The clock on the wall says it’s time for Flash spoilers for those who haven’t seen “Rogue Time.”
Last week’s completely bonkers episode ”Out of Time” revealed how time travel works in this universe, and boy did it cause some disruptions in the timeline. Not enough to affect Dr. Wells’ future, though, and his main advice to Barry throughout the episode is, “Do everything the exact same way,” even though that would inevitably just cause Barry to go back in time again. Thankfully, Barry changed things up almost immediately and this week’s installment served as a strange mirror version of last week’s episode. Here are the five biggest change-ups that Barry’s mucking about caused.
Different Villains, Different Victims. Last week, Mark “Weather Wizard” Mardon was on the loose, and he trapped a broken-legged Joe while unleashing a massive tsunami on Central City, which is what caused Barry to run so fast that he traveled back in time in the first place. This week, Joe and Captain Singh are safe as Barry immediately takes care of Mardon; but this somehow allows Captain Cold and Heat Wave (along with Lisa “Golden Glider” Snart) to wreak havoc through the city, and they choose to go after Cisco by kidnapping him and his brother Dante. Which seemed like a terrible move, given Cisco’s blatant disdain for him, but the loveable mope still chose to save Dante in the end. Which leads us to…
The Flash’s Identity Comes Out, But Not to Iris. Last week, Barry takes a last-minute risk by revealing his identity to Iris before attempting to stop the tsunami. This week, he never gets the chance, and nor does he have a reason to. Instead, Captain Cold uses Dante’s safety as leverage to get Barry’s identity out of Cisco. So now Flash has a bitter enemy holding onto his biggest secret – which will remain untold because Captain Cold apparently doesn’t mind making deals – instead of the woman he loves. Speaking of…
Iris is Staying With Eddie. Last week, after Barry revealed himself (or his identity, as it were) to Iris, she confessed her feelings for him and they had the magical kiss that Barry has been waiting for. This week, without a major disaster giving him the impetus to get things off of his chest, he proactively assumes that Iris’ affection is ever-present and tries to woo her out of the blue. Iris balks and tells him that she’s still in love with Eddie, who later decks Barry in the face for trying to mess with his woman. It was all okay in the end, thanks to a TERRIBLE excuse from Caitlin, but Barry is once again left with a lonely heart. But he’s got other things on his mind.
Barry Suspects Dr. Wells, Instead of Cisco. Last week, news of Joe’s investigation into Dr. Wells led Cisco to perform a little sleuthing of his own, which ended with Wells revealing that he is Eobard “Reverse Flash” Thawne and subsequently murdering Cisco. This week, Wells still gets to share his “love you like a son” speech with Cisco, but it’s under better circumstances since Cisco has no reason to suspect the stuck-in-time doc of any wrongdoing. But by the end of the episode, it’s Barry himself that holds all the suspicions, although he still doesn’t know who Wells is. I’m waiting for the “but he doesn’t know we know he knows we know” conversation that’s inevitably coming to S.T.A.R. Labs.
Mason Bridge is Dead. Iris’ reporter co-worker Mason Bridge hasn’t really done a whole lot in this series beyond harboring huge suspicions about Dr. Wells and his work. (And reminding me of Don McManus, for what that’s worth.) But all it takes is getting too invested in Wells’ life to jumpstart one’s own death sentence, and Reverse-Flash murders Mason in cold blood and destroys all of the reporter’s research. It’s his death that broadens Barry’s concerns for where Wells’ loyalty lies, but now a good chunk of evidence is no longer there.
Thankfully, the episode ended without another trip back through time, but Barry is now more determined than ever to get back into the distant past to try and save his mother. Find out how far he gets next week when another episode of The Flash airs next week on The CW.