The Flash, Episode 16 “Rouge Time” Broadcast March 24, 2015
Teleplay by Brooke Eikmeier & Kai Yu Wu
Story by Grainne Godfree
Directed by John Behring
“Previously on The Flash,” Barry races against himself, Iris is told Wells is hiding something, a tsunami threatens Central City, Barry reveals he’s the Flash to Iris, Barry breaks the time barrier, enabling him to run beside himself, and when he stops he realizes he’s run into the past. Now in the present (but Barry’s past), Cisco asks Barry why he’s stopped running. Our hero says he’s disoriented and he doesn’t have to go to the morgue because he went there yesterday. Not understanding what he’s hearing, Cisco urges him to hurry up, so Barry reluctantly runs to his destiny. Cue opening title card.
Arriving after the police, Barry is suffering from deja vu. He cuts to the chase with Joe and tells him Mark Marden is on the newly installed dictation system and he wants revenge on Joe. His foster father is shocked by this returning foe and Barry’s inexplicable ability to state what’s occurred. At S.T.A.R. Labs, Caitlin listens to Cisco explain why he doesn’t want to go to his brother Dante’s birthday party. She volunteers to go with him, until she mentions something that has Cisco cancelling her invite. As they join Wells and Barry to discuss Marden, Barry completes people’s sentences and speaks with them simultaneously. Wells takes him aside to learn he’s broken the time continuum. He gives Barry the expected paradox speech, telling him to do exactly the same things he did the day before so as not to create a catastrophe. Alone, Wells goes into his secret room to check his future newspaper and sees that the timeline remains the same. At the police station, Barry sees Captain Singh chewing out Joe and Eddie. If the future remains unchanged, the Weather Wizard will injure the captain so he’ll never walk again. Before Joe can get any answers from Barry about his strange behavior, Barry runs off. The Flash goes to Marden’s secret hotel room. “I didn’t know there was anyone else like me,” says the criminal, just before he’s grabbed and placed in a S.T.A.R. Labs’ cell. Cisco and Caitlin are impressed with Barry’s new record in catching a bad guy, but Wells is angry. “Do you have any idea what you’ve just done?” At a mob boss’s mansion, Captain Cold and Heat Wave are brought before Don Santini, who tells Snart he should never have come back to town. The conversation is cut short when the pair escape their bonds and knock out the mob boss and his goons. However, one thug is kept conscious to deliver a message from Snart. “Tell the rest of the Santini family there’s a new godfather, and his name is Cold.” Rory knocks the man out which leads to the first commercial break.
Time travel troubles and three villains make this a fast paced show. If viewers have seen the previous episode, they’ll delight at what’s the same and what’s changed from Barry’s actions. Once again Grant Gustin and Carlos Valdes get some outstanding scenes. Gustin is bubbling like a fountain of happiness, while Valdes gets to go really low. I was impressed with the change in Lisa Snart/The Golden Glider’s power. She’s very different from the ice skating villain from the comics, and the change made is a good one for television. Wentworth Miller seethes with evil in every line he utters and Dominic Purcell continues to show Mick Rory as an absolute animal. Peyton List is a good addition to the Rogues, and her first scene is painful to watch because of what she does to one character. The effects were good on this episode with The Golden Glider’s new powers, though I wasn’t pleased with the motorcycle sequence. The final confrontation between the Flash and Captain Cold worked for me, but may pose problems for viewers if they’re expecting a Dark Knight confrontation. What occurs is true to the comics, and will have these villains bumping into Oliver Queen in no time.
The good: Lisa Snart, Peyton List, Grant Gustin, Carlos Valdes, Wentworth Miller, Dominic Purcell, the script, Jesse L. Martin, Tom Cavanagh, a major moment between Eddie and Barry at a crime scene, and Malese Jow being released from the plot, and hopefully all future episodes.
Fun lines: “You ruptured the time continuum,” “Whatever tragedy you think you’ve just averted, Time will find a way to replace it,” “Refreshing!”, “This,” “Fun, fun, fun,” “I always act weird,” “…just like a dog,” “No one did anything wrong,” “Please, I have to talk to someone,” “Debatable,” “We have to talk,” “Cute,” and “All of it.”
The bad: Motorcycles in the end and Cisco’s family troubles–an overdone trope. The individual involved in the latter only served to provide a cliché moment of positive reinforcement. The only family I care about is Barry’s.
The final line: To quote a character, “Fun, fun, fun.” Time has been altered, definitely for the better, but Barry now has concerns. Overall grade: B+