“Holy Shit” was the most popular phrase of mine in tonight’s episode of The Flash “Out of Time”. Since I’m well acquainted with internet theories and comic book lore, and watch any promo video that comes out of a show I’m watching, I was looking out for any type of twist and I was close. Still, the ending was a marvelous capper to an episode bringing us in to the home sprint of the season.
To knock it out of the way real quick, here’s what I didn’t like.
Now that I’ve been given time to process it and have come to enjoy Iris and Barry’s onscreen chemistry, I am not against the idea of the two of them together. They’re cute and share buckets full of charm. However, alternate timeline or not, I am not cool with the idea that Iris only came across these feelings once Barry entered a relationship. It’s an easy plot development and even a bit of a lazy one that the show that so often writes at a break neck pace with intelligence and wit could have handled better.
I also don’t like the idea that it’s this incident with them that could have Eddie going from loveable side character to villain. However, Linda and Eddie’s discomfort at the bowling double date was almost too understandable. Barry and Iris are both, smart so why on earth are the being written to be so oblivious?
The episode’s big storyline is that the Weather Wizard is in town to avenge his brother’s death and is targeting Joe. They give him a wizard weather wand to combat him which seems kind of ridiculously low-tech considering what they’re up against but it allows for a well appreciated Star Wars gag, which is even more appreciated what with Mark Hamill appearing on the show in a few episode’s time. However, even with poor Joe having to face off of a man trying to kill him and his family, he still doesn’t get the biggest plot development of the night.
That would be Barry accidentally time traveling. At the start of the episode he sees himself running aside himself while chasing down the baddie and it’s brushed off for most of the episode but from there on out everything moves at an accelerated speed. Cisco discovers who Wells really is, proving himself to be the smartest guy in the room. Joe is kidnapped and beaten with Iris used as leverage. Iris and Barry admit their feelings for one another and then he reveals himself to be the Flash and runs faster than he ever has before.
Before I move to my favorite scene of the episode it is worth noting that this episode has the best visual effects they’ve done since the debut of Captain Cold.
But on to my favorite scene.
Tom Cavanagh and Carlos Valdes absolutely brought their A game in their confrontation. I’ve been decently vocal about my enthusiasm over Cavanagh’s layered performance that ranges from charming to sinister in an instant and he’s easily the shows greatest asset because when he turns into the Reverse Flash, as he calls himself tonight (holy shit) we’re saddened. Sure, he makes for a fantastic villain as Eobard Thawne but we all fell for his quiet and introspective Harrison Wells first. Cisco on the other hand has been more of a surprise but Valdes has grown increasingly confident in the role that by tonight’s episode as he cries as the man he’s considered surrogate family reaches to kill him, I’m not exaggerating when I saw that I was moved. I may be underselling the moment a bit even.
It’s so good that I almost wish the episode had ended with it. Cisco seemingly dead and Joe, Iris and countless civilians as good as with a tidal wave about to crash land on them. However, I can’t fault them for needing to end with a little more levity so Barry racing back and forth after kissing Iris in his romantic, sweeping scene and then running back in time, catching up with the mirror mirage he witnessed a day before, is some wonderful payoff.
Those last ten minutes of the episode more than the entirety of the episode that came before is why this show works and it’s why I proclaim and shout and fangirl over just how exciting this show wants its characters and stories to be. They don’t fear comic book lore and the most absurd elements and tackling those elements don’t daunt them. They face them head on and with assuredness that a scene is directed always keeps it from entering any level of camp. This is a strong show with some strong pieces but none of it would be so if the showrunners hadn’t learned from Arrow and created a game plan for a season that involves high character highs and low moments of peril. It was a great episode with Cisco once again walking away with the MVP title. Let’s just hope he stays alive.
What did we all think? Who else lost it? A good episode turned a great episode by two standout scenes in the episodes final moments. What can they possible do next?