‘The Flash’ Season 1 Recap, Episode 16, ‘Rogue Time’
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.
After the crazy bonkers thrill-ride that was last week's episode, we dive back into the time-stream with "Rogue Time," which includes the return of some Rogues, a sister in a sidecar, a gallery of guns, and Cisco's sucky sibling. Will Barry Allen be able to change the past without screwing up his present? Will Cisco finally be able to "get some"? Will Harrison Wells be able to hold his insatiable bloodlust in check? Will this be the week Wentworth Miler and Dominic Purcell get to chew some scenery? Let's find out … together.
FLASHBACK: What Happened This Week
This week's episode picks up right where last week's left us, with Barry piercing the very fabric of time to wind up back at
caveman times, where he had to defeat an army of hyper-evolved dinosaur men who were determined to wipe out our cro-magnon ancestors like the night before. Which is a good thing, because last episode saw Captain Singh get paralyzed, Joe West get captured and tortured, Cisco get vibro-murdered by Harrison Wells/Professor Zoom/The Reverse Flash/The Gangster of Love/The Man In the Yellow Suit, and Weather Wizard 2.0 preparing to wipe out Central City with a massive tsunami. It also saw Iris telling Barry that she loved him, so of course that's the part Barry's focused on.
Anyway, Barry Groundhog Days his way through last week's episode, solving the coroner's murder, identifying the culprit as Mark Mardon, and finishing everybody's sentences, because Barry is the most subtle person. Harrison Wells, who knows the look of a person who's traveled through time, pulls Barry aside and gives him the old "don't mess up time," talk. Like, it's basically what Doc Brown tells Marty in Back To the Future with a bit of Final Destination thrown in for good measure. Barry has to make sure that whatever happened before happens again, or stuff gets messed up. Wells then immediately goes into his secret science fiction closet to talk to his computer and make sure that his future is still intact. It is. Bully for him.
Barry immediately disregards Wells' advice, rounds up Mardon and throws him in the secret basement prison. As the door closes on him, Mardon makes a very specific threat to make a tidal wave that will destroy the entire city because, Geoff Johns. Wells is not happy, and tries to guilt Barry, but Barry's like, "Nah, I'm fine with making sure Joe West stays alive and that our city doesn't get wrecked by a huge wave. Thanks, tho."
At stately Santini Manor, a William S. Burroughs-looking crime boss is threatening the lives of Leonard Snart and Mick Rory, aka Captain Cold and Heat Wave. Santini tries to get all tough on these dudes, saying they're nothing without their gimmick guns, but then Cold and Heat beat the poop out of all of Santini's goons while handcuffed and send one goon packing to tell the tale.
Meanwhile, Cisco and Caitlin show up at the Ramon household for Cisco's brother's birthday. You might remember from last episode that Cisco's family relationship is strained, and now we see why. Cisco's brother, Dante is seen as the golden child, even though by all accounts, he's a major dill-hole.
At STAR Labs, Barry's trying to run fast to go back in time and Wells is like, "Stop." Joe shows up to ask Barry about capturing Mardon, but Barry gets a call from Linda and literally runs out of the room rather than discuss time travel with Joe.
At Dante's party, he plays a song on the piano, which is cool, I guess, if you're into instruments that suck. Like, had it been a bass solo, maybe, but piano? Have fun, nerd. Dante hops up from the piano bench and immediately starts trying to mack on Caitlin. Him and Cisco trades barbs, which ends with Dante comparing Cisco to a dog and Cisco walking off angry. He's a real peach, this Dante guy.
Barry shows up at the Picture News offices and Linda dumps him, but he's feeling pretty good about what Iris said to him when she thought she was dead, in the alternate future, so he's all bubbly and happy and sets up a date with Iris so they can talk about stuff and things! He walks past Mason Bridge, who he met in the other future, and tells him he's dead wrong about Harrison Wells being an evil murderer. Which will in no way come back to bite Barry in the butt, no siree. Mason is all, "Oooohkay strange guy. Thanks for the tip."
Barry meets Cisco at a bar, where Cisco's trying to drown his sorrows. A lady in a blonde wig comes up to them and starts flirting. Barry assumes she's talking to him because it's his show and that's how things usually go around here, but nope, she's talking to Cisco. Hit the road, Allen.
Them BAM! they're back at a mansion, getting their smooch on, and Cisco is going, "Finally! My moment has arrived!" but then the wig comes off and oops, it's Snart's sister, Lisa, who has honeypotted Cisco. Captain Cold pops out from behind a bush and tells Cisco he's gonna make them new guns. Cisco declines, but then Heat Wave comes barging in with Dante all trussed up like a Christmas turkey, so Cisco is all, "Okay. Fine. I'll make you guns." Dante, you're lucky Cisco's your brother cuz I would have let those dudes have you.
Cisco makes three guns: a new heat gun for Heat Wave, a new cold gun for (you guessed it) Captain Cold, and another gun for Lisa that we're not entirely sure what it does at this point, but spoilers: It turns people into gold. Which is so stupid, I love it so much.
Meanwhile, Barry's laying it on thick to trick Iris into telling him she loves him but it backfires hard and Iris leaves, angry at Barry for yet again making her be the Bad Guy and tell him she doesn't feel that way about him. She's absolutely right, of course.
Barry mopes into STAR Labs and tells Caitlin and Wells that Linda broke up with him, even though he's sad that his attempt to use time travel to get his kid-sister to fall in love with him didn't work. And to top it all off, Joe calls to tell him that Snart is back and that he's hitting up a Santini casino because I guess Central City has gambling?
Captain Cold and the newly-minted (see what I did there?) Golden Glider hit the casino and Lisa gets a chance to show off her gold gun and make a gold pun that, if we're being honest, could use some work. The Flash shows up, takes Lisa captive and tries to get Cold to surrender. Cold calls his bluff, telling the Flash that he has Cisco, so Barry lets them go.
At the casino crime scene, Joe asks Barry why he didn't take the Snarts into custody and he tells him about Cisco. Joe's all, "Aw, that sucks," and then sucker punch! Eddie barges in and knocks Barry across the mouth for being a weird creep to Iris.
At STAR Labs, Barry and Wells try to find Cisco, but don't get anywhere. Then they have a talk about Barry's recent time travel trip and about Barry changing time. Wells is all, "You gotta be careful and make sure you don't mess up the future. I mean, let's just say that a friend of mine --- let's call him Warrison Hells --- traveled back centuries. He'd have to do everything he could to make sure that his timeline remained intact, right?" Barry reminds him that he's gonna be traveling back in time sometime in the future to save his mom and Wells is like, "Maybe your mom's death will save a lot of people." Which is a thing that will totally work on Barry.
At their commandeered mansion, Heat Wave is drinking and talking about fire. I love that he literally only has the one defining characteristic. Meanwhile, los hermanos Ramon have a conversation and Dante sort of apologizes for being a jerk to Cisco before he tries to be a hero in a botched attempt to take Heat Wave out with a leg of the table they're handcuffed to. Cold busts in and tells Cisco that if he can answer one question he'll let him and his brother go, and if he doesn't, he's gonna freeze his bro. The question? What's the Flash's secret identity?
At STAR Labs, the team is frantically looking for Cisco, but he shows up and cops to spilling Barry's secret. Barry tells him it's okay and hugs him and that sound you hear is Barry/Cisco (Barrsco?) slash-fic being written at lightning speed. (Pun not intended.) But Cisco's feeling too guilty, so he heads off to pack up his stuff.
Joe heads to the paper to ask Iris why Eddie is beating up Barry, and tells her to figure out what's up with her love life because this ish is ridic. Then he winks and disappears into the night. Mason tries to float his "Harrison Wells Is A Creepy Murderer" theory to her again, but she blows him off so she can sit and sigh and bite on her thumb nail.
At STAR Labs, Harrison tries to talk Cisco out of leaving and takes him down to the Reverse Flash Trap Room to give him a speech about never giving up. Clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose; all that claptrap. But it's really there to mirror the same scene from last episode. You know, the one where Wells vibrated his hand through Cisco's chest to rip out his heart. And I have to admit: it worked. When wells asked him why he brought him down there, I thought for sure Cisco was gonna turn around and see Wells standing up, a look of menace in his eyes as he started his vibro-hand up. But no. Not in this reality, thank goodness.
Oh, and Wells brings up that "making a choice between two people that you love; that's the hardest decision you'll have to face." Us insiders in The Biz call that "foreshadowing."
Caitlin calls them up to tell them that Snart's plan wasn't to rob the casino, it was to scare the Santinis into activating a protocol that requires them to transport the money in the event of a robbery to another location for safekeeping. Which is silly, but we'll let it go in favor of suspending disbelief.
Cut to: a semi truck full of a few palettes of money and a bunch of goofballs bouncing around in the back, ostensibly guarding it. They pass Cold, Gold and Heat, and Cold and Gold are riding in a motorcycle with a sidecar, and that is just too amazing. Like, it could not be more Silver Age unless Cold said something like, "Quickly, to the Cold-Cycle and the Heat Harley!"
The Rogues take the semi down by setting it on fire, but the Flash flashes in and grabs Cap Cold, causing Golden Glider to try and hop from the sidecar to the motorcycle, only she biffs it, taking out Heat Wave in the process.
Barry drops Cold in the woods, where they both manage to have light sources that back-light their heads as they snark back and forth. Barry's like, "Stop stealing," Cold is like, "No." Barry's like, "Go somewhere else," and Cold is like, "I like this place." They finally settle on a strict "Don't kill anybody or go near my family or friends, okay?" agreement and the Barry leaves him out in the woods.
Barry heads to the coffee shop and finds Eddie, Iris and Caitlin waiting for him. Eddie rushes him and… hugs him. More slash ensues, I assume. Apparently Caitlin has been telling Iris and Eddie that Barry has a disease that makes him say and do crazy stuff and that's why he was telling Iris he had psychic powers that told him that she loved him. Barry is like, "Yes. This is exactly what happened."
At the newspaper, Mason Bridge is hard at work on his shocking expose, Harrison Wells: Threat or Menace?! Just then the lights flicker, and that creepy Reverse Flash voice comes out of nowhere, demanding to know what he knows about Wells. Bridge tells him it's all in the drive next to his computer and then the Reverse Flash beats him up a little, sending him scurrying into the next room. Bridge tries hiding against a wall, thinking he's safe, but nope, a hand vibrates through his chest and he is dead dead dead.
RevFlash vibrates his hand into the hard-drive, makes an eye-rollingly on-the nose comment about how Bridge "really had the story of the century," and erases all the data before he reverse flashes out of there with Bridge's corpse.
At STAR Labs, Barry and Wells have a little chat about time travel stuff, but then Barry sees that Bridge has gone missing on the TV and finally starts to wake up to the fact that his Science Dad might be a psycho.
So Barry goes to his Cop Dad to tell him he might be right about Science Dad. Aaand that's it for this week.
FLASH FACTS: Randome Observations
- Lisa Snart, aka Golden Glider, was created by Cary Bates and Irv Norvick and first appeared in Flash #250, June 1977. In the original comics, she was initially a former figure skater and lover to The Top, another Flash Rogue. Like her TV iteration, Lisa is the sister of Captain Cold. In the comics she had super-skates that made a trail of ice under her, sort of like the X-Men's Iceman. She worked with a few assistants, all named Chillblaine, and all possessing replica's of her brother's cold gun. In the New 52, she's still Cold's sister, but she's a metahuman with a brain tumor who wants revenge on the Flash for some reason.
- Another Cap Cold/Heat Wave episode. I love how broad Miller and Purcell play their characters and, again would love if they were able to go full bonkers Batman '66/Schumacher Bat movie villainy, as that's obviously where they're starting from.
- After last week's (literal?) whirlwind of an episode, this one felt slight in comparison, but still enjoyable enough. Like I said, I like the Cold/Heat/Gold combo and hope we can see more of these goofy doofs in the future.
FLASH FORWARD: Future Happenings
Next week: Mark Hamill reprises his role as the Trickster, and the Flash does a small screen version of Crank. I know I should be cynical about this, but that sure does push a lot of very specific nerd buttons for me. Until then, my fellow Flashers.