Every time I sit back and marvel on how good ‘The Flash’has become, it shows up on its Tuesday night slot and reminds us that the best is yet to come. This week’s “Out of Time” provides us with everything from the romantic mixed signals fired between Barry and Iris, the true Weather Wizard (not the pithy younger brother sidekick), and Cisco coming face to face with the nightmarish Reverse Flash.
Flashback to the series premiere when Clyde Mardon and his older brother Mark get away from Detective West after the younger Mardon kills West’s partner. The two fraternal criminals are bombarded by the particle accelerator wave. Clyde gained the powers of weather manipulation with his brother Mark developing a far greater and far more dangerous grasp on said abilities. And when he pays a visit to the Central City coroner looking for the man responsible for Clyde’s death, his target becomes clear: Detective Joe West.
Before getting into the meat and potatoes of the action, we hit a bit of romantic levity as Linda and Barry run into Iris and Eddie at the bowling alley. One day a show will have someone say no to these situations but not this time as Eddie invites Barry and Linda to join them in a friendly game. One thing leads to another and…are we really surprised when the old friends seem to block everyone else out and the two significant others feel left out from the Barry/Iris connection. It’s not long before the two gents are called in to the scene of the coroner’s murder but on the way, a running Barry finds himself running alongside a reflection—of himself? Back to the problem at hand; Eddie finds the coroner’s dictation devise with the deceased man giving Mardon Joe’s name.
While this is all going down, Cisco and Wells are enjoying a quiet evening in with a silent movie as their entertainment. We get the first mention of Cisco’s family and the troubles he’s having with them though no real reason is given for the discord. Soon after, the STAR Lab team breakdown the Mardon/”Weather Wizard” situation and Cisco mentions his latest tinkerings, namely a device to counter the effects of weather-related powers. Meanwhile, Barry mentions the running man he saw earlier and Wells promises to look into it once Mardon is taken down.
On the Mardon front, West is told by his captain to begin coordination of the manhunt in the friendly confines of the precinct, a prospect he’s not ecstatic over. Iris drops by to speak to Eddie and he lets her know just how much he didn’t like their date night. “Something’s changed between you two,” he tells her, “and whatever it is, I am not okay with it.” As if feeling the vibe from their date night encounter, Barry asks Joe for advice, not the best situation for the latter. Fortunately, they are interrupted from severe weather directed solely at them, thanks to Mardon. The vengeance driven bad guy directs a bolt of lightning down on the pair with Barry getting them out milliseconds before the car’s turned into a flaming husk of metal and glass.
The attack puts the precinct on lockdown and while the cops are preparing for a Mardon assault, Iris gets some info from Mason Bridge and his investigation into Harrison Wells. The dogged reporter shows her a surveillance photo of Wells leaving Simon Stagg’s office—making him the last person to see Stagg before his disappearance. After gaining this intel and having her feelings for Barry outed by Linda, she ends up meeting Barry at Jitter’s and after some trivial chatter about the previous night, brings up Mason’s accusations about Wells. “Harrison Wells is a good man,” he tells her, “if you’re looking for a story, then you’re not going to find one with him.”
Remember Cisco’s little experiment? Well, he introduces it to the gang. Christened the “wizard’s wand,” it’s pretty much an active lightning rod that sucks up the atmospheric energy, negating Mardon’s power. Barry mentions the Stagg connection to Cisco and Caitlin, afterwards Cisco drops the wand off to West and casually brings up West’s interest in Wells regarding the Nora Allen murder. The detective sends him on his way, distracted by the immediate situation and Cisco leaves the station, passing Mardon as the meta-human confronts his brother’s killer. While Cisco’s doing the Barry speed dial, Mardon and West faceoff. He’s there for blood, telling West “Clyde was no saint, but he was family. If you can’t protect your family, the least you can do is avenge them.” He shows off just how much more powerful he is than his little bro. Once more he calls down lightning, aimed to take West out but the latter is thrown out of the way by the captain. Barry arrives and uses the wand to nullify Mardon, who retreats. Barry rushes the injured captain to the hospital where the doctor gives them sobering news; there’s a chance he may never walk again. Enraged, West moves to end it once and for all, ordering Barry to watch over Iris as he moves to confront Mardon.
While West and Eddie run into each other searching for Mardon and West is snatched by Weather Wizard-controlled winds, Cisco can’t shake the feeling of things not adding up with Wells. After convincing a skeptical Caitlin to keep Wells from the Lab for the morning, he recreates the containment field and discovers the con. The image of the Reverse Flash was just that, an image, complete with a voice. It becomes painfully clear that Professor Harrison Wells is not the man he says he is and, moments after his discovery, Cisco comes face to face with the man behind the con, Eobard Thawne, “a distant relative” to Detective Eddie Thawne. He lays it all out for Cisco; he traveled back in time to kill Barry and, since then, has been stranded in the past. “The Flash’s speed is the key to my returning to my world. To my time. And no one is going to prevent that from happening.” A heartbroken Cisco stares into the eyes of a man he looked at as a father but Wells cannot afford to let him live, putting his vibrating hand through Cisco’s chest, killing him.
Death will come to many more though as, Mardon, after luring Iris to the docks, creates a monstrous tsunami wave that will obliterate the city. Moments before, Barry and Iris share a kiss fifteen episodes (and years) in the making and the Central City speedster shows her that he’s the man behind the mask. He ponies up, racing alongside the coast in order to create a vortex to combat the wave. He reaches a speed greater than he’s ever achieved and…
…finds himself in the past, on the night of the coroner’s murder by Mardon.
Oh my stars and garters.
Time and Circumstance
- I don’t even know where to begin. For consistency’s sake, how about the relationship bits. WE knew the Iris/Linda blowup would happen sooner or later. It’s no surprise that, once she lost her place as the center of attention in Barry’s world, Iris wouldn’t like it. She’s being a selfish friend—not even friend—though she eventually admits her feelings to Barry at the end. The question remains though, now that she knows he’s the Flash, will that stick? After all…
- Barry went Superman, blasting through the space-time continuum and somehow finding himself back before Mark Mardon started his crusade against Joe West. How will his blast into the past affect the future of the show, including his relationship with Iris, Central City, and, more importantly…
- …Cisco’s fate. One of the most heartfelt and heartbreaking moments I’ve seen this year on television was everyone’s favorite meta-human name-giver’s confrontation with Eobard Thawne—the man he’s come to know and love as Harrison Wells. It was quite an emotional scene as Thawne confessed everything. His attempts to kill Barry, being stuck in this time and Barry’s role in getting him back to the future. I could go on about the repercussions from only the fifteen episode in the series’ freshman season but instead, I’ll let it marinate for a week until we see the after effects presented in Part Two.