Review: ‘The Flash’ – ‘Rogue Time’: Hitting the reset button, hard

Senior Television Writer
03.25.15 60 Comments

A quick review of last night's “The Flash” coming up just as soon as I bet my friends that you'll talk to me…

My only real issue with last week's dynamite episode was a concern that the show would lean too hard on the reset button, undoing every single thing that was thrilling about “Out of Time.” That's exactly what “Rogue Time” did. Cisco is alive (and even gets to enjoy hearing Harrison refer to him as being like a son), Captain Singh is uninjured, Joe is safe, Iris remains in the dark about Barry's secret identity and her feelings for him, etc.

I expected some of that, but all of it? And to then replace each event with some kind of parallel that isn't half as interesting? Reverse-Flash killing Cisco had an impact because Cisco mattered to the audience and to the other characters; undoing that and making the new victim be Iris's editor, a bit player in the grand scheme of things, takes away all the power the original scene had. Not that I'd necessarily want to kill off a Caitlin or a Joe, but imagine if the rewriting of the timeline resulted in one of their deaths? Or both? That would have had an impact, and wouldn't have retroactively turned “Out of Time” into something with as much influence on future storylines as a dream sequence.

Captain Cold being the one to learn the Flash's secret identity in place of Iris at least has promise for down the road, as we'll see the two enemies test the limits of their new detente. Overall, though, this was the least interesting of his appearances to date, even with Peyton List getting extended time as Snart's sister Lisa(*). It was hard to invest in the danger Cisco's brother was in after we had just seen Cisco himself killed the week before, and the threat the three villains posed wasn't a patch on a giant tidal wave coming to destroy Central City. If the idea was that the timestream was trying to compensate for everything Barry kept undoing, it didn't come across with these much lower stakes.

(*) Okay, I get that the original Golden Glider figure skater look from the comics wouldn't work, and that the effects and stunt work required to let her skate on ice produced by her brother's gun would be too expensive and/or time-consuming to bother with. But simply replacing that gimmick with a duplicate of Cold's gun that turns people and things into gold instead of ice felt lazy. And it raises all kinds of questions about why Lisa doesn't just run off and enjoy a life as the wealthiest woman on the planet, and/or why Cisco hasn't made himself a fortune this way. (And if the idea is that he hasn't figured out how to transmute other things into gold, but just some shiny gold-like alloy, that's still amazing for a few hour's work.)

I'm still hopeful the creative team have a master plan for the season's closing episodes that gave them the confidence to do such a huge finale-style episode last week. But “Rogue Time” was pretty close to my worst case scenario fear for how the show would use Barry's trip back in time to quickly and painlessly undo everything that was cool about last week's episode.

What did everybody else think?

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