“Failure is an Orphan” Review of S5 E16 of THE FLASH

The meta-cure is ready, and we know that it works. Now, how to get Cicada to take that cure? Will he do so willingly? Probably not, so where do we go from here? We have come a long way in the fight against Cicada, so this may be time to see something big happen. That is, if Cicada isn’t really the big bad of the season (a personal theory here). The Flash may well have his hands full with this episode. So…wanna know more about “Failure is an Orphan”? Follow us after the jump!


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

I’m going to come back to this later, but on January 31st we published an article with a theory that has been proven true tonight! What’s that? Stay with us and we’ll tell you more…

Nora talks to Thawne in the future, and the countdown clock shows only 18 minutes and 52 seconds left. Until what, we don’t know yet – but it isn’t good. Thawne shows Nora a photo of the supposed last meeting of Flash and Cicada…but the picture isn’t stable. There is another timeline trying to cut in, and Thawne knows that this new timeline is worse. It does look like this picture shows the last chance Flash may have to stop Cicada.

That puts Nora into overdrive, and makes her quite annoying to the rest of Team Flash. Their first attempt is to talk Cicada into accepting the cure…and it doesn’t go well at all. After a talk with Joe, Barry realizes that he needs to talk father to father in order to convince Cicada to take the cure.

Meanwhile, Joe and Cecile come to the realization that Dr. Vanessa Ambress has been helping Cicada all along. They eventually get her to help them set up a new meeting, and they learn that Grace is becoming a metahuman. That is the key to convincing Cicada to take the cure.

And, it works! Cicada agrees to take the cure, after which they will give the cure to Grace. At S.T.A.R. Labs they bring in Dr. Ambress to help – his chest wound is guaranteed to open up when his powers leave him. The operation goes well…except for one thing.

A NEW Cicada arrives!

This new Cicada trashes S.T.A.R. Labs and kicks everyone’s backside in the process. And, there is one casualty – the new Cicada kills Dr. Ambres!

Team Flash is okay for now, but as they recover and check on each other, we cut to the Dwyer house. Orlin Dwyer, now no longer Cicada, is recovering on the couch. The new Cicada takes off her mask to reveal…

An adult Grace Gibbons, still with that glowing head wound, and even more powerful than her uncle ever was!


  • There was a lot going on with Nora and Iris and Sherloque this episode. With Nora and Iris, it was comparing their “lists” for what they wanted to do while they were together, realizing that defeating Cicada would mean Nora’s return to the future. With Nora and Sherloque, it was his continuing suspicions that are getting closer and closer to her big secret. From the looks of the trailer for next week, I think we’re about to get there.
  • Now let’s talk about that prediction back in January. I’m giving you a link HERE to our article back on January 31st. That’s when we gave you the theory that Grace was the true villain of the season. And, while our thought at the time was that she was controlling her uncle, it turns out that she has even more power than he ever had. But, one quote from then is still true for the rest of this season: “That metahuman cure that Barry wants to use on Cicada won’t stop the carnage. The only way to stop Cicada is to somehow stop Grace. They either need to take her powers or convince her that metas aren’t her enemy.”
  • Quick question – how did Grace suddenly grow up? Is this a Grace from the future, or did the dark matter accelerate her growth? That’s something we will hopefully find out soon.
  • BTW – Joe referred to Cecille as “foxy” early in the episode. Now, that’s a term that goes back to the 1970’s, and I didn’t know it was still a thing (okay, it’s not).  Likely it’s just a way to show that Joe is not in his 20’s anymore. Still, that was actually a cute moment.


  • We finally get the big showdown with Cicada, and we get the reveal of the REAL villain of the season. This makes the danger even greater, and frankly gives the season new life. We could not have gone much further with Orlin Dwyer’s version of Cicada, and this shakes things up at just the right time to drive the rest of the season forward. Lots of shockers here, from Dr. Ambress’ death to Grace’s reveal. Loved this episode! 10/10 for me – but again, that’s just my opinion. What do YOU think? Leave your comments below!


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