The Flash wasted no time introducing its new Big Bad, after a fleeting tease at the end of the season premiere. The team is now fully aware of Cicada — and he certainly looks like a formidable new villain.
Spoilers ahead for “Blocked,” the latest episode of The CW’s Flash, which are Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018.
Nora continued to find her place among Team Flash this week as she and Barry came clean about the real reason she’s in 2018 — Barry vanishes and never returns in her future, so she made the trek back in time to finally have a chance to meet her father. Team Flash is now working the problem, and hey, it wouldn’t be the first time they’ve managed to change the timeline. With about five years of lead time before that mysterious “Crisis,” it stands to reason Barry might have a fighting chance this time around.
Not surprisingly, Nora doesn’t want to leave Barry’s side, to the point that it starts to frustrate Barry that she won’t actually follow his instruction as he tries to train her. Turns out there’s a good reason — as Barry learns in a touching moment that gets at the heart of this series, and this season. More than anything, The Flash is a show about family. Joe, Barry and Iris; Barry and Iris (and now Nora); Joe and Cecille; even Team Flash itself. Joe reminisces back to when Barry first moved in with them, and how he had tried so hard to impress Joe. Barry finally starts to see the situation from a parent’s point of view. It isn’t that Nora can’t follow his training, it's that she’s trying so hard to impress Barry.
Everything she knows about Barry she’s learned from the Flash museum, a place literally built for hero worship (which clearly glossed over the grittier details of the Flash’s origin story, like his stint in prison last year). Her earnestness is endearing, and seeing Barry and Iris try to grapple with this weird form of time travel parenthood continues to be a great source of storytelling potential. It’s a show about family, and here’s a family story that only a show like The Flash could tell. Nora clearly has a lot to learn; thankfully she has the rest of the season to try and work out the kinks.
Nora’s future knowledge also comes in a bit handy this week, though only at the episode’s close. As Team Flash tries to identify the mysterious baddie who beats the stew out of Barry, Cisco and Ralph (after temporarily depowering them with a mysterious piece of tech), she puts it together before the rest of the room — it’s Cicada, a villain she’s clearly familiar with from her studies at the Flash Museum.
Assorted musings*Chris Klein’s Cicada looks to be more than formidable enough for Team Flash, and again, it’s great to see a Big Bad who isn’t a speedster. We also learn a bit more about his backstory, as he apparently works at a factory job when he’s not hunting and killing metahumans.
*Another mysterious bit about Cicada: He had Barry dead to rights, but stopped short of a killing blow after XS rushes in and yells “Dad!” Does this hint at Cicada’s own life as a parent? Could that be why he’s hunting metahumans, the loss of a child?
*Speaking of that family theme, we see Cecile grapple with the loss of her mind-reading powers, which means she doesn’t immediately know what the new baby wants every time she cries. She’s clearly struggling with parenthood this late in her life, and it’s certainly understandable you’d want to keep that “crutch,” so to speak, when dealing with an infant. But, as Joe tells her, she’s a great mother regardless. Mind-reading abilities or not.
*The B-story this week found Cisco still trying to move on from his breakup with Gypsy, as Ralph and Caitlin tried to distract him from the loss. It made for some levity, sure, but even that story was cut through with emotion from Caitlin. She’s afraid to investigate her father’s “death,” and breaks down when the distraction of Cisco’s breakup is no longer filling the void. She finally does decide to look into the case, and learns her mother has something to do with the apparent cover-up.
Up next: The tease for next week brought something fans have been waiting to see the past two weeks — what’s next for the revolving door of alt-universe Harrison Wells? We see the newest version, dubbed Sherlock Wells, show up to lend a hand with Team Flash’s mission to stop Cicada. As the team looks to be searching for a serial killer, who better than a Sherlock to join the crew?