CISCO: What’s going on? What do you see?
FLASH: A dead body.
CISCO: Barry, you’re in a morgue. You’re going to have to be a little more specific than that.

The Flash returns with a two-part episode that may redefine the show.
Or it might not….

Title: “Out of Time”

Directed by Thor Freudenthal
Written by Todd and Aaron Helbing

Grant Gustin as Barry Allen / The Flash
Candice Patton as Iris West
Carlos Valdes as Cisco Ramon
Tom Cavanagh as Harrison Wells
Jesse L. Martin as Detective Joe West
Liam McIntyre as Mark Mardon / Weather Wizard
Danielle Panabaker as Caitlin Snow
Rick Cosnet as Detective Eddie Thawne
Patrick Sabongui as Captain David Singh
Malese Jow as Linda Park
Roger Howarth as Mason Bridge
Chad Rook as Clyde Mardon

Premise

A new Weather Wizard storms into Central City intent on avenging his brother’s death. Cisco learns the truth about the Reverse Flash, a major character dies, another is injured, Central City faces disaster, and Iris and Barry admit their feelings for each other.

Except, of course, the episode ends with time travel.

High Point

We’re learning more about Harrison Wells, who remains the show’s most interesting character. While his revelations develop from the source material, we remain uncertain about his full motivations, or his limitations. As a result, he makes a far more compelling villain than the vengeful Weather Wizard.

Low Point

The ability to travel in time was part of the Silver Age Flash mythos, and it can work. However, it weakens the impact of almost everything that happens in the episode, since it can all un-happen. It also threatens to weaken the impact of future episodes for the same reason.

The Scores:

Originality: 2/6 A decent episode overall, it owes most of its content to the long history of The Flash. A key scene comes most notably from 1975’s Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man, though this particular threat and response has been used more than once in comic books.

Effects: 5/6

Acting: 5/6 Carlos Valdes has a lot to handle this week as Cisco Ramon, and he meets the challenge.

Story: 4/6 We have a face-paced story, though its true value will only be known when we see the second half next week.

Emotional Response: 5/6 An emotionally powerful episode, blunted by the final development. Granted, I don’t especially want to see Cisco Ramon stay dead.

Production: 6/6

Overall: 5/6 The episode handled the superheroics well enough. The romantic complications are fine, in and of themselves, but the developments felt forced. Iris, as written, just comes across as fickle.

In total, “Out of Time” receives 32/42