OUT OF TIME: 'The Flash' Speeds into 'Smallville' Territory

by Brock Koller

Wow.

Almost a week later, the events from the latest episode of 'The Flash' titled Out of Time still linger in my mind.

MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!

AS IN RIGHT NOW!

Cisco learns Dr. Wells is the Reverse Flash! Wells reveals he is really Eodbard Thawne and he's from the future! Cisco dies! Iris learns Barry is The Flash! Joe is taken hostage! Captain Sing is injured! A huge tsunami occurs! Iris and Barry learn they both love each other! And Barry time travels!

What in the world???!!

And this wasn't the season finale. This wasn't even the mid-season finale that shows do nowadays. This was actually the first episode back from a month-long hiatus.  

So inquiring minds want to know - how can 'The Flash' expect to keep the season going as red hot as it has been now that all the mysteries have been revealed?

Well, that's where the 'And Barry time travels!' line from earlier will most likely come into play.

At the end of the episode, Barry travels to the past - to the very beginning of the episode, prior to when any of those amazing, awesome, and fanboy screeching moments occurred. Meaning, he can prevent all of this from happening.

Now, the tricky part is Barry doesn't know a lot about what happened. He wasn't around for Dr. Wells revealing his evil plans to Cisco. He wasn't around for Wells killing Cisco. So how will he stop that from happening? That remains to be seen.

But he does know about Joe being taken hostage and the Weather Wizard creating an enormous tidal wave. If he can prevent those events from taking place, there will be no need for Iris to reveal her true feelings for him. He will know she really loves him, but she will continue acting that she doesn't. 

This whole scenario is very reminiscent of another show about a young hero in training that aired on the CW years ago - 'Smallville.' Specifically Season 5's Reckoning

In this episode, Clark Kent proposes to his longtime love interest Lana Lang and discloses his super powered secret.

In a twist, she ends up getting killed later in the episode. So Clark calls on his Kryptonian father to reverse time to save Lana. Jor-El warns Clark that if they do reverse time, they cannot escape fate.

The tide of fate is impossible to stop. Even if you succeed in altering one course of events, the universe will find a balance.
— Jor-El

With that warning, Clark is sent back in time to the beginning of the episode.

Sound familiar?

With the knowledge of the original timeline, Clark makes sure things go differently this time around. He does not propose to Lana. He does not tell Lana his secret. However, fate intervened and Clark's father was killed. 

 

So while Lana learning Clark's secret was a ground-shaking moment and one that 'Smallville' fans were waiting for, it ended up not happening. At least not for another season. In Season 6, Lana eventually does learn Clark's secret for real.

But in Reckoning, it kind of felt like a letdown to have that exciting moment and then have it taken away.

For 'The Flash,' the same outcome seems likely. Somehow, Barry will learn Cisco is in danger and save him. I will even guess he will make the save before Dr. Wells reveals his true identity to Cisco. And, as stated above, all the romantic changes won't happen either. Kind of feels like a letdown.

Well, not a total one.

Yes, Barry is back in time and will prevent all of the awesomeness that was Out of Time from happening, but the effects from the episode will still be felt. Just like Reckoning left ripples in 'Smallville,' so to will this monumental hour do the same for 'The Flash.'

Barry knows how Iris feels about him. The fans know who Dr. Wells really is. Cisco and his S.T.A.R. Labs partner Caitlan, as well as Joe, are still unsettled about Wells, so it's only a matter - of time - until they figure him out. And Iris will eventually learn Barry is The Flash, just like Lana eventually learned Clark's secret.

Out of Time certainly gave 'The Flash' viewers a wild ride of emotions. 

The final minutes of the episode were a breathtaking experience. So much happened, it was hard to digest. But then once you realized Barry went back in time and knew things would change back, you probably gave a 'should've known' look.

But then, using 'Smallville' as a guide, you realize, while most of the mysteries and revelations may go back to being what they were, not everything will be status quo. 

Time travel or not, things have changed on 'The Flash' forever and I for one can't wait to see where the story goes next.

As Jor-El put it, you can't escape fate and the fate for us 'The Flash' fans is we're so going to be overwhelmingly entertained.