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‘The Flash’ Recap: ‘Rogue Air’ is in a League of Its Own

by  in Comic News, TV News Comment
‘The Flash’ Recap: ‘Rogue Air’ is in a League of Its Own

Fans of “The Flash” may have just witnessed the birth of two classic DC Comics teams. Let’s start with the villains, shall we?

This week, Harrison Wells is up to his old tricks, seeking to activate the particle accelerator, which would have the immediate effect of killing all of the villains imprisoned in the bowels of STAR Labs. This makeshift prison has been a point of contention both in the show and among fans all season, and that moral quandary finally comes home to roost.

By placing his captured foes in this improvised Supermax, Barry Allen assumed responsibility for their safety. So when STAR Labs is about to blow up due to the actions of Harrison Wells, it’s up to Barry to save the criminals he finds so reprehensible. Despite the drama, one good thing that comes out of the villains’ escape is Team Flash finding Eddie Thawne. Iris and Eddie are reunited, but the tension is palpable as Eddie now knows that, in the future, Iris and Barry will be married. But before that bit of drama can be dealt with, The Flash has to solve his villain problem.

He initially tries to enlist the help of Oliver Queen and ARGUS, but strikes out, so Barry must make a deal with the devil to save his enemies: He turns to Captain Cold. Always a step ahead of hero and villain alike, Cold agrees to help, but only if The Flash will erase all records of Len Snart from FBI and police databases. Barry is forced to comply, giving Snart his first victory of the episode. It isn’t his last, however.

Among the fugitives Cold helps The Flash transfer are Weather Wizard, Rainbow Raider, Deathbolt, Peek-a-boo and the Mist, all former freaks of the week who pose a major threat to Central City. Of course, Joe West has his doubts trusting the Snart siblings, but Barry can’t see any other way to responsibly protect the villains. Well, of course, the Snarts play everybody and sabotage the truck transporting the metahumans. Not even Cisco’s scientific genius can counter Snart’s treachery, as the power dampeners fail and the villains break loose. So now all the villains are free, and they all owe Captain Cold a favor. Well, not all the villains, as Deathbolt runs afoul of Cold, resulting in his icy death.

Captain Cold proves this week he really is The Flash’s most cunning adversary, but in doing so also teaches the Scarlet Speedster a lesson: Barry Allen isn’t Oliver Queen; he can’t walk that line of good and evil. This might have been the binding theme of the season, affirming Barry as the nice-guy hero who will become a legend when he realizes just who he’s meant to be. That’s not a dark and brooding figure of justice, but a bastion of light and kindness. He’s not someone who makes deals with mercenaries to secretly move illegally imprisoned killers in the dead of night. He’s a shining example of righteousness who inspires, not a morally ambiguous hero who plays fast and loose with the law. Captain Cold shows Barry that if he tries to walk in a dark world he will lose every time.

Barry fails against Cold, but that isn’t his only test this week. Cold may have gotten the better of Team Flash, but the Reverse-Flash is still out there, and the accelerator was ready to activate, giving Barry little time to brood about his shortcomings. Not long after Captain Cold defeats Barry, Wells arrives to challenge him once again. Barry hasn’t been able to defeat the Reverse-Flash yet, but this time he has help in the form of the Firestorm and a black-clad Oliver Queen. Yeah, not only do the Rogues begin to take shape, but we also see the framework of a proto-Justice League.

Wells doesn’t stand a chance against the combined force of Barry, Oliver and Ronnie — not when the Arrow arrives with nanotech created by Ray Palmer (so technically, we have four JLAers) that shuts down the Reverse-Flash’s speed. The Flash may have been out of his element against Cold, but with his friends at his side and his heart in the right place, Barry Allen finally takes down his greatest enemy. The battle also sets up Barry’s coming appearance on this week’s episode of “Arrow.” (Not everything is hearts and flowers, however, as Iris and Eddie break up because of Wells’ machinations.)

Speaking of the Justice League, Team Flash pays a visit in “Rogue Air” to an abandoned Ferris Air hangar. Barry informs his friends the company closed after one of their test pilots disappeared. Truly, “The Flash” is the DC Comics fan’s best friend.

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