Last week’s episode of The Flash left us with a cliff-hanger as Barry was dumbfounded at a scene he’d already witnessed. But will our hero be able to save the time line?
In a word: no. This episode is quite intriguing for its premise. Barry finds himself re-living a day gone by. It starts with small things like him being able to finish other people’s sentences and ends with him making some potentially dangerous alterations. At face value it’s a little humorous to see Barry trying to blab his way through situations without letting on what’s happened.
Dr Wells picks up on the situation very quickly and gives Barry a very simple set of instructions: don’t do anything differently or you risk making something worse happen. Of course, this means that last week’s revelations, Cisco’s death, everything is undone. Barry didn’t know about Cisco, but he knows enough to stop Weather Wizard before he’s able to attack Joe and cause a tidal wave.
Unfortunately Barry’s work is never done. Leonard Snart and Rory are back in town, with Snart’s sister Lisa. This ties in to a plot about Cisco and his brother Dante. We’ve not met any of Cisco’s family before, but a few minutes into his brother’s birthday party it’s easy to see why he doesn’t talk about them much. Unfortunately Snart is able to utilise this to get Cisco to fashion new guns for the rogue trio. Lisa gets a gun that turns things into gold. This is a rather puzzling development that makes me question the need for them to commit crime again.
I’ve not made my dislike for the rogues a secret, the episode would have been just fine without them. Barry’s time-travel plot has more than enough interesting stuff that it could have kept the episode afloat without the need for action scenes. Barry gets a little cocky with his knowledge of how things turn out, and attempts to woo Iris once again. Whether he’s in an alternate time line or not, she doesn’t go for it, and Eddie later attacks him.
As The Flash continues to change things, the more bad that happens. Ultimately though, I can’t help but feel that the way things turn out this time around is infinitely preferable to how it went before. Wells insists that something worse will happen if Barry changes things, but I don’t consider the rogues to be as bad as a tidal wave. While Barry and Snart’s final scene is actually pretty good, it wasn’t worth everything we had to watch to get there. Snart and his team will doubtless appear again and again.
The main reasons I think we’re better off are as follows: Cisco is still alive (he’s not my favourite character but that was a horrible thing that happened to him last week, and Barry is now suspicious of Dr Wells. The good doctor might have played his hand a bit too well here, killing Iris’ boss and destroying evidence linking him to Simon Stagg’s disappearance. As he himself says earlier in the episode, the sub-conscious mind can spring things on you unexpectedly. This is what tips Barry off to his involvement, oh the irony.
Again this episode makes Wells a hard man to pin down. Last week we saw him murder Cisco for finding out his secret. This time he gives Cisco a very comforting dialogue and insists that he, Caitlin and Barry all love him and want him to stay and help them. This kind of gray morality rarely crops up in television, let alone super-hero shows. Hopefully Dr Wells will continue to keep us guessing for many episodes.
For the most part, this is The Flash at its best. Fortunately the Rogues are a little less irritating this time around, likely because their involvement is secondary for a change. We also have a glimpse of potential arcs as Barry may well be able to make time travel a regular occurrence.
Will The Flash be able to figure out what Wells’ plan is? Will the rogues leave us alone until season 2? Let us know what you think in the comments below…