Screen / The Flash

The Flash: “Rogue Air”

Oh my God, I don’t want to see Oliver Queen on this show anymore.  I don’t mind crossovers. In fact, I love a good one. But by nature crossovers are meant to be rare. When they happen over and over again, they lose a lot of their charm, and if there was any doubt that Flarrow didn’t know what it was doing with its crossovers, its made clear with “Rogue Air”, which is a too packed episode that manages to squish in a last-minute battle with Reverse Flash with assists from Oliver and Firestorm.  

I don’t hate Oliver Queen by any means, and though I am not as caught up on his show as I’d like to be, I know the gist. And I know there’s little rhyme or reason to his appearance in Central City to help Barry out this time around (apparently having left everyone in Starling to choke on poisonous gas or something?). And for a show that’s been so invested in building Barry up as a speedster, devoting time in most episode to him discovering some new limit or information about his powers, bringing in help to have him take on his biggest enemy feels cheap. Barry should have been able to take on Wells on his own, and there’s still time for that in next week’s finale, but bringing in help for a confusingly shot and also confusingly concocted fight sequence just feels like the two shows wanting to squeeze in one last crossover to close out the season.

The fight itself makes little sense, as I’m not sure what the point is of either of them being there. Firestorm is dispatched fairly quickly and Barry has to save him, while Oliver gets an extended fight sequence with the Reverse Flash, which may be the most annoying bit of the whole thing. This is The Flash, not Arrow, and I’m not watching it to see Oliver Queen take on a speedster. I’m also over the show pushing the ridiculous notion that Oliver, however impressive his skills may be, would be able to handle a metahuman on his own. And i’m offended that we have to spend so much time watching that be proven, and that we even have to watch Oliver be the one to take down Wells, Barry effectively removed from his own boss battle.

And it’s not like this episode is any more flattering for Barry, who is particularly dumb throughout. I suppose we’re supposed to take this as him being overwhelmed by Reverse Flash’s speed superiority and desperate to stop him by whatever means necessary. These means are by enlisting Captain Cold (mysteriously sans Heat Wave) and Golden Glider to move their metahumans to Lian Yu and save them from being zapped and killed by a newly reactivated particle accelerator.  Why Barry does this I just don’t know (especially since we find out by episode’s end that he has more reliable friends to turn to for help), and why he persists despite the obvious pitfalls, pointed out to him by a skeptical Joe is beyond me. It feels much like the episode’s final moments, just looking for one last go of it with Wentworth Miller and Captain Cold, probably to further plug next season’s other DC show Legends of Tomorrow. And as much as I kind of enjoyed the sightings of past villains of the week, I have to admit I forgot about most of them, with the exception of Mark Mardon (Liam Mcintyre) and Shawna Baez (Britne Oldford) so seeing them all wasn’t that great.

The Flash  is trying to kill Barry and Iris for me, and I feel they are succeeding. This season started with me anticipating the inevitable Barry and Iris hookup, with the typical beats all present and accounted for. When Barry confessed his feelings to Iris, it was one of the show’s best Barry/iris moments, but their relationship’s been tainted ever since. The prolonged secret keeping was a major blow against Iris and Barry’s relationship, and though last week’s episode provided some much needed steps in the right direction for them, it wasn’t without its flaws. And this episode has Eddie breaking things off with Iris, because since everyone’s set on Iris never making any decisions herself, Eddie’s too freaked out by future Iris being future Mrs. West-Allen to want to be with her anymore. And Iris tries to defend herself against Eddie’s anxieties by explaining that she can make her own decisions and choose her own future, which gives the Barry/Iris relationship the lazy and uncomfortable designation as simply being “fated”.  That’s all well and good, but why do I want to root for a couple that may not actually want to be together but is just giving into the universe’s greater plan by doing so?

Stray Observations

  • Cisco realizes that Wells was using the wheelchair to power himself up, making him faster than Barry. So why didn’t anyone suggest that Barry sit his butt down in that chair, too?
  • Cisco and Lisa’s flirting was kind of cute. Sort of into it? Sort of into anyone flirting with Cisco because Cisco’s adorable?
  • The DA’s name is Cecile, and she’s adorable and should be in more episodes next season.
  • Further proof that Iris knowing things is a good idea: She saves Caitlin when Shawna escapes her cell.
  • Did Ronnie even have lines?
  • People start questioning the morality of the pipeline prison and that’s nice and then they just decide that it’s necessary anyway? Okay….
  • Tom Cavanaugh’s done really great work as Wells in recent episode, now that his real intentions are all out there. And while it’s tempting to see Cavanaugh return for another go of it, I’m going to cross my fingers and hope not. That’s just not in the cards for creators who have kept Malcolm Merlyn around on Arrow as if he isn’t the worst person alive.

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