Season One, Episode Twenty-Two — “Rogue Air”
By Jarrod Jones. I don’t know about any of you, but I’m going through gorilla withdrawals. Yup, I got me a bad case of the Grodd-shakes, but that’s okay; it looks like The Flash is going out of its way to toss as many 400 lb. gorillas into every room it has. Joe finally accepts that he’s been abetting the S.T.A.R. Kids in illegally stashing every evil metahuman that’s come their way; Eddie does something about that pesky love triangle he’s been sharing with Iris and Barry since the show began; and the episode willfully ignores that there’s really no logical way Oliver Queen could pop in for a cameo. But whatever. Captain Cold’s back! And you know what that means. Team-ups. Justice Buddies… Congregate!
WHAT WORKED: Wentworth Miller’s return as Captain Cold meant that the episode was going to carve out plenty of time for Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen to banter with the villainous Leonard Snart. And sure enough, three seconds in Cold is already tossing out the chilly, and delightfully awful, bon mots (he makes sure that the bartender knows he wants his drink “ice cold”). And it doesn’t stop there. As a matter of fact, by the end of the episode Miller’s monotone drawl is so mesmerizing, that Barry (and by proxy, the audience) ends up learning the hard way what happens when you trust a walking Schwarzenegger pun. We should have seen that coming. Damn.
Even though it felt tacked on and wholly unnecessary (see below), Barry’s team-up with Oliver Queen (Stephen Amell) and Ronnie Raymond (Robbie Amell) was pretty damned thrilling. And the cohesion of these heroes taking the stage against a fiercely powerful villain (Tom Cavanagh’s Reverse-Flash) gave us a glimpse into the ol’ DC Comics magic, given television form. I don’t know how the CW became the place where all of my DC dreams came true, but I’m glad that it’s here. (Because the alternative is unacceptable.) But as cool as it was…
WHAT DIDN’T: … Barry’s last minute Justice Buddies team-up is how we’re gonna take down the Reverse-Flash? No way that’s gonna stick. With an entire season’s worth of story-building, feints, dodges, and teases, there is no way Thawne went down that easily. And there’s no way that the show will let the battle between Barry and Eobard be anything less than the intimate, brutal affair it was always going to be.
As a matter of fact, because “Rogue Air” contains not one, not two, but kinda three team-ups this week (Barry/Leonard, Barry/Ollie/Ronnie, and Leonard/Rogues, sorta), the whole episode felt like two separate episodes with a sneak peek tossed in before the credits rolled. That kinda slapdash storytelling is unfortunately what we have all gotten used to in the second half of The Flash‘s first season, but c’mon, people. We have so much time to build this universe. Let a storyarc come to a close without cramming in three potential spinoffs, yes? I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I almost felt sorry for the Reverse-Flash.
“I just needed something constant in my life.” – Eddie, tossing some sick burns at Iris.
“Hey, Cisco.” – Golden Glider. “Oh, hey, CAPTAIN COLD’S EVIL SISTER.” – Cisco.
“What would you call me?” – Golden Glider. “Female Inmate?” – Cisco, before he got all chumpy.
“Please… no more walks on the dark side.” – Joe, to Barry.
BEST MOMENT: A pilot, missing. Could there be only one? No way. In an episode so crammed full of memorable moments, it’s damn near impossible to pin one down. But for the sake of the future, I’m sticking with the Easter Egg heard ’round the world. Barry and Joe were talking about Hal Jordan at Ferris Airfield, or I’m beef stroganoff.
EPISODE’S MVP: Captain Cold. That’s right, Wentworth Miller’s return to The Flash made everyone at DoomRocket HQ all a-flutter. Everyone else — from Cisco and Joe to Ollie and Ronnie — was enveloped in the long shadow cast by Miller’s charisma. I don’t pretend to know what the CW has planned for Leonard Snart over in The Flash‘s new spinoff, Legends of Tomorrow, but I know that with Miller on the marquee, we’re already locked in.
– So Wells stashed a butt battery in his wheelchair. That’s what makes him so fast. Huh.
– Who do you think feeds all these Rogues? Makes sure Peek-a-Boo is kept in mascara? It’s probably Cisco, innit. And while we’re on the subject, does S.T.A.R. actually have a staff, or does Cisco and Caitlin take turns cleaning the entire installation? So many questions.
– Barry’s idea of stashing the Rogues on Lian Yu (where Oliver Queen learned how to be Batman) and Joe & the S.T.A.R. Kids’ (official copyright © 2015 DoomRocket) total complicity in doing so makes Team Flash appear to be as bad as the second Bush Administration.
– Foreigner’s “Cold As Ice” is playing in the background while Snart manipulates Barry. Because of course it is.
– It was only a matter of time before The Flash would get around to Green Lantern, and tonight cinched its biggest tease, possibly since episode one: Carol Ferris had to shutter her Central City airfield because… her test pilot “disappeared”? You’re shitting me. You’re shitting me.
– So let’s do this dance for a second. Oliver Queen. Ronnie Raymond/Professor Stein. Barry Allen. Ray Palmer. Dinah (well, Laurel) Lance. Bruce Wayne is out there somewhere. And now we know that a certain test pilot has been lost. I’m just speculating here, but I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if the Central City Police Department got a new detective in The Flash‘s second season (and for the sake of argument, let’s call him “Ralph Dibny”), and over in Arrow country (or in the newly-christened spin-off Legends of Tomorrow) Ray Palmer decided to innovate his own superhero in the form of an android. Could be too early to say, but since we know that all roads are leading to the Justice League, could the Satellite Era be the CW’s endgame? (It would certainly be as white.)
– Oh, I get it: “Rogue Air”? Con Air? Don’t go squeezing Michael Bay into my show, The Flash.