FLASH SPOILER Review: Episode 5x04- "News Flash"

The Flash (5x04)- "News Flash"
Written by:         Kelly Wheeler & Lauren Certo
Directed by:       Brent Crowell

We open on the night of the Particle Accelerator Explos- Enlightenment (Sorry! Force of habit! But as we see later in this episode the Satellite Crash has become the Particle Accelerator Explosion 2.0 so it’s an honest mistake.) And some idiot is running around livestreaming it on her phone before Nora saves her and I’m so glad she ends up being our villain of the week because I hate selfie video people.

Forgive the old man moment but you kids look both beyond self-involved and beyond idiotic doing it.

Back to today and Iris is… a disaster in the kitchen.  Too bad for her, because her plan to get closer to Nora is going as well as her cooking. (I said in the live tweet but it needs repeating: Pancakes should not crunch.)  But judging by Nora’s now open contempt it was safe to say this episode was going to show us why Nora seemingly hates her mother.

The gang meets up at STAR Labs to discuss what they know about Cicada and how they can crack the mystery of his identity. It seems that Ralph has a theory concerning Cicada’s mask and he and Sherloque decide to chase it down.

Meanwhile, Barry’s on the CCPD softball team but despite him being fast enough to probably play all nine positions on both teams at once he has to Silver Age Clark Kent it up.  Nora’s scrolling her phone and she apparently has an app run by Spenser Young (our villain of the week) which is great because a CCPD officer shows up with a bomb and tries to kill both teams only to be stopped by XS but that’s probably… I skipping the pretense because really her plot is pretty repetitive. 

Using her tech power to manipulate the news cycle and XS a bigger hero because she has some sort of crush that got tangled up in her ambition to be a famous reporter. I know right, a reporter trying to manipulate the news? Crazy! That would never happen in the real world... Ha.. Ah-ha... *sigh*

There’s some cool moments that come out of it like Barry being forced to run to Vegas but it’s a pretty straight forward A-Plot.

Ralph and Sherloque also have a pretty straight forward B-plot with the hunt for Cicada’s mask.  They figure out his mask is most likely an industrial protective mask, Ralph is discouraged when he learns it’s a pretty common type of mask but Sherloque follows up and hits on the idea that his distinctive breathing comes from an injury (most likely the wound we saw at the end of last week.)

Now. It is important to note that calling these plots straight forward isn’t a condemnation, just an observation.  The original Star Wars is a straight forward call to adventure story but it’s beloved because it does it well.  I’m fine with this story because this episode is good. Really good.

Most of that is because of the character interactions.  Cavanagh and Sawyer have chemistry in their buddy cop story and the tension between Patton and Kennedy carries most of the episode until it finally boils over and we learn that the reason Nora’s been so stand-offish with her mother comes from future Iris deciding to inhibit her powers and never told her she was a speedster and she found out on her own.

We don’t have context of course but the two most likely reasons are A: Parental concern over their daughter lacking control growing up that got out of hand or B: There was some sort of danger in her developing her powers too early.

I’m more likely to believe a mix of the two, perhaps Barry learns that you can only use your speed for so long before you burn up or are absorbed into the Speed Force or become too fast to ever slow down which would explain both why he disappears and what Iris does but still because she doesn’t tell Nora in the future I’m very much on Nora’s side here.

As a general rule I am against hiding life-changing things from someone for their safety. Quite frankly, that’s how serial killers are made…

Oh hi Cicada!

Anyway, the other big revelation of this episode is the Satellite has created a new Meta problem.  Specifically, Meta-tech. this will be a good twist on the meta-of-the-week trope so hopefully it’ll keep the writing fresh.

I also like that Wells gave credit to Ralph.  It’s a tiny-character moment but a very welcome one.

Lastly, with the news of Jesse L Martin taking time off due to a presumed back injury Joe’s scenes have become crystal clear. He has move very little in his scenes and most of them have him sitting rather uncomfortably on a couch.  I’m sure I speak for everyone at WOBAM wishing him a speedy recovery.

So, four up and four down.  This season really is clicking along.  There’s no Flash this week because of election coverage and like I said I’ll be in Japan the second half of November and unable to review Flash right away so this is probably the last chance we get to be together for a while so let me just say from the bottom of my heart. Seriously, get the hell off my lawn you damn kids!

Things We Learned:

1)      Meta Tech no exists which could allow anyone access to powers.
2)      Iris is not a good cook.
3)      Cicada’s injury is getting worse, most likely killing him.
4)      At some point in the future Iris decides to suppress Nora’s powers and going so far as to hide them from her.


1)      Was Barry involved in this cover up?
2)      Why did they decide to suppress her powers and why did they hide them from her?
3)      How much time does Cicada have left?
4)      How much more Meta tech is out there?

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