While watching The Flash Season 1 Episode 15, it was difficult to imagine all of the terrifying and amazing things we witnessed were undone in an instant.
That's what the round table participants are discussing this week. Join TV Fanatics Jim Garner, Hank Otero, Tanya Moat and Carissa Pavlica by jotting your own thoughts about the surprising developments in the comments.
Was the time travel encountered in "Out of Time" what you expected?
Jim: I was actually surprised how they did it, but also a little confused. How did Barry not see himself standing on the street corner watching the dogs bark and lady miss her taxi, he was there the first time, shouldn't he have seen himself when he arrived the second time?
Hank: I wasn't sure who Barry saw running alongside him, so I loved the reveal that it was him. The time travel didn't happen the way I expected, but I loved it nonetheless. I guess I assumed Barry's first trip to the past would be the night of his mom's murder. A little time jumping practice can't hurt though right?
Tanya: Yes and No. I didn't realize this was the "time travel" episode going into the hour. When Barry went back in time at the end, my mouth was hanging open, and I was completely surprised, which I love. These days it is hard to be surprised with all the spoilers, and I loved not knowing. I didn't expect the twin effect, so to speak, so that was a surprise. The awesomeness of all of it was not.
Carissa: It wasn't how I expected the first instance of time travel to come about, no. Barry doing it by accident will probably give him the courage to engage more actively in it in the future, however, which may or may not be a good thing.
What development pre-tsunami surprised you the most?
Jim: That Wells revealed who he was and that he killed Cisco. I thought Wells liked Cisco enough to bring him into his plans, not remove him entirely.
Hank: I'm with Jim, Cisco's death was totally traumatizing. Of course, now that Barry realized he can time travel Cisco will be back. I believe he popped up in the teaser for next week's episode.
Tanya: Agree with both Jim and Hank, Cisco's death crushed me. His tears and heartbreak over Wells' betrayal and even Wells/Thawne's tinge of regret got me, especially because I wasn't expected Barry to time travel and undo it.
Carissa: Cisco's death was crushing. It's hard to believe I was skeptical of his character in The Flash Season 1 Episode 1 because he is, without doubt, my favorite on the series. The spontaneous crying at the understanding what Harrison was about to do was beyond expectations. No fight, just resignation.
What, if any, of the developments to you expect might remain?
Jim: That's the thing about time travel, they could actually undo all of the developments and nullify the entire episode. The one I hope remains is Iris admitting she's in love with Barry.
Hank: None actually, I think the writers will wipe the slate clean. Such great moments though, like the kiss between Barry and Iris. She's not going to remember a thing, but I'm sure Barry gets to keep all those memories. I just love time travel stories!
Tanya: I think one has to remain only because if Barry can time travel to "fix" anything that doesn't go right, it becomes too easy. There has to be some cost. Whether it's not being able to "fix" everything or going back somehow changes the present or both, time travel has to be used somewhat sparingly. Otherwise, the show would become boring. I suspect the only thing that will stick is the Captain possibly being paralyzed.
Carissa: My expectation would be that some of what happened that day will continue to play out as it did because Barry didn't know everything. You can only change so much as one man with the knowledge you had. However, I don't think it will go down like that, and that I might be disappointed, because it won't make sense to me.
We know Harrison is Eobard Thawne. Why was he trying to kill young Barry and why is he stuck in time?
Jim: I'm guessing that he thought if Barry was dead then this situation would have never happened as we know that Adult Barry was somehow involved with chasing him back in time.
Hank: That's what I assumed as well Jim. Taking out young Barry means the adult version can not interfere with Eobard's timeline. I can't wait to see exactly why Barry visits Thawne in the future and then drops him in 2015. Will he bring back another speedster sidekick as well? By the way, how great was it to finally hear Cavanagh say his real name? And mention that Eddie is a distant relative. Everything just fell into place.
Tanya: I have the same questions, Carissa. Barry obviously does something that affects Harrison negatively in the future, so he decided to kill him as child (and he's obviously a huge Terminator fan) but how did he end up stuck here? We know adult Barry was there, too, so how did he not get stuck? Did he injure him when he tried to save his Mom? Wells still has speed but maybe can't go fast enough? More questions than answers and I'm okay with that!
Carissa: I just can't wrap my head around any scenario wherein going back to kill Barry and accidentally killing Nora instead erases Eobard's ability to get back to his time. By Barry becoming The Flash, is Eobard is denied his own destiny? In the alternate timeline, perhaps Eddie was created as The Flash in lieu of Eddie and the mutation passed down through the generations. Can you tell I don't read comics?
The episode was epic. It deserves free time to discuss. Discuss!
Jim: Sadly, I'm betting nearly all the big reveals this week are going to be undone. While Cisco being alive will be great, having Barry back in the friend's zone and Iris unaware that Barry is the Flash is going to suck. But as I see it, all the big bits were within a minute, so they are tied together as a package deal.
Hank: I thought Weather Wizard (Liam McIntyre) was phenomenal. The visual effects on this show (and for The CW's budget) are insane! The lightning and that tsunami... what?!? I knew this series was going to be cool, but I never imagined it would be so strong right out of the gate. True, that Barry's going to be back in the "friend zone" with Iris, but that's a small price to pay to get Cisco back. I couldn't believe they killed him off without us meeting Vibe. Yeah, time travel fixes everything... or does it? How will Barry screw up the space–time continuum by undoing these events?
Tanya: Thanks Hank for the reminder of who played Weather Wizard. I recognized him, but couldn't place him. The one thing I did note is Barry never found out that Wells is Reverse Flash or killed Cisco. Caitlin never told him about Wells abandoning her and his wheelchair at the coffee shop because the tsunami was the more pressing concern. So assuming most everything rights itself, Cisco, Caitlin and Barry won't remember or know Wells' secret, which is both disappointing and exciting because we know!
Carissa: Yes, Tanya, those are all things that I noted, as well. Why won't they continue on the same trajectory in the coming week, I wonder. I realized as I was writing this that we were essentially treated to a giant spoiler. We've been given all the answers and then the door was closed and we have to sit here knowing the truth without seeing the stories carried to fruition. I'm not sure how I feel about that, but The Flash team has carried me through so far, so I'll assume it's going to work out well! Ultimately,I'd like Barry to fix the past, but still keep the good stuff. That probably won't happen.
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.