Title: The Flash: “Nora” Review
Release Date: October 9th, 2018
Network: The CW
Genre: Superhero, Drama, Action
First off, let me just state that I’m not the world’s greatest fan of The Flash’s fourth season. Its sub-par main villain did not mesh well with the formulaic format or the overly light-hearted tone. If this year’s season premiere is any indication, I will say that season five looks to be one of the show’s best yet (certainly better than season four).
Nora (played by Jessica Parker Kennedy) instantly clicked with the most of Team Flash and stole nearly every scene she was in. There were so many fun easter eggs of classic Flash lore and teasers of what could be on the way for the Arrowverse in the future (they better not be lying about that Grodd vs. King Shark fight).
As most fans expected, Nora came back to hang out with her father, who was presumed dead in her time. It seems that every major development for the series goes back to that newspaper of 2024 Central City. Could Nora’s arrival in 2018 speed up that process by a few years? What would that mean for her timeline?
It’s questions like these that have been missing from The Flash since its second season and it was great to actually have some intrigue back in the show. Not only that but this episode proved to me that the writers do listen to their audience with some sweet callbacks to previous seasons and Ralph’s hilarious observations of the show’s history so far (the many-verse!).
The best scene of the episode has to be between Barry and Nora, where Grant Gustin once again proves why his take on the scarlet speedster is the best out there today. You can see that it really hits him that he never got to spend any time with his daughter and how similar the two really are.
It seems that Iris is beginning to catch on to the fact that Nora….doesn’t like her. Her not so “schway” encounter with her daughter at Jitters was probably the only uncomfortable scene to watch this week (although that was what they were going for).
If you’ve been wondering why I haven’t talked about the villain of the week yet, it’s due to the fact that he’s barely in the episode at all. Gridlock first appears and gets the best of Barry for a minute or so and then we don’t see him until the final minutes of the episode. The only thing I’ll say is that I’m impressed that Barry was able to actually defeat Gridlock on his first try in Nora’s original timeline due to Gridlock’s powers and Barry’s inability to defeat a villain one-on-one in their initial battle.
We also got our first look at both Barry’s new suit and the season’s next main antagonist, Cicada. I was a fan of the new suit when Grant Gustin revealed it a few months ago and the official introduction of the more comics-accurate Flash did not change my opinion much. I will admit the no chin-strap is a bit off-putting but I may get used to it over time.
Was Cicada a good pick to be the main villain for season five? Honestly, I don’t know what to think as I’m not very educated on his backstory and The Flash just tried this non-speedster big bad thing with The Thinker. I did get a Prometheus type of vibe from his introduction so that’s a plus I guess.
As of now, it looks like Cicada’s motivation is simple. Kill all meta-humans. I like that. No overly complicated plan that involves dumbing down the planet or destroying the multiverse, just a cult leader with a dangerous agenda.
The only fears I still have for The Flash this season is with Cicada and this villain of the week format. It worked for the show’s first few seasons but The Flash would really benefit from a more focused story. I know that with a 22 or 23 episode season this could be difficult but it can be done if you divide it up into two mini-seasons.
Verdict: All in all, the season premiere of The Flash season five was a rousing success as the series looks to be returning to its roots. Along with a fresh new member to Team Flash, this episode clicked with more balanced comedy, awesome callbacks to previous seasons, and some enticing teasers of future battles. Although the episode lacked a great villain, Nora’s backstory and her relationship with both of her parents introduced a new dynamic that will certainly be interesting for the show to explore for the rest of the season.
What are your thoughts on the season premiere of The Flash? Was this a standout episode for you? What do you think about Cicada based off the small screen time we saw from him? Let us know in the comments below!
- Nora Allen's official introduction
- Callbacks to previous seasons
- Easter eggs and hints at epic future fights
- Grant Gustin and Jessica Parker Kennedy's performances
- Ralph's observations on the history of the series
- The new suit
- Balanced its drama and comedy well
- (Nitpicking but) A lackluster villain of the week
- Not sold on a non-speedster main antagonist yet
- Kid Flash once again feels like an afterthought