With a full month passed since the last new installment of "The Flash," this week's episode, "Out of Time" -- screened early for press this morning at The CW's headquarters in Burbank, California -- attempts to compensate with a whole slew of major developments packed into its runtime.
Of course, not much can be said specifically about the big happenings in this week's "The Flash" until after the episode airs -- check back with CBR for a full post-show report -- but it's already been heavily promoted that former "Spartacus: Vengeance" actor Liam McIntyre will debut as Mark Mardon, the Weather Wizard; one of the main Rogues (the specific term used for a class of fan-favorite "Flash" comic book villains) in comic book lore. McIntyre is actually the show's second take on the Weather Wizard -- Chad Rook played Clyde Mardon, the character's brother and fellow weather-controller, in the show's pilot.
"When we were doing the pilot, we wanted to have one of the Rogues, because we just felt it was important to say up front we were doing 'The Flash' show," Executive Producer Andrew Kreisberg told CBR News during Monday's press event. "['The Flash' and 'Arrow' executive producer] Greg [Berlanti] always had the idea of ending it with the tornado, and fortunately, in the comics, Mark Mardon has a brother, Clyde. We were able to devise it where there was one and then the next one. Liam is great as 'Spartacus,' but he's so great as the villain in this. People probably will be surprised as how good he is at playing the dark, evil character."
Whereas Rook's character was still adjusting to his abilities in the pilot, shortly after the particle accelerator explosion that granted many Central City citizens "metahuman" abilities, McIntyre's Weather Wizard has had time to adjust to his situation -- resulting in a much more in-control antagonist, one closer to the classic comic book version of the Weather Wizard.
"We wanted a Weather Wizard who was more in control of his abilities, and less beset by them," Kreisberg said. "We loved the way Chad played it -- he was sort of always shaking, and felt like he couldn't quite control it. Mark's obviously had a little bit more time to control it."
In the comics, The Flash's Rogues have frequently teamed up to form a united front against the speedster. The show has already featured team-ups between Captain Cold (Wentworth Miller) and Heat Wave (Dominic Purcell), and the two will return in March 24's episode, "Rogue Time," alongside Peyton List as Cold's sister Lisa Snart, known to comic book fans as Golden Glider. Captain Boomerang, played by Nick Tarabay, faced off against The Flash on an episode of "Arrow," and two different versions of The Trickster (played by Devon Graye and Mark Hamill) are on tap to appear on March 31 episode "Tricksters."
While a few other famous Rogues -- the Mirror Master, for instance -- have yet to appear on "The Flash," Kreisberg indicated that the hope is indeed to have a full-fledged Rogues team-up in the show's future.
"Liam is coming back this season," the executive producer continued. "He's in [next week's] episode 16, but he's also coming back later in the season. We've been blessed with the Rogues, with the people that we've found, hopefully building up to one day having a real Rogues episode the way we would all love to see it."
Like many of The Flash's Rogues, Weather Wizard isn't necessarily all bad -- though he does some very bad things in this week's episode. Primarily, McIntyre's character is fueled by revenge for his brother, who in the midst of a destructive rampage was shot and killed in the pilot by Detective Joe West (Jesse L. Martin).
"You can be bad, and do bad things, and still care about people, and still have relationships; have love for other people," Kreisberg said to reporters. "It's why this episode feels so primal, because everybody is acting out of love in their own way."
A lot happens in "Out of Time" beyond the Weather Wizard's role, and Kreisberg is satisfied with the results -- calling it "the best episode we've done."
"It's everything that 'The Flash' can do -- I don't mean Barry Allen as the hero, I mean as a TV show," Kreisberg said. "I feel like this episode delivers in spades. It's got amazing visual effects that you just don't see on television. It's full of heart, it's full of romance, it's full of genuine scares. It's really the best version of this show. Between this and 'Arrow,' there are only a handful of episodes amongst ourselves that we say that about. I definitely feel like this is it."
"Out of Time," the latest episode of "The Flash," airs 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 17 on The CW.