to wear my patience thin. Him and his team double-crossing Barry was a welcome little twist, but more important was how it affected him. Barry had made a deal with the Devil to do something that he clearly knew was unethical, crossing over into the dark territory that simply isn’t behooving to who he is. He may find infinitely more paths in his future that take him into the realms of darkness, but he risks losing himself indefinitely in the process.
In other major news, they find out in the now-happens-so-often-that-it-isn’t-brilliant-anymore-trick that the Reverse Flash and Eddie have been underneath STAR Labs the whole time. Eddie immediately begins avoiding Iris, which becomes instantaneously more uncomfortable when she finds the ring that he had intended to use in his proposal to her. When Iris confronts him about avoiding her, he comes instantly clean about what he had seen from the future: that Iris had married Barry. Iris is notably taken aback (as would anyone who is told whom they’re going to marry in the future), but Eddie doesn’t back down. Everyone has always known that there were three people in this relationship, but this just essentially confirms it. If this is the ending to the love triangle between Iris, Barry, and Eddie, I am totally and completely fine with it. There, after all, is a germane ending to the entire affair and they reached it here. Will their relationship be a little uncomfortable from this point on, at least for a while? Yes, yes it will be, but this, at the very minimum, is a mature step forward for The Flash.
Great/Not So Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+“Damn. You can’t get that at Radio Shack.”
+Increasing speed with wheelchair
+Iris saves Caitlin’s life
+“People love their labels.”
+“You won’t be able to rob anyone if everyone’s dead.”
+“You kissed her?”
+“They are human beings…No more walks on the dark side.”
+The background music
+/-The final battle sequence was really well-done, but the entrance and exit of Arrow and Firestorm really did feel just awkward and choppy (even if they alluded to them earlier in the episode). That being said, Arrow taking out the Reverse Flash was more than a little satisfying.
-I know subtlety isn’t the show’s strong point, but the song “Cold as Ice” playing when Captain Cold left was unnecessarily indulgent, like the bar named “Saints & Sinners”
Title: Rogue Air
Written By: Aaron Helbing & Todd Helbing
Directed By: Doug Aarniokoski
Image Courtesy: MoviePilot