The choice. With the Flash (Grant Gustin) defeating the Reverse-Flash (Tom Cavanagh) in last week’s episode the First Season finale deals with the fall-out of that victory and the chance Barry is offered by his mentor/arch-nemesis to change the past. Given the same opportunity in the comics Barry Allen leapt at the chance to save his mother from the Reverse-Flash without taking into account the consequences of such an action on both his own timeline and all of those whose lives he touched. In the comics Barry’s choice led to Flashpoint and a bizarre alternate reality eventually leading to the birth of DC’s New 52. The finale’s payoff is far more satisfying.
Leaving next week’s season finale to deal with the fallout from this week’s episode and Barry‘s (Grant Gustin) quest to save his mother, “Rogue Air” returns several of the villains from the first season, brings in to super-hero guest-stars, and wraps up the Reverse-Flash (Tom Cavanagh) storyline (at least for now). With the Reverse-Flash apparently ready for an end game that includes repowering the particle accelerator (which would kill all the meta-humans within the makeshift prison), Barry is faced with calling on the help of Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) who, not surprisingly decides to use the situation to his own advantage.
With The Flash racing to its First Season finale in three weeks “The Trap” brings the battle between the Flash (Grant Gustin) and the Reverse-Flash front-and-center beginning with the discovery of Harrison Wells‘ (Tom Cavanagh) secret room within S.T.A.R. Labs, confirmation that he’s a time-traveler, and glimpses into various aspects of Barry’s future (not all of which he’s able to properly process). Comparing Cisco‘s (Carlos Valdes) dream to the reality Barry rewrote during his short jump backwards in time the group decides to set a trap for Wells hoping to recreate his confession of the murder of Barry’s mother before the group takes him down.
Things are looking up for Central City. Crime rates have fallen as appearances of the Flash (Grant Gustin) have risen with the city’s new hero helping Joe (Jesse L. Martin) and Eddie (Rick Cosnett), who is struggling with keeping Barry’s secret from his girlfriend, with several recent collars. With Ray Palmer (Brandon Routh) needing a little help on his A.T.O.M. suit, Felicity (Emily Bett Rickards) and her new boyfriend make a trip to Central City to see her friends at S.T.A.R. Labs. The guest-appearance by both Felicity and Ray allows for her to coax the truth from Barry about what is bothering him about his team while Ray’s first appearance on the show allows both he and Cisco (Carlos Valdes) to go into full geek mode and an instant bromance while working on the suit.
When a new villain calling himself the Trickster (Devon Graye) holds Central City hostage with a series of deadly pranks Barry (Grant Gustin) and Joe (Jesse L. Martin) go to Iron Heights to talk with the incarcerated original Trickster James Jesse (Mark Hamill). Reprising his role from the 90s television show, Hamill steps right back into character (along with stills from the show!), although 20 years of prison has certainly made the Trickster more menacing the second time around. The episode even finds a way to pair John Wesley Shipp and Hamill together again for a couple scenes when the escaping villain chooses Henry Allen as his hostage of choice.
“Rogue Time” isn’t a bad episode by any stretch of the imagination but it’s hard not to feel disappointed when it undoes so much of what made last week’s show the best episode of the series so far. Stuck “a day and some change” in the past, Barry (Grant Gustin) has the chance to relive the events the past two days. Despite warnings from Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanagh) about not diluting the time steam with any changes, Barry chooses to act on his knowledge of the past taking down Mark Mardon (Liam McIntyre) before he can threaten Joe (Jesse L. Martin) or paralyze Singh (Patrick Sabongui).