Welcome to the beginning of the end folks, welcome back to The Flash and boy does it seem like we are in for a hell of a ride or what. We have officially crossed a line in Barry’s development that can never be uncrossed as our hero as accidentally broken the time barrier and whatever happens next can’t easily be undone. “Out of Time” continues the string of great episodes that have somehow managed to afford the freshman struggles often faced by television. I mean we have some great reveals, some moderate character development, a strong villain, some great setup, and you know what, I don’t even really care that this episode primarily served as a setup and the large majority of the episode will be undone next week. It was just so much fun watching all of the reveals and action beats that I can almost forgive a lot of the material which is being set up.
So first off, we got a lot of huge reveals on the Reverse Flash front as Cisco managed to not only uncover Wells’ hologram, but also got a face to face with the big bad himself now officially confirmed to be Eobard Thawne. I loved everything about that scene as I knew how it had to end as soon as Thawne showed up to confront Cisco and for his grand gesture of mercy to be to reveal the truth as well as kill Cisco was just icing on the cake. What I really enjoyed about that entire scene was that it appears Thawne meant everything that he said to Cisco about loving the team and never wanting to hurt them in any way with the exception of Barry. Tom Cavanagh absolutely nailed every inch of that exchange and managed to exude the perfect amount of regret, if you can call it that, that it had come to the point where he had to kill Cisco. Thawne was the perfect mixture of remorseful and sadistic and I can’t wait to see how his character develops after everyone finds out who he really is.
On a similar note for strong characters we got a great introduction for our new Weather Wizard, Mark Mardon as played by Liam McIntyre. Mark’s characterization is a hell of a lot stronger than his brothers as he has a clear motivation and much better control over his powers. I mean in just one episode we have seen him use ice, lightning, wind, and a tsunami, I mean the dude has major skills and I will count the seconds till he manages to join the Rogues. More than anything Mark is an actually fun villain even with the fact that he is purely seeking vengeance on Joe for killing his brother. Mark knows he is powerful, and knows the threat that he poses to the world so when he has the balls to just stroll into the precinct as if no one can stop him it immediately put Weather Wizard as a villain into a class all his own. Also, it’s not very often that a villain gets effects as cool as himself but damn, the special effects department really stepped up this week in terms of effectively displaying Mark’s powers, especially in that final tsunami scene.
Speaking of Mardon’s target, Joe really managed to have an exceptionally strong week. Not a lot has been made of the fact that Joe as a detective is really not capable of confronting any of the major villains Barry faces week in and week out. So for Joe to finally have a personal opponent that has a vendetta against him gave us a surprisingly gratifying story to see unfold. I loved watching Joe struggle with the realization that he just can’t handle a criminal he used to be so good at confronting, and even though in reality Joe should have come to terms with this by now this arc just felt really natural. I am interested to see how if any this will progress in the future or if this is simply a one off type of story, hopefully a mix as that would be best for Joe as a character.
As far as the elements that just didn’t work this week, there was certainly a lot of relationship material that felt extraneous to say the least. At this point I just feel bad for Linda as her character is awesome and Barry seems to like her, but for one reason or another she just keeps getting cockblocked by Iris or some random out of nowhere reason. I am fine with her and Barry having a rocky relationship predicated on a mistrust of Iris, hell that is basically what Eddie is worried about as well and it makes sense in context. However, if you have a character legitimately sabotaging a relationship and yet not realizing or being willing to admit they are doing it, then that character instantly becomes an annoying piece of the puzzle. Anyone can see that Barry and Linda are going to break up so can we please have it happen already before we get to the point where we want to mute the tv everytime relationship material occurs.
Overall a very strong return for our favorite speedster.
Final Grade B+
+Joe being threatened
+Weather Wizard an actual fleshed out character
+Time Travel is here
-Relationship material was annoying.
-So now that Barry has basically reset time how long until Thawne’s identity is blown again?
-That moment when Thawne puts is hand through Cisco’s chest is so heartbreaking pun not intended
-How does Caitlin not call Barry the moment Thawne is out of his chair? That should be suspicious as all hell to her.
-Please for the love of Grodd don’t just throw Weather Wizard in the Pipeline, he needs to team up with the Rogues.