After last week‘s stunner, The Flash works out its time travel antics as Leonard Snart (Wentworth Miller) returns to town with accomplices old and new.
Let’s bitch it out…
If anyone went into ‘Rogue Time’ expecting the kind of madcap energy and narrative propulsion ‘Out Of Time’ delivered last week, they were bound to be disappointed. The Flash definitely settles back down to earth this week. It doesn’t mean that Barry’s (Grant Gustin) struggle to deal with the ripple effect of changing time isn’t enjoyable, but this feels much more like a traditional mid-season episode. With that said, the reappearance of the newly named ‘Rogue’s Gallery’ is always welcome, including Leonard’s sister, Lisa Snart (Peyton List, of The CW’s The Tomorrow People).
Unfortunately ‘Rogue Time’ suffers because the Snarts and third-wheel / idiot, Heatwave (Dominic Purcell), are not the episode’s primary focus. No, that honour belongs to the excruciating love affair between Barry and Iris (Candice Patton). Hell, even the larger implications of altering the timeline – something Dr. Wells (Tom Cavanagh) is fairly alarmed about – takes a backseat to one of the least interesting love affairs that The CW has ever offered. It was probably too much to hope that the writers would either commit to putting them together once and for all or pull the plug, but it is severely disappointing to simply reset the status quo. Sure Barry’s relationship with the smart, clever, fun Linda (Malese Jow) was never going to last, but it certainly deserves more time to develop instead of ending with a pathetic whimper. And using Caitlin (an underused Danielle Panabaker) to excuse away Barry’s actions and reactivate the tired lust-from-afar narrative feels like a major step back for the series.
I keep waiting for The Flash writers to come to the same realization that Arrow writers made with Oliver and Laurel: putting actors who have no chemistry together in a relationship that the audience isn’t invested (or interested) in is a bad idea. Arrow may have struggled to find a place for Laurel pre-Canary as a result, but she’s come a long way because they couldn’t simply use her as a love interest. At this point in The Flash, we can’t argue that Iris is essentially S1 Laurel. Now that Wells’ murderous cover-up has shifted from killing Cisco (Carlos Valdes) to Mason Bridge (Roger Howarth), it looks like Iris will soon be taking up the investigation and creeping into other aspects of the show. Maybe this will prove to be a saving grace. Maybe not. Either way, it appears that Patton isn’t going anywhere soon. Unfortunately that means that this torturous love affair isn’t either.
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- In the final scene, Barry confides in Joe (Jesse L. Martin) that he’s suspicious of Wells. I like the idea of these two beginning their own investigation, but I worry a little about Joe’s ability to keep a secret. His distrust of Wells has been pretty obvious thus far…
- I remember hearing grumbles during Snart’s first appearance that he doesn’t typically kill people during heists. It appears that that is now a plot point as it has been integrated into his agreement with Barry. In exchange for his silence and his willingness not to kill, Snart can continue to try and continue his criminal escapades, setting him up as the first of Flash’s foes to escape the dreaded underground prison.
- Not so lucky: the Weather Wizard (Liam McIntyre) who is hilariously taken out of commission in the episode’s early minutes with barely any fuss.
- Lisa is a fun addition to the crew, throwing in a bit of sex appeal and flirting to the Flash’s interactions with the Rogues. In reality, though, we don’t really learn much about her aside from the fact that she’s willing to do violence, considers herself “pretty and poison” and wants to spend more time with her brother. Here’s hoping Peyton List returns to the role to flesh Lisa out. I rather liked seeing her cut loose; Cara on The Tomorrow People was such a stick in the mud.
- As anticipated, Cisco’s family doesn’t appreciate him. Despite the thematic similarities between familial love in the Snart family and the Ramon family, I was lukewarm on the sibling rivalry and parental preference between Cisco and Dante (Nicholas Gonzalez).
- Finally: is it just me or does Eddie (Rick Cosnett) check out Barry in the coffee shop near the end of the episode? I know that Eddie is meant to look concerned about his “friend”s health, but Cosnett is playing the character way too friendly (and, in the immortal words of Buffy‘s Willow Rosenberg, “a little bit gay”).
- Barry (trying to deflect his time travel exploits with Joe): “I always act weird.”
- Cisco (after finding out the stranger is Snart’s girlfriend): “I should have known better. I am not that lucky.”
- Eddie (after punching Barry): “The worst part of it is, Barry: I thought you and I were friends.” Oh wah
Your turn: were you disappointed at how The Flash reset things following Barry’s time travel? Are you concerned that the whole Barry/Iris thing has been reestablished? Are you intrigued by Iris taking on a more active role into Wells? Did you enjoy Lisa Snart’s introduction? Sound off below.
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8pm EST on The CW