The Flash: The butterfly effect

Diyah Pera/The CW
Diyah Pera/The CW

Barry learned that all actions have consequences in this week’s episode of The Flash. While the first few moments of “Rogue Time” felt like déjà vu, things quickly changed as Barry continued to make adjustments to the time continuum. Considering everything that happened last week, could you really blame him?

The Flash is consistently putting out great episodes every week, and this one was no different. Barry Allen is one of the few DC superheroes that allows a fantastic blend between the heavy moments and the light through his personality and charm, both of which Grant Gustin has in spades. “Rogue Time” really allowed Barry to grow up a little bit and realize the true weight and responsibility of his powers. It was also the first time he realized that there may be more to Dr. Wells than he thinks.

From the start of the episode, the entirely too perceptive Wells figured out that Barry had travelled back in time. Not missing a beat, he warned Barry to not make any changes to the timeline or else he’d make things even worse than before. Little did Barry know that Wells was constantly doing the same thing – which is why he obsessively checks the future to make sure whatever happens stays on track.

Barry ignored his advice, of course, changing things left and right in a bid to keep everyone safe and jumpstart his relationship with Iris. What Barry didn’t realize is that his actions also prevented Cisco’s murder – leading to the death of poor Pulitzer-winning Mason Bridge. I noted last week that, while he never came off very likeable, Bridge had better instincts than most of the characters on the show, so I was sad to see him go. The unfortunate reality is that the alternative of losing Cisco would have been so much worse.

The other major loss for Barry in this episode was his romance with Iris. Without the trauma of fighting the Weather Wizard, Iris didn’t have a chance to reevaluate her relationship with Barry. It was rough to watch Barry’s rejection, but I don’t fault Iris for saying what she said. In her mind, there was nothing else to say and he was simply dredging up old pains. On the other hand, the bowling double date is still very much intact in this timeline, so to say that she doesn’t feel the same seems like an obvious lie. I’m hoping Linda sticks around to talk some sense into her.

Diyah Pera/The CW
Diyah Pera/The CW

With Mardon all taken care of, Captain Cold and Heat Wave arrived back on the scene, this time with Cold’s sister, Lisa Snart (Peyton List), AKA Golden Glider. I’m curious as to what they were doing in the original timeline. I may be wrong on this, but it seems like by going to his brother’s birthday party, Cisco ended up at the bar with Barry that night, which led to his and Dante’s capture by the Rogues in the altered timeline. I love the idea that during the events of “Out of Time” the Snart’s were stirring up trouble, trying to get attention the whole time Barry and the team had their hands full with Mardon and murder-happy Wells. Also, time travel is seriously confusing.

I was happy to see that Cisco’s family problems, which were only just touched upon in last week’s episode, were majorly addressed. It’s hard to believe that there is a family in Central City that cares more about a former piano prodigy than a scientific genius, but to each their own. Thanks to some villain interference, the two brothers had some bonding time to resolve their problems. Unfortunately, because of the whole kidnapped-by-villains thing, Dante ended up being tortured while they forced Cisco into giving up The Flash’s identity. Major credit to Barry for not only forgiving Cisco, but taking on the blame himself. He decided to solve the problem in a far more diplomatic route – he agreed to let Cold and his “Rogue Gallery” go free in exchange for their agreement that they’d stop killing people. I can’t say I have any complaints with his decision – Wentworth Miller is great as Captain Cold and I’m looking forward to seeing more of List as Lisa as well.

My one complaint? I need more Caitlin! Ever since things with Ronnie were resolved, Cailtin has nearly dissolved into the background in these last few episodes. While I love the friendship between Cisco and Barry, he and Caitlin were also beginning to form something really strong and I wish we could see it explored even more. Now that Caitlin is done pining, it’s time we see her step up and have a big story that doesn’t revolve around Ronnie or romance. That’s not too much to ask, right?

Flash-points:

  • How did Wells find out about Bridge’s investigation in this timeline? The man grows shadier by the day.
  • “Lightning psychosis?” Really, Caitlin? I can’t believe a police officer and an investigative journalist actually fell for that.
  • The season seems to be leading to the moment when Barry’s mom is murdered. The question is, will he change the past or will he be forced to let her die? As far as tough choice’s go, that one is a doozy.
  • Did anyone catch if Dante’s fingers survived Snart’s torture?

Did all that time travel leave your head spinning? Share your thoughts on the episode in the comments below. Next week, Mark Hamill reprises his role as the original Trickster from the old The Flash live-action series. Who knew Luke Skywalker would make such an awesome villain?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lkij00xF5Kc

The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CTV and The CW.