The wait is over! Season 5 of THE FLASH is here, with narration by “The Fastest Woman Alive”, Nora West-Allen, otherwise known as XS. Just what WAS the “big mistake” Nora made at the end of last season? What lies ahead that she can tell Barry and Iris? And, what about Barry’s new suit? Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!
NOTE: This review is being published before THE FLASH airs in the Pacific Time Zone, USA. If you haven’t seen the show yet, STOP HERE and come back after you watch it – you’ll be glad you did!
Unlike past seasons, where considerable time passes before the new season begins, we pick up exactly where we left off at the end of Season 4, in the West house with Nora introducing herself. She knows all about everyone there, thanks to her time going through the Flash Museum of the future. Nora explains that Iris gave her the “XS” name, since she always did everything to “excess”. Her mistake? Helping Barry destroy that satellite at the end of last season. It has somehow slowed her down (or at least that’s what we think for now), and she can’t go home.
This starts a lot of tests and surprising results throughout the episode. Let’s cut to the chase (pardon the pun) and let you know what we find out:
- Nora has “negative tachyons” running through her. And, while we learn that this is a serious issue, we don’t really have a full understanding of what that means for her during this episode. It certainly will be revisited time and again during the season.
- She really could go home…but she used an artifact from the Flash Museum to hide that fact, as she wanted to get to know her dad better….and why is that?
- It’s because we learn something more about that mysterious future headline where the Flash disappears…he still hasn’t returned 25 years after that event! Nora never got to spend time with her dad, who disappeared before she could establish any memories of him.
Our villain of the week is Gridlock, who can absorb kinetic energy and use it to become ever stronger. A punch just helps him punch back harder…and a super-speed punch helps him even more, as Barry finds out the hard way when XS distracts him for a moment. Eventually they do catch him, but only after they deal with a highly dangerous situation that requires Barry, Wally, and Nora to simultaneously phase an airplane through a building and a bridge!
Near the end, Nora is ready to return home…but Barry decides to keep her around a little longer. The explanation for why that isn’t a potential Flashpoint? The Legends believe there are “soft” events that can be changed without major effects on the timeline, and that if they are careful Nora can stick around without creating a Flashpoint. That’s a rather convenient plot point, but hey, it’s comic book physics.
Before we get to the end of the episode, Ralph Dibny gives us a BIG clue about Caitlin’s dad…his death certificate is a fake! Will we see him later this year?
At the end of the show we get our first glimpse of the big bad of the season, but without a full introduction. We just see Cicada ready to kill his first meta…and we go to dark before the actual death occurs. That takes us to the promos for next episode, and to our…
- I really liked the idea of Nora narrating this episode. It sets the tone for the entire season…especially with her goal of stopping Barry from disappearing in the first place in 2024! What could possibly go wrong with a change in the timeline like that? It’s a good starting place for the season, and I’m looking forward to seeing if she can accomplish that goal.
- We see glimpses of a strained relationship between Nora and Iris, building on some scenes from last season. We don’t see anything fully yet – and that’s more than okay for the season premiere. I’m sure we will see a lot more as we go through the season.
- I liked how Ralph Dibny was used at times as the audience surrogate in this episode, catching up the viewer on anything they may have missed if this is their first viewing of THE FLASH. Through him we get a quick primer on the multiverse and on what has happened so far in the series. Tell your friends, this episode is a great jumping on point for the show.
- There were some interesting Easter Eggs in this episode from Nora. She name drops Lightning Lad when talking logos. Nora notes that Ryan Choi designed the Flash costume that comes out of the ring. She also brings up Mob Rule as a future foe. Nora blurts out a lot of future stuff…and I can’t wait to hear what she says next about the future Arrowverse!
- As for the new uniform…the jury is out for me. I’m so used to the darker color scheme of previous seasons, that going full bore comic-book colors was almost more than I was ready to see. At the same time, the slimmed down profile for Barry really comes close to the early Silver Age Barry Allen, and I do like that. And, the special effects for the costume coming out of the ring was spot-on! Let’s just see how this costume grows on us (again, apologies for the pun) as we go through the season.
SUMMARY: This was a very good start to Season 5, with a solid script, just the right amount of reveals for a season opener, and plenty of action and fun. Nora’s character gives the production a lot of potential paths to follow for the season, and Jessica Parker Kennedy has really stepped up in making this character believable. I’ll give this season opener a 9/10…but that’s my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!