4. “Out of Time” (Season 1, Episode 15)
The Flash has a bit of a reputation for making the fifteenth episode of its seasons count, and that all started with its very first season. “Out of Time” started like any typical season 1 episode, but it quickly became clear that this wasn’t just any typical episode. No, this was the episode where time travel was introduced into the show.
The central plot focused on the emergence of a second Weather Wizard, who sought vengeance on Joe West for the death of his brother in the pilot episode. When he took Joe hostage and threatened to submerge Central City under a tsunami, Barry stepped up to stop him. The only problem was that The Flash’s vortex barrier resulted in him running so fast, he ran through time.
The creative team raised the tension in this one beautifully, presenting us with a high-stakes plot, expertly using it to build towards the show’s first West-Allen kiss and Iris’ discovery that Barry was The Flash, only to rip it away from us at the last minute. It used this momentum to slowly progress the season’s main storyline, with Cisco’s discovery of Harrison Wells’ plans only for him to die a moments later, sending us all into a meltdown.
“Out of Time” gave us everything we wanted, and everything we didn’t all at the same time, and then pressed the rest button in an excellent twist that would be pivotal to the season going forward. Absolute perfection.