The Flash is back with season five and there’s a new speedster in town with a personal connection to the West-Allens.
Following a dark and emotional fourth season, The Flash returns with a much more jovial tone in its season five premiere. But, as one has come to expect with Team Flash, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows in Speedster-land. No sooner has Team Flash got back on their feet after defeating the evil Devo, before they have a new adversary to face. Fortunately, they also have a new ally.
The season five premiere has set the tone for the rest of the season – a side of fun with a heavy dose of sentimentality. The episode also included a smattering of clues as to what we can expect from the season five plot.
Here are our five main takeaways from the season premiere of The Flash. Spoilers ahead!
1 – Wally West Needs to Find his Way
Partway through season four of The Flash, an anguished and heart-broken Wally West left the team, because of his break-up with Earth Two’s Jessie Quick, and partially because Team Flash pretty much ignored him, even though Kid Flash was keeping the city safe while Barry was trapped in the Speedforce.
Wally went on to travel the world in search of inner peace but was found by time-fugitive Rip Hunter. Wally eventually joined the Legends for the second half of Legends of Tomorrow’s third season, and helped them take down the evil demon Mallus.
Wally appeared in the season finale of season four of The Flash to celebrate the birth of his baby sister and, as the season five premiere is a continuation of the same scene, Wally gets to be part of Team Flash again for a short while.
It was fun to see Flash, Kid Flash and the newest speedster, Excess, team up to save an entire plane full of people, but as Kid Flash actor Keiynan Lonsdale has decided to take a break from acting to focus on his music career, the episode ended with Wally wanting to go on another journey to find himself. He did leave the door open though to help Team Flash and the Legends.
Wally West is an integral part of the DC Comics, and the Flash-verse, and to see him diminished was frustrating for fans. One can only hope that Lonsdale can be persuaded back with a meatier role and arc.
2 – Thawne’s Prophecy
The Flash’s new speedster was revealed to be Nora West-Allen, Barry Allen and Iris West’s daughter from the future. She had come back to help the Flash against Devo but has become stuck in the past and needs Team Flash to get her back.
When initial attempts fail to send Nora home, she ends up spending more time with her family. But it soon becomes obvious that all is not right. Nora seems fond of her parents, but she is particularly close to Barry. There is a reason why – Barry disappears in the future.
Back in season one of The Flash, Eobard Thawne, masquerading as Harrison Wells, had a newspaper from the future in his time vault. The headline was about the Flash disappearing in the future. Team Flash have time-travelled so many times that the headline has changed several times over, but now it seems that original ominous future is back for Barry.
And Nora has more disturbing news – Barry never returns. She grew up without her father, just as Barry grew up without his mother.
It is a heart-breaking moment for Barry, especially as he had just been speaking to Iris about all the ‘firsts’ they would share with their daughter. Barry realises that he will miss them all just as his parents missed so many of his.
This realisation foreshadows Barry’s decision at the end of the episode to let Nora stay with them a while longer. According to Kid Flash, Nora’s presence in the present is a soft anachronism that won’t have long-lasting repercussions on the timeline.
But if there’s anything we know about Team Flash, it’s that everything has repercussions!
3 – The West-Allens are Going to Run into Trouble
Speaking of Nora, initially after revealing herself, Iris is decidedly more excited to meet her daughter than Barry is. Whereas Barry is worried about corrupting the timeline, Iris just wants to get to know her cool, speedster daughter. But, from the very beginning, Nora seems evasive, more intent on helping Barry than hanging out with Iris.
When Iris does get some time alone with Nora, the meeting doesn’t go well. Iris asks her a few questions about her life – what does Nora do, what does she like. The answers all have one startling similarity – Nora appears to be following in her father’s footsteps, not her mother’s.
As the episode progresses, and we learn about the truth of Barry’s future, he and Nora become even closer. Iris is not brought into the fold. She remains excited about Nora’s presence in their lives, now and in the future, but she still feels left out. When the day’s villain is vanquished and Team Flash are ready to relax, Barry and Nora head off for ice-cream, leaving Iris behind again.
Iris has been left out of important matters before – Joe and Eddie knew about Barry’s powers before she ever did – and being pushed aside by Nora is already beginning to bother her. If Barry and Nora don’t tell Iris the truth soon, the West-Allens will head into a world of hurt, and perhaps even endanger Nora’s very existence.
4 – Caitlyn’s Past is Going to Unravel
Caitlyn Snow has been the sweetest cinnamon roll of a character on Team Flash from the beginning. Which is why her Killer Frost persona is such a shocker – Frost is all anger and hate and revenge.
Having said that, over the past season, Caitlyn and Frost became decidedly closer, even leaving cute notes for each other. When Killer Frost inexplicably disappeared after a fight with Devo, Caitlyn did everything in her power to get her back, including partnering with villainous Amunet, and going to therapy where she uncovered a repressed memory. Sadly, no matter what Caitlyn tried, Killer Frost was nowhere to be found.
Eventually, Caitlyn asked Cisco to vibe her to the repressed memory – Caitlyn was in an accident as a child, and her father was involved somehow. But, more interesting still, when young Caitlyn looked in a mirror, she saw Killer Frost.
Caitlyn’s metahuman abilities allegedly manifested only after Flashpoint but it seems she may have been a meta long before then. If only the other witness to the event, her father, were still alive.
Well, while Team Flash is saving the city, Ralph Dibny was out doing some digging. What he finds is fascinating – the M.E. who signed off on Caitlyn’s father’s death certificate doesn’t exist. Could this mean that Caitlyn’s father is still alive? Could he give her the answers she needs to find Killer Frost again?
5 – There’s a New Baddie in Town
Another season and another terrifying villain to threaten Team Flash. For most of the episode, Central City is under siege by Gridlock, the villain of the week. But, in the closing moments, as Gridlock is being transported to prison, the convoy is attacked by a mysterious masked figure. Not only does he attack the vehicle and kill all the guards, when Gridlock asks the masked man what he wants, he proclaims, rather ominously, that he is here “for all of you to die”. Well, we expected no less from a villain on The Flash.
So, who is this villain? Chris Klein puts a long career of comedy behind him to don the mask and coat of Cicada, one of Flash’s long-standing comic book enemies. His appearance in this season will mark the first live-action version of Cicada.
According to comic lore, Cicada’s metahuman powers were triggered by a lightning bolt, similar to the one that struck Barry, making him the Flash. Cicada has the ability to absorb the energy of other humans to prolong his own life. Essentially, he is immortal.
Cicada’s interest in the Flash is because of their similar origins, but that’s where things go pear-shaped. Cicada kills to live and, if there’s one thing the Flash will not do, it is to take someone else’s life.
The little we have seen of Cicada, thus far, isn’t much to go on, but he does have the potential to be a deadly and fascinating villain, if Chris Klein can pull this off. We are definitely intrigued by that Flash-symbol weapon he owns, that is for sure!
The season five premiere was a strong start for The Flash and one can only hope it keeps getting better. All signs point to a dangerous villain and a rocky personal road ahead for the heroes. Everything we need for an exciting new season.