Welcome back to Up To Speed, home of the the Flashest Recaps Alive. Here we’ll recap the latest episode of The Flash, dispense some Flash Facts and talk about what works, what doesn’t and where the series might be headed, as we try and keep up with the adventures of the fastest man alive, Barry Allen, more widely known as The Flash.

This week we take a look at the penultimate episode of the season, “Rogue Air.” You know, like Con Air, only more roguish. Enemies become friends, old friends are now enemies, Cisco almost gets kiss-o'ed, Fires are Stormed, Arrows are flung, and Wells are dug, all in preparation for next week's season finale. You won't want to miss the recap, so hit the jump and let's get going.

FLASHBACK: What Happened This Week

So we star off with our customary voice-over, only this week, it's not Barry Allen or even Iris West doing our intro, it's Harrison Wells. I'll be honest: I couldn't stop laughing at the way Cavanagh said, "…in a FLAAAASH!" during this bit. It's wonderful. As Eobard Thawne/Harrison Wells gives his speech (to, it turns out, a still-captive Eddie Thawne) about getting his life back, we get a montage of our main characters looking sad and reflective. Iris looking at some stickers, Joe looking at his partner's empty desk, Caitlin's looking at a pic of her precious Ronnie, and Cisco is just chillin' in Wells' super-wheelchair.

 

 

After the intro, Barry finds Iris in the coffee shop she no longer works at. She's gazing longingly at 2,000 return address labels she over-ordered by accident. (Thanks, Obama.) Barry tries to cheer her up, but as they haven't had any luck in finding Eddie, Iris' boyfriend, it doesn't quite work. Barry gets a call from Cisco and heads back to STAR Labs.

At STAR Labs, Cisco shows them all Wells' wheelchair, except guess what, suckers? It's a magic wheelchair, powered by some Arc Reactor/flux capacitor thingy underneath it that somehow was making him so fast. IDK, just accept it, I guess. Just then, an alarm goes off cuz somebody (Wells) has reactivated the particle accelerator. Barry, Joe and Cisco head down into the bowels of the accelerator to see if they can stop Wells and find Eddie, but Cisco's orange soda starts floating and before you know it, the Reverse Flash has ran past them, out of the lab. Barry chases after him, leaving Cisco and Joe to deal with the fact that Wells/Thawne/Reverse Flash just opened all the doors to the cells containing a bunch of pissed off metahumans. OOPS.

First one out is Peek-A-Boo, who thankfully shoots the blast door shut behind her as she teleports out, Luke Skywalker-style. Caitlin tries to stop her, but she gets beat down pretty good. Just before PAB can finish her off, Iris clobbers her with a comically oversized wrench that was just laying around, I guess. This show is a gol-danged cartoon, I swear.

 

 

Barry almost catches up with the Reverse Flash, but nope, he's just not fast enough. I bet that's going to just eat him up in side for the next … 37 minutes, and drive all kinds of bad decision-making.

Back at STAR Labs, Caitlin, Cisco, Joe and Iris manage to make sure the other metas didn't escape, but then they hear somebody weakly shouting for help and holy smokes! It's Eddie. They find the secret hatch that leads to the Reverse Flash's hidey-hole and get Eddie out. Dude looks rough and, after a couple weeks down there, probably smells like the inside of a comic convention. As they get him out, Iris finds the engagement ring Eddie was gonna propose to her with before he for Flash-napped, and she gets a case of the feels. First 2,000 address labels and now this? I'm not Ann Landers, but I mean, you kinda have to marry the guy at this point, right?

Upstairs, Caitlin gets Eddie an IV, and Barry barges in all gasping, talking about how the Reverse Flash is just too fast like he's Seth Rogen's character from Superbad. Barry's like, "Oops, I guess I forgot to look in the basement for you!" and Eddie is so subtle as he stares at Iris and says, "Sometimes you don't see the clues when they're right in front of you." Which is nice and awkward for everybody. They ask Eddie some questions that get the crew up to speed (haha get it! It's like the name for this column!) with what we know: Wells is really Eobard Thawne, he's from the future, he's related to Eddie and he's constructed a thingamabobber to get him back home that he's plugged into the accelerator. Then like a second later, the thingamabobber starts activating the reactor, which means that they gotta move the metas before it fully turns on and burns them up.

There's a debate about what to do with the metahumans, and Joe, being the logical one, is like, "Maybe we shouldn't have built an extra-legal secret prison in the basement in the first place," but Barry's like, "How about we just put them on my buddy Arrow's extra-legal secret prison island?"

 

 

Barry sends Joe to talk to the District Attorney, which goes about as well as you'd expect it to go when a cop has a secret meeting with a lawyer, asking her to help him move a bunch of people he's been detaining in his friend's basement with no legal authority. TL/DR: she flips out and refuses to help.

 

 

Barry asks Joe how the meeting went and he tells him: "Not good at all. Also, I don't like this and it's sort of something we shouldn't be doing as cops." But Barry's like, "Yeah, I totally understand. So let's keep doing this."

We cut to the facade of a bar called "Saints & Sinners," which is the most gloriously stereotypical "bad neighborhood bar, you could imagine. The bartender literally looks like a Dracula who is way into the musical stylings of White Zombie. Captain Cold is there and he requests an "ice cold" drink, in case you forgot that his deal was shooting stuff with an ice gun. Barry Flashes in behind him and tells him "We need to talk." Cold goes over to the jukebox and put on Foreigner's "Cold As Ice," because this show is nothing if it's not subtle.

 

 

They have a chat about Cold helping him transport the metahumans across town, but Cold is reticent to help, wanting some sort of favor in return for assisting his nemesis. He write it on a napkin because cliches. I can only assume Cold wrote down, "Stop being a giant doofus," on the napkin because Barry is like, "This is impossible," so Cold is like, "Fine. Lemme think about it."

Outside the police station, Iris is trying to talk to Eddie, but he's being weird because the Reverse Flash showed him a newspaper from the future.

Back at STAR Labs, Joe is like, "Are you seriously trying to get a legitimate supervillain to help us with this," and Captain Cold --- who waltzed right in through STAR Labs' revolving door --- is like, "YUP. And in return, you have to get rid of every trace of me: criminal history, fingerprints, Blockbuster fines. Everything." Joe pulls Barry into the other room and tries to talk sense into him, but Barry's so scared of the Reverse Flash that he's going along with it.

Barry gets rid of the digital files and brings the physical files to Cold and his sister, Gold. You'd think he'd want to wait until after the job is done before he hands over everything, but Barry is a giant doofus, so he hands it all over before the job is even started.

At STAR Labs, it's Caitlin's turn to tell Barry what a bad idea it is to team up with Cold and the Golden Glider, but Barry's not hearing it. Meanwhile, Golden Glider is flirting hard with Cisco, who tries to pretend like he knows he being played, but is so thirsty he just drinks up all her attention the minute she walks away. Poor, thirsty, Cisco.

 

 

He's at least thought up a plan for transporting the crooks: retrofitting a refrigerated semi truck with a power dampening energy source. They hit the metas with knockout gas, toss them in the truck and start riding across town, with Barry running ahead to set up barricades as they travel through town.

In the back, the Rogues wake up. We have the Weather Wizard, Peek-A-Boo, the Rainbow Raider, the Fart Cloud Guy and some other guy who showed up on an episode of Arrow that the Flash was on, I guess, because I don't recognize him. Apparently he's Deathbolt, the poor man's Cyclops. They all wake up and start fighting, because they're supervillains.

At the airfield, the Argus plane is running late, but in the truck, the power dampener is failing, so Weather Wizard whips up a lightning bolt to shoot the plane out of the sky. The Rogues bust out of the back of the truck and start trying to kill the Flash and his buddies, but once Barry gets knocked down by one of Weather Wizard's lightning bolts, Snart calls them off and sets them loose, knowing that they all owe him now. (Poor Man's Cyclops gets froze to death, BTW.) This was Cold's plan all along! Because duh, he is a super villain. Barry Allen, you giant doofus.

At STAR Labs, Barry's sulking in his Sulking Spot. Joe finds him there, all pouty and stuff. Barry tells Joe that he was trying to be like Arrow, to bend the rules to get results, but Joe is like: that is dumb. Knock it off. Just be yourself and do good thing. Barry's like, "Yeah."

Meanwhile, Iris and Eddie are still having their convo from earlier and Iris is like, "Let's not break up because you saw a newspaper from the future, okay?" But Eddie is like, "Well, also, you're in love with your brother." Which is correct, I guess.

 

 

So they break up.

Finally, at STAR Labs, the Reverse Flash has returned cuz his machine is now running at full capacity. Barry and the Reverse Flash trade barbs for a while before RevFlash is like, "Welp, gotta go use my machine to travel back to my time." Barry stands firm, and before the Reverse Flash can run past him and into the accelerator, Firestorm blazes in, wearing his converted pea coat with the thingy on the chest to help him control his storminess a little better. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE, Arrow also shows up and we can finally have this dang fight that we've been building towards all season.

The Reverse Flash sticks out his fist and out pops his Reverse Flash suit which he super-speeds into, and the opening bell rings. It's a pretty cool moment, that. Super-speed punches fly as Barry and Wells trade blows. Arrow shoots some nano-bot arrows that slow RevFlash down, which leads to them having a fist-fight/bow-fight. Ronnie gets tossed around a lot and Barry catches him and Caitlin says "Ronnie," every time he does something or something is done to him.

RevFlash turns the tables on Arrow and is about to vibro-hand his heart, but RegFlash swoops in and they have a fight on the roof of STAR Labs. Just as RegFlash tosses RevFlash into the air, Firestorm swoops in and knocks RevFlash onto somebody's Chrysler. I'm assuming it's the security guy for STAR Labs, because that guy deserves to have his car smashed for being so crummy at his job. Right before RevFlash can get back up, Arrow arrows him in the back and they all gather around their fallen foe to talk about Arrow's haircut and set up Flash's guest appearance on Arrow tomorrow night.

 

 

Then his buds jog off into the night and Barry's left there with his unconscious foe, where they'll wait until next week's finale.

 

FLASH FACTS: Random Observations

  • So Iris is totally fine after her 45 minutes of anger at being lied to/kept in the dark for like a year. Even Stevens, I guess.
  • I think Ronnie only had one line this week.
  • Barry went from "heroic" to "moral compromise" so fast, y'all.
  • I like that they're bringing Captain Cold back, but man, they either need to fully embrace the ridiculousness of characters like him and Heat Wave or they need to be a little less on-the-nose. That Foreigner song was almost charming, but ended up just being dumb.
  • So they addressed the elephant in the room that is The Secret Prison. I'm not entirely sold that the fairly realistic reaction from the DA is the best thing for the show. It's one thing to be pulpy and kinda dumb about it (I mean, it's a trope that dates back to Doc Savage times, where Doc had a farm in Upstate New York where he sent his enemies to undergo "rehabilitation" that included non-elective lobotomies), and another to hang a lantern on the downright illegal activities that your heroes have been engaged in over the season. Tho the ending of this week's episode sort of solves that problem, I guess.

 

FLASH FORWARD: Future Happenings

Next week! Season finale! Looks like Barry's gonna save his mom and change the past, which I still maintain will create a new, Flashpoint-esque "future"/present that we'll explore early in next season.

 

 

So, we'll see you back here next week. Same Flash time, same Flash channel.