The Flash: “Rogue Air” Season 1 Episode 22 Review

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There was a season’s worth of heroes and villains crammed into “Rogue Air,” but it mostly worked, even if it really had no narrative flow.

Explaining the plot of this episode probably sounds like a kid playing with his or her action figures. Flash teams up with Captain Cold to rescue all the other villains from Reverse-Flash. Cold betrays him and sets all the villains free. Then, Reverse-Flash shows up to fight Flash, but Arrow and Firestorm help Flash finally defeat his nemesis.

Why does Cold let the other rogues loose? Probably so Flash has some people to fight right off the bat next season. Why does Wells suddenly confront Barry? Because the show already wasted enough time with filler and other villains that it just needed to happen. So how did Arrow and Firestorm know where the fight was going on, and how did Oliver take time off from the League of Assassins?

Shrug. It doesn’t matter.

The Flash‘s most endearing quality is its simplicity. Characters can show up without explanation because it’s cool. Arrow has a much more difficult time pulling this off, but then I’ve never started a review for that show with a list of narrative missteps.

But even when “Rogue Air” didn’t make sense, it used its charm to win us back over. Wentworth Miller carries his scenes as Cold like the snarky powerhouse the villain is supposed to be. It’s become understood that when he shows up, we’re in for a good time. This was no exception.

The episode featured more villains than we’ve seen in one sequence in either CW DC series. Captain Cold and Golden Glider let out previous Flash villains Weather Wizard, Peek-a-Boo, Rainbow Raider, and Mist, as well as recent Arrow villain Deathbolt. We got a brief fight that had Flash fighting many of these villains at once, which felt very true to the character’s stories from the comics. But it’s ultimately Cold who gets the upper hand and decides to let all the villains go.

Surviving the loss, the team recovers at S.T.A.R. Labs, where Wells suddenly starts breaking into. Flash confronts him only for Firestorm and the Arrow to appear pretty much out of nowhere. Again, who cares? This team-up against the Reverse-Flash was easily the best action sequence the show has done yet. In particular, it was Oliver’s fight with Wells after disabling his speed (with ATOM’s technology!) that was the true highlight. The main superhero of one series fighting the main supervillain of another. Man it’s a good time to be a comic book fan.

The episode ends with Wells seemingly defeated. There’s a whole ‘nother episode to go so we know that’s not true. Still, despite featuring essentially a series of random events, “Rogue Air” maintained the light-hearted fun that The Flash provides so well. There’s a lot to look forward to next week. Grade: B+


Some Other Thought Bubbles:

– So if Oliver is in Central City now, when last week’s Arrow ended with his entire team being sentenced to death, this episode has to take place before then, right? That means the timeline is off by about a week or so and, I hate to admit it, that bother me a lot. #nerdproblems

– Another note on Oliver’s surprise appearance. I like The Flash quite a bit, but when the Arrow swung in he had a presence that threw a wave of excitement over me. A giddiness that I doubt I’m going to feel when Barry shows up on Arrow tomorrow. Maybe it’s because Arrow has been on longer, but during the fight I was much more concerned with what Oliver was doing than what Barry was doing. What’s more likely is that the Arrow feels like the godfather of this TV DC universe. He started it all and there’s some weight to that, which likely has something to do with why I like Arrow better than The Flash.

– Iris and Eddie are officially over. Yay?

– Firestorm sure looked cool, but did he even have a line?


By Matt Dougherty

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