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Barry finally gets his final(?) face-off with Orlin Dwyer, but just when it seems like the latest Big Bad was under wraps, things went sideways in about the most epic way possible.
Spoilers ahead for “Failure is an Orphan,” the latest episode of The Flash, which aired Tuesday, March 12, 2019.
We’ll start with the big news: Dwyer looks to be de-powered, but Team Flash’s victory lap lasted about 2 minutes before a mysterious new Cicada burst into Star Labs to take out the entire team with some high-level metahuman powers. As suspected, this New Cicada is actually Dwyer’s niece Grace, who had been in a coma since the events of the Enlightenment last season. We learn this week that Grace is actually a metahuman, and it seems her metahuman abilities have turned her into an adult with mad kung-fu skills and energy-blasting powers.
She busts into Star Labs, kills Dr. Ambrose, steals Dwyer’s body, and knocks out pretty much the entire team along the way. The team may have beaten Dwyer, but New Cicada looks to be far more dangerous and deadly. As keen-eyed fans are aware, we already got a glimpse at this alternate Cicada a few weeks ago when Barry and Nora went inside Grace’s mind. But still a shock to see her out in the wild and mowing through Team Flash.
With Dwyer fully human and on the mend (does this mean we’ve finally seen the last of Chris Klein’s borderline silly poseur-Batman voice? Here’s hoping), it seems we really have entered a second chapter for the Cicada saga. Grown-up Grace is something else entirely, and arguably more powerful that Dwyer. So, despite the setup, it seems the Cicada saga is far from over.
The mission to stop Cicada took on an interesting and very Flash-y angle, with Barry trying to figure out what he needs to say to Cicada to convince him to take the metahuman cure. It puts the focus on what makes Flash such a unique hero, with the “final battle” not a battle at all. It’s a conversation, with Barry actually pulling off his mask and appealing to Dwyer as a father. It was a touching moment, and really encapsulates what makes this show so great. It might be a bit cheesy and on its sleeve, sure, but The Flash has heart. So, so much heart.
So Future Thawne’s plan, whatever it is, seems to be coming to fruition. We learn Thawne has been monitoring the timeline in an effort to help Nora defeat Cicada (because Cicada’s dagger somehow plays a role in Barry’s eventual disappearance? Or something? Still a lot of unanswered questions there). He foresees the emergence of New Cicada as some “big variable” and warns Nora the timeline is on the verge of changing. It plays right back into Nora’s mysterious note that the “timeline is malleable,” but why? What exactly is Thawne’s long game here? Is he hoping to change the timeline enough that it changes his fate to where he doesn’t wind up in this future prison in the first place? Still a lot of questions there, too.
It’s so great to have Joe back. He spent last week’s episode catching up with Iris, and this week we get some touching Joe/Barry moments. It’s nice to have Papa Joe back in the fold. Things have been busy with Cicada, sure, but his presence has been missed.
Speaking of missing presences — where was Ralph this week? The Elongated Man’s skills might’ve come in handy. Most likely it’s just a case of limiting the extended cast episode to episode to keep things focused. But, still seemed odd to have Dibny MIA.
Sherloque’s secret investigation into Nora continues this week, and you have to wonder when exactly that might come to a head. He certainly seems to be piecing things together.
Next week: Does Nora finally come clean about working with Future Thawne? This looks like it could be a big one.