A Television Review by Akash Singh
NOTE: SPOILERS OCCUR!!!!!!!
The amount of crossover jokes I could make about The Flash and Doctor Who are endless but this episode more so than any other brought those two beloved fandoms into a similar spectrum, especially with Cisco’s Sonic Screwdriver-like device. Time travel and running are two inherent facets of the Who universe and both of reached their perfect climax in the episode’s final minutes. In those minutes, Out of Time went from being an average episode of The Flash to being one of its best. The cold opening with the Weather Wizard and his brother was a fantastic choice, setting in store a foreboding villain with a grudge that threatens to engulf all of Central City (pun intended). While that old revenge coming back to haunt everyone is a nice touch for the episode to imbue as its central plot structure, the continued emphasis on the love quadrangle of sorts between Barry, Iris, Eddie, and Linda became tiring as soon as it was introduced. They wrap it up in surprisingly quick fashion, but with Barry’s trip backwards, I’m worried that they might emphasize that once more. But I digress, for the rest of it was awesome.
The set pieces in this episode are stunning, especially when one considers that this is a network broadcast series that has to stretch out its budget over the course of twenty-two episodes. The stunt choreography for this show continues to shine and they have managed to make superhero fight effects germane in their movements and that’s an accomplishment in and of itself. The special effects have improved markedly and if they saved a larger portion of their budget for this particular episode, then that was a call well-made. The tidal wave of water may not have had the oomph of Interstellar, but it sure as hell beats the parting of Ridley Scott’s God-awful Exodus (it certainly gets the whole dramatic timing right, certainly). When Barry is running back and forth across the beach, the wind vortex he creates is dazzling to just see, but the true magic happens when wind and water clash with all of the appropriate might that would belong to impending doom itself.
What really works about this episode is the quick buildup of tension before the final ten minutes or so. Those ending minutes are when all of the dominoes the show had been quietly putting in place tumble in spectacular fashion with an energy that is normally reserved for season finales. The Weather Wizard is a seriously powerful foe to contend with and everyone this hour who is aware of the threat understands the gravity of it. His desire to get revenge for his psychopathic killer of a brother doesn’t merely stop at Joe, however. As Barry and Iris race to save their mutual father figure, they discover a massive tidal wave roaring towards Central City, an epic wall of water whose path was sure to drown thousands. There was only way to stop that wall and that was Barry running back and forth so fast that the wind energy he would create would be enough to keep the tidal wave at bay. He does so, but that sacrifices his anonymity to Iris, whom he had kissed merely minutes ago. He runs and runs and runs, and suddenly he finds himself actually having gone back in time, standing in a darkened street corner.
What really hit my heart this week wasn’t the Weather Wizard, Joe’s mortality, or Barry and Iris finally kissing before he reveals himself as the Flash right before her very eyes. It was Cisco discovering that Dr. Wells is the Reverse Flash. Outside of the show’s annoying tendency to end on Dr. Wells having his evil moments of silent cackling, it has done a fairly good job of constructing his relationship with the other STAR Lab analysts. Cisco and Caitlin don’t want to rationally believe that Dr. Wells had anything to do with the night Barry’s mother was murdered and that quiet desperation is sold in just a few moments. Dr. Wells himself may be an antagonist of this show, but he’s not simply a robotic machine incapable of emotion. Cisco may be an intelligent goofball, but it doesn’t mean that he’s equally incapable of those serious emotions as well. That’s what makes their confrontation so heartbreaking. He’s found his mentor finally fully not just supporting his efforts, but going so far as to declare him being equivalent to a son. Then he murders him because he knows too much. As Cisco’s body falls to the ground, there’s a collective shattering of hearts that can be heard throughout all of time and space. Now that Barry went back in time, can he save his murdered friend, even though Barry has no idea what befell him? And if he does, what are the consequences of that? I can’t wait.
Great/Not So Great Moments Not Mentioned Above:
+“This is one of my foveate places in the world.”
+“A dead body.”; “Barry, you’re in a morgue. You’re going to have to be more specific than that.”
+“Something has changed between you two.”
+“Things have gone way past complicated.”
+“Another beautiful day here in Central City… not a cloud…”
+“It’s usually what isn’t said that’s the real story.”
+The sequence with Captain Singh taking the fire for Joe was extremely touching and introducing his fiancé brought all of those emotions even more to the forefront
+“Do you think he’s capable of doing something bad?”
+“David’s all bark, loud bark.”
+“Being his fiancé makes him family, Doctor.”
+“To me, you’ve been dead for centuries.”
-Dr. Wells speeding out of his wheelchair while Caitlin was there was an extremely dumb move. Weren’t they leaving in about a minute anyway?
*Thank you for patience, dear readers. I’ll be back to scheduled reviews from this Sunday on until further notice.
Title: Out of Time
Written By: Todd Helbing & Aaron Helbing
Directed By: Thor Freudenthal
Image Courtesy: Gamers Sphere