Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Flash Season 1, Episode 22: Rogue Air

It's no secret around these parts that The Flash has quickly (heh) become my new favorite TV series. That said, there's one major part of the show that's been bugging me all season, that finally gets addressed this week.

So what's the big problem? Dr. Wells' Secret Super Jail. As Barry's been defeating metahumans over the season, Wells has been locking them up in tiny little cells inside his particle accelerator. Without a trial, I might add. As you might guess, putting someone in prison without the benefit of due process is illegal.

Wells rationalized this setup by stating that neither the Central City Police Department or Iron Heights Prison have adequate facilities to house superpowered villains. That's no doubt true, but it doesn't change the fact that he and the rest of the STAR Labs Gang, including the Flash, are all guilty of unlawful imprisonment. Whether they're criminals or not, they still have the right to a trial.

At first I thought Wells and the Gang were keeping the Prison a secret among themselves, but there were a couple of episodes in which Joe was there when a metahuman was jailed. So then I thought maybe Joe and the CCPD gave Wells their blessing and were letting him house the super criminals, and we just never got to see their actual trials. Nope.

This episode firmly established that Joe knows about the Prison (and willingly went along with it) but the CCPD doesn't. Not good.

The show finally takes the time to deal with the situation this week. Well, sort of. They bring up the matter, but instead of coming up with a satisfying solution, they simply choose to ship them off to another secret prison on a remote island. I'm hoping next season the Atom or someone will donate a special, officially sanctioned Metahuman wing to Iron Heights Prison, so we can finally drop the matter once and for all.


The Plot:
Cisco examines Dr. Wells' now-abandoned wheelchair and discovers it contains a futuristic device that's been charging his super speed all the time he's been sitting on it. Interesting. So I guess that means he's been absorbing the speed force through his butt all season.

We also find out that Wells was indeed hiding under the particle accelerator last week, and uses his futuristic key thing to power it up. As the STAR Labs Gang heads down to investigate, Wells zooms out of the accelerator, but not before freeing Peek-A-Boo, one of the metahumans being imprisoned there.

Barry chases after Wells, but just isn't fast enough to catch him. Peek-A-Boo uses her teleportation powers to take out Cisco and Joe, and is just about to attack Caitlin, when Iris sneaks up behind her and knocks her out cold.

The Gang finds Eddie tied up under the accelerator and free him. Cisco notes that the accelerator will be fully charged in thirty six hours. When that happens, it'll likely fry the other metahumans they're keeping there. Barry decides that moving them is the right thing to do.

Barry wants to move them to his pal Arrow's Super Secret Prison on the island of Lian Yu. Joe's not happy about that idea, as it just means moving them from one illegal jail to another. Barry contacts Arrow's staff and sets it up anyway.

Barry knows he'll need help transporting the metahumans to the airport, so he reluctantly turns to Captain Cold for assistance. Cold agrees to help, if Barry will erase all info on him from the Central City Police Department AND from the internet. Good luck with that last one! Barry has no choice but to agree, and does so.

Meanwhile, Eddie breaks off his engagement with Iris. When she tearfully asks why, he says it's because Wells showed him the future, in which she and Barry are married. Iris protests, saying she controls her own destiny, but Eddie tells her there's always been three people in their relationship. Kinky! Actually Eddie's right, as he finally faces the truth about him and Iris.

The Gang loads the metahumans, including Weather Wizard, Peek-A-Boo, Rainbow Raider, Nimbus and Deathbolt, into the truck. Exactly how they accomplished this isn't explained. Did Cold freeze them? Cisco activates some kind of technobabble device that dampens their powers, and they head for the airport. Cold's sister Golden Glider drives the truck, because she's the only one with a Class A license. Seriously. Oh, and she flirts shamelessly with Cisco.

Inside the truck the power damper shorts out and the metahumans regain their powers. They burst out of the truck just as it pulls into the airport, and Weather Wizard uses lightning to shoot down the transport plane that's coming for them.

The Flash intervenes, but is no match for five supervillains. He realizes Cold double crossed him. Gosh, Barry, you think? Cold, Glider and the other metahumans all escape into the night.

The Gang rush back to the particle accelerator, which is now fully charged. Wells arrives to do whatever it is he's going to do with it. Barry confronts him, but Wells says he's too fast for him. Just then Barry's pals Arrow and Firestorm arrive, and after a budget-conscious, too-short battle, they manage to knock him out.

• The title of the episode is of course an homage to Con-Air, the Jerry Bruckheimer action fest.

• Last week I mentioned that in the Tricksters episode, Barry searched the entire city at super speed in order to find a bomb. I wondered why he didn't do the same to find Eddie.

Welp... apparently he did! This week Iris mentions Barry searching the whole city for Eddie. I know this episode was filmed weeks ago, but sometimes it seems like the writers are listening to my complaints.

• When Cisco shows the Gang the battery Wells was using to charge his super speed, Joe says, "Can't get that at RadioShack!" Ahem. Funny he should mention them, as they just closed over half their U.S. stores a couple months ago.

Oddly enough, just last week on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson brought Agent Koenig a SkyMall catalog, and he had a line about how they'll never go out of business. Whoops! They filed for bankruptcy this year as well.

What's going on with superhero shows and bankrupt corporations?

• Last week Wells was holding Eddie hostage in some unidentified, underground location. It kind of looked like he was inside the particle accelerator, but it wasn't clear. This week we find out that Wells has indeed been hiding in the accelerator.

• Just as Peek-A-Boo is about to attack Caitlin, Iris sneaks up and clocks her. This is at least twice now that Iris has saved the day by clubbing someone in the back of the head. Maybe she should become a new superhero— the Clobberer.

• I've been harping on Dr. Wells' Secret Super Jail for some time now, so it's nice to see the situation finally being addressed. I assumed since Joe knew about it that he must have either been OK with it, or somehow authorized it with the Central City Police. Nope! Neither! In this episode he says he's never been a fan of unlawful imprisonment.

• For a superhero and a cop, Barry's getting pretty good at bending the law. Let's see now, he (and the rest of the Gang) are now guilty of illegal imprisonment, aiding and abetting a felon (Barry's deal with Captain Cold), human trafficking, conspiracy and at least two counts of manslaughter (Girder and Everyman). 

But it's all OK because Barry tells Joe ,"We only break the rules to help people." Um... breaking the law is still breaking the law, no matter what the reason, Barry.

• Barry somehow locates Captain Cold in a bar, and offers him a deal. Naturally, Foreigner's Cold As Ice is playing on the jukebox. At least he didn't play Let It Go.

• Once again we see there's apparently no security— heck, maybe even no front door— at STAR Labs. Known supervillain Captain Cold just waltzes right in.

• Cold agrees to help Barry transport the metahumans, but in return he wants all his criminal records erased from the CCPD AND from the internet. Barry agrees.

First of all, Barry's now in even more trouble than before. Not only is he already guilty of unlawful imprisonment, but now he's interfering with police records and/or falsifying records, which I have to imagine is a felony.

Secondly, good luck erasing Cold's identity from the internet! Once something's on the net, it's there forever. Yes, Barry mentions something about uploading a "virus" that'll erase all traces of Cold from the net, but it's sounds pretty weak.

• Naturally Captain Cold is one of the hundreds of people who knows that Barry's the Flash. Oddly enough, his sister Golden Glider doesn't know, and Cold assures Barry she won't learn his secret from him.

At this point it seems silly to even bother with the mask at all.

• Golden Glider drives the semi truck, because she's the only one with a Class A Commercial Driver's License. Because by all means, when you're secretly transporting supervillains from one illegal prison to another, you want to have the proper driving credentials.

Also, Glider can apparently drive a big rig without taking off her stiletto heels!

• The metahumans being transported are Weather Wizard, Peek-A-Boo, Rainbow Raider, The Mist and Deathbolt. For a minute I thought I was losing it, because I couldn't for the life of me remember any Deathbolt on the show before. 

Turns out he never was— he crossed over from Arrow, which I haven't been following this season (can't watch everything!). Whew!

• Barry & Co. take the metahumans to Ferris Air for transport. Um... didn't we see a couple weeks ago that Ferris was located in Coast City? How far did they drive them? Or is there a Ferris Air in Central City as well?

Speaking of Ferris, Barry mentions it was shut down "after one of their test pilots disappeared." That would be a reference to Green Lantern, and I hope that means he'll be showing up next season.

• Wells keeps his Reverse Flash suit in his ring! Just like the Flash does in the comic Squeeee!

• Arrow and Firestorm arrive to help Barry take out the Reverse Flash. So where the hell was the Atom? Surely Brandon Routh wasn't too busy to make an appearance?

I'm guessing the show couldn't afford him. Between the nine or ten guest stars and all the special effects, I'm betting the budget was stretched pretty thin this week.

By the way, when Ollie appears onscreen, naturally we hear his trademark "Arrow scream" musical sting on the soundtrack.

• It was nice to see Firestorm again, but I still wish his costume was a bit more elaborate.

• I'm still worried about Eddie. He's seen the future and knows that not only does he do nothing with his life, he doesn't end up with Iris either. I have this feeling that next week he's going to try and kill himself to prevent Wells from ever being born. I hope I'm wrong.


  1. You might recall that at the end of the Ninth Doctor's first adventure, he gives Mickey a cd which contains a virus which will wipe out all mention of him from the internet. Maybe Barry somehow got a copy of the code from Mickey.

  2. I think you'd need Time Lord technology to pull off a feat like that!


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