"The Flash (2014)" Season Five Talkback (Spoilers)

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The Penguin

All Hail the King!
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The Flash season five marks the new TV season return of superheroes to The CW! Tonight at 8 p.m. ET.

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"Nora" - Season Premiere
Tuesday, October 9, 2018 @ 8 p.m. ET/7 CT on The CW
After an unexpected guest from the future, Nora West-Allen, appears at their home, Barry and Iris must figure out how to get her back to the future without disrupting the timeline.

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CWTV.com - The Flash

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
The Flash “Nora”

Promising opening. But that was also true for the first episodes of seasons 2-4 and they all wound up sucking anyways. I’m not going to get my hopes up.

“Shway”, huh? Silliest Batman Beyond reference ever.

We got references to Ryan Choi and Lightning Lad as well. I am looking forward to the team’s team-up with King Shark against Grodd.

The upcoming Crisis looks far more dire than I ever feared. I really hope they are able to prevent certain parts of it, or at least prevent certain parts from becoming permanent.

I love Wally catching up with the Legends off-screen. Do you know why? Because Wally is able to explain time travel way better than Jay Garrick. Jar Garrick obviously tried to change fixed points, which is why everything was made worse, no matter what he did. The Legends and the Time Bureau know that time is more fluid than that, and Wally has access to information that there are soft spots, so it’s probably not too damaging for Nora to stick around. The thing that troubles me is that Flash disappearing in the Crisis seems like precisely the kind of thing in time that would become fixed, and if they DO wind up fixing it, I imagine next season will be about the fall-out to that.

Nora looking at Caitlin warmly tells me the Arrowverse Killer Frost never went evil in her timeline. Because Nora is here, that can actually change, but it is nice to know a future where Killer Frost is not a villain is totally on the table. Her becoming a traitor was almost described as predestined in season 3. With Savitar gone, that is no longer true.

I feel the writers had Ralph playing catch-up for the sake of the audience who hadn’t seen the show since the summer hiatus, but honestly, a bunch of this stuff is stuff he already should have known. They’ve obviously talked about parallel worlds and time travel in front of him before. It makes no sense that he wasn’t paying attention. You hear the words “time travel” or “parallel worlds” in everyday conversation, you stop what you are doing, even if you weren’t paying attention before they were said. I mean a history professor could be droning about the most boring subject ever, and if they utter the words, “Topless Jennifer Connelly” my eyes will automatically focus. I understand the need to recatch the audience back up. But Ralph made a poor “cabbage head” audience surrogate simply because those aren’t subjects anyone would believably veg out during.

A serial killer of metas at the end strikes me as about as bad an idea of Thinker doing the same thing, and will probably lead to the same kinds of frustrations. I liked all of the rest of the episode. Except the tag was the one thing that told me the season was probably going to suck after all.

Still, it was a good episode otherwise. ****.


Well-Known Member
Starts awkward, finishes strong. Gridlock comes from the comics, but William Lang does not. There were two different Gridlocks in the last 20 years. One fought Impulse, the other met Bat-Mite, of all people,

Upon further, closer examination, Nora is actually a combination of Impulse & XS, the latter a Legionnaire. The former because she acts on impulse. Well, I suppose that's to be expected.

The Penguin

All Hail the King!
Staff member
New The Flash! Right now on The CW.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018 @ 8 p.m. ET/7 CT on The CW
As Barry helps his daughter, Nora, become a better speedster, he and Team Flash also track down a meta stealing high-tech weapons.

Road to Gotham

Well-Known Member
Like the weird sounding music/FXs when Cicada appears.

Never seen nor heard of this Vanessa character/villain.
But did like the box thingy she created to capture her victims.

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
The Flash "Blocked"

All right! A episode mostly dealing with personal and family relationships, and light on the superheroics! My kind of episode, and why I watch this show! How was it?

Good, but not great. I think my problem is that the characters came up with some of the wrong solutions to their problems. And the solutions were so obvious, that it bugs me the show had different resolutions to each.

First off, the thing that bugged me was Joe being absolutely dismissive of Cecile wanting to use the telepathy machine on their baby. Granted, it IS a crazy idea, that nobody should ever do in a million years, but instead of talking it out, and brainstorming ways Cecile can feel that intimacy with the baby without a psychic link, and maybe problem solving the baby crying together, he takes the baby crying as his cue to leave and simply prove her way wrong. The specific reason this bugs me is because he gives that amazing speech to Barry later on that melts her heart. He couldn't have said something similar to her then and there? I dunno. A baby crying is not "an inopportune phone call" or an actual emergency where people need to stop their conversation until later on. It aggravates me that the show is trying to show Joe is a good guy for melting her heart when he does, when he should have been comforting her when she actually needed it instead.

Similarly, I appreciate the fact that Barry showed all of his goof-ups to Nora on tape. But Joe is missing the forest for the trees as to why she's making the mistakes she is. Joe does not need to go all the way back to Barry's elementary school science project to show him biting off more than he could chew. That was Barry's default mode in season one, and the precise source of conflict between him and Oliver Queen. No, the reason Nora is effing up is because she's a rookie speedster. And they think too quickly, and rush into things before making a plan. Speedsters are ALWAYS very reactive to situations, and suck at long term planning. In my mind this is why The Thinker was SUCH a poor Big Bad for Season 4. The hook of last year was that Barry was going to have to outthink his enemy. And he didn't wind up doing that just because he can't. Speedsters suck at long term planning, so the Thinker was automatically the wrong Big Bad for Flash to spend an entire season defeating. Because he never plausibly could outthink him. But Barry maybe should be recognizing himself in her because she has the same weakness as ALL rookie speedsters. Wally went the through the exact same thing too. While I do think it's a bit weird Barry doesn't recognize this for what it is, it's weirder to me that the show doesn't seem to recognize it either. I love relationship episodes of shows. But if you're doing them with people with powers, you have to understand the personality types, and how they would work with the specific powers, and see every possibly situation involving those specific personality types and powers. And if the show doesn't automatically point out that Nora is reckless simply because that is something attached to that specific power, it's not exploring the character, or the situation, or the superpower, properly.

Similarly, I am very unhappy with what they've done with Ralph this season. And it's the fact that they did this which is why I think they probably should have chosen a different character for the show. But it's episode two and Ralph so far hasn't used his stretchy powers. The problem is, for the stretchy heroes who have that specific power like him, Plastic Man, Mr. Fantastic, and Ms. Marvel, the stretchy thing is something they do without realizing it. Part of why stretchy heroes are so funny is because they weird and freak people out without meaning to, simply by doing something as simple and involuntary as stretching their neck to look over someone's shoulder. And because Flash has a TV budget, they are not writing the stretchy hero the way he should be written. Ralph should be a lot grosser and freakier, and yes, funnier than he is currently is. But they can't afford him to be, which says that maybe they should have selected as different hero. But stretchy guys should show off the power. A lot.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, which along with Twin Peaks is one of the two shows my fandom ideas and origins always go back to, had a similar problem with Odo, and how expensive it was for him to shapeshift. He literally stopped turning into things after season 1, and then only used the morphing effect if he was fighting or linking with other shapeshifters after that. The difference to me is that Odo always, ALWAYS felt uncomfortable using his "tricks" in front of other people, and like a bit of a sideshow freak, so DS9 gave him the perfect excuse to be reserved with that superpower. Odo's personality was not tied into it, and in fact was actually contrary to the free-wheeling nature of the power.

Conversely Ralph is laid back and goofy and has poor boundaries. The precise guy who would annoyingly overuse that power. And he hasn't used it yet this season. And because Ralph is not curmudgeonly or reserved like Odo is, I'm gonna notice him not using his gimmick a lot more than when DS9 did that to Odo. A LOT more.

For the record, I love his things to do for a break-up list. It's smart even if the things on the list are ultimately dumb. Ralph was probably right that it always works. Because it's a distraction. It's something to do. It's something to take your mind off of the pain. And stuff like the affirmation is so important anyways, that the list makes it almost seem like a game to do something that is in reality totally necessary. Ralph's list is what would happen if therapy were actually fun. And it kind of bums me out that Cisco is judging the idea based on how dumb the items on the list are. As far as I am concerned, the items on the list are actually besides the point. It's bonding with Ralph and Caitlin which is the thing that will make Cisco better. And I love the list because it does that.

How do I like Cicada? I like the idea of him, but I'm not sold on Chris Klein. I don't hate the actor or anything, but I'm tired of TV casting formerly nice guy teen actors as heavies just for the shock value. I don't hate Klein, but I have never once said to myself "Wow, I REALLY miss the dumb kid from Election and American Pie, and my TV would be better off if he were on it." I have not said or thought that once.

This is my kind of episode. That kind of blew things anyways. ***1/2.


Well-Known Member
Ok, so Cicada steals powers from other evil metas and heroes alike. Aside from the dagger absorbing Barry's, Cisco's, & Ralph's powers, Cicada is being presented as Thinker 2.0. Stupid!

Like Road to Gotham, I am not familiar with Vanessa Jansen, so I'll check and see if she came from the books. Don't like the idea of Cicada killing the other villains, not one bit.

This is going to be a loooooooooong season.

The Penguin

All Hail the King!
Staff member
"The Death of Vibe"
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 @ 8 p.m. ET/7 CT on The CW
After Cicada’s attack on The Flash, the team realizes they need to think outside the box to stop this dangerous new foe.

Road to Gotham

Well-Known Member
The new Wells is SHERLOQUE WELLS. The Sherlock Holmes of the multiverse and
french it seems.
Cisco did call him "Cumberbatch" :D

We did find out what is motiving Cicada to do things he is doing. Family.

Nice little look into Nora's time period at the FLASH MUSEUM.
Too bad the curator Dexler Myles didn't make an appearance.

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
The Flash "The Death Of Vibe"

The bad news: They never defeated Cicada in the original timeline.

The good news: The fact that he's someone else in THIS timeline means they might here.

Interesting that "The Death Of Vibe" refers to Cisco faking his death. It will be interesting to see Cisco entirely out of the field for a season.

We got a reference to the League, and we learned that Oliver tried (and failed) to catch Cicada too. So did the Legends and Supergirl apparently. With those big guns coming up empty, that means Team Flash has their work cut out for them.

They say Oliver "tried" to catch him. Did this show just spoil that Oliver gets out of prison soon?

I love Sherloque Welles so far, and I love that he seems to have got Nora's number already. This should be a very interesting season.

Good that Ralph is back to using his stretchy powers.

Good episode. As I said, this season should be interesting. ****.
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The Penguin

All Hail the King!
Staff member
"News Flash"
Tuesday, October 30, 2018 @ 8 p.m. ET/7 CT on The CW
Barry and Iris face the ultimate parenting test when Team Flash battles Spin, a savvy millennial armed with meta tech, and a dangerous agenda for their daughter, Nora.


Well-Known Member
In the books, Spin was some dude named Auerbach. Apparently, that didn't impress the producers, so they decided to turn Spin into a woman, in this case Spencer Young, envious of Iris' success, and wants to make her own mark by any means necessary.

If only she knew she was using Iris' daughter to achieve those ends, but she ends up a one-trick pony.

The scenes with Sherloque Wells & Ralph were a little goofy.

Apparently, Cicada not only dampens/steals powers, but he also absorbs them. Again, we're talking Thinker 2.0, but with a different motivation, which, in this case, is not too dissimilar to Cayden James on Arrow last year.

Not digging Nora walking, actually, running away to her grandparents in a tiff.

As I write, Black Lightning is dealing with family issues as well. So Marvel-esque.


deficit omne quod nasciture
In some respects, its good to see that the show has evolved from where it was two seasons ago.

They've been able to resist milking tension by giving us the BBEG identity right off the bat and addressing the reason why Nora is ice cold towards her mother.

Typically that would of taken half a season.

Anyways I always sigh when they introduce overpowered characters like the Sherlock version of Wells because it really paints them into a corner.

Three episodes in and you have the multiverses greatest detective, which means that you'll have to get pretty elaborate as to why Wells wont be able to just figure everything out in an episode or two.

And while Cicada seems to be the scissors to teams Flash's rock he doesn't possess any scholarly prowess so I'm wondering if he really is this seasons BBEG?

I mean given how self aware the show runners seem to be, I have to believe that they don't believe they can get more than half a dozens episodes worth of drama out of him.

I have to assume Wells will figure out old boy here has a daughter and it wont take long to wrap up this arc.

I haven't followed any kind of press as to how the season will play out so my obvious theory is that whoever is involved with Nora going to the past is probably this seasons villain ,

Hey look at that, both Arrow and Flash have LGBTQ children.

Loved the breakfast scenes, I actually laughed out loud at that.

Also, its good to hear about what was going on with Jesse L Martin. The dude looked like he was horrible pain in almost every shot, and the fact that he was never standing was worrisome.

I thought something was seriously wrong with him, but at least a back injury is something you can recover from.

Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
The Flash "News Flash"

Great episode. No complaints.

Although I'm wondering why the mask didn't come up with the noise problem before. That's why Darth Vader breathes heavily too. It would be the first thing I thought of. Maybe there isn't Star Wars on Sherloque Welles' Earth? That must be it.

I think Iris is dumb for telling Nora that after the crisis, she believes she had a good reason for suppressing her powers in the future. Now I don't agree with Nora's idea that it was done to control her. But... she did it in the timeline before Nora came back, and Iris saw in action how dangerous she could be. Iris is trying to use the crisis as a justification for her future actions when the crisis had nothing to do with it in Nora's original timeline. What Iris is doing is trying to rationalize a terrible action so she doesn't seem so terrible in hindsight. And honestly? I agree with Nora that it was a crummy thing to do. I can't think of a good reason for Iris to do it, and maybe now that she knows it will cause a problem she might not do it. Honestly the best reason I can think of is that Cicado threatened to kill any superpowered children the Flash had, and Iris did it to hide the fact she was a Metahuman. Except Cicada does not know who the Flash is, and in the original timeline, Barry didn't find out who Cicada was. I suspect it will be something like that, but I can't really see how it could work. As of now, the facts say that Iris is simply a bad mother.

Do you know why I love Barry? Even though it's the bad call, he backs her play. United front. They are the parents, and he sees how being the "bad guy" to Nora is killing his wife. It's the little things like that that make me love Barry and Iris. Another similarly great little moment was Iris leaving the room to "make Barry a banana." And Barry questions the statement, she reaffirms it, and Barry realizes he's gonna let that funny thing go because she seems a little bananas herself right then. And I love stuff like that, and outside of Felicity on Arrow, most of the Arrowverse doesn't do stuff like that. Nate on Legends Of Tomorrow has similar mannerisms, but it's dealing with fantastical nonsense, whereas Barry and Iris talk and joke around like real people. It's one of the things I have always liked about Barry, and it's probably the reason Felicity likes Barry too.

The idea of Metahuman technology is a fabulous one, and as far as I'm concerned, breaks the franchise, and possibly the entire Arrowverse, wide open. Game changer. Was this ever a thing in the comics? Because it should have been. It's genius.

Nora is a gay? It seems like everyone is in this franchise. I'm not complaining because I love LGTBQ representation in the media. It's just the ratio to gay to straight people is nowhere NEAR as close in the real world as it seems on Berlanti shows. Again. Not complaining exactly. But it happens a LOT more in the Berlantiverse than it does in real life.

Although now that I think about it, has there really BEEN a gay major character on this show besides Captain Singh and Citizen Cold? I don't recall a former regular, that's for sure.

The thing I like about Sherloque is even at this early stage of his character progression, he is unafraid to give credit where it is due, and to own up to his mistakes. That's a VERY interesting thing to show in the character's second episode ever, and it makes me warm up to him quicker than I did HR in season 3.

That was a really good episode of television I just watched. ****1/2.
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Well-Known Member
I'm not even sure if Nora was gay in the books. Berlanti, who happens to be gay himself, is loading up on LGBT characters, some of whom weren't originally, to pull in the particular demographic, which, like most demos, is comprised mostly of casual viewers, though I cannot be sure of that.

The Penguin

All Hail the King!
Staff member
"All Doll'd Up"
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 @ 8 p.m. ET/7 CT on The CW
Nora lets something slip about the future that devastates Iris.
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Fone Bone

Matt Zimmer
The Flash “All Doll’d Up”

I was pleasantly surprised they got the “eyes and ears” back at the end, but the rest of the episode was predictable. And honestly? For me, that’s fine. I like predictable stuff as long as it is good. There is something very comforting and satisfying in watching a story unfold the exact way it SHOULD unfold. I am amazed by unpredictable, mindblowing television. But I don’t tend to outright enjoy it as much as something that starts and ends the way a story should. “Predictable” is a slur with most critics. It never has been with me. I think anyone who demands perfection and unpredictability, and the “Best show eva!” week in and week out, is actually unreasonable. And I hate that most television, and the Arrovverse in particular, seems to be specifically catered to the types of edgy slobberers who enjoy watching their shows be destroyed every week. I am currently an Arrowverse skeptic. I appreciate more than most people that The Flash has kept things more grounder and safer this year. The Flash always winds up blowing things by the midseason, but I can recognize a solid episode when I see it, whether it blew my mind or not. People who want the best, mindblowing television every single week, are not people producers should cater most TV to, especially shows with broad-based appeal such as shows based upon famous superhero comics. Those people are looking for a gut reaction, rather than a good story. And most people see the shocking twists from Lost and Breaking Bad and think what people responded to was the tragedy and unexpectedness. And tragedy and unexpectedness without the good story to back it up is why Game of Thrones sucks, why Gotham sucks, and why most of The Arrowverse currently sucks. I don’t want to see my shows destroyed every other week. I actually value enjoying them. And people who value watching characters suffer are not looking out for high quality or the best interest of the franchise. Berlanti and friends really need to stop catering to the nihilism seekers. The shows will be better when they do.

I agree with Nora that Iris is probably every bit the terrible mother she believes she is in the future. While it is true we’ve only heard Nora’s side, she is so firm in that belief that it leaves me very little wiggle room to believe she’s actually wrong. Where Nora is messing up is the lesson Cecile and Barry were trying to teach her. Just because Future Iris is gonna suck, doesn’t mean present day Iris does. Iris fears she may already be there, but the fact that she jumped off a building to save Barry says she isn’t yet. And frankly, I don’t know why Nora is missing the obvious. Why is she even there? To prevent her father from disappearing during The Crisis. If she is actually successful, morose, horrible Iris probably won’t even exist! And I kind of wish Nora would judge her by the standard of how she wants things to turn out, rather than how they previously did. Because if she’s successful, things might be different. Cicada potentially being able to be caught is another good thing that could potentially come from her coming back in time.

I realized I am very unsure of both the actual history of Iris’ mother Francine, and what Barry now remembers after Flashpoint. The time travel on this show is a mess.

Ragdoll is out of a horror movie. I like the name, but I would have actually preferred “Raggedy Dandy”. That was sublime. It’s a shame they had to keep the one from the comics. That one was much better.

I loved Caitlin’s scene of comforting Cisco. Because she knows exactly what he is going through. I have to say, as much hatred as I had for season four, it was more enjoyable than the first three on one specific level: I didn’t have to fear a horrible end to Caitlin. Now that I don’t anymore, I can accept and enjoy these moments at face value, knowing they aren’t simply being used to cause the heroes future suffering. At least that’s my interpretation for now. As noted, the show could decide to blow itself up instead. But while things are in a holding pattern with Killer Frost, and her returning is actually considered a positive, I don’t really worry about that anymore. Who knows what next week will bring? But I was able to enjoy this scene this week.

Speaking of which, I’ve been bemoaning the lack of stretchy effects for Ralph this year. And if it turns out they were saving up their budget for this episode, my first reaction is, “I’ll allow it.” That was fun stuff, and if I can’t get it every week, I am at least encouraged that the show is saving it up for every month or month and half. I can live with that.

I love that Cisco names the satellites Robby, Data, HAL, and Colossus. Because it took me a few seconds to realize what those names all had in common.

Good episode this week at least. ****.


Well-Known Member
Rag Doll is a character with an extensive history dating back to the Golden Age. Gail Simone came up with the modern itineration we were introduced to in 2005 as a member of the Secret Six, and in canon, Peter Merkel is really a 2nd generation, or, legacy villain, though Simone used him more as a hero.

The actor playing Peter, Troy James, I found out, appeared on America's Got Talent, and apparently he is a contortionist himself, making him perfect for the part. A good stroke of luck from the casting department for a change.

I got a kick out of Cisco naming the satellites, which was the writers' homages to "Forbidden Planet", "Colossus: The Forbin Project", "2001: A Space Odyssey", and, of course, Star Trek: The Next Generation, which passed its 30th anniversary last year.

Notice how this season has allowed more room for the subplots to develop, then move to the forefront, as Caitlin's search for her father does in this week's episode. That's what making this show a little easier to enjoy.


Yes, have some.
Staff member
The actor playing Peter, Troy James, I found out, appeared on America's Got Talent, and apparently he is a contortionist himself, making him perfect for the part. A good stroke of luck from the casting department for a change.
Cool! I just saw him as the Pretel Jack character on the latest season of Channel Zero. Also used those skills to wicked effect.


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