The Flash S1.15 "Out Of Time" review

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Okay, after Barry’s dealt with that tsunami his next task will be to minimise the destruction caused by the earthquake.

What earthquake?

The one resulting from the combined force of a few million jaw/floor conjunctions during the last few minutes of this episode. Intense, spectacular and shocking, not to mention heartbreaking, dizzying and revelation-packed, this was small-screen comic strip action of the highest calibre, and we’re not even near the season finale yet.

Sure, we pretty much knew already that Wells was the Reverse-Flash who killed Barry’s mum, but the nature of his confession – and the offhand way he kills Cisco after admitting that he was like the son he never had – leaves you reeling. The fact that he’s the Eobard Thawne version of Reverse-Flash may have only raised an “Ooooh!” from comic fans, but his connection to Eddie Thawne is an intriguing new twist for casual viewers.

Admittedly in past reviews we’ve mused on the fact that Wells was so obviously being set up as Reverse-Flash by the writers that maybe they were going to double-bluff us, but this patently turns out not to be the case here. On the other hand, it’s still difficult to dismiss Wells as a mere moustache-twirling supervillain; there’s an odd kind of nobility, purity of purpose and occasional emotional chink to the guy that makes his betrayal all the more painful. You’re left in no doubt that he does feel a genuine connection to Team STAR Labs, but he’s still not going to let that stand in his way.

Director's CV

Thor Freudenthal directed the movies Diary Of A Wimpy Kid and Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters. He also called the shots on the season three Arrow episode “The Climb”, so the Arrow/Flash producers seem keen on giving him the good episodes.

Elsewhere, Wells’s grand plan is coming to fruition as Barry finally runs so fast that he breaks through time and ends up in the past. The final action sequence with the tsunami heading towards the city and Barry trying to whip up a defensive barrier to sap its power before it hits looks stunning even before he vanishes into the past. Even Barry’s reconciliation with Iris is sweetly handled, though the fact both of them seem better suited to their other partners (and they’ve both been acting like total selfish tits to them) robs the moment of some of its power.

(Not to worry, though – with Barry now back in the recent past, there’s always the option that Cisco’s death and Iris learning that Barry is the Flash could be retconned.)

Whatever the next few episodes hold, however, it seems that the show is about to experience a major paradigm shift in its basic set-up. Excited? We are.

The episode has its flaws. Mark Mardon is yet another barely fleshed-out villain in a series that rarely sets much stall in making its meta-adversaries more than one-trick ponies. Possibly this is because there’s so much else going on there’s little time to afford the baddies more than “power-and-motive”. Only the Pied Piper (and possibly Peek-A-Boo) have really escaped that blueprint.

Also, Mason Bridger, investigative journalist, is turning into a bit a cliché – the cynical hack who pisses everybody off. There’s no real reason for him to be such a jerk, and he’d be a more interesting and believable character if we could see why he deserved a Pulitzer. At the moment he feels more like some scuzzy phone hacker from the News Of The World.

But honestly, who cares about minor lapses in an episode this good? When it’s over, you don’t recall Bridger being a dick; it’s Barry doing a new kind of Flashback and Wells thrusting his vibro-hand into Cisco’s chest you’ll remember.

The Flash airs on Sky 1 in the UK and the CW in the US on Tuesday nights.

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WritersTodd Helbing, Aaron Helbing
DirectorThor Freudenthal
The one whereThe Weather Wizard the brother of the weather-controlling metahuman from episode one is back to avenge his siblings death, while Barry travels in time and Wells reveals his true colours to Cisco before killing him.

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Available platformsTV
Dave Golder
Freelance Writer

Dave is a TV and film journalist who specializes in the science fiction and fantasy genres. He's written books about film posters and post-apocalypses, alongside writing for SFX Magazine for many years.