CW’s “The Flash” returned last night after a nearly month-long hiatus. It was well worth the wait and hype; easily meeting the levels of shock and suspense that AMC’s “The Walking Dead” achieves on a near weekly basis. “Out of Time” was touted as a “history-changing” episode and, oh boy, was it! If there has been one episode of “The Flash” that you would not want to miss, it was this episode. CW have found a terrific balance between the light-hearted and dramatic, a quality far different in tone than “Arrow”, and tonight was another achievement in an already stellar first season. “Out of Time” also reaches for classic elements of DC’s “The Flash” comic book series and significantly raises the bar (again!) for the upcoming Flash movie starring Ezra Miller.
“Out of Time” opens to an event that happened one year ago in the series time frame and runs like this: Mark and Clyde Mardon are two criminals at large. They’re thieves, one of them is a murderer, and all around not such nice guys. But they’re brothers and the bond between them is strong enough to lead the elder Mardon (Mark) to avenge Clyde after Det. Joe West killed him in the pilot. Did I mention that Clyde was The Weather Wizard? We see the particle accelerator accident happen while they are both escaping a crime in a small plane and witness the birth of the show’s first metahumans. Mark, played by Liam McIntyre, arrives at the coroner’s office and asks for the cop’s name who killed his brother. It’s Joe West so that means the outlook is cloudy with a chance of hail, rain, lightening, and a tsunami for our heroes throughout the episode.
First of all, I need to say that I like Liam McIntyre. He’s an all around great guy and shared a terrific experience with a friend of mine at New York Comic Con. He’s a class act and genuinely good to all his fans. To see him play The Weather Wizard, a somewhat definitive version of the character for the show, in a way that harkens back to James Cameron’s “The Terminator” was fantastic. And to see him truly terrorize Jesse L. Martin’s Detective West (along with Central City) gave us a truly terrifying villain that we’re actively rooting against! “The Flash” has played it cool with the villains so far and have given us excellent interpretations of the characters from the comic books. Perfect example is Wentworth Miller and Dominic Purcell’s Captain Cold and Heatwave. They’re perfect heels, but just too darn likable not to like. It was great to get a villain in Weather Wizard who was, all around, a scoundrel and a perfect lead for…
Reverse Flash! We’ve known that Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanaugh) is the Reverse Flash for a few episodes now and we’ve speculated ever since the pilot. “Out of Time” was his episode just as much as Weather Wizard’s. I’ve made mention before that it’s an interesting setup that practically no one trusts Wells except for Barry. Chalk it up to youth and inexperience, but when people like Det. West, Oliver Queen, and John Diggle don’t like someone, it’s probably not without merit. In the last few episodes, we’ve seen Iris West develop an uneasy work relationship with journalist Mason Bridge. He’s a seen it all, jaded, skeptical, and ace reporter who does not trust Harrison Wells… at all. In an attempt to use Iris’s insecurity about being viewed as more than a blogger and more of a journalist, he’s asked her to dig up information on Wells and S.T.A.R. Labs. It’s a pretty easy task as her best friend (and secret love) is Barry Allen. After a few prying questions that come up in regards to the disappearance of Simon Stagg (a man Wells killed early on in the season) Cisco begins to question Wells’ true motivations and begins his own investigation. Eventually Cisco discovers that there was no reason for the super capacitor to have failed in its containment of the Reverse Flash a few episodes back when they managed to trap him. He asks Caitlin to keep Wells out of S.T.A.R. Labs while he looks deeper into the anomaly, but she inadvertently arises suspicion in Wells as she appears uneasy about them returning to the lab so quick while they’re out for coffee. When she gets up to get their coffee to go, Wells has disappeared while leaving his wheelchair behind.
Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Wells reveals himself as the Reverse Flash to Cisco. It is in this moment that Wells is revealed as, none other, than Eobard Thawne! It seems as if Thawne is trapped in what would be considered our present day and is using Barry Allen as a harness to enable him access to go back to his future. He tells Cisco that he didn’t intend to kill Nora Allen as he was actually trying to kill Barry. He then confesses that Cisco is as close to him as a son would be, only to then kill him where he stands!
Did I mention that Barry, in an attempt to save Joe, Iris, and Central City from the Weather Wizard’s conjured tsunami, runs so fast that he tears a hole in the space/time continuum that traps him back in the past? Yes, time travel is now a full part of the series and it looks as if next week’s episode will take place in an alternate timeline of sorts that could possibly undo the events of tonight’s episode.
When dealing with the concept of time travel, the mechanics and rules could become very muddled. Yet DC Comics has a long-standing relationship with the idea and The Flash is no stranger to it. I’ve always been a huge fan of time-travel (TimeCop being one my favorite movies of all time) and I love how CW’s “The Flash” is handling the material. They’ve done a magnificent job with all the characters and have delivered episode after episode that feels like an issue of the comic book come to life. “The Flash” is a must watch for anyone that enjoys good television and I’m looking forward to hearing all the talk about Wells being revealed as Eobard Thawne and Barry being trapped in the past.
“Out of Time” is an episode that you’ll want to watch again. It gets five out of five stars.
“The Flash” airs 8 pm, Tuesday nights on The CW. Check your local listings.