Episode Title: Out of Time
Original Airdate: 3-17-2015
This is the episode that the show has been leading up to for quite a while now. All the way in the beginning with the pilot episode, this show has been teasing the time travel aspect and it’s finally come to the forefront. And while there were just a few missteps and obvious set ups, there were also so many great moments packed into this episode that it’s easily one of my favorites up to this point. The only downside, or upside depending on how you look at it, is that there are some major plot developments that are likely to be undone due to the time travel that happens at the end of the episode. And while I will be glad to see at least one of them undone, I do hope that not everything gets reset to the beginning of the episode aside from Barry’s experiences.
It was nice to get a metahuman of the week be a bit of a callback to an earlier episode with the Weather Wizard who didn’t properly get named back then. This time around it’s his brother back for revenge and he has nearly the exact same powers along with an extra six months to practice using them. The one thing that I did think wasn’t handled as well as it could be was Joe’s way of dealing with this entire case. While he has always been the protective father type who puts his own safety above those around him, it went a little bit too far over the top this time around where he is literally pushing everyone away from him so that he can try to solve this case himself. I also have to mention the really great moment of inclusion when we get to see that the police captain is a homosexual when he is in the hospital and his fiance is there to see him. It’s a really great touch that doesn’t change his character at all, but it gives that little bit of extra background for him.
There’s also some major advancement on the Barry and Iris relationship front when they just happen to find each other at the bowling alley and have the most awkward double dates in the history of double dates. It’s clear to all four of the people in the group that the two people with the most chemistry are Barry and Iris, and it’s a testament to both the writing and the acting how well, and how differently it’s shown. Where Linda seems slightly defeated, Eddie actively pulls away. And it all culminates in the big kiss near the end with Barry revealing his true identity by changing into his Flash costume right in front of her. But again, this is something that happens after the reset point. Although I do have to mention that the set up for the reset point felt rather obvious, at least for someone who is a fan of the time loop concept. There was no other reason to have Barry focus on these seemingly random, yet memorable occurrences around him like a guy spinning a sign and a woman yelling at a cab.
But the big reveal is that the show finally comes right out and has Harrison Wells admit to Cisco, and the audience, that he truly is Eobard Thawne. Distant relative of Eddie’s from centuries in the future and the Reverse Flash. Apparently he is stuck here in the past due to an opposite effect than the one revealed in the animated movie Flashpoint Paradox where Barry wasn’t able to travel through time due to Thawne being in the same timeline and drawing from the speed force. Here, Wells had to create the Flash so that Barry could either power, or expand the connection to the speed force, or some other similar comic book explanation. And while most supervillains would set an elaborate trap for the hero after monologuing to him, since Cisco is merely a sidekick Wells simply kills him in a truly heart wrenching scene. A scene that also has the strong possibility of being undone via the time travel at the end of the episode. Really a tour de force from everyone on this episode, it was a strong return and it sets up a lot of what is to come for the rest of this season. There aren’t many shows that can come up with so many different ways of having him run really fast and still make it interesting, but it’s still working so far and I’m loving it.