Flash- Season V- Ep. 1 “Nora”: A Review

Posted: 10/11/2018 in Uncategorized

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Curse you Daredevil, Jessica Jones…and Netflix caliber shows…. Flash has been skidding for some time. Last year’s season was uneven but the show did rally in its finale, as it often does… except for an end sequence that threatened to set the show back to familiar and done to death territory. Enter Nora West-Allen/XS (Jessica Parker Kennedy), daughter of the Fastest man alive. Sigh. My review follows below.

Ok, I have openly declared that I will be dumping shows that I feel have declined to the point of un-watchability. WD, farewell. “The Gifted”- adieu. Flash…to be determined. While Parker Kennedy did bring a fresh faced energy to the show, her actions, like Barry’s (Grant Gustin) are foolish, made all the more so in her case with her access to the past via it being her current history. She knows how things have played out. She knows about her father’s missteps and yet she takes equally silly risks. Time…does it really mean anything anymore? Legends of Tomorrow – which is the furthest thing removed from DC/Superhero standard programming –  revels in the paradoxes that such practices as time travel would bring about. Framed as “anomalies” and with a spectacular amount of fun, LOT has become DC/CW’s vanguard show, improving in quality with each passing season.

Such is not the case with Flash which drops an awful lot of sci fi and science with general dexterity and yet fumbles with plot and character consistency excluding the repetition of temporal disruption and catastrophic consequences that follow.Was the ep all bad? No, there were some lingering touches of what the show was and could be. The true reason for Nora’s being ‘trapped’ in the current timeline could have played as straight weekly drama du jour. Instead, it hits due emotional beats including every sequence in which Nora interacts with Barry. Whether the moments are as civilian father and daughter or in the field, using their abilities, this is the one aspect the show gets right,. Even the strained attempted connection from Iris (Candice Patton), as she attempts to force a relationship with her future daughter, played well with due awkwardness informing a later strong reveal.

The sputtering however occurred with the ‘one and done’ villain Gridlock (Daniel Cudmore). While the initial demonstration of his power was serviceable, he is merely a prop in a later key sequence in which Barry/Flash takes the lead, helping his daughter surpass a hurdle regarding her abilities and allowing for a pretty fine visual rescue sequence. That the moment is informed by Barry’s exhibition of his formidable intelligence to work out a brilliant game plan- to both block his opponent and rescue a lot of people – again reminds us of what this show can be.

Dibny’s (Hartley Sawyer) was the only humor which resonated. His “earth too” comment was just hilariously superior. His wanting to help Kaitlin (Danielle Panabaker) reconnect with her Frost persona opens the door to a cool mystery and the exhibition of Dibny as a talented detective. I am cautiously optimistic that this could be Sawyer’s breakout year.

The less said about Cecile Horton (Danielle Nicolet) ‘regaining’ her powers, the better. Drunk Cisco (Carlos Valdes) equally fell flat. The mega villain set up at the end truly underwhelmed though maybe time will tell if he will become a true rogue. Caitlin was simply just there.

Where the show truly shone was in an attempt to reconnect with its better arcs, including a moment in which Barry encourages Nora citing Harrison Wells (Tom Cavanaugh) teachings. The delivery of the Flash presenting both intelligence and skill to outwit/outmanoeuvre his opponents was vintage flash. The ep certainly attempts to reach via returning  to the show’s onset mystery, namely the final crisis/missing Flash arc. It is by concentrating on this aspect that the show may be salvaged and allowed to re take its place as both one of television’s better sci fi and superhero genre shows….or it could all go to hell with cutesy characters and more time travel folly. I await with bated breath. Here’s hoping Flash can return to being both outstanding and well worth your time.

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