‘The Flash’ Season 1 Recap, Episode 15, ‘Out of Time’
Welcome back to Up To Speed, home of the the Flashest Recaps Alive. Here we’ll recap the latest episode of The Flash, dispense some Flash Facts and talk about what works, what doesn’t and where the series might be headed, as we try and keep up with the adventures of the fastest man alive, Barry Allen, more widely known as The Flash.
This week, we’re back from a month hiatus and ready to tackle the fifteenth episode of the first season, “Out of Time.” And hoo-doggies, it's a doozy of an episode. Beanies are brandished, wands are wielded, time is traversed, and hearts are literally broken in one of the craziest episodes of the season. Are you strapped in? Got your helmet on? Okay, let's get started.
FLASHBACK: What Happened This Week
We start off with a flashback to the very first episode of the show, with Mark and Clyde (RIP) Mardon making their getaway in the crop-duster while being pursued by Joe West and his now-dead partner. The heretofore unseen Mark, played by former Spartacus and obvious non-American Liam McIntyre, tries giving his baby bro some advice, but their plane is shot up with STAR Labs-infused super-lightning, granting them both weather wizard powers. We knew this was coming, right?
We then flash-forward to the "present," to a bowling alley in Central City, where Barry Allen and Linda Park are on a date. Bowling dates are always a good idea on paper, but any date where you have to wear shoes that are heavy with the sweat of other peoples' feet is already on shaky ground.
Barry and Linda are mid-smooch when Iris West, Barry's adopted sister, interrupts them with a friendly "hello." Turns out she's also on a date with her boyfriend, Detective Eddie Thawne. You remember Eddie? Kind of tall, way too eager to please, also faking an American accent? Yeah, he's been missing from the show for the past few episodes cuz this show was busy backdoor-piloting a Firestorm TV show. Well, he's back, and he's not too happy about his girlfriend's now-obvious crush on her little bro. Neither is Linda, and their impromptu double date turns super-awkward once Iris starts playfully removing drops of ketchup from Barry's face.
Meanwhile at a morgue that I think was used by Doctor Frankenstein, the coroner is conducting an autopsy on some poor schmo who's laid out on this weird stone table they use for autopsies in Central City. It's seriously the grimiest, grossest-looking place. It's a good thing everybody who comes through there is dead, because otherwise, they would all get 100 infections and die.
Anyway, so Spartacus stomps into this grime-hole and starts demanding to know the name of the cop who killed his brother. At first the coroner is like, "No way, José!", but then Weather Wizard 2.0 throws a couple head-sized hailstones at him and the coroner rats Joe West out with a quickness. Aside: When the coroner dies, who does his autopsy?
At STAR Labs, Cisco and Harrison Wells are having a movie night, watching an old Buster Keaton movie that I am guessing is The Cameraman. I'm 1000% certain the writers decided on this film just so they could have Harrison wells say, "It's a bit before my time," while winking at the camera. Because he's from the future, you see? They start discussing Cisco's family situation, which seems kind of depressing, but they get a call on the Flash Phone that a silent alarm has been tripped at the morgue. Why a morgue needs a silent alarm is anybody's guess.
Cisco and Barry rush to the crime scene, but as Barry's flashing over there, he sees an image of himself running alongside. It freaks him out, so he skids to a halt, and sees some very specific things that would be memorable were the show to, say, call back to them later in the episode: some barking dogs on leashes, a guy spinning a sign, that lady from that Jersey Shore show trying to catch a cab. Cookie? Pookie? Snookie? Godzookie? I think it was Godzookie. That seems right. Anyway, her.
Barry makes it to the morgue, but finds the coroner has been hailed to death. The real cops show up and Barry, in his plainclothes now, clutzes into Captain Signh, who apparently is drinking a milkshake? Singh starts yelling at Barry about how his fiancé (formerly his boyfriend, but apparently things have escalated) bought him the coat, and yeesh, Singh should have talked about how close he was to retirement as well, because that is basically asking to be killed/maimed/paralyzed in a post-Identity Crisis comic show.
Barry walks Joe through the crime scene, tells him the guy got hailed to death. Joe's first thought is Snart, aka Captain Cold, but Barry says his cold gun couldn't have done it. Luckily, they just instituted an "automated dictation system," which looks like a doohickey from the original/only true Star Trek series. It captured the coroner, before he got killed, speaking to Marden. Joe is like, "Oh hey! I killed this guy's brother."
If you look, you'll notice there's an old timey microphone hanging above the weird stone altar in the morgue, presumably for dictation purposes, but I can guarantee the coroner would do that "LET'S GET READY TO RUUUUMBLEEEEE!" thing when he's there alone at nights. Either that, or he's practicing his Blues Traveler harmonica on that thing. It's that kind of microphone.
At STAR Labs, the brain trust, they run down Marden's deal, which is that he can control the weather like his brother, only way better. Joe gets called back to the station and Barry tells Harrison about his Second Flash incident, but Wells kind of waves it away, chalking it up to a "speed mirage," before basically telling Barry to go capture Marden and putting him in the secret prison.
At the police station, Joe goes hard on having Singh let him go after Marden, but Singh is being protective of Joe, because why wouldn't you be? Joe is the best. Iris shows up and Eddie acts cartoonishly pouty. She confronts him, and Eddie sort of lays down the law (no pun intended), on Barry. He points out that Barry and Iris' relationship has obviously changed and she needs to figure out what's up if they're gonna keep on seeing each other.
In Joe's car, Barry and Joe demolish some hamburgers and OH, WHO'S THIS?! It's Joe West's Business Beanie™! Welcome back, Business Beanie™! We missed you so much. Barry then changes the subject from Joe's possible death to something a little less heavy, I guess: his relationship with Iris. Oh, and it starts raining suddenly, but they don;t really notice because Joe is busy laughing in Barry's face abot his "complicated" relationship with his sort-of sister. The Joe portion of the next screencap is a direct quote from the show and it is perfect.
Barry and Joe, one of whom is a police detective, figure out that maybe all this sudden rain isn't seasonal, and sure enough, Marden pulls up behind them in a pickup truck and tries to zap them with a lightning bolt. Thankfully, Barry is literally faster then lightning and manages to get Joe out of the car before it explodes.
Back at the cop castle, Singh places Joe under double secret probation, forbidding him to leave the station until Marden is captured. Joe throws a temper tantrum, but Barry manages to talk him down.
At the paper, Iris' mentor, Mason Bridge, is floating a theory that Harrison Wells killed Simon Stagg, because that's exactly what he did. Iris is shocked at this, even though she knows nothing about the dude beyond that Barry's always hanging out at his Neverland Ranch. Iris then approaches Linda, who is frosty as hell towards her because Iris obviously has feeling for Barry. "One thing you learn about people when you work here, Iris: it's usually what isn't said that's the real story." It's a good line that doesn't quite land because the actress, Malese Jow, just doesn't look like a hardened newspaper reporter. She looks like a twenty-something actress on a CW show.
At the coffee shop, Barry and Iris chat about their double date, and decide that, despite the fact that Iris has just been told otherwise by her boyfriend and Linda, their date went off just smashingly. Iris asks Barry about Harrison Wells and how he's shady as heck, but Barry's like, "Nah, he's a cool dude."
At STAR Labs, Cisco has whipped up
an enlarged prop replica of the Doctor's Sonic Screwdriver a "weather wand" that will help neutralize Marden's powers. Wells compliments Cisco, because this for episode, they really need to hit it hard that he considers Cisco family. Then he make a joke about having to go "stretch his legs," leaving Barry alone with Caitlin and Cisco to complain about Bridge planting the idea that Harrison Wells is up to no good, thereby planting the idea into the heads of both members of C+C Science Factory.
At the police HQ, it's a dark and stormy night as Cisco drops the wand off to Joe and asks him about Wells. Joe is reluctant to voice his concerns, but I'm too dizzy by the vertiginous spinning move the cameras are doing in this scene to tell you more of what happened.
For some reason, Joe has left the weather wand, a machine built exclusively to help him defeat the man who is determined to kill him, on this dainty table in the middle of the foyer of the police station, so when Marden shows up to kill him, there's this tense moment where he can't get to the wand in time to avert a catastrophe. It literally makes no sense beyond it having to happen so that certain other things happen later in the episode.
Marden huffs, puffs, and blows all the windows in the precinct in. The he casts Call Lightning, a Level 3 Druid spell that deals 3d6 damage since he's casting it indoors. Right before the bolt can hit Joe, Captain Singh dives in, taking the bolt right to the chest. Barry shows up, brandishes the wand and Marden books it out of there. Thankfully, Singh is still alive, so Barry rushes him to the hospital.
At STAR Labs, Cisco brings up the time they trapped the Reverse Flash in the lab with his science contraption. he knows the machinery was working, so the fact that it failed is not adding up for him, and he's beginning to suspect Wells. Caitlin thinks this is crazy talk, but agree to keep Wells busy the next morning so Cisco can test out a theory.
At the hospital, Barry tries to comfort the Captain's fiancé, but the nurse comes out and drops some heavy info on them, saying that Singh may not be able to walk again. Joe storms out to go looking for Marden, and he tasks Barry with keeping an eye on Iris.
Barry heads to the paper to find Iris and runs into Mason instead. Mason launched into a big tirade about how Harrison Wells is murderer and a sociopath and how sometimes he follows Wells around NBD. Normal reporter stuff. Barry takes the news rather well, which is to say he denies that there's even a possibility that this guy, whose past is shrouded in secrecy and who has a secret underground prison for metahumans he helped create, might be up to no good.
At STAR Labs, Cisco tests the containment thingy and finds out it's just a hologram projector that plays back the Reverse Flash's speech from episode 9.
Meanwhile, Joe is tracking down Marden, and is joined by an unflappable Eddie Thawne, who's there to protect his partner/girlfriend's dad. They search a dilapidated flop house, and turn up Marden's room. Just as they start to figure out a plan, Joe gets sucked out the window, only to wake up all bloody on a boat with Marden monologuing at him.
Also meanwhile, Barry finds Iris at home and they have a little talk where Iris says that she doesn't think Linda is right for Barry and Barry's all, "Well, who is?" and then he stares at her really hard.
Also also meanwhile, Caitlin is trying to keep Wells busy at the coffee shop, but her small talk game is too weak, and before she knows it, she turns around and his chair is empty, and DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN!
At the police station, Eddie is giving a briefing on Marden while Barry and Iris have a very intense talk about saving Joe that involves Barry taking Iris' head in his hands like he's gonna kiss her while Eddie is like 10 feet away. These kids, I swear. Eddie sees them and they both give a guilty-as-hell look when suddenly, her phone rings. It's Marden, giving directions to where he has Joe captive. Linda passes them on the way out and asks Barry if they can talk, but he's like, "Well, I have this important thing with Iris," and Linda's all, "Ugh."
Back at STAR Labs, Cisco is staring at horror at the projection of Reverse Flash when who shows up behind him but Harrison Wells, who does that super villain unmasking thing where he lays out all his secret plans. Turns out he's Eobard Thawne, a "distant relative" of Eddie. Turns out he's from the future (duh) and can make it look like there's two of him thanks to that "speed mirage" trick he mentioned to Barry earlier in the episode. This is how he was able to beat the crap out of himself in episode 9. Cisco says that he killed Nora Allen, but Wells says that he was there to kill Barry. Why? Because he's marooned in this time period for 15 years, and only the Flash's speed can get him back to his time.
There's a really emotion bit where Cisco tries to talk him out of all this, and Wells tells him that he's like a son to him, but Wells starts his hand vibrating and before you can say "Kali ma shakti-dae om shiva om shiva om shiva," he's plunged his super-fast fist into Cisco's chest. Cisco falls to the ground, dead as hell, and Wells slowly turns and walks away.
At the waterfront, Barry and Iris are looking for Joe and Marden, when Marden starts forming a tsunami off the coast. Barry tries to get Iris to leave, but she's not going. They have a super-lovey chat on the beach and smooch, and then Barry's like, "Welp, I guess this is happening," and changes into the Flash in front of her while he tries to run fast enough to create a wind barrier that will stop the rogue wave. He's running and running and running and suddenly --- a portal opens in in front of him and … he's back at the start of the episode. He's the speed mirage. He skids to a halt and it's all there: the dogs, the sign spinner, Godzookie.
FLASH FACTS: Random Observations
- Eobard Thawne was created by Carmine Infantino and John Broome and first appeared in Flash #139. A time traveler from the 25th century, he came to the present to become the world's greatest super villain. There's more to it, and it involves Pre-Crisis vs. Post-Crisis and all that stuff, but that's the gist of it.
- So, a lot of stuff happened in this episode! Obviously the writers were able to give themselves an out with that ending, which means we'll be Edge of Tomorrow/Live Die Repeat/GroundhogDay-ing it up next week. Still! That Cisco part, right? And Barry revealing his secret identity to Iris? And their kiss that we were supposed to be rooting for, but I was kind of icked out by?! After a few episode that felt like treading water, this really kicked things into high gear.
- Eddie is back. But the recently-revealed PaleyFest sizzle reel shows him turning evil, so we'll see about that. Also in that video is Mark Hamill Trickster, the return of Captain Cold and Heatwave, Actual Human Giant Clancy Brown, another Arrow (okay, technically Atom) crossover, and more GRODDDD.
FLASH-FORWARD: Future Happenings
Besides the stuff teased in the Sizzle Reel, here's the promo for next week's episode, "Rogue Time," featuring the return of Wentworth Miller as Captain Cold.
Until then, keep on Flashin’.