On the D/L – The Flash
Season 1 Episode 16 – “Rogue Time”
I said in my review last week that I would happily admit that I was wrong if I thought The Flash followed up on Barry’s trip through time in the last episode in a way that was satisfying.
Unfortunately I will not be admitting that because the way they handled it was atrocious. First of all, where did the other Barry go? Surely there would be 2 of him running around and doing stuff? The rules haven’t been clearly established and what we see on screen really isn’t making a lot of sense. If Barry replaced his -slightly- younger self then why did that happen and why doesn’t it happen when he travels back in time to try and save his mother?
Beyond that the writers basically did everything I hoped they wouldn’t do and completely undid everything that happened last week. Weather Wizard was locked up with absolutely no problem, nobody found out who Wells really is and Cisco obviously survived while Iris didn’t admit her feelings for Barry.
We get all the usual time travel stuff where Barry was rushing around confused and finishing other people’s sentences while ignoring every warning that Dr. Wells gives him about changing the timeline. Even Dr. Wells doing that doesn’t make any sense because he said in “Fallout” that he had no idea what would happen where time travel is concerned. We the audience know that he’s lying but shouldn’t he still be acting like he doesn’t know what he’s talking about rather than spouting warnings as if he were an expert on the subject.
This episode gives us the return of Captain Cold and Heatwave as well as Cold’s sister Lisa aka Golden Girder (Peyton List). While the return of these villains as well as the introduction of a new one isn’t unwelcomed I do have to wonder where they were in the last episode. Surely their plan would be largely unaffected by the events of last week. Up to a point anyway, I recognise that the tsunami might have derailed them somewhat.
Cold’s plan this time is to capture Cisco and force him to rebuild their weapons as well as build one for his sister. I got the impression in their last appearance that Snart and his partner were more than capable of rebuilding their weapons since they made a point of studying every component that makes them up so why they need Cisco seems to be largely plot related rather than common sense related.
I did like how Cisco was reluctant to help them at first but was forced to give in when they threatened people that he cares about. Cisco is a strong character but he knows that he has no leverage when it comes to threats like that. This leads Cold to find out Barry’s identity and leads to a really cool scene between them where they seem to establish something of a status quo between the two of them. Barry threatens to lock Snart up but can’t do that as he’s thought ahead and is prepared to broadcast Barry’s identity in the event that something like that happens. Barry then promises to stop him if he ever endangers lives but seems to be fine with him stealing stuff. It’s a bit unclear what he’ll do in that instance but I guess we’ll find out.
Cisco was handled well in this episode with some insight into his family life. He really wants to avoid his brother’s birthday as he feels like the forgotten child who lives in the shadow of his much more talented brother. It’s a typical dynamic but it works well and comes across as sincere enough. There are no surprises in the twists that come such as his brother being secretly jealous of him all these years.
I was very underwhelmed by Lisa’s appearance in this episode as she had very little to do within the confines of her character. I do have to question what her gun can do. Does it fire out molten gold? If so then why do they need to steal anything ever if her gun can do that? I’m going to assume it’s some kind of gold coloured liquid.
Barry’s characterisation irritated me here as well and gave us the most cringeworthy Barry/Iris scenes yet. The scene where he babbles to her about his feelings was just a mess and I actually agree with Iris for thinking that he was making her out to be the bad guy by making her turn him down constantly. He deserved the punch in the face from Eddie here, he really did. I also really hated the hack explanation from Caitlin by saying that Barry has lightning psychosis. It’s ridiculous that Iris and Eddie would believe such a terrible excuse that clearly has no basis in fact. How gullible am I supposed to believe these people are?
It looks like Linda is out of the picture already and I find that to be a shame. Having a girl that Barry could go out with for a while isn’t a bad idea so I fail to see why they’re not letting it hang around for a while longer. Their breakup scene was painful to watch as well with Linda actually saying “your heart should ache for me”. Based on what I know of her before now she would never say something as hammy as that. It also removes any sense of agency that she had given how easily she accepts Barry’s love for Iris.
The first legitimately bad episode of The Flash. I wasn’t all that crazy about last week’s but this one was far worse.
I found the handling of the time travel to be really sloppy in how this episode managed to undo absolutely everything of note that happened last week within the first few minutes. It’s also full of the common tropes like Barry finishing the sentences of people in conversations he’s been around to hear before.
Dr. Wells warning Barry not to change the timeline was something that annoyed me given that he was pretending he didn’t know anything about it not so long ago. Him acting like an expert all of a sudden made no real sense given his character.
Captain Cold and Heatwave with Golden Girder was a solid addition to the villain lineup but they weren’t handled especially well. Kidnapping Cisco to have him rebuild their weapons seemed to be for more plot reasons than common sense and Golden Girder wasn’t all that well established. It wasn’t bad just wasn’t especially great. There was a strong moment between Barry and Cold that seemed to establish something of a status quo between the two characters and begin their antagonistic relationship.
Barry’s characterisation was nothing short of idiotic in this episode. The scene where he babbles about his feelings to Iris was pretty painful to watch all told. He came across terribly and deserved the punch in the face he got from Eddie.
What happened Flash writers? Surely you’re smarter than this. I hope this isn’t indicative of future time travel stories because if so then they should leave it alone.