The Flash family expands in this week’s episode — literally — with the introduction of Leonard Snart’s sister Lisa, AKA the Golden Glider (first introduced in June 1977’s Flash #250). She’s played by The Tomorrow People‘s Peyton List (which marks the second major player from the late CW show — after Robbie Amell — to feature on The Flash). Though Lisa Snart began in the comics as a sort of super figure-skater, and eventually employed a form of astral projection, here she’s simply given a weapon, similar to her brother’s cold gun, which coats her victims in gold. Unfortunately, she’s not given much of a character arc or the psychological motivation with which the show usually characterizes its villains. She simply teams up with Leonard and his partner Mick Rory (Heat Wave) in another attempt to stop the Flash from interfering with their robberies. This time around, they’re targeting the Santini mob family and their Central City casino.
The sibling story given depth in “Rogue Time” focuses on Cisco, and his attempt to reconnect with his brother Dante, a virtuoso pianist favored by their parents; who never quite understood the brainier brother’s passion for engineering. After getting snubbed by Dante at his birthday party, Cisco winds up drinking his cares away at a bar, only to be lured into a trap by Lisa. Captured by Snart and Rory, he’s forced to build them new weapons, since they lost their original models, as well as Lisa’s new toy. But the never-satisfied Captain Cold also kidnaps Dante as a bargaining chip, to get Cisco to reveal the Flash’s identity. To his credit, Dante admits to a lifelong jealousy of his brother for following his heart, and apologizes for once stealing the love of his life away from him. He also redeems himself by trying in vain to sneak up on a distracted Rory.
The other major storyline in “Rogue Time” belongs to Barry himself, who begins the episode having traveled a day into the past while trying to stop the Weather Wizard from destroying the city via a tsunami at the end of last week’s “Out of Time.” Wells is insistent that he reveal nothing about the future, lest he set off a cataclysmic chain of events, Back to the Future II style. Barry, however, can’t resist stopping Weather Wizard before he can even put his plan into action. But Barry’s preemptive attempt to get Iris to admit her feelings for him (which she confessed when her dad was captured by the super-cad last week) backfires, resulting in Eddie belting Barry with a right hook. Caitlin, ever the resourceful one, manages to patch things up by explaining that Barry suffers from “lightning psychosis” as a result of his coma-inducing accident, which sometimes causes him to express inappropriate emotions.
With Snart now aware of the Flash’s secret identity, the speedster gives the career criminal an ultimatum — he can go after all the banks he wants, but if he threatens Barry’s friends, he’ll go straight to jail regardless of who he tells Barry’s secret to. Snart, for the time being agrees, enjoying the sound of the name with which Barry dubs his gang of crooks — the “Rogues.”
Rogue Time, while enjoyable for the backstory it gives Cisco, ultimately feels like a transition episode between bigger crises, with no standout effects sequence (save Lisa’s gold gun). Its most significant story beat occurs when the Reverse-Flash murders Iris’ fellow reporter Mason for his continued investigation of Harrison Wells, and Barry finally wakes up to the fact that Wells has blood on his hands. The cross-temporal incidents of “Out of Time” and “Rogue Time” notwithstanding, when significant events happen on The Flash, they rarely fail to have consequences.
— After “Out of Time” I had a hunch not all of the episode’s spilled secrets would remain spilled once Barry went back in time, but it was a little frustrating to see none of them left open. Still, it’s satisfying to see Barry take an appropriately active role in the season’s biggest crime/mystery. Cisco did what he could, but he was no match for the Reverse-Flash.
— It was creepy to hear — in a much different context — Wells once more use the very words he spoke to Cisco in “Out of Time” before murdering him: “In many ways you have shown me what it’s like to have a son…”
— Barry tries running, to no avail, on STAR Labs’ treadmill to again break the time barrier. As comic fans well know, the “cosmic treadmill” is most frequently used to send Barry through time.
— Though I feel for Linda when Barry doesn’t deny his feelings for Iris, her “Your heart should ache for me” sounds just a little too needy. (Haven’t they only been dating a few weeks?) Perhaps the opposite is true and she just doesn’t care much at all. She’s pretty quick to tell him to “go get” Iris.
— “Dinosaurs Vs. Robots Vs. Aliens” I need to shop where Cisco gets his t-shirts.
— Wells isn’t to be trusted, but methinks his warning to Barry — that if he goes back in time to save his mom’s life, other lives might be endangered — will prove prophetic.
— Wentworth Miller’s voice is what really sells his Leonard Snart. It’s confident, seductive, and chilling. Everything Captain Cold should be.
— “You really were onto the story of the century. Well, this century anyway.”
— I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… Could Eddie have more to do with the Reverse-Flash than being a mere distant relative?
Next week: Mark Hamill’s Trickster returns to Central City after a twenty-year absence, and plays Dennis Hopper to Barry’s Keanu Reeves. Call it Super Speed.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (@JMaCabre).