Warning: Huge spoilers ahead from Tuesday’s game-changing time-travel episode, “Out of Time.” If you’ve already seen the episode, you are safe to read on. If not, what are you doing here?!
Holy moly, did The Flash just rewrite history?
The CW’s breakout hit appeared to blow everything up (and we mean everything) in Tuesday’s game-changing episode, “Out of Time.” From Barry’s first experience with time travel and the reveal of Dr. Harrison Wells’ true identity to Iris learning the truth about The Flash and Cisco’s not-so-permanent (but still heartbreaking) death, The Flash didn’t hold back any punches. But, will they all stick? The short answer: It’s … complicated.
At the end of the hour, Barry found himself reliving the same day a la Groundhog Day, an arc Grant Gustin told us about back in January. The intention for this episode was to “start giving the audience some of the answers they’ve been craving,” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg told a small group of reporters – even if some might not ultimately be permanent.
“The ramifications of this episode are the fun of episode 16 [‘Rogue Time’] and seeing exactly what happens in [this episode], how much of it still happens and how much of it might possibly change,” he added.
Even the stars were in awe of its ambitious nature. Candice Patton admitted she wasn’t sure how the episode could be topped. “Where can we go from here? We’ve given everything away!” she recalled. “You’re watching it and you’re like, ‘If this is episode 15, I can only imagine what the finale is going to be like.’”
We got the scoop from Kreisberg, Patton and co-star Tom Cavanagh on what the implications are for living the same day twice, which big moments could be undone and what’s in store for the future!
1. Dr. Harrison Wells is Eobard Thawne, but what does it mean?
So Dr. Wells isn’t Dr. Wells. Are we really that surprised? Okay, fine, we are! We already knew he was the Reverse-Flash, but our minds were blown when the S.T.A.R. Labs head honcho revealed himself to be Eobard Thawne. Yes, Thawne. “You can take him at his word that there is a family connection between the two of them,” Kreisberg said of Wells’ ties to Eddie, which becomes a key storyline. (Interesting side note: The producers still call him Wells in the writers’ room.)
Expect “great scenes between Tom and Rick [Cosnett],” Kreisberg added. Cavanagh chimed in, promising that the Thawne of it all is “going to be reconciled at some point, and we’re getting there.” We’ll also dive into Wells’ backstory in episode 17, “Tricksters,” where we’ll see flashbacks from his point of view.
“He wants to get home. He wanted to kill Barry and he thought it was going to be an easy thing. Instead, he’s found himself trapped here for the last 15 years,” Kreisberg said of Eobard’s motives. “Every day in this time is an assault on him. That’s why he’s in the wheelchair – he really is trapped. Getting back [home is his priority] and if he can kill Barry in the process: two for two.”
2. Iris admits she loves Barry and finds out he’s The Flash, but no happy ending here
It was only when Barry and Iris’ lives were threatened that Iris admitted her romantic feelings for her best friend, leading to “a kiss for the ages” as Kreisberg described. But they won’t be living happily ever after. “Iris, when she’s back against a wall, and they could both lose their lives, it propels her to come to grips with how she’s been feeling about Barry,” Patton said, "that at the root of how she feels, she loves Barry. That makes it complicated, because she does love Eddie but in a different way.”
Cavanagh couldn’t contain his enthusiasm over the WestAllen kiss and Barry’s dramatic Flash reveal to Iris. “As a fan of that storyline, that was just a perfect way to do it,” he said. “It made sense and at the same time, you couldn’t linger.”
3. Wait, why did Dr. Wells kill Cisco?!
“There’s a genuine affection between them that’s not fake. When Thawne is in the time, he’s wholly invested. He cares about Cisco and is truly impressed by Cisco from the very beginning when the two of them meet. He is on his side,” Cavanagh said of the heart-wrenching scene. “When he says that line, ‘You’ve shown me what it’s like to have a son,’ he’s not saying it idly. He means it. At the same time, guy’s got to get home.” For the most part Eobard “is not himself an evil man,” Kreisberg defended. “There isn’t anything he didn’t say to Cisco that isn’t the truth. He’s sorry he found out and he’s sorry it has to happen. There’s a scene in episode 16 which really mirrors that.”
What’s more amazing is that Cisco’s tears during Wells’ speech weren't scripted. “Tom and Carlos [Valdes] worked out that the minute Tom walks into the room, [Cisco] knows he’s going to die,” Kreisberg revealed. “I get chills thinking about it and it wasn’t something we intended, it was something they brought to it.”
Though Cisco doesn’t have an alter ego yet, Kreisberg revealed that they address Wells killing a future Justice League member in episode 22. “There’s a great line that speaks to that,” he hinted. “Wells begins to impart some tidbits about a certain character’s future possibilities.” Even so, it’s unclear whether Cisco’s suspicions of Wells reach the same levels in the do-over. Part of the journey is seeing “how certain events occur that prevent Cisco from following along the same trajectory.”
4. Iris and Eddie’s romance “continues to be complicated”
The double date from hell between Eddie/Iris and Barry/Linda showed how intuitive Eddie is when it comes to Barry and Iris. That won’t end, especially with the travel back in time. “Their relationship continues to be complicated. Eddie will always see that there will always be a relationship between Iris and Barry that he can’t compete with to some degree and that’s unfortunate,” Patton said. Eddie and Iris dated for nearly a year without Barry around, and she made note of that fact. “Eddie is strong-willed in keeping Iris in his life and he’s a good mate for her,” she said. “He’s kind and loving – he’s everything every woman would want in a man and Iris knows that.”
One future development will have many scratching their heads: Eddie shoots (and possibly kills) two officers. (Watch the exciting trailer below!) “You don’t know why he’s doing that yet,” Kreisberg teased. “Maybe it’s because he’s in touch with his feelings.” Hmm.
5. Iris’ investigation into Dr. Wells reaches another level
“The wheels are turning for her as far as what’s going on with Dr. Wells,” Patton hinted. “Iris is going to continue to go after that story because Mason has piqued her interest. For Barry, he wants to keep her out of harm’s way and this is directly putting her back in harm’s way and into a situation with Dr. Wells that even he’s not quite clear about.” Now that Iris is orbiting S.T.A.R. Labs, expect scenes between her and Wells starting with next week’s episode.
6. The returns of Weather Wizard (and Grodd)
This won’t be the last we’ll be seeing of Spartacus’ Liam McIntyre, who plays Rogue member Weather Wizard (aka Mark Mardon, brother to the late Clyde). McIntyre will return in a later episode this season as they build up the Rogues. And the producers haven’t forgotten about Grodd – “He’s coming back and he’s mad!” Kreisberg said.
7. What life was like when Barry was in a coma
A future episode will include flashbacks to the time when Barry was in his coma following the particle accelerator explosion. We’ll revisit that time from the points of view of Caitlin, Joe, Iris and Wells, especially.
Which Flash moment shocked you the most? Which ones do you think will play out the same a second time around? Tell us what made your jaw drop in the comments below and on Twitter by tweeting Philiana Ng at @insidethetube!
The Flash airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on The CW.