What’s this? I haven’t done a dedicated blog post on The Flash yet? Well, after the latest episode, I think it’s time to fix that.

For me, despite the significant lack of Felicity Smoak (beauty, brains, and geeky quirky humor — yup), The Flash has been better than Arrow. That’s not because Arrow is grimdark, but more because teamwork and character interaction on that show is just slightly too soap opera for my taste, at least when there’s an alternative like Flash around. Flash is serious when appropriate, but its true strength is in how quickly it built a team for people to care about. Arrow is built around a loner, and that’s used as a source of conflict just a little too much.

(I also enjoy how the police are actually useful in Flash stories, which isn’t something you normally get in superhero fiction. My brother is a cop, so that’s something that stands out to me.)

The one major thing I don’t really like about the show is that, frankly, I don’t like Iris. From day one, she’s just not struck me as someone good for Barry. Plus, there’s the whole foster sister thing. That’s a bit of a squick factor for me. That meant I was really glad when Linda Park showed up. I knew they were just going to use her as a means to get Iris jealous (and bingo, I was right), but they work together far better than Barry and Iris. I don’t know how much of that is the actors, but Barry and Linda have been meshing so well, and think so much alike, that I was really hoping we’d just go for that rather than the comic book continuity.

Of course, before Linda showed up, I was rooting for Barry and Caitlin. Okay, I admit it. I have a thing for geek women. Shocker!

Mind you, I have to admit that Iris was feeling a little bit more natural in the most recent episode, “Out of Time.” Which brings me to the spoiler part of this post, so if you don’t want any, leave now. 

This week, we got our first look at Flash’s ability to time-travel by running fast enough. (Or, I guess, tapping into enough of the Speed Force. However you want to describe it.) That’s pretty obvious if you know how TV works; the moment that we heard the woman on the sidewalk utter something memorable, it was obvious that the other Flash he’d just seen was himself time-traveling back a day. In TV, the moment there’s a speaking role, the actor is paid a lot more. That’s why background characters are so silent even when a main character is asking a question, giving an order, or just trying to make conversation. Normally, if they have to say something, it’s a voiceover, sometimes just a stock “Yes, sir” that gets used for multiple shows.

When you encounter a background character with a voiced line, particularly if you can tell they’re the one actually speaking it, then you know something special is happening and that character is important somehow.

Even expecting it, though, I thought the way they melded it together was excellent. Despite it obviously being a time-travel episode, the three big reveals — Harrison Wells revealing himself to both Caitlin and Cisco, as well as Iris admitting she cares for Barry and then finding out he’s the Flash — still felt utterly natural. These weren’t big reveals only to get reset by the timeline; the entire series has been building to these moments. The shocker wasn’t that they happened, but that now they have to all happen again.

Really, Flash writers. I’m applauding you. Excellent work.

Well, except for exactly why the Harrison Wells/Edobard Thawne revelation happens. Come on. If I were a mad time-traveling genius who put a hologram of myself into the speedster trap in order to divert suspicion from me, I’d have had the good sense to remove the hologram projector and relevant programming as soon as possible. He works with two geniuses (three if you count Barry, who’s no slouch and just needs more focus), and he doesn’t think they’ll want to find out why the containment field failed and possibly fix it for use down the road? Heck, if I were Barry, I’d have been attempting to figure out how Reverse Flash broke out by attempting to recreate the jailbreak myself.

So let me amend that, Flash writers. I’m applauding you in spite of the huge, glaring inconsistency here.

Now we have an extra mystery going on. How much will Barry reveal? He now knows Iris is attracted to him, but he doesn’t know that Harrison is Edobard Thawne. So he’s going to tell Harrison, and I have no clue which way he’s going to turn with that information. Does Harrison want Barry to have that ability? Was this what he’s been working toward, so that he can get back to his own time? Will he be unprepared for it to happen so soon, and change his plans? Will he be more careful about what he does now that Barry, at least in theory, can mess with the timeline?

Of course, time-running would be bad as a plot device, because unless there’s a reason why he can’t do it often, then he could eventually learn to control it enough to solve lots of problems easily. That control factor is the limit in the comics, such as when the Flash accidentally wrecked the world; but I doubt that will be a plot worth more than a couple of episodes if they do it.

Why? Because Arrow is in the same universe, and if things are happening concurrently, then we’ve got two choices. Either nothing changes on Arrow, which negates the connection; or Arrow shows the change, but confuses viewers who aren’t watching both shows at the same time.

Of course, there’s a third choice: lots of crossover. And since the second-to-last Flash episode of the season is titled “All-Star Team-Up,” that could be the case. There’s a screenshot of Detective West and Captain Lance talking to each other, so we’ve got at least one crossover episode coming up.

Or, just possibly, we could see multiple Flashes. There are clips of what seem like him fighting himself in a future episode. What if that’s not Barry, but, say, Wally West? Bringing in the idea that the Flash has actually been multiple people throughout the DC continuity (*cough* Well, if you can call it a “continuity” . . . there are more retcons in DC than Marvel, and that’s saying something) would be a bold choice for TV since we get so used to one particular actor as the lead. Using alternate timelines would give the show the best of both worlds.

Other than that, though, I’m not going to speculate. I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the ride.