The Flash Episode Nora Was Totally “schway.”
Team Flash returned with a lot of baggage for the season premiere
After the longest hiatus known to man, our favorite Scarlet Speedster and the rest of the gang finally returned to our screens this Tuesday for the Season 5 premiere of The Flash, and boy do we have a lot to discuss! To recap season four’s finale, the mysterious caterer finally revealed herself to be Nora West-Allen (Jessica Parker Kennedy), Barry (Grant Gustin) and Iris’ (Candice Patton) daughter from the future. Thirty years from the future to be exact, as the young West-Allen divulged she’s from the year 2049. This obviously quickly becomes the central conflict in the episode and provides The Flash much-needed heart that was lacking last season.
While the entire team tries to process Nora’s arrival, Caitlin (Danielle Panabaker) was still dealing with the fallout of her alter-ego’s “death.” With the help of Cisco (Carlos Valdes) last season, Caitlin discovered Killer Frost has been with her since she was a kid, long before the particle accelerator explosion — with her father at the scene of the accident. However, thanks to Ralph’s (Hartley Sawyer) private investigator skills, the two discover that her father isn’t dead as she believed for most of her entire life. It was indeed faked.
Here to discuss this heartfelt season premiere is our The Flash roundtable!
Tatiana (@myrcellasear) – Entertainment journalism wannabe and an avid pursuer of comics.
Vanessa (@westallenallure) – Rambling and Flash extraordinaire.
Holly (@hollyanderson30) – Social Media Addict who runs two fan pages and loves everything CW, especially The Flash.
Dori (@dorigrayskies) – Way too passionate about too many things, but, like.. in a chill way.
Will Polk (@willmpolk) – Blerd, Flash fan, and producer of @scenennerd podcast with host Sarah Belmont @sjbelmont.
1. Nora’s plan all along was to come back to the past to prevent her father from disappearing in the future. Did your theory come close to this?
Tatiana (@myrcellasear): I think it was pretty close to my theory, except I thought that the things Nora had done in season 4 were already meant to to stop her father from disappearing. Now it sounds like that leg of her plan is just getting started, so best of luck to her!
Vanessa (@westallenallure): Just wanted to first say, that I loved this episode. It was so fun, emotional, and thrilling. Now, I had a couple of theories that had to do with her saving Barry. So, half credit? Now that her wanting to save Barry is confirmed, I realize – how won’t any “solution” not end up being incredibly detrimental? Simultaneously, how bad can changing the incredibly-far-future be?
Holly (@hollyanderson30): First off, I am so happy The Flash is back! And yes, this was the theory I had except I actually thought Nora was stuck there, I never thought she would make herself stuck!
Dori (@dorigrayskies): That was actually my exact theory! How schway is that?!
Will (@willmpolk): Yes, It makes for her to come back to try to prevent this after all her last name is Allen! Plus looking back at season 4 and her interactions with Barry it makes sense.
2. Iris is desperate to get to know Nora, but Nora is less than interested. Have any theories as to why Nora is cold toward Iris, despite Barry’s disappearance?
Tatiana: I’m still expecting that Nora told her mother the plan in the future, and Iris forbade her from doing it because of Flashpoint. I don’t think Iris and Nora were on bad terms her whole life, or else Nora wouldn’t go by her mother’s nickname for her and wear her mother’s jacket. Instead, I think they had recently become estranged because something happened – either Iris shot down her plan to save Dad or something happened to Don (yes, he will exist in one form or another!). Which is why Nora should tell present Iris the truth, because she will surely do what it takes to save Barry and fix their relationship in the future.
Vanessa: This whole dynamic is good if you’re a sucker for angst like me but at the same time, it pains me given Iris’ excitement and her deep-rooted (and not elaborated) issues with her mom. Given that Iris writes about Barry’s disappearance and taking in some LIGHT comic book aspects, I figured that she focuses on his legacy to have him live on, as well as cope with his loss; and Nora feels isolated. Given that we know 25 years later he’s still gone and Iris still wrote the article – I will cement that as my prime theory.
Holly: I think that Iris might have tried to overcompensate for Barry being gone, not wanting Nora to be like her father doing dangerous things (ex-speedster) when all Nora wanted was to be like her father, to feel a little closer to him.
Dori: I’m wondering if Iris handles Barry’s future indefinite disappearance the way she handled his Speed Force “imprisonment — by throwing herself into her work and trying to be strong for everyone else, especially her child[ren]. That might’ve created a bit of unintentional distance/tension between Iris and Nora in the future. And, Iris may even want Nora to be extra careful with her powers, because she knows how dangerous the superhero life can be, and she doesn’t want to lose anyone else she loves.
Will: Maybe Iris was very restrictive on Nora using her powers after what happened to Barry and Nora grew to resent that.
3. Do you agree with Barry to keep his elongated disappearance from Iris and the team? Why or why not?
Tatiana: I don’t think keeping secrets has ever helped anyone on this show, so I do think he should tell them. The only reason I think he’s not right now is that he doesn’t expect to change it, so he doesn’t want to upset Iris and the others. But he has to know she would do anything to save him just like he did for her, so why not give her the opportunity?
Vanessa: Of course not! One, when has that ever worked out for anyone? For him when he’s lied to Iris? It hurts her either way. Two, this is a very serious matter. Iris is clearly elated at the idea of having a family with Barry – she said it this episode, in the season four finale, and even all the way in 4×07. So, for Barry to know that and surely feel it, and not tell Iris, is so irresponsible and involuntarily selfish. He’s stripping away that urgency and importance of spending as much time with Nora (AND HIM) away from her.
Holly: Yes and No! Yes because they would just worry and no because they love him and deserve to know the truth. And who knows, maybe they can do something about it.
Dori: Definitely not. You’d think he’d have already learned his lesson about keeping secrets from not just the team, but especially Iris. At the very least, she deserves to know. I understand that he probably thinks he’s just preventing premature heartbreak/stress and potential further damage of the timeline, but, at this point, both Nora and Barry know, so I think Iris should be informed as well. However, it is a family matter, so I’m cool with him not sharing it with Ralph/Cisco/Cait immediately.
Will: Over the last 4 years of the Flash we’ve had this recurring theme of a character choosing not to tell the team or family members about something major that is about to happen or has happened. I’d hope we’d get more growth by this point in the series by the characters, but they repeat the same mistakes over again.
4. Caitlin finds out that her father isn’t actually dead. How do you think this will connect to her Frosty past?
Tatiana: Just because her mother has been painted as the bad guy up to now, I think it would be a sad and interesting twist if her father was the one who experimented on her when she was younger and then faked his own death when it went wrong. I hope the mother isn’t involved in faking the death because that’s just too much. However, it’s also possible that something external happened to Caitlin which created Killer Frost, and Thomas going into hiding was somehow to protect her.
Vanessa: I’m very minimally invested in this storyline but since last season, I hypothesized that he experimented on Caitlin when she was younger causing her to be a meta. If I’m going to put more energy in this arc, I’ll go as far as saying that her mom was a part of it too.
Holly: I think this is entirely connected to her Frosty past. I think her father did experiments on her and maybe himself. I don’t know why he would fake his death though, but I can’t wait to find out.
Dori: Since her father was in her Frost childhood flashback, he may know something about how Killer Frost came to be, so we should definitely expect a Snow family reunion as Caitlin continues her quest to bring back her frosty friend. It’ll be interesting to see why his death was faked, and who was behind the faking, that’s for sure. To be honest, finding out last season that Killer Frost isn’t a new, total alter ego (as was said in season 3) kind of threw me for a loop, so I do wonder how they’re going to handle this new origin story.
Will: It may finally give us a definitive answer to how she got her powers. Plus it will give additional context as to why her relationship with her mother is that way.
5. XS in The Flash comics was originally Westallen’s granddaughter, Jenni Ognats. What do you think of the change in the show?
Tatiana: I refuse to believe that Jenni Ognats will no longer exist because that is too cruel. Instead, I choose to think that XS is the superhero name that Nora will pass down to Jenni, just like Flash is the superhero name that Barry passes down to Wally and then Bart.
Vanessa: I was initially saddened because I want Jenni to be a separate person just so I can have more and more Flash lineage character appearances. However, given that they commented on how malleable some things in the future are – I can hold out hope. ESPECIALLY, if Nora changes the timeline and causes Barry and Iris to have twins, which will then change her name to “Tornado Twin(s).”
Holly: I think this may just be the shows way to acknowledge Jenni Ognats seeing as they can’t possibly bring all characters on the show, but the change works out fine.
Dori: In the comics, Jenni Ognats has darker brown skin, so I think it kind of sucks that this change for the show (presumably) took away both Jenni’s existence and the chance to possibly have a dark-skinned black girl cast as their granddaughter further down the line. But, if they really are not doing the Tornado Twins and chose to make Nora’s character an only child, I’m sure the writers innocently thought that the logical solution was to just bump Jenni’s XS up to daughter and rename her. It is what it is.
Will: I like the change. The show has shown that it takes elements of the comic book and make fit to the narrative structure of the show. I think this will be a fun exploration of the West-Allen family and the legacy of the Flash.
6. Wally has decided to leave, yet again, to discover himself. Do you miss him being on the team, or do you think they work just fine without him?
Tatiana: I personally miss him and his dynamics with Barry, Iris, and Joe. But the team is overcrowded, so I can’t say it’s an issue that he’s gone. Obviously, he’s not the one I would have voted off the island, but since Keiynan departed of his own volition I wish him the best of luck in all his future endeavors.
Vanessa: I will miss Wally, I’ll always miss Wally. I will always have an issue with the show having a team, and then on top of that – it not being comprised of Flash lineage characters. Not to mention, Wally is to be Barry’s successor, to not have him and properly flesh him out is such a mistake.
Holly: I will miss Wally being on the team, but they do work just fine without him. Unfortunately, they never seemed to figure out what to do with Wally on the show.
Dori: Ugh, I’m so sick of Wally leaving! Like, boy, what else do you need to discover? I *for sure* miss him being on the team. His dynamic with the rest of the Wests and Barry was so great, and I’ve definitely enjoyed watching his character grow over the seasons. Both Wally and Kid Flash were a great addition to the West family, the team, and honestly just the show in general. I wish he wasn’t sidelined as often as he was. Wally, baby come back!
Will: I think at this point it is good for Wally to go. I don’t think they have figured out a way for him and Barry to compliment each other. Plus in the comics world, Wally actually eclipses Barry so this is a convenient way for them write Wally out for a while.
7. What was your favorite moment in the episode?
Tatiana: Too many to count! But I think Barry finding out about his future and how he’s not there for his family broke my heart, especially when paired with Iris’ happy tears over getting a chance to connect with Nora and her thinking that this means they got their happy ending. The angst is going to be so delicious.
Vanessa: I really loved this episode, so naturally – I loved a lot of moments. Barry and Nora in his lab talking about their shared love for the same dessert. Iris trying to connect with Nora by pretending to know what “shway” was – she sounded like such a mom; Candice nailed that. Barry, Wally, and Nora teaming up was everything and really reminded me of the comics. But ultimately, Barry and Iris in the speed lab talking about Nora’s firsts and family took the cake. It was incredibly bittersweet – it had you lose yourself in the awesomeness of the situation but really reminded you how tragic it is. Ugh, I actually cried.
Holly: My favorite moment from the premiere was when Barry recalled back to what Thawne/Dr.Wells told him to teach Nora how to phase the plane.
Dori: It’s so hard to choose! Iris trying to be a ~cool mom~ was simultaneously heartbreaking and hilarious. And the (Eobard) Thawne flashback when Barry was teaching Nora how to phase on the plane was pretty cool. But, the end where Nora was bonding with “Papa” Joe and “Uncle” Wally in the secret lounge while Barry and Iris talked was probably my #1 favorite moment in the episode. It was such a sweet domestic scene, kind of like the calm before the storm. I really missed seeing those “normal” moments last season.
Will: Favorite moment was seeing the suit coming out the ring! Been waiting for 5 years for that moment!
Jessica Parker Kennedy truly shines alongside the original cast, as she quickly becomes a fan favorite
As the episode progresses, Iris gets a feeling her daughter doesn’t want to get to know her, as Nora wants to be by her father’s side at all times. Iris is so desperate to get to know her offspring to the point where she tries to play a “blink twice” game with Nora, but Nora is less than interested and reveals she gets to spend her entire life with her mother. Barry, on the other hand, is saddened by her arrival as he feels he missed out on their “firsts” with their daughter. This quickly becomes true, as Barry’s disappearance in 2024 extends to 2049, never returning home.
After a beautifully acted scene by Kennedy and Gustin, Barry decides to keep his never-ending disappearance away from the team, even as Iris believes they get their “perfect ending.” We totally understand Barry’s hesitancy in keeping this away from Team Flash for now, but my God! Have you not learned anything at all, Barry Allen? Keeping secrets is no good!
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Caitlin’s earlier discovery sways her to believe her father knows a thing or two about her abilities, which only means she embarks on a journey to find him. After several takes of her Frosty origin story, we just hope the writers do it justice this time — because we are slowly losing our interest.
What are we looking forward to next? Do we care to watch next week? Other than Kennedy resembling Grant and Candice in every possible way, the casting was spot on! We are unaware if the actress did her research, but she perfectly portrays the young West-Allen, taking pieces from both Barry and Iris. She has Barry’s tendency to ramble and recklessness, while she has her mother’s fearlessness and persistence. We have to say this is the best casting the CW has done, at least with a character’s offspring. Kennedy was the star of the episode, and we have a feeling she will be our favorite for the duration of the season.
Lastly, this season’s big bad, Cicada (Chris Klein), made his appearance at the end of the episode. Though we don’t know much about him yet, we have a feeling he will be a total gamechanger for Team Flash.
Next week in “Blocked,” Barry tries to teach Nora everything he can as a speedster, and we are sticking around to find out if Nora becomes the ultimate student.
The Flash returns Tuesday, October 18th on The CW.