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Recap / The Flash (2014) S1 E16 "Rogue Time"

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Using his knowledge of the day he'd just lived through, Barry effortlessly captures the Weather Wizard, but the return of the Rogues to Central City is just part of a day that seems to keep getting worse.


Tropes:

  • Allohistorical Allusion: While in the Pipeline, Mark Mardon threatens to destroy Central City with a tidal wave once he breaks out.
  • Always Someone Better: Cisco and Dante realize they were actually this for each other: Dante is the clear favorite of their parents and got the girl Cisco had a crush on, while Cisco was able to develop his own life outside their parents' influence and do anything he wanted.
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  • Amicable Exes: Luckily for Barry, Linda is not the type of girl that takes a breakup too personally.
  • Anti-Climax: In regards to the original sequence of events: due to Barry ultimately deciding to neglect Thawne's advice to not alter time, he manages to end the Mark Mardon threat about 5 to 6 minutes into the episode. Unfortunately, this only gives way to the Rogues threat...
  • Antagonist Title: The title refers to the Power Trio of Captain Cold, Heat Wave and Golden Glider.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Once again, Snart takes a liking to a term someone else came up with, in this case Barry calling the gang a "Rogues Gallery".
  • Badass Normal: Captain Cold and Heatwave demonstrate they don't need their weapons to kick ass when they're hauled in front of the local don and his room full of goons with their hands restrained, but manage to effortlessly knock out all them in a minute.
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  • Batman Gambit: Snart's plan isn't to take over the city's underworld or to get revenge on the mob by attacking their casino; it's simply to get them to move their money where he can get to it.
  • Beneath the Mask: Despite his initial confident Jerkass appearance, Dante is deeply insecure and respects/loves his brother very much.
  • Blatant Lies: Caitlin says that Barry is suffering "lightning psychosis". But Eddie and Iris fall for it anyway.
  • Broken Aesop: Thawne warns Barry of the dangers of tampering with the past. While there are certainly some consequences (the Rogues gaining new guns and Captain Cold learning of Barry's secret identity), the new timeline is still a noticeable improvement over the previous one (where Cisco died, Captain Singh was crippled, Joe was in mortal danger, and a tsunami was about to hit Central City). Possibly justified though as this is Thawne giving the warning and likely has ulterior motives for not wanting Barry to use time travel.
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  • Broken Pedestal: At the end of the episode, Barry realizes that what Joe told him about "Wells" is in fact true.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Snart freezes Dante's hands and threatens to let them fall off so could never play the piano again, unless Cisco tells him The Flash's identity.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Lisa Snart simply states her excitement during a gunfight in a casino with her brother.
    Lisa: This is sick!
    Leonard: Well, you wanted us to spend more time together.
  • Celebrity Paradox: If Thawne did in fact did a Doctor Who Shout-Out (see below), then there are probably lookalikes of Malcolm Merlyn and Dinah Drake Lance in that show.
  • The Chew Toy: Poor Cisco just doesn't seem to catch a break, ranging from being The Unfavorite of his parents to being seduced into a hostage by Snart's sister. At least he doesn't get killed by Thawne.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: A literal example. See Fingore below.
  • Cool, but Inefficient: Dante is a pianist, which impresses his parents much more than Cisco's career. But as he points out, he still has to live with his parents because he's at a "crap job with no pay."
  • Cooperation Gambit: Barry and Snart come to an agreement: Barry won't do everything in his power to take down Snart and his gang regardless of Snart threatening to tell everyone who he is, but Snart in exchange won't go anywhere near Barry's friends or loved ones and his crimes won't involve any more deaths.
  • Cosmic Retcon: The effect of Barry's Time Travel.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Len Snart, as usual; he expected Cisco to mess up with the weapons, but this didn't work because he and Mick are already familiar enough with the mechanisms to detect any sabotage or flaw. He also has back-ups that will reveal Barry's identity if something happens to him.
  • Cutting the Knot: Instead of letting the events involving Mark Mardon repeat themselves, Barry just zooms around the city until he finds his hideout, then whisks him off to the Pipeline.
  • Dark Action Girl: Lisa Snart is having the time of her life at the shootout in the casino alongside her brother.
  • Easily Forgiven: Barry doesn't even gets angry with Cisco when the latter confesses that he told Snart about his secret identity to prevent Snart from doing a Career-Ending Injury to Dante.
  • Equivalent Exchange: Thawne mentions this to Barry by saying that while Time Travel may cause Cosmic Retcon, any of the rectified event(s) may be "filled in" by something of the same worth. And it does as noted in the following:
    • The threat of Mark Mardon gets replaced by Cold, Heatwave and Lisa Snart.
    • Thawne's murdering of Cisco gets replaced by Thawne's murdering of Mason Bridge. Both done in the same manner and circumstances to hammer the point.
    • At the previous episode, Cisco implied that he doesn't get along well with his family while Iris realizes her feelings for Barry. It gets replaced with Cisco reconciling with his family at the expense of Iris' Love Epiphany being negated.
    • Iris learning Barry's the Flash is replaced by Snart learning it.
    • Cisco getting murdered in the lab after his faith in “Wells” is shattered is replaced by Cisco nearly leaving the crew after his faith in himself is shattered. Both versions come with the apparently genuine speech from “Wells” describing how he views Cisco as a son, the second version being a bit more heartwarming since “Wells” doesn’t have his hand poised to murder Cisco while saying it.
    • Cisco realizing the truth is replaced by Barry himself realizing it. Fortunately, unlike Cisco, Barry has a much better chance of doing something to stop him.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Snart says he would do anything to protect his family.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Leonard Snart is a downplayed example of this; in their last confrontation, Snart tells Barry that the reason he steals and breaks the law is for the thrill, at the same time assuming that Barry as the Flash goes after people like him for that same adrenaline rush.
  • Exact Words: Cisco asks the hot girl he's dating if she's only interested in him because it was a prank. Thing is, the girl never said "no", now, did she?
  • Fingore: Snart gives Cisco's pianist brother frostbite in his fingers, and threatens to freeze them off completely if he doesn't reveal who the Flash is.
  • For Want of a Nail:
    • Because of Barry capturing Mark Mardon significantly early, Cisco is freed up to go to his brother's birthday. This kicks off a sequence of events whereupon he gets captured by Captain Cold and Heat Wave, building them new weapons in exchange for his brother's safety and, ultimately, revealing to Captain Cold that Barry is the Flash.
    • Because of Barry distracting Iris from her co-worker's investigation into "Harrison Wells", Iris never becomes an Unwitting Instigator of Doom which winds up killing Cisco. However, the co-worker decides to go on without her, leading to Thawne killing him.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: A single instance variant. Rather than show up alongside his past self, Barry's jaunt into the past causes him to relive the day. How this works is not explained.
  • Heel Realization: While both of them are being held hostage, Cisco's brother realized how shitty of a brother he has been to him.
  • He Knows Too Much: Eobard Thawne kills Iris' Intrepid Reporter boss for trailing him.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: After his Heel Realization, Cisco's brother charges on Heatwave so they, or at least Cisco, can escape. While he's expecting Redemption Equals Death, the outcome was thankfully the other way around.
  • Hiding Behind the Language Barrier: Dante and Cisco switch between Spanish and English in front of Heatwave, depending on whether or not they're okay with him overhearing them.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Because Thawne demands that Barry not tell him what happened in the alternate timeline he misses that Barry talked to someone that knew too much. His death in this timeline clues Barry in that he was right about Thawne.
  • Hostage Situation: The Rogues kidnapped Cisco and his brother. Later, Barry points a gun at Golden Glider so Captain Cold will reveal the Ramon brothers' location.
  • Hypocrite: Eobard Thawne of all people chastises Barry for tampering with the timeline. Justified example as he can't exactly reveal his own time travel secrets.
  • Hypocrite Has a Point: Eobard Thawne may have no moral authority to say anything about time travel, but he is right in that time travel is dangerous.
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: Dante may come off as haughty, but he is deeply insecure and feels jealous of Cisco.
  • In Spite of a Nail:
    • Cisco and Thawne still wind up having a conversation in the trap room, and Thawne still tells Cisco he is like a son to him. Thankfully, that's as far as it goes.
    • Thawne still kills someone via the vibrating hand in order to protect his secrets.
    • Someone loses faith in "Harrison Wells".
    • Iris still has someone cause her to question her feelings about Barry.
    • Barry's secret identity still gets found out by someone.
  • Irony: Thawne was pissed Barry ignored him and changed the timeline, but by doing so Barry unwittingly protected Thawne's secret and prevented Thawne from having to kill Cisco, which Thawne admitted in the erased timeline he regretted having to do.
    • Thawne tells Barry that the new timeline might have possibly worse things in store for him if he tries to change anything. However, from Barry's perspective the timeline change is much better. Sure, he lost Iris' confession, but now he knows that her feelings for him are there, if buried. Sure, his secret identity is compromised, but he'd take that instead of jeopardizing the Wests and the people of Central City. And, not only does he lock up one supervillain, he talks another one into upholding Thou Shalt Not Kill.
    • Also, the new timeline actually hampers Thawne: in exchange for Cisco's loss of faith in him, he gets Barry's—and Barry is in a much better position than Cisco to do something about it.
  • It Only Works Once: Barry can't time travel again no matter how fast he goes, leading Thawne to speculate that there are other factors involved besides going fast enough.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Barry refers to Captain Cold and his pals as a Rogues Gallery.
  • Like a Son to Me: When Cisco tries to quit after being forced to reveal Barry's identity to Snart, Thawne persuades him to stay by telling him how much the team cares about him. He then uses the same line as in the previous version of the timeline and tells Cisco that he has shown him what it's like to have a son. This time it's much more heartwarming (although heavy with dramatic irony), as it isn't followed by Cisco's murder.
  • Locking MacGyver in the Store Cupboard: Averted. With the Rogues holding his brother hostage to force him to rebuild their guns, Cisco makes no attempts to escape.
  • Meaningful Echo:
    • Mark Mardon says the exact same thing that his brother Clyde did when first meeting the Flash.
    • Cisco and Thawne again have a conversation in the trap room where Thawne tells Cisco he considers him almost like a son...only this time without the whole revealing his true identity and killing him end of the conversation.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Barry challenging Snart to becoming a Noble Demon references his comic book counterpart who avoids harming innocent people.
    • Thawne's warnings to Barry about him tampering with the timeline and trying to save his mother are a reference to the events of the Flashpoint storyline, as wells as unintentional Foreshadowing to the events of Season 3.
    • Don Santini was a Gotham crime lord who appeared briefly in 1990.
    • Lisa Snart specifically requests a golden weapon, referencing her comics identity, the Golden Glider. Additionally, she disguises herself as a blond, her original hair color in the comics.
    • Cold likes the name "Rogues", which is what his group of supervillains is known as in the comics.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Thawne killing Mason Bridge before he can publish his accusations of Thawne killing Simon Stagg unwittingly gets Barry to realize that Joe may have been right about, due his conversation with Bridge in the original timeline.
  • Noble Demon: Barry challenges Snart by pointing out that he's smart enough not to have to kill anyone to pull off his heists. Snart agrees to give it a go as a Cooperation Gambit with Barry so they don't have to destroy one another.
  • Oblivious Guilt Slinging: After Barry reluctantly agrees not to tamper with events, he runs into Joe - who promises to get Mardon even if it kills him. Less than forty seconds later, Barry dumps Mardon in the Pipeline.
  • Oh, Crap!: Barry gets hit with this a few times.
    Cold: "Hello, Cisco. What exactly are your intentions with my sister?"
  • Plot Hole: It's never spelled out how Thawne finds out about Bridge's story on him, but it's most likely that he's using Gideon to help keep tabs on things.
  • Plot Parallel: Thawne tells Barry that Iris' feelings for Barry are buried deep and only came out in the alternate timeline because of the dire situation they were in. Early in this episode we see that Cisco and his brother are antagonistic toward each other, but after both are held hostage they are able to bond with each other.
  • Reality Ensues: When Barry snatches Cold off his bike his sister tries to Take the Wheel from the side car, and cause the bike to veer off course as she tires to climb out, crashing into Heatwave, bringing the heist to a close.
  • Redemption Earns Life: Cisco's brother actually expected a Redemption Equals Death by attempting to take Heat Wave down or at least stall him so Cisco, the brother he mocked most of his life, could escape. Though he suffered a nasty Fingore courtesy of Captain Cold, the incident obviously repaired the Ramon brothers' strained relationship.
  • Revealing Cover Up: Thawne kills the reporter who had been investigating him. The man's sudden disappearance prompts Barry to reconsider his dismissal of the reporter's insinuations about Thawne from the previous iteration of the day.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Everything that Thawne says during the conversation in which Barry tells him about what happened in the previous timeline has layers upon layers of extra meaning that only become evident once you know his true identity and circumstances.
  • Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: Barry still remembers what happened originally in the timeline despite having altered the crap out of it.
  • Sadistic Choice: Captain Cold gives Cisco two choices; either he tells him The Flash's Secret Identity or he'll Fingore his brother much worse than he already did.
  • The Schlub Pub Seduction Deduction: Cisco Ramon, meet Snart's sister, Lisa.
  • Secret Keeper:
    • Thawne is the only one who knows that Barry traveled back in time, and convinces Barry not to let anyone else know, presumably for his own nefarious reasons.
    • Due to the above stated Cooperation Gambit, Snart agrees to be this with Barry's identity.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Thanks to Barry ignoring Thawne's instructions, Cisco is alive, Mardon doesn't get a chance to destroy the city, and Captain Singh and Joe weren't severely injured.
  • Shout-Out: Thawne at one point says "Brave heart, Barry."
  • Sibling Rivalry: Between Dante and Cisco Ramon. See Always Someone Better for why this is.
  • Sibling Triangle: In high school, Cisco and his brother with "the love of Cisco's life".
  • Status Quo Is God: All the major events of the past episode are erased after Barry went back in time. Subverted in a sense though as Barry is now suspicious of Thawne.
  • The Stinger: A briefer one than normal. Barry and Joe meet in Barry's lab, where Barry confesses that he thinks Joe was right in his suspicions.
  • Talking the Monster to Death: The latest confrontation between Snart and the Flash amounts to one, with no flying fists.
  • Trojan Prisoner: Snart and Rory let themselves get captured in order to take over a local crime family. It's demonstrated that they can break free of their bonds any time they wish.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: The Rogues.
  • Weirder Than Usual: Barry at the crime scene, as Joe puts it.
  • What the Hell, Hero?
    • Thawne didn't like the fact that Barry used his "future" knowledge to change the events of "Out of Time".
    • Iris gets upset that Barry still tries to confess to her, even though he knows she's in a relationship with another man. Eddie is even less happy about it.
  • Wild Card Excuse: Caitlin claims that Barry has "lightning psychosis" to explain his odd behavior over the last few months, and specifically his poorly-timed confession to Iris. She also claims that the reason he's at STAR Labs so often is because it's a new condition that they're studying, wrapping up that thread as well.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: Cold tries to pull the Not So Different excuse as to why he is a criminal, believing that Flash saves people for the thrill of it. He doesn't seem to realize that Flash saves people because Good Feels Good.

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