Welcome back to our "online water cooler" to discuss all things CW The Flash and your favorite speedster!
Our first episode back from the holiday break "The Flash & the Furious" picks up right where we left off pre-"Elseworlds": with Nora confronting Eobard Thawne aka Reverse Flash in prison in 2049. It doesn't let up from there as the episode explores themes of regret, destiny, and the burdens/responsibilities of having superpowers. This recap contains spoilers and plot summary–hopefully enough to entice you to watch a really great overall episode and a wonderful midseason return for this show.
About that Thawne/Nora confrontation…Nora is visibly upset at how much hate exists in her father's heart for Thawne. He replies he has the same hate for Barry, but because he always wanted to be The Flash but realized he never could. This makes for an interesting commentary (and likely the reason Thawne is working with Nora) in the hope that her admiration for her father can also be turned to jealousy and hate–and yet, knowing just how terrible Thawne is, Nora runs back into the past and acts as if everything is alright.
Of course, it isn't. Team Flash is right back in it, with Barry ready to testify at the trial of Weather Witch–which also is Cecile's first case back as a prosecutor. However, she keeps getting hit with waves of empathy as she feels intense regret from young Miss Joss. And then in the middle of the trial, Barry and Nora are called away to chase down a stolen Lamborghini–but the thief, Raya Van Zandt aka Silver Ghost, has used stolen meta-technology to turn the car into a weapon against The Flash. After trying to phase through the door to apprehend the car thief, Barry can't stop phasing. Nora gets him to S.T.A.R. Labs, where they get him in a meta-powers dampening cell so he won't die.
With Barry out of commission, Nora has to step in. This becomes even more complicated as Silver Ghost tries to break Weather Witch out of jail. Feeling remorse for the people she hurt and the others she could've, Joss tries to turn herself in and even help Nora in apprehending them.
In the supporting storyline, Caitlyn helps Cisco by removing the last of the remaining shards from Cicada's dagger from his hands when both notice something about the effects of the shards and theorize they could probably be used to find a metahuman cure. While Caitlyn (who is gaining more control over her abilities) is interested, Killer Frost is having none of this.
Other loose ends include Sherloque still trying to decode the language he discovered in Nora's time diary and continues investigating her, with a final scene that takes viewers back to where we began: with Thawne in the future.
All of this comes back to some pretty interesting themes and implications. First, Cecile's days as a psychic–or at least an empath–aren't over. Second, any search for a metahuman "cure" is fraught with ethical conundrums. A "cure" for Caitlyn means death for Killer Frost – and some people truly love their powers.
Take Nora and Eobard, and how their abilities shape them–but it is also interesting to see how their powers put them on different trajectories. Fate? I always love debating this one on The Flash because any show that allows for changes in the timeline–but also warns against changing the timeline–has some strong implications about what we're fated to do.
The Flash was the hero, and Thawne loved him, idolized him and wanted to be him–until he realized he couldn't. No longer striving to be like his idol, Thawne instead tried to hurt his "hero" in the strongest way possible–which ended up also "creating" Barry, as did Thawne's masterminding the whole particle accelerator explosion.
So where does that leave Nora? Where lies her fate? Is she a hero–or villain?
These are just some of the things that keep me tuning into the CW's The Flash every week, and next week's episode "Seeing Red" doesn't look to be stopping the momentum:
The Flash s05e11 'Seeing Red': CICADA SEVERLY INJURES NORA — During a battle with Cicada (Chris Klein), Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) is severely injured. Due to Cicada's dampening powers, Nora's speed healing isn't working, leaving Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris (Candice Patton) scared for their daughter's future. Upset about his injured child, The Flash is filled with rage and confronts Cicada in a brutal battle. Meanwhile, Killer Frost (Danielle Panabaker) keeps interfering with Caitlin's work on the cure. Marcus Stokes directed the episode written by Judalina Neira & Thomas Pound