“Cause and XS” Review of S5 E14 of THE FLASH!

Any fans of “Groundhog Day” the movie out there? It’s one of those movies that I somehow have to stop and watch whenever it shows up on TV. Tonight’s episode is the superhero version of that plot, and it works brilliantly here. Watch Nora as she tries to save everyone, and tries again, and again, and…you get the idea. It’s “Cause and XS” on THE FLASH! Want to know more? Follow us after the jump!


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

There is a part of me that wants to go back and dissect each iteration of the scenes that are repeated here. It’s the same feeling I get when watching the scenes in “Groundhog Day” play out in so many slightly different versions. We start out innocently enough, with a plot device that gets Barry out of the way for most of the episode…

The metahuman cure is almost ready, but it will take 29 days to finish that process. A quicker way to handle things? Barry can take it into the Speed Force and it will only take an hour. What could POSSIBLY go wrong in an hour? And so we begin…

In each version of the events, Cicada finds a different member of Team Flash to kidnap and take to a rooftop – there to get ready to kill the heroes of the team. Each time, Nora arrives just in time to see Cicada’s dagger completing an arc through the city…to land in the back of one of the team’s members! First it’s Killer Frost who dies, then it’s Ralph, then Cisco, then Sherloque, then Cecile. Over and over again Nora goes back in time, only to find another kidnapping and another death.

We don’t see all the attempts, as she tries 52 times before coming clean to Team Flash. It’s not like she had a choice, as Cisco and the other team members gradually realize that something is off. They eventually figure out that Nora has been playing with time. But, the good news is that Nora has been journaling every time she fails…and using that knowledge, Team Flash has a chance to prevail.

Of course they prevent anyone from dying – but I’ll leave that scene for your viewing and comment. Cicada is out of the way for now, though for how long is anyone’s guess. After everyone is finally safe, Barry comes back from the Speed Force to an awkward scene…anything happen while Barry was gone?

Barry counsels Nora about messing with time. She makes one more visit to 2049 and to Thawne, but appears to agree to stick to the plan. Even though they are still messing with time by her attempts to help Barry stop Cicada, Nora is willing to continue the effort.


  • In the subplot for tonight, Cisco has his first date with Kamilla Hwang. They use the “Groundhog Day” effect for some comic relief here, as Cisco tries a variety of personas to impress Kamilla. Of course, all those attempts to be something he isn’t fail miserably. That’s what happens when you let “The Book of Ralph” get into your head. Cisco gradually realizes that he is getting vibes of all those past attempts. Thankfully, he learned his lesson and showed up at Jitters just being himself. We will likely see more of Kamilla in future episodes, and that’s good news.
  • We now have the metahuman cure ready, and that will certainly be a big deal very soon.
  • Sherloque must feel that his new love is safe with Cicada temporarily out of town at the end of the episode, because he is back to checking out that journal. We are likely getting very close to Nora’s big secret being revealed.
  • And yes, we need to sneak the number 52 into the show as often as possible.

SUMMARY: Okay, the “Groundhog Day” trope was well-worn long before tonight’s show, but I really enjoyed the execution of the concept here. All the little details were in place to make this interesting, from Ian’s order at Jitters each time (until Stephen/Stefan in the last scene), to Cicada’s speech on the rooftop that was eventually echoed by Iris, this was pulled off exceptionally well. Even though I’m a big time Barry Allen fan, this Nora-centric episode really worked for me. This is the best episode in a while for this season – I’ll give it a 9/10. Of course, that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!


2 thoughts on ““Cause and XS” Review of S5 E14 of THE FLASH!

  1. golddragon71

    Interesting Note: I’ve recently been listening to the Friend Water network’s Justice League International Bwah Ha Ha podcast which of course is dedicated to the Giffen/DeMatteis run on Justice League. In issue 5 the Justice League is faced with the Gray Man who is threatening to steal the dream essence of everyone on Earth. The numbers are run and the team has 52 minutes to stop the Gray man before the entire world is affected. This was long before any of the 52 pushing members of the powers that be at DC were ever associated with the company. (I think Geoff Johns in particular was just writing in to the lettercolumns at the time!)


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