“News Flash” S5 Ep 4 of THE FLASH! (Review)

After last week’s “Death of Vibe”, we take a break from direct attacks by Cicada…and yet we learn some key things about the big bad of the season along the way. More important, we learn just why Nora has a problem with Iris…and we learn that there was more fallout (figuratively and literally) from that satellite incident last season than we had thought.  Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

NOTE: This review is posting prior to THE FLASH airing in the Pacific Time Zone USA. If you haven’t seen the show yet, STOP HERE and come back after you watch the episode. You’ll be glad you did!

This episode starts with a look back at the night of the “Enlightenment” at the end of last season.  Spencer Young, once an employee of Central City Picture News, is saved from falling debris by XS. Strangely enough, her smashed phone suddenly looks fine…and yes, this is foreshadowing…

In present day, Team Flash is watching Barry play VERY badly in a CCPD vs CCFD softball game.  During the game, Nora reveals she is following Spyn Zone, Spencer Young’s app that is significantly outpacing Iris’ blog.  As it turns out, Spencer is ahead of the game in a very real way.

Whatever she posts on her phone happens in real life. Think about it. She is more than making the news…Spencer is creating the news!

First we see Officer Jones walk onto the field with a backpack bomb, and then we see XS save the day – with both of them showing flashing purple glows in their eyes. Later, we see that she can control the Flash as well…and then…

She sets up a battle between XS and Flash – a fight to the death, specifically Barry’s death! Iris manages to save the day with a well placed tranquilizer dart, and they are able to capture Spencer Young.

Maybe you’ve noticed that I haven’t referred to a code name for Spencer. It isn’t just because Cisco is laying low at his parent’s house and isn’t around to come up with a name. It’s because Spencer Young is NOT a meta!

Thanks to Ralph’s great detective work (you heard me right), they learn that Cicada uses a particular respirator mask…one that creates that cicada sound when he breathes heavily through it.  That means that his lungs, his breathing has been compromised. Sherloque Wells puts the rest together (with input from Caitlin), that falling debris from that satellite last season was filled with dark matter thanks to the Thinker…that the debris was diverted thanks to Nora’s joining in…and that it hit a different person in this timeline, creating this world’s Cicada…and something more…

That fallout from the satellite also created something that will make this season even more challenging for Team Flash – Meta Tech! The dagger Cicada uses was created by the satellite debris…and that phone that suddenly repaired itself at the start of the episode? Yes, Spencer Youngs phone had meta tech abilities.  Spencer was NOT a meta…but her phone WAS, and she used it to create stories until she was taken down. Just a note – Officer Jones was cleared of charges related to the backpack bomb, as he was under the influence of that special phone when he did all of that.

OK – now we get to the relationship between Nora and Iris.  What in the world could cause such a rift?

Future Iris put a power dampener chip under Nora’s skin when she was very little.  Nora didn’t even know she had super speed until six months ago! She felt (and still feels) betrayed that this was hidden from her.

Iris still doesn’t know why her future self would do such a thing…but after the events of this episode she believes that when it happens it will be to protect Nora.  Still, Nora isn’t buying this. To make things more difficult for Nora, Barry stands by Iris, trusting that her present (and future) decisions would be made out of love and concern for Nora.

And of course, Nora runs off…and goes to the West house to stay for now. We will likely be dealing with this for the whole season, but at least we know the pivotal act that cause all the tension.

That takes us to the…

EPILOGUE: Cicada comes home in his secret identity, in extreme pain and having significant breathing difficulties.  He discovers to his surprise that he now has super strength – but at a cost of extreme pain from that glowing scar on his shoulder…

NOTES: I’m glad to see the pace change for this episode. We really couldn’t sustain a “kill of the week” from Cicada all season, and particularly needed this change of pace after last week’s very intense “Death of Vibe” episode.  The real dramatic tension was focused where it needed to be – on the relationships between Iris and Nora, and on the budding partnership between Sherloque Wells and Ralph. The reveal of the reason for all the tension between Nora and Iris was believable (or as believable as comic book science ever gets)…and it lends itself well to a story line that can extend through more of the season.  I’m good with this episode, and can give it an 8/10. But of course, that’s just my opinion – what do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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