Tuesday night marked the return of CW’s new best hit series, Flash, after a whole month since its last episode wrapped up the introduction of Firestorm (Firestorm is set to appear in a spin-off series later this year). Titled Out of Time, episode fifteen pits Barry against a weather conjuring metahuman named Mark Mardon (known to comic-book fans as the super-villain, Weather Wizard – first appearance in Flash #110). Mardon, brought to life by Spartacus lead actor Liam McIntyre, is set on avenging the death of his brother, Clyde Mardon, by using his cool new found powers to whip up lethal forms of weather.
As cheesy as it sounds, this episode may have been the series’ best yet due to the combination of comic book lore, and successful integration of major plot points from the entire series. The episode is split into two narrative points, one following Mardon and his destruction, while the other digs deeper into the mystery behind Harrison Wells. The latter is unveiled by Cisco’s curiosity, as he uncovers more suspicious evidence linking Wells to previous events in the series. Meanwhile, Barry is too occupied fending off Mardon’s attempts on Joe’s life, and confronting his affections for both Iris and Lynda – that he overlooks two major key revelations that occur.
The first revelation is the introduction of the infinite world concept that bridges the Flash universe with a never-ending number of alternate timelines. In the episode, Flash is forced to use his super speed to generate enough wind to resist on oncoming tidal wave caused by Mardon. Throughout the series, Flash’s capabilities have been tried and tested, however, he took his abilities to a whole new level by running fast enough to enter the “speed-force”. In doing so, he discovered the ability to travel between different points in time – a theory that had been postulated in previous episodes, but is a known ability of Flash’s super powers. The second revelation, although not as subtle, is the true identity and origin of the “man in the yellow suit” – which had been openly teased since the series pilot. The episode ends on a somewhat “reverse cliff-hanger“, leaving Barry trapped in his discovery of entering the past – therefore undoing any of the events that have occurred, including the death of a main character.
With the introduction of time travel in this episode, it is no question that Barry will indulge in changing events of the future by altering events in time, and possibly saving his mother’s life.
Perhaps the most satisfying characteristic of this series so far, is its ability to bring the most vital elements, and character mythos, from the comics to screen while leaving its world entirely open to surprises. With so many comic-book adaptations, it is refreshing to see a series that captures the fun of the comics, while maintaining its appeal to all its viewers.