FLASH SPOILER Review: Episode 5x01- "Nora"




The Flash (4x01)- "Nora"
Written by:         Todd Helbing & Sam Chalsen
Directed by:       David McWhirter

HEY! Long time no see!



Well maybe not that long, but it does feel like it’s been a while!  The leaves are turning, the dew has turned to frost and Season 5 of the Flash is getting started. 

Season 5 is a high risk/high reward season in the life of any show. Some shows like Deep Space Nine had a lot of their best episodes in Season Five. Other shows…



 Kill off their best character…

 


In favor of creepy incest pairings and dragons and you NEVER, EVER forgive anyone involved because that son of a bitch is never going to finish Winds of Winter and you’ll never see Stannis liberate Winterfell!

Sorry. Some wounds don’t heal. 

Anyway, let’s see where the Flash falls. Are they Moore and Behr or are they Benioff and Weiss?

So we pick up where we left off, Barry and Iris’ speedster daughter from the future… (That’s a lot to write, let’s just call her Nora for short.) came back in time to see her parents and extended family from a time before she was born and since she helped Barry destroy the satellite at the end of last season, she’s kind of stuck now.

We learn a lot in quick succession: Nora is called “XS” as in Excess, Cisco’s a pissy drunk, Ralph was seemingly uninformed about time travel and Cecile is still psychic to some degree or another as she can read her baby daughter’s thoughts. (That last one will probably come in handy the most because I don’t know how many times I’ve witnessed frustrated parents ask their crying babies what they want.)

Barry is initially skeptical and concerned that Nora could endanger her existence with the wrong word or action but quickly warms to her just in time to have a first confrontation with our villain of the week, Gridlock.

Gridlock was supposed to be one and done deal but apparently Nora’s already changing the timeline.  Also, Ralph is still trying to catch up on all the temporal and dimensional hijinks the gang has gotten up to the last four years so that pretty much sidelines him this week.

It’s not long after Ralph “Manyverse” revelation that the red flags with Nora start popping up. Not evil red flags, more like “the real reason she came back was because she doesn’t know one or both of her parents” red flags.

They try to send her back but there’s a techno-babble reason having to do with negative-tachyons preventing them from sending Nora back.

All too soon, Barry realizes the reason Nora came back is him.  It seems that Barry never returns after the “Red Sky Event.”  Nora was young when it happened (if she has no memories or Barry that would probably mean three or four) so her first memory of Barry is when she told him to “Remember to say ‘I do.’” 

From there, it’s pretty easy for Barry to figure out the reason Nora can’t go back is she’s using some sort of device to harness negative tachyons. (We’ll come back to this in the end but remember: for a show that loves its mysteries that was way too easy for Barry to figure out.)

But first it’s time to take care of Gridlock.  He’s going after a guy on a plane that’s taken off and now the plane is going to crash into downtown.  Which means Barry has to phase the plane through the building (which is straight out of the New 52 Manapul and Buccallato. A run I cannot recommend enough for the art alone.)

Problem is, Barry hasn’t done something like that before but with Wally and Nora’s help he thinks he can.  Nora returns the assist with a new suit from the future that comes out of a Flash ring no less!  With Gridlock taken care of it’s time for Barry to channel season one Wells and teach Nora how to phase and for Team Flash to save the day.

So back at STAR Labs, Barry’s had a change of heart.  He tells the gang that he wants to make sure that her powers are fine before they send her back but we know the real reason is he wants to spend time with her while he can.

Meanwhile, Ralph has worked through the mysteries of time and tracked down Caitlin’s father’s death certificate and lo and behold…




Before we go, we get a glimpse of this season’s villain when he does his best Magneto at the start of X3 impersonation to hijack Gridlock’s prison transfer.  Unfortunately for Gridlock, it’s not to break him out.  Nope, it seems Cicada’s out to kill all metas with his magic(?) lightning bolt knife.

You know what that means, we’re back!  With a really strong episode too.

There’s a lot to digest and a little to worry about so let’s just say I hope Ralph doesn’t get play for laughs by being portrayed as stupid and move along.

I think the biggest thing we have to watch this season is whether or not there’s more to Nora’s trip through time than we’re being lead to believe and I think there is.  There’s some strong hints (at least to me) that neither Barry nor Iris are in Nora’s life by the time she travels back to the past.  First and foremost, it’s in the performance of Jessica Parker Kennedy. 

She leans into a few moments with Iris that give off that feeling and when Nora says “it’s just me and her” I get the impression that she isn’t.

The next biggest reason is Geoff Johns.  Say what you will about Johns but one thing no one can deny is he’s a big fan of the Pre-Crisis DC Universe.  You see, in the comics before the New 52 reboot we learned that Iris was born in the thirtieth century and as a result she’s had quite a few wacky time travel adventures.  I have a feeling this part of her history will inspire Nora’s storyline to some extent or another.  That’s just something Geoff Johns would do.

So, like I said.  This was a really strong episode, and they’ve set up more than a few things to up the stakes and make things harder on the team moving forward like taking their satellite crutch away.  I’m excited to see how this plays out.  I guess that means it’s time to wrap things up:



Things We Learned:

1)      Nora is from at least thirty years in the future.
2)      Ryan Choi constructs Barry’s suit in the future. (Choi is the fourth man to become the Atom in the Comics.)
3)      Caitlin’s father’s death was faked.
4)      Sometime in the Future Grodd and King Shark go all Godzilla vs King Kong.

Questions:

1)      Is Iris alright in the future?
2)      Will Nora be able to find her father and bring him back to the future?
3)      Who is Cicada and why is he murdering metas?
4)      Was Caitlin’s father a willing partner in faking his death?
5)      Will we meet Ryan Choi?
6)      If there’s a Happy Harbor, Rhode Island do you think there’s a Sanctuary there?

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