“What’s Past is Prologue” Review of S5 E8 the 100th Episode of THE FLASH

The gang’s all here…including some blasts from the past no one would have expected (unless you’ve seen all the promos, trailers, articles and other spoilers for who would show up).  It’s the 100th Episode of THE FLASH! We have a VERY wild ride ahead, so let’s just go straight to the review, right? Right!

SPOILERS AHEAD! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

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

Before we move forward, let’s talk about shows that hit a milestone episode. Far too often, the show is just a series of flashbacks (no pun intended).  It’s “remember when we did x?” and then you see the clip from the old show. THIS show has a much difference approach, one that could only work in the Arrowverse – and it’s pure genius!

Team Flash is trying to figure out how to stop Cicada, now that they know who he is. But, how do they get past the dagger that steals their powers? Nora has the answer – go back in time!

All the things they need for a “dagger dampener” are in the past. A strong alloy with magnetic properties? That would be a piece of Savitar’s suit. Something to draw off dark matter energy? Combine that piece of Savitar’s suit with the Speed Force Transmitter that Zoom used to take away Barry’s speed. How to charge the device so it will work? Expose it to the original particle accelerator explosion.  Then how to get the device close enough to work? Time glitch!

What?

Time glitch – in this case, hide the device near the hospital years before now, and use it at the last moment when Cicada isn’t ready.

So, the task is now…how to grab everything without changing the timeline. Can this be done with stealth? THIS is how they revisit critical moments in past episodes, with present Barry and Nora watching! It gives us a whole new look at those scenes!

Barry doesn’t want Nora to go at first, but Iris convinces him that the person who had the idea should be able to go along. That said, I’m not sure Nora knew what she was in for…she sees…

  • Nora sees Iris shoot Savitar!
  • She comes face to face with Zoom!
  • She learns what Thawne did to Barry’s parents – the Flash Museum doesn’t tell everything, and she didn’t know. We’ll come back to that below.
  • She meets Thawne! What’s interesting is that Thawne seems to wave goodbye at the end of that scenario, as if he knows something more…and he likely does.
  • She and Barry are there for the particle accelerator accident. They see the old S.T.A.R. Labs team, INCLUDING Ronnie (before becoming Firestorm).

There are points in this story where they could have accidentally changed the timeline.  Savitar’s piece of armor disappears and reappears in Nora’s hand. Present day Barry tells H.R. one way to find his daughter. Zoom was grabbed by a time wraith while chasing Barry and Nora. Lots of potential here, but we don’t see any major changes immediately upon their return.

They get the device together, hide it in a column at the hospital, and then the fight is on!

Barry is waiting out in the parking lot, with Team Flash nearby.  The device works…for a moment. Cisco vibes the dagger into outer space and Barry is beating Cicada down.  But…

Cicada calls the dagger back from outer space!

He wants to kill all metas…including himself when his fight is through.  With the dagger returned he is about to strike a final blow, when…

Killer Frost appears! The dagger does not work on her, as her powers are not dark matter related.  When she blasts Cicada, he turns tail and runs…er, flies away.

Sooooo, the plan didn’t work. But, it was a great adventure. And, they now know that Killer Frost may be a key to defeating Cicada later on.  All that’s left is…

A conversation between Sherloque and Nora.  He has been decoding her Speed Force symbol journal. “The timeline is malleable”.  Nora is evasive, claiming that this book is how she records everything in the original timelines, so she doesn’t forget her dad if something happens.  It’s a “time glitch”. Sherloque isn’t buying it. He asks where she learned all this, time school?
Nora says, “I created it”.

We go to Nora in the Time Vault, where she is scanning pages from that journal to Gideon for delivery. She also decides to deliver a personal message…and goes to 2049!

It looks like she goes to Iron Heights (correct me if my reference is wrong, folks).  In one of the cells is a person who is reading those pages that were scanned in 2018. He turns around, and it is…

Eobard Thawne!

What is going on here? We’ll have to wait till after the crossover for that one.

AND – we see the preliminary clip for the crossover, with 1990’s Barry Allen (YES!) and The Monitor.

NOTES:

  • Ralph playing “Back In Time” (from Back to the Future) while Barry and Nora go to the past was so perfectly Ralph in this show.
  • Nora finds out just now about Thawne killing Nora? Why wouldn’t Iris have told Nora about this? To protect her from the Flash legacy while she dampened young Nora’s powers in the future? Learning this fact may be what’s behind Nora’s “we need to talk” with Thawne, but we’ll have to wait to see how that turns out.
  • It will be interesting to see if we revisit some of the events of tonight’s episode – to see if they play out in timeline changes.  After all, if the time wraith caught Zoom much earlier in the storyline, Barry would never have had to create the time remnant that became Savitar. Plot hole or future plot line? We’ll have to wait for that as well.
  • Finally, I haven’t given you NEARLY all the past characters who show up in this episode.  Easter Eggs all around! Let us know in the comments who you find!

SUMMARY:
THIS is how you do a 100th episode! A great plot device to work in iconic scenes with a fresh twist. HUGE amounts of action – I have only skimmed the surface in this review. And, we have  that almost-but-not-quite-win over the big bad that happens about this time in the season – but worked seamlessly into the episode. I’ll give this one a 10/10 – but that’s just my opinion.  What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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1 thought on ““What’s Past is Prologue” Review of S5 E8 the 100th Episode of THE FLASH

  1. ADAM MARTIN

    oh you know something in the time line is gonna catch up with zoom being caught by the time wraith just wait for it…

    Reply

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