Dr. Wells: Forgive me. But to me you’ve been dead for centuries.
Beware: Spoilers may follow.
Time travel is a major part of the Flash mythos and one that I didn’t expect to be utilized so soon. The majority of season 1 of the Flash dealt with a metahuman of the week while addressing the season-long storyline of the Reverse Flash. This episode does relatively the same thing but amplifies it leading to one heck of an episode through and through.
The story involves the nefarious Mark Mardon aka Weather Wizard (Liam McIntyre) hell bent on avenging the death of his brother Clyde (Chad Rook). In doing so Mardon kidnaps Joe West (Jesse Martin) who shot Clyde. Meanwhile Cisco (Carlos Valdes) looks into why the trap the team set for the Reverse Flash failed and in doing so discovers a horrifying truth.
The introduction of Mark Mardon was setup rather well with his vendetta against Joe. But there’s no development about him beyond that making him rather one-dimensional. He is pretty much just the villain of the week. He does however lead to some nice visuals when he attacks the CCPD and the tidal wave towards the end.
The scene where Dr. Wells (Tom Cavanagh) reveals himself to Cisco is one of the most brilliant acted moments of the season and still remains one all throughout the series. Cisco’s voice full of hurt as he realizes the man he’s looked up to as a mentor and father figure is the villainous Reverse Flash is heartbreaking. This is capped off with him in tears knowing what’s about to happen as Wells vibrates his hand before killing him. This was also the first episode when we see Cavanagh combine both the aspects of Wells and himself. He has a sense of menace when he reveals to Cisco his real name and how he is merely manipulating Barry into getting faster. When Wells is about to kill Cisco and calls him a son you truly feel the sadness in his voice as he’s about to do this. Even when we know all this Wells comes across as a well-meaning man for the team despite his ulterior motives which makes him such an enjoyable villain.
Perhaps the greatest parts of this episode lie in the ending. Barry revealing his identity to Iris as the Flash is a solid moment. The impact of the moment is felt very through Grant and Candice’s performances. Barry in attempt to prevent the tidal wave from reaching the city travels through time back to the beginning of the episode. This raised some interesting questions back then. Would the team ever find the truth about Wells? Would Cisco still live? How would Barry go about the events in the next episode? Would anything from the timeline of this episode come into play again? Even now it still raises an interesting question: If Barry had listened to Dr. Wells’ advice in the next episode how would the show and characters have played from there?
The ending of the episode had a lot of interesting aspects in it but just when it went into intense territory true to the episode’s title it ran out of time. With that being said, while Out of Time has another metahuman of the week, the factors outside of that are dialed up to eleven and would prove to be a crucial episode in the storytelling of Season 1.