Spoilers below for The Flash’s latest episode, so zip through it before reading on.
For a speedster from the future who doesn’t carry around a whole lot of visible proof to back up anything of the claims she makes, Nora West-Allen has possibly earned a little too much trust from Barry and the rest of Team Flash. Audiences are presumably meant to infer that Nora hasn’t been entirely honest so far, so is it possible her words could come back to haunt her? And how does Cicada play into it all?
Is Nora lying about her future? In “News Flash,” the emotional distance between Iris and Nora finally got explained. It appears Iris decided to implant a meta-tech power dampener inside Nora at some point, which kept Nora from realizing her speedy powers for most of her life. In fact, XS apparently didn’t exist until six months earlier, which is when Nora discovered and removed her dampener.
How would that even work? According to the second-generation speedster, Central City looks to Nora as a “guardian” at a point 30 years in the future, when Barry Allen’s Flash has been long gone due to whatever Crisis. But if Nora was diddling around in current-day Central City for those weeks and months that Team Flash was taking on The Thinker, then when did she have time to become a bonafide superhero in the late 2040s?
I mean, just in these first episodes of Season 5, viewers have seen Barry offer Nora lots of guidance and lessons on both the mental and physical sides of speedster-dom. So how would Nora have become the city’s saving grace if she barely knew any of the tricks that her dad was using decades earlier? It’s like saying you’re the god of VCR repair in a world full of DVRs and streaming services.
Is Nora lying about Iris? Nora got extremely upset with Iris once the power-dampening situation came up. She basically accused her mother of ruining her life by cloaking her metahuman connections to Barry, and acted like Iris wouldn’t have had any legitimate reasons for doing so.
Uh, Nora? Iris’ husband disappeared from existence after one near-death experience after another, all caused in part by his metahuman powers. That tragic event came when Nora was so young, and Iris was forced to be a single parent with literally no clue if or when her husband would come back into their lives. Why the hell wouldn’t Iris want to stop her own child from facing a similarly traumatic and fraught-filled existence?
I don’t think Nora is so naive that she can’t grasp that. Although I did have to question my own judgment once Barry took Iris’ side at the end of the episode, yet failed to offer Nora . even an acorn of reasoning. So perhaps Nora isn’t even telling the whole truth about what Iris did. Or could it be that Iris wasn’t actually the one who dampened Nora’s powers?
How is Cicada involved in all this, though? It’s clear that Cicada and Nora have some kind of connection whose origins are floating just beyond our grasp. It’s definitely no coincidence, however, that both characters have dealt with power dampeners, so a link almost needs to exist there. But what and where is that link?
With all of The Flash‘s mythology at our fingertips, is it weird to theorize that either David Hersch’s (or Orlin Dwyer’s) Cicada, and not Iris, is the one actually responsible for suppressing Nora’s powers in the future? Perhaps in knowing that Nora would have the impetus and abilities to go back in time to protect Barry, his insurance was to cut her speed off, thus allowing him to evade capture for the first time in any dimension (that we know of).
Not that this theory answers everything, of course. We still don’t know the circumstances behind Nora discovering her weakened powers, who tipped her off to the satellite situation, or why that mystery tutor might want all the metahumans dead. (Is it Anti-Monitor, as a way to set up the big crossover?)
The Flash has a lot of answering to do in the coming weeks, so keep tuning in every Tuesday night on The CW at 8:00 p.m. ET. Be sure to keep an eye on all the other new and returning shows hitting fall TV’s primetime hours, too.