“Memorabilia” Review of S5 E12 of THE FLASH

What if you could go back into your memories and live them again? What if, instead, you could go into someone else’s memories? And, how dangerous could that be for them…and you? That’s what we find out in this episode of THE FLASH! As a bonus, we learn a lot more about Grace, the young girl that Cicada is trying to avenge. And, what about that metahuman cure? Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!

SPOILERS AHEAD!

First, a quick apology for the delay. This reviewer was on the road on business and couldn’t get to THE FLASH until Thursday – thank goodness for DVR.

Nora is journaling in her own from-the-future way, speaking to Gideon. In one respect, it’s also a conversation with Thawne, as Gideon regularly delivers messages to future Thawne from present day Nora. This journal entry is about her conflicted feelings – how long can she keep her secret from Barry and Iris? How would they react if they knew Thawne was helping her come back to the past? We’ll revisit that notion in a bit, but first…

Sherloque has received a Memory Machine, a rather large device that can let people go into another person’s memories. It was used on Earth 221 (wow, that many Earths?) to reach the comatose victims of that world’s Mad Hatter. He proposes that they go into Grace’s memories to help her wake back up, and to do so Sherloque plants a transducer near Grace in her hospital room. The machine stays at S.T.A.R. Labs, where Sherloque invites Nora to be the guinea pig…knowing that she must be hiding something. They agree to try this experiment the next day.

Rather than risk being found out, Nora decides to sneak back to the lab at night and puts herself directly into Grace’s memories!

This starts with Grace at the CCPD just after her parents died, and continues to Uncle Cicada’s house, where Nora sees that very interesting doll house. It continues to the hospital…where it turns out that Grace has been able to hear everything while she has been there! (Note: That’s something that can actually happen in real life to people in a comatose state). Good news? Not so fast…

That means that Grace has heard her Uncle blame metas for everything, and she realizes that Nora is a meta…and the daughter of the Flash. That starts a battle in Grace’s mind to go after Nora. Here’s the rub…just like any good horror flick, if you die in this virtual world you will die in real life! Nora’s main defense mechanism is a version of Cicada, and this version of Cicada is out to kill Nora!

Meanwhile, Team Flash realizes that Nora is in Grace’s memories. Barry and Iris agree to go in together to Grace’s memories to help Nora…but instead they end up in Nora’s own memories! Among other places, this takes them to the future Flash Museum (and Barry initially enjoys this a lot, of course). But, they realize something terrible from Nora’s memories…Barry never stopped Cicada. He continued to kill after Barry disappeared in 2024, running up the score to more than 152 victims. They then witness a not-so-pleasant scene between future Iris and young Nora (in her memories). Worse still, they find Nora’s defense mechanism…the empty uniform of Thawne!

Things are not looking good for anyone until Sherloque and Caitlin figure out a way to contact them in these virtual memory worlds. They call in a la The Matrix and let Nora, Barry and Iris know that the way out of those memories is to find a perception gap – a false memory. Once they find that, the hidden portals out should appear.

Barry and Iris find their perception gap – it was that not-so-pleasant scene. Iris had worried that she would turn into the rather harsh person she initially saw…but that was not the real scene. Iris was actually being kind to Nora, and when they accessed that real memory they were able to reach into Grace’s memories to reach Nora.

That was just in time, because Grace’s mental version of Cicada was about to kill Nora. They save her and get through the portal back to reality just in time…but without Grace. Turns out that Grace believes in her Uncle Cicada and will do anything to protect him, and she isn’t willing to follow Team Flash anywhere. She promises, “they’ll pay…they’ll all pay”.

Back at S.T.A.R. Labs, Caitlin explains why they had such trouble getting into Grace’s mind before. There are still pieces of shrapnel in Grace’s head, meaning there is dark matter there as well.  They won’t be able to use this machine to help her – not with her defenses so strong.

In a side story thread, Cisco is getting a breakthrough in potentially getting that meta human cure, and Barry has a new idea to stop Cicada (since waking up Grace won’t work)…and that is to find that cure and use it on Cicada himself!

Meanwhile, Nora goes back to Gideon (with a message to Thawne) and journals again. She realizes that, like Grace, she will do anything to protect the people she loves. She won’t tell them that Thawne supposedly sent her back to help them defeat Cicada, even if that means continuing to lie to them. And, we see Grace back in the hospital…and for the first time without the bandages on her head. Turns out, she has a glowing spot on her forehead that shows she had been infected by dark matter. Will she become a larger player in this season? We’ll have to watch for later episodes to find out.

NOTES:

  • There are two main side threads with this episode. The first is Ralph trying to get Cisco back into the land of the living…to forget the gloom and doom from his break up with Gypsy. It doesn’t work at first…but eventually it looks like Cisco may have found someone new. We’ll see how that goes. One thing we do know is that, while talking to this potential love interest, a photographer/bartender named Kamilla, Cisco figures out a way to move his research on the metahuman cure forward.
  • The other thread deals with Iris’ attempts to change the future in some way, any way possible. She starts with an unsuccessful attempt to find another name for her Central City Citizen, since that’s the name of the publication with that famous front-page spread of the Flash’s disappearance in 2024. Eventually, she does change the future a bit…her paper was supposed to start online in 2021…but now it’s 2019, and Nora shows her that it did indeed change that part of the timeline. Could other parts of the future also change?
  • We see Nora’s gauntlet version of Gideon used multiple times in this episode. So, why does she need to go to the Time Vault to send messages to Thawne? Just asking…
  • And while we are asking questions, how much longer will it take for Sherloque to finally figure out Nora’s secret? He seems to be getting closer every week.
  • Let’s talk Flash Museum for a moment. There were LOTS of Flash related items there, from bobbleheads to rings to mugs to action figures…and two particular comics, one featuring Grodd and the other showing Cicada ready to kill Barry! Barry enjoyed the thought of everything related to his heroics…at least until the memories started turning for the worst. Still, it was great getting another peek at that staple of Flash lore, the Flash Museum!
  • Just one more thing – when Caitlin and Sherloque called Barry and Iris while they were in Nora’s memories, I loved the fact that the ring tone turned out to be an 8-bit version of the Flash TV theme song!

SUMMARY: This was an episode full of comic book physics and nods to other sci-fi/horror flicks. We saw phone calls into people’s virtual world memories, the “if you die in your dream you die in real life” trope, and a lot more. My only issue is that the show teased a lot more than it delivered. While I realize Nora’s secret will be a real game changer when revealed, I was more ready for that to happen now…and I’m not sure that I liked that being stretched out for more episodes.  Still, it was an overall good episode. I’ll give it an 8 – but that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!

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