Spoilers ahead for the latest episode of The Flash on The CW, called “The Death of Vibe.”
The Flash has gone in a new direction for its Season 5 supervillain, and Cicada is shaping up the be the best bad guy a Flash fan could ask for. The show is already handling him differently than past big bads, and “The Death of Vibe” dropped some reveals about him that indicate he’s not done with the surprises. Even Nora’s future knowledge can only help to a certain extent. Read on for our breakdowns of the big Cicada reveals from the latest episode!
Team Flash Never Catches Cicada
The end of last week’s episode dropped the bombshell that Nora had some inside information on Cicada thanks to all her time spent in the Flash museum as a little girl after her dad’s disappearance. The bad news is that her knowledge about Cicada is limited, and what little she does know won’t help too much in the long run. According to Nora, Team Flash never catches Cicada, and Barry goes missing without wrapping up that particular mystery.
That said, Nora does have some information that points to a potentially different outcome to attempts to solve the mystery this time around. Her presence in the past continues to mess up the timeline, and while that has meant the deaths of some people who would have lived had Nora not raced back in time to meet her dad, it also may mean Cicada’s elusiveness won’t be permanent as it was in the original timeline.
Cicada Showed Up Early
According to Nora, Cicada has appeared in Barry’s life earlier than he did in the original timeline, and there’s no reason to doubt her word. Admittedly, Sherloque’s comments about what motivated Nora to travel to the past and punch the satellite indicate that she hasn’t been entirely up front with Team Flash, but she has no reason to lie about this. Besides, they can count on her being an expert on the time between their present and her own timeline. The girl spent a lot of time in the Flash museum.
On the one hand, Cicada’s early appearance could mean Team Flash can get their hands on him early and prevent him from wreaking the kind of havoc Nora has teased. On the other hand, his early appearance is a sign that Nora’s place in the timeline is having significant effects, and a lot of people may die who originally did not. Perhaps his early appearance just means he gets an early start on his murder and mayhem.
Different Victims Are Dying
The differences between Cicada’s victims could have far-reaching consequences. Nora stated that Gridlock and one other didn’t die in her original timeline, so their deaths in the changed timeline means everything they did in the rest of their lives no longer happens. Whatever the people who did die would go on to do in their futures now won’t happen, and even the smallest tweaks to the timeline can have lasting effects. (Seriously, Barry and Iris, send Nora back to the future before a point of no return.)
Nora’s future knowledge won’t help Team Flash protect any of Cicada’s victims, as she can’t identify them. The reveal that Cicada’s murders are different does raise a lot of new questions, not the least of which is why he’s choosing who he’s choosing. He had the opportunity to kill Barry, Cisco, and Ralph in a previous episode (and probably spent at least part of “The Death of Vibe” wishing he’d snuffed out Vibe) but passed. How does he select who to kill?
Earth-1 Cicada Is Different Than All Other Known Cicadas
“The Death of Vibe” finally introduced the Season 5 incarnation of Harrison Wells, and this one is a French-accented detective who goes by the name “Sherloque.” He demanded a huge fee in exchange for helping Team Flash track down Cicada, and they agreed to sell off some of STAR Labs to pay him. All signs pointed toward the good guys putting the bad guy away, but given that this was only the third episode of Season 5, of course they weren’t already going to catch Cicada.
As it turns out, Sherloque only pretended to use detective skills to identify Cicada. Instead, he was using his knowledge of the Cicada from a bunch of other Earths to catch the Earth-1 Cicada. This led to the reveal that the man who was Cicada elsewhere in the multiverse was innocent on Earth-1 and not even a meta. Nora can’t identify Cicada, and Sherloque can’t identify Cicada; this is going to be a rough ride for Team Flash.
Cicada Has A Daughter, And She’s Sick
After the early report of Cicada described him as an “everyman whose family has been torn apart by metahumans,” it was probably safe to say that we would meet or at least flash back to members of his family. There’s still no saying what happened to his entire family, including the mother of his daughter, but his daughter is alive. Sadly, she’s very sick and in the hospital, and the doctor treating her does not seem optimistic that she could recover.
It should be interesting to learn if Cicada’s vendetta against the metas of Central City is purely out of vengeance for the damage done to his family or if he believes that hunting them down could somehow help his daughter. Whatever happens, there is clearly a softer side to Cicada, and that could be both a strength and a weakness. Team Flash may face a conundrum if/when they learn about her.
He Really, Really Wanted Vibe Dead
As most of us expected after news broke that an episode of Season 5 would be called “The Death of Vibe,” Cicada spent a large chunk of the hour focusing on killing Cisco as Vibe. He had to torture Joe in order to make it happen. It was only a lucky stroke of genius from Nora that presented a solution to the problem, saving Cisco’s life while also convincing Cicada that Vibe was dead.
The episode never revealed why exactly Cicada wanted Vibe dead, but his determination has made things difficult for Team Flash. All the villains of Central City seem to be afflicted by the eye disease that doesn’t allow them to connect Cisco to Vibe as soon as they’ve met them both and seen the hair, so Cisco can still help the CCPD and work at STAR Labs without giving away his non-death to Cicada. Vibe is out of commission for the time being.