“News Flash” Had The Perfect Balance of Humor and Heart
News Flash had a great balance of humor and heart!
Though we will never forget season five’s premiere “Nora,” we have to say “News Flash” has taken the cake for the best episode of the season thus far. This week’s timely metahuman, Spencer Young aka DC Comics’ Spin (Kiara Madeira), was a game changer for Team Flash, as she had the ability to control people through social media. Spencer’s vendetta for Nora (Jessica Parker Kennedy) actually provided us some answers as to why Nora is so cold to Iris (Candice Patton) — and we have many, many, feelings as we will share later on!
Cisco (Carlos Valdes) took a level of absence this week, while Ralph (Hartley Sawyer) and Sherloque (Tom Cavanagh) teamed to follow a lead on Cicada’s (Chris Klein) mask. In the midst of their crime-solving, Ralph had a moment of insecurity in terms of his PSI skills, and while we’ve had an annoying history with the Elongated Man, his role this season has been his best yet.
It was nice to see Team Flash step out of STAR Labs, as the team showed up to support Barry (Grant Gustin) in CCPD’s charity football game. His attempt to play and catch the ball provided the episode a much needed comedic tone, which was most likely there to prepare viewers for the heart-wrenching scenes between Nora and Iris.
Here to discuss future plans, team-ups and more is our The Flash roundtable!
Tatiana (@myrcellasear)– Entertainment journalism wannabe and an avid pursuer of comics.
Muna (@candiceswest) – Passionate admirer of TV shows and Westallen.
Jessica (@newsflash52) – Lover of all things DC, especially The Flash and Iris WestAllen, and podcast host for Ladies w Gumption.
Alexis (@alexiswaverider)– Hope we are less screwed in 2018.
Cami (@tarcamwat)– Love sci-fiction, superheroes, strong female characters and sensitive male characters.
1. Who’s side are you on: Iris or Nora’s?
Cami (@tarcamwat): Team Iris. Nora has every right to be upset with FUTURE Iris, but taking it out on past Iris is silly. It also sounds like Nora has no idea why her mother hid her powers. We know that Iris hates lying so she must have a dire reason to hide Nora’s powers and presumably get others to go along with it. Nora behaves very immaturely and doesn’t seem to have full control over her emotions. Hopefully, she will grow up a bit.
Tatiana (@myrcellasear): I think the great thing about this storyline, or at least how it developed in this episode, is that you don’t have to take anyone’s side. By giving the plot some breathing room, Nora’s anger comes across as justified even though Iris’ motivations must have come from the purest place. Not to mention that current Iris can’t be blamed for a choice future Iris makes, which puts both ladies in the difficult place of expressing and receiving misdirected outrage. We’ve seen Joe go to extreme lengths to protect Iris, so it’s not like we don’t know where she might get the idea from, and we still don’t know the full story. With Barry presumably dead, Cicada on the loose, and metahumans potentially being outlawed – it’s no wonder Iris tried to suppress Nora’s powers. But at the same time, if I were Nora I know I’d feel upset and betrayed if I found out my mom did that to me.
Alexis (@alexiswaverider): Their feelings were valid, and they were both justified. Nora finding out from a third-party that her mother suppressed her powers must have felt like a betrayal to her but ultimately Iris was right. Just like Barry said, we know who Iris is and everything we’ve seen her do so far has been out of love so there’s no reason to believe otherwise now. We have to remember, Barry got his powers as an adult, parenting a child born with speedster abilities is new territory for everyone especially for a non-meta like Iris doing it alone. Can you imagine Iris having to chase an infant running at the speed of light? That’s dangerous for Nora. We also know that Cicada is still on the loose in the future, that in combination with the fact that meta-humans were outlawed in the future are enough reasons for a mother to do that. When you also factor in that Iris lost her husband to super-heroics, I can understand why she wouldn’t want to lose the only thing she had left of him to the same thing. In addition, while I understand Nora, her attitude towards this Iris for something a future Iris did not sit well with me.
Jessica (@newsflash52): I understand why Nora is upset at her powers being hidden from her, but ultimately I think future Iris had very valid reasons to use the power dampener. From Nora’s perspective, it seems as though Nora feels like “Mom did this to me because she didn’t like me as I am.” However, from Nora’s own admissions: 1. Barry disappeared in 2024 and never returned and 2. Metahuman serial killer Cicada was never caught in her time. So, from Iris’ perspective as a mother and as a wife, I can understand her wanting to protect Nora anyway she could, even if that meant taking away her powers. Iris, has gone through losing Barry due to his powers multiple times. It’s understandable she didn’t want to lose the last part of him she had left. Hopefully (preferably SOON), Nora will be able to see her mom’s point of view.
Muna (@candiceswest): I’m definitely on Iris’s side. I understand Nora’s upset over something that happens in the future between the two of them, but whatever it is, present iris isn’t the one who hurt her. Nora shouldn’t take her anger out on Iris, especially because all Iris wants is to get to know her, because who knows if that thing in the future even happens anymore, now that the timeline has changed. Iris really has been making efforts towards this relationship since the beginning of the season, and Nora keeps pushing her away.
2. What did you think of this week’s metahuman Spencer aka Spin?
Cami: Spin really speaks to our current obsession with becoming famous, getting hits at all costs, and fake news. She’s a villain fit for our times. Spin is a good foil to Iris, because Iris is an A+ journalist that’s interested in the truth and the health of the public. The fact Spin used meta-technology really opened the door to other stories and answered some of our questions about Cicada.
Tatiana: I loved her! Fun social commentary on the undue influence of the media and the dangers of irresponsible journalism without beating you over the head with it. Plus, it was nice to see some of Iris’ community ties outside of STAR Labs and even nicer to confirm that at least one regular cast member on this show isn’t straight.
Alexis: A very appropriate villain for our current time with the emergence of fake news and how journalism has become more about sensationalism, popularity and clicks as opposed to facts and truth. The fact that Spin orchestrates events to create news says it all. I do love what she means for Iris. It means that the show can finally have someone serve as foil for Iris which will push them to further explore her journalism arc, and that the show can draw parallels between the two as it applies to what’s going on in our country today. The show can use this as a vehicle to have meaningful discussions about why journalism is important and crucial to society and their citizens, media’s influence, their responsibilities and ethics in journalism or lack thereof. I also like that focus on journalism will breathe fresh air into a show that tends to over-rely on STEM.
Jessica: I think Spin, like Nora to be honest, is a little reckless and over eager to get success quickly by any means necessary. I think she provides a good foil for Iris with respect to the ethics of journalism. Iris has a lot of integrity and respect for accurate reporting, which Spencer clearly lacks. I also think they’re a good foil in the sense that Iris represents the “old school” brick-and-mortar newspaper journalism, while Spencer represents the “new school” fast, tech-savvy trend of digital journalism. Although both Nora and Spin could have been a little less shady in the way they said it, they weren’t wrong about Iris needing to update her blog to keep up with changing trends. So I think there’s a lot Iris and Spin learn from each other, and I hope the show intends to explore that more.
Muna: She was a really interesting meta! I loved seeing the rivalry between Iris and her and learning about her past as a journalist at CCPN. She also introduced a new type of meta issue, apparently the satellite Barry and Nora destroyed in the finale created meta tech, and it’s going to be a huge problem for the team.
3. Were you surprised to learn the reason why Nora is so angry with Iris?
Cami: Yes! I always suspected it had something to do with Iris not wanting Nora to superhero, but I did not think Iris would go as far as implanting a chip to dampen her powers. In some iterations of the Tornado Twins in the comics, they grow up during an anti-metahuman time period. I think Iris is probably going to try to protect her children from harm because of it and/or she’s protecting them from Reverse Flash.
Tatiana: I was not surprised, but I was pleased. I think a couple of people guessed it would be something along those lines because it feels in character for Iris to do when under extreme circumstances and it’s still something they can work out. And, of course, prevent from ever happening in the first place.
Alexis: With the tension building and Nora’s coldness, rudeness and disrespect towards Iris, I was just hoping that the reveal would be worth it and in some ways it was. Like I said earlier I get why Nora is angry but she’s taking out her anger on the wrong Iris and she’s at this point not seeing it from Iris’ perspective as a mother. Food for thought: Does anybody feel like Nora is being manipulated by someone in her future, i.e. whoever told her about her powers and led her down this path of time travel.
Jessica: Not really. I always guessed that the only reason Nora and Iris’ relationship would be that strained would have something to do with Iris not wanting Nora to use her powers.It just went beyond the question of whether or not she should use her powers to save her dad. It might still also have something to do with the political climate seeing as how Cicada is still on the loose in the future.
Muna: I was pretty shocked at the reason (literally gasped during the whole scene). I understand where Nora was coming from because I would be mad too if my mom hid a part of me from myself for so many years, but like I mentioned earlier that’s future Iris’s doing. I saw a theory on Twitter that mentioned, maybe Iris isn’t even the one who put the meta dampening chip in her and it was Barry, but future Iris doesn’t want to ruin Nora’s image her father so Iris took the blame for it. I’m just really glad we FINALLY know why Nora has been cold to Iris, and hopefully, things start becoming lighter between the two of them.
4. Pretty sure the episode hinted at Nora being a lesbian! What do you think?
Cami: Nora is definitely queer. I think it’s really important for superhero shows to be representative and inclusive. I also like that it is just one of many characteristics. Nora is becoming a fully developed character.
Tatiana: I kind of answered this already, but I love it. Four years is too long to go without introducing an LGBT character, so thank you Nora!
Alexis: They have definitely planted that seed and I’m actually happy about this development. How adorable were Nora and Spencer flirting with each other?
Jessica: Love the way they did it. It was cute and completely normalized. Neither Iris or Barry made a big deal about the revelation that Nora was a lesbian, and I think it’s great they didn’t try to make it some huge “coming out” storyline.
Muna: I’m excited for Nora! It’s nice to see more representation being added to the storyline for the season. I’m also really excited to see how Barry and Iris take it, when or if she tells them!
5. Do you think Ralph and Sherloque make a good team?
Cami: Their story was a bit of a snooze. I missed Cisco.
Tatiana: They made a much better team than I expected. Once again, Ralph showed restraint and humility, which goes a long way towards making me like him. And Sherloque admitted he was wrong and gave credit where it was due. So much growth in a single episode!
Alexis: Ralph is always better when paired with someone. While I find Sherloque funny, I’m still trying to figure out why he’s there because apart from keeping Tom Cavanaugh (who is great by the way) on the show, there’s no need for Sherloque. Ralph and Joe are more than enough detectives, it’s so redundant to add a third because this, unfortunately, leads to Joe being sidelined as a detective.
Jessica: Eh… I don’t know if Ralph would think so. Sherloque has a big ego, and he and Ralph don’t seem to click as well. Ralph is a good detective though, and I’m glad he didn’t just allow Sherloque to take over. When Sherloque figured out the clue from the respirator, and presented the lead to the group, I was wondering if he would try to hog all the accolades to himself. However, Sherloque proved himself to me by giving Ralph credit where credit was due. Maybe there’s some hope for him after all.
Muna: Yeah I think they do. They’re both practically experts in their individual fields and managed to work together to figure out a major key to figuring out Cicada.
6. Cicada’s scar is in the same spot as Nora’s chip. Coincidence or not?
Cami: I don’t believe in coincidences. I assume that Iris used meta-technology to dampen Nora’s powers. The same tech that’s in Cicada’s dagger. The dagger that takes powers away from other metas. It also appears as if Cicada is able to absorb some of the powers that he takes from others. I’m really enjoying the mystery so far.
Tatiana: I think the placement may be a coincidence if the team is right that he was affected by the Enlightenment change, but I think it symbolically connects him to Nora since she accidentally created him. I wonder if the Enlightenment is also what put his daughter in the state she’s in, which means his vendetta will be very personal. Not to mention, I think someone sent Nora to the past with the intention of causing this kind of havoc.
Alexis: I think it’s all connected at least that’s my hope although I don’t know what it means at this time.
Jessica: So far I’m counting it as a coincidence since I feel like the scar was where the metal shrapnel from the satellite hit him. It’s possible Cicada once tried to use a dampener to limit his powers, but I don’t think that technology is widely available.
Muna: If I learned one thing about The Flash over the years, is that they NEVER make anything out of pure coincidence. I’m just curious as to how that detail ties into the rest of the season, Nora especially, and maybe even be a key to defeating Cicada.
7. What was your favorite moment of the episode?
Cami: Iris sticking up for herself and being confident in her decisions and Barry supporting her. I loved that so much. Iris is the most rational character on the show (even more than Joe). She rarely lets feelings get dictate her decisions. It was annoying when she wouldn’t drop Eddie for Barry in season one, because of her strong sense of right and wrong, but it makes for a great leader. Barry showed what a terrific husband he is, because he has so much faith in his wife and trusts her completely. The whole episode displayed Iris’s smarts and common sense when Barry & Nora were often left in the SpinZone.
Tatiana: Had to be the final fight between Iris and Nora. It’s just so great to get the issues out in the open, and for both women to have valid points of view. And it’s even sweeter to see Barry stand up for Iris at such an important moment, even if it means temporarily losing his daughter’s adoration.
Alexis: This episode was probably the best of the season and I believe it’s because it centered on the WestAllen family. This has always been the show’s greatest strength just like it was in the comics as well. Here are some of my favorites: Iris teaching Nora how to extinguish the CCPN fire was on top there for me, it was a call back to “Run Iris Run” episode, a tornado twin Easter egg, and we got a like mother like daughter moment. The whole breakfast sequence including Barry eating those awful pancakes, so his wife doesn’t feel bad, you just got to love their relationship. Iris connecting the dots to Spencer. The final scene between Iris and Nora was so emotional and powerful, all thanks to Candice and Jessica’s performance. It was nice to see finally see Barry back Iris up and be her anchor rather than the other way around which we’ve seen too often.
Jessica: I think my favorite part(s) of the episode were just Barry backing and supporting Iris in the situation with Nora. Up until then, it seemed like Iris was just on an island by herself. Barry never told her she got Nora a phone, and Nora never gave Iris her number, and it seemed like Barry (and Everyone), for the most part, wanted to stay out of it. However, when Iris finally confronted Nora and the truth was revealed, I’m glad Barry provided that voice of reason to Iris to let her know that he had faith in her and her decisions. I’m also glad he reinforced that and vocalized it in front of Nora because I assume Nora thought Barry would immediately just take her side. I’m glad Iris finally knows she has Barry on her side as a parent. Great moment.
Muna: My favorite moment this episode was the Westallen scene in STAR Labs. It was such a sweet and heartfelt moment between Iris and Barry, and it definitely topped the rest of the scenes we got in this episode (although I did really love the baseball scene and the ending scene between Nora, Iris, and Barry). The reason it was my favorite was because the roles were reversed, and it was Barry who had to reassure Iris that she’s gonna get through this. Iris has always been the tough one and the one who holds everyone together, and seeing her be comforted by Barry during these tough times was really sweet! The part where Barry tells Iris that, “anything you do for our family is outta love,” really shows that Barry will always believe in Iris and see the best in her no matter what. Lastly, that double forehead kiss was the best way to end that scene!
Much like our roundtable, the heartfelt scene between Nora and Iris was our favorite!
After weeks of coldness, the audience learned that the reason Nora is so cold toward Iris is that in the future, Iris implants a power dampening device into Nora — how convenient that the episode introduced meta-tech?! After that discovery, we also learn that Nora only discovered she had powers six months ago by a third party. After finally internalizing their conversation, we came to the conclusion that both Nora and Iris are correct! Yes, we said it — there are no bad guys in this situation my friend. We know it’s a good episode when you can’t even pick a side!
There are many factors as to why future Iris would do this. As mentioned from our guests above, Cicada was never captured int he future and we all know he as a vendetta against metahumans that he plans to seek through. Much like Barry said, family is the most important thing to Iris and as a person who has been lied to, Iris knows the dangers of keeping a secret to protect family. What boggles us, though, is Nora’s need to take it out on 2018 Iris, especially when Iris doesn’t even know the circumstances of the future decision she makes. In addition, Nora herself doesn’t even know, but she chalked it up to Iris trying to “control” Nora’s every move.
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Nora’s feelings are justified as well, especially when the chip took away apart of Nora that is so hugely apart of her. As Nora mentioned, her powers are her only connection to her dad, who disappears shortly after Nora is born.
This episode did a wonderful job in pulling at our heartstrings. The scene between Nora and Iris really showcased Patton and Kennedy’s acting skills, playing off of each other very well — even when the conversation consists of anger. Another thing we liked was Barry’s support of Iris’ future decision, as he maintained that she must have done it for a good reason. This hurt Nora, as she decided she needed to re-evaluate the meaning of “family” by moving in into the West home.
If there’s one thing we learned in News Flash, is that you don’t have to agree with someone to understand their line of thinking.
In two weeks (yes, sadly, there’s a hiatus), Team Flash comes face to face with a contortionist, which puts Barry in the crossfire.
The Flash returns Tuesday, November 13th The CW.