Times Have Changed: A Recap of ‘Flash’ S1 EP 16

Posted in TV, TV Recaps by - March 25, 2015
Times Have Changed: A Recap of ‘Flash’ S1 EP 16

If time travel were possible, most people would instinctively want to change some things in their past to make their future better. After the accidental discovery of his ability to do exactly that, Barry faces the dilemmas of altering events of the past in this week’s episode, Rogue Time. Confused by his temporal displacement, Barry re-lives events from episode 15 with the perks of knowing what will happen next, and the ability to change its outcome. Naturally, his hero-instincts push him towards capturing Mark Mardon before he wreaks havoc, despite a serious warning from Dr. Wells about causing great disruption to the events of the future. Barry believes the fear of the unknown potential future is not worth the risk of the future he had experienced in Out of Time (Flash, S01E15). With his new knowledge, Barry captures Mardon early on in the episode which ultimately saves everyone in Central City, including Joe and Cisco (the two characters who met their fate in the alternate timeline of last week). Joe then becomes suspicious of the record timing of Mardon‘s capture, but is kept in the dark about Barry’s time travel. Cisco and Caitlin decide to attend Dante’s birthday, which Cisco had avoided in last week’s episode. By literally running back in time, Barry misses Caitlin’s warning about Dr. Wells, because the characters of this “new” timeline make different decisions resulting in a different course of events. This new string of events includes the return of Leonard Snart a.k.a Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller, Prison Break), Micky Rory a.k.a Heatwave (Dominic Purcell, Prison Break), and the introduction of Lisa Snart a.k.a Golden Glider (Peyton List, Mad Men).

As mentioned in last week’s review (Forecast: Tidal Waves with a Chance of Time Travel), this series combines the fun of the comics with the formulas of serialized television to reach a wide range of viewers. The concepts of heroes and villains, however, may escape the more rational of viewers, especially with characters like Captain Cold, Heatwave, and Golden Glider. The only way this seems to work so well, is of course due to the way these characters are presented to us. Miller and Purcell have had a successful work history in their hit series Prison Break (2005) many years ago. Both actors are on screen again, but this time playing the less serious roles of comic-book villains. The series does a well-enough job of convincing its audience to believe in concepts of super-powered (and costumed) beings, time-travel, futuristic technology, and even a super intelligent Gorilla! (See Flash, S01E12). While there is a distinction between the realism from the cinematic universes and the television series’ – the performances its actors bring to the characters they’re portraying helps in a large way to reel its audiences in to the premise and concept. Being his first television appearance, Miller’s delivery of Captain Cold is a bit cheeky, and yet so uniquely ideal for the world of Flash. The same can be said of the previous guest stars, who compliment the performances of the show’s main cast and heroes.

A particular focus of this week’s episode was to illustrate three truths about Barry’s ability to time travel. The first truth is that, no matter how many times he tries to alter events of the past, certain events are meant to happen one way or another. In the episode, Cisco does not die after discovering Wells’ secret, however, he is captured and nearly killed by an equal force. The second truth is that, by changing events of the past, Barry is creating alternate timelines in which events of the future are derailed in unforeseeable ways. For example, Snart and his gang taking Cisco and his brother hostage, lead them to discovering the Flash’s true identity. If there are any certainties when it comes to superheroes, its that when their villains discover their identities, their threat-level increases drastically. The third truth about Barry’s time travel abilities is that, his knowledge of what will happen is simultaneously helpful and unhelpful, making it difficult to invoke, or replicate, certain events. This is humorously shown during Barry’s conversation with Iris, in which he confidently tries to ignite their confessions of love for each other only to discover that Iris has not arrived at the same level of emotions he was expecting. Sadly, Barry is shot down by Iris for the second time, after having ended his relationship with Linda.

Meanwhile, Mason’s investigation of Simon Stagg’s disappearance continues, despite Barry’s subtle dissuasion that Wells had nothing to do with it. The Reverse Flash pays Mason a private visit, which ends brutally for Mason. With the sudden disappearance of the journalist who proclaims having proof of Wells’ involvement in Stagg’s death – Barry meets with Joe to re-visit their suspicions of Wells.

Next Week’s Episode, Tricksters, will stray further away from the series’ current tone and themes to introduce a new character, and special cameo by Star Wars’ very own Mark Hamill! Hamill is also widely recognized for his iconic voice-performance as the Joker in the incredibly successful cartoon, Batman: The Animated Series (1992).

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