About two weeks ago I posted a mixed review for The Flash Episode 15, “Out of Time”. While I loved the impact the episode had, I lambasted the fact that the back in time trick essentially reset everything that had happened and thus made the episode more or less meaningless.
I did get some heat for that opinion, but here we are, two weeks later, and I’m still feeling much the same way.
But…to the Flash’s credit, they’ve managed to capitalize on their decision to turn back the clock. Read the full review at the link below.
Instead of blasting all of those landscape-shifting changes out in a single 42 minute burst, they’ve now managed to craft two more episodes as a slow build-up to what we all know will be a deadly showdown. Barry is climbing towards a face off with “Harrison Wells” and things are starting to unfold in a little bit of a new way, which is great.
This episode kicks off with a fantastic high-speed fight scene between The Flash and Reverse Flash that is simply marvelous. They manage to cram impactful action and swift speed into a single whirling dirvish of a combat sequence that was meticulously well done and really shows just how far television effects have come since the original aired in the 90s. I can’t even fathom them approaching this kind of fight choreography back then.
But really, the fight is just the beginning. The remaining 30 minutes of show gets the pacing pretty much perfect as the layers concealing “Harrison Wells” get slowly unpeeled, both via flashback, and Barry’s modern day investigation. Intertwined in all this is a spectacular return by Mark Hamill who steals every single scene he’s in. Certainly there are deep shades of Batman: The Animated Series’ Joker sewn into his performance (which is a very good thing) but he comes across as crazy and dangerous. He has that manic, evil, comic booky laugh down perfect…but of course, he’s had a lot of practice.
The flashbacks with Reverse Flash are excellent as well. We see the true history of the Harrison Wells/Eobold Thrawn dichotomy, and it’s roots dig deeper than previously thought. Meanwhile, Iris is determined to dig into the mystery of her missing colleague, which is something that neither Barry nor Joe want her anywhere near, as they fear Wells has already made his move. So determined are they to avoid this trap that Barry dramatically reveals himself to someone in order to prevent this from happening. It was a powerful moment, to be sure.
Yes, this episode was fantastic. Yes, I still hold a bit of resentment over the “reset switch” from two episodes ago, but I’m thoroughly enjoying the ride to get back to where we were. Barry’s knowledge of those events mixed with slightly different courses between then and now make for some great drama…and seeing Harrison Wells’ slow burn from concerned scientist to obvious master manipulator and evil villain has been really, really terrific. It almost makes me sad to see that coming to a head, as he’s been a marvelous addition to the cast who added some great aspects of good and evil. I’ll be at least a bit disappointed when those last few layers of brightness are stripped away to reveal the evil underneath.