This The Flash review contains spoilers.
“Rogue Air” certainly got a lot done, didn’t it? It might have been a little too ambitious, to be honest. But it was so much fun that I can’t really complain too much.
I wasn’t sure what to make of this one coming off the blocks. I rather enjoyed Thawne’s supervillain monologue, but then there were a number of elements that just felt too convenient. Iris’ presence, for one thing. Iris finding Eddie’s engagement ring down in his little prison was another. Having the ultimately forgettable Peek-a-Boo emerge from her prison with elaborate hair and makeup intact didn’t do anyone any favors, either.
But then something changed. Oh, yes…I know what it was. Wentworth Miller showed up. Captain Cold is just such a tremendous screen presence that any time he’s around, I tend to be pretty forgiving.
Snart fooled me just as surely as he fooled Barry, too. I’ll confess to some quiet, mild eye-rolling when Barry recruited him to help get the metas out of the particle accelerator. Not because that scene wasn’t good (it was, like most of their interactions, wonderful), but because I was absolutely convinced that they were using this episode specifically to position Snart as more of an anti-hero type in order to set up his role on the Legends of Tomorrow series that’s on the way.
Whoops. I was sorta wrong.
So, while Barry certainly did help facilitate that a little bit with the scrubbing of Snart’s records (which also feel a little too convenient) they aren’t quite taking us down the “rehabilitation of Leonard Snart” path just yet. Good. I’m not going to be satisfied until I see a few more Rogues episodes with him giving Barry ice cream headaches.
I did enjoy how much they played on Barry’s naivete with all of this, though. He’s only been a superhero for about six or seven months of real time, and the show has done a good job of making his maturation process feel pretty natural. This was a crossroads for him, where he had to make a big call…and he blew it. It’s kinda like how he couldn’t beat Cold in their first meeting, either.
Poor Eddie, though. He seems to be taking all of this really well. Almost too well. Really, forget “poor Eddie.” It’s “poor Flash fans who are convinced that Eddie is going to be a supervillain” (that includes me), because if the show is planning on dropping that bomb, it sure as hell isn’t gonna happen this season. If ever!
It’s a brilliant move, really.
So, again, like “Grodd Lives,” this is a fine and fun episode of The Flash, but it’s not an excellent one. Those few minutes at the end aside, it’s hard to really feel like this episode fits as the second to last of the season. It’s a little more like there were issues that had to be wrapped up and that maybe, just maybe, there wasn’t quite 23 episodes of Reverse-Flash story to be told.
It served its purpose, though. We no longer have to with Scientanamo Bay and the uncomfortable questions it raises (not that this episode particularly addressed them in a satisfactory fashion, but we can put it all behind us now), and some key metas and rogues are now back on the prowl to bedevil our heroes in The Flash season 2.
I’ll confess that I popped for that Flash/Green Arrow/Firestorm team-up at the end, but “Rogue Air” was a bit disjointed, and I can’t shake the feeling that it leaned a little too heavily on the “shared universe” stuff. Lots of names were dropped, we got our fun guest appearances, but with one episode to go, The Flash should be standing on its own two feet a little bit more, and perhaps focusing more on the top-tier story instead of tying up loose ends.
– Did we ever talk about the fact that the Central City DA’s name is Cecile? As far as I can remember, they haven’t given her a last name, have they? Because if this is Cecile Horton, she’s a character who eventually has to defend Flash during an ugly manslaughter trial. I could write a whole article about that one…and probably will.
– Was this the first time the words “scarlet speedster” have been uttered on this show?
– For the umpteenth time, we find ourselves at a Ferris Air runway. This show really needs to find a way to introduce Hal Jordan next year. I can pitch a whole series bible on that one that would work just fine on a TV budget. Mr. Berlanti, have your people call my people, please.
– I guess this episode takes place roughly three episodes ago in Arrow time? For most of the season, both Arrow and The Flash have been operating on a more or less “real time” fashion, but the timeline of recent Arrow episodes has put a dent in that, for obvious reasons.
– Weather Wizard is doing the Steve McQueen baseball against the wall bit like The Great Escape. Which would beg the question of where the hell he got a ball and glove, but since we never have to think about this again, I’ll let it go.
– While this has nothing to do with anything, I’d just like to go on record and let the entire internet know how much I hate that “Cold as Ice” song playing in the bar.