We are off to a running start this season I guess. Yes, I started season five reviews with a speed pun, but that seems like it will work out this season considering we have Nora on the show and she seems pretty rad. So, as the aptly titled “Nora” show us crewing with the timeline really runs in the family and for the time being Nora will hang around and muck up the past with her dear old dad. Is it an overly complicated story or reasoning behind her choice to come back and hang out, no, but it certainly makes for a truly solid way to add a future speedster who is not the one that we have been expecting to show up. I mean I wish there had been a B or some sort of C plot within the episode, instead we went with straight A plot and that really wasn’t that bad of a trade off in my opinion.
Let’s start with the star of this episode, Nora who from her first real impression seems to be just the right amount of an addition to the show. Jessica Parker Kennedy does a great job of bringing the little aspects of her character we got to see last season and make her feel truly fleshed out and like a member of Team Flash. He unabashed fandom of Barry is a nice touch and all of the little hits of Flash trivia were much appreciated. Kennedy definitely exudes that sort of natural happiness that we would love to see from a speedster and she is definitely bringing some strong Bart Allen in Young Justice vibes as she tries to save Barry from whatever happens to him in the “Crisis”. I am definitely interested to see how Iris’ relationship with Nora evolves over the course of the season as Iris seems to be seen as an absentee mom by her daughter. Either way, Nora seems like a solid addition in the same vein as Ralph, as long as they don’t get to mellow dramatic with her.
On a similar note, Grant Gustin much like Kennedy does some great work tonight as he slowly comes to realize why she is there and what getting to meet Barry Allen actually means to her. Gustin got a few great speeches tonight, but I really loved Barry’s speech about being there for firsts. I can’t imagine what it will be like when I have kids or what those moments will mean to be, but when Barry spoke about how much he wants to be there for them it felt like a perfect moment. We’ve been watching Barry for nearly five years now and we know it means everything to him to actually be there for his daughter. It is a solid touch to play to that side of Barry even if it seems obvious, but Gustin just does it so well that I can let it slide a little.
Iris on the other hand got the short end of the stick which seems reasonable since from how it sounds Iris was kind of in and out of her daughter’s life due to Barry disappearing. Sad for sure, but it will give the characters a solid arc of learning to live with each other and know more about what Iris can do in order to be a better parent in the future. Plus this means Joe will hopefully get some real god damn parent speeches and be an awesome character again.
As for everyone else this episode, they kind of all got the shaft in terms of character development. I mean Caitlin is looking into her Killer Frost origin and found out her father faked his death which feels like it should have been a bigger deal that it is. I mean the revelation felt so back burner that it was a little bit annoying that it even happened. At least Caitlin got an actually story as Cisco is getting drunk to deal with breaking up with Gypsy. I mean I understand the comedic purposes but Cisco deserves so much better man.
The episode didn’t have much in terms of real villain but the acton scene of phasing the plane with all three speedsters was a solid reference to one of my favorite comics. It was a great touch for Barry to quote Thawne’s speech from the first time he phased, shows some excellent growth for Barry and now he is finally behaving like a mentor that he never was to Wally in a lot of ways.
Overall it was a solid premiere, now to see if we are able to capitalize.
Final Grade B
+Nora had a great real debut
+Great moments for Barry in the episode
+The plane action sequence was great
-Iris got the short end of the parenting stick
-Not a lot for the rest of the cast to do
-Gridlock was a boring villain
-So everything that I can remember Nora saying that is a spoiler of sorts: Barry phased a plane while fighting Mob Rule, Ryan Choi aka The Atom made the new suit for him, she says “schway” like Terry from Batman Beyond, and they get ice cream from Happy Harbor also know as the home of the team’s base in Young Justice. Also King Shark fights Grodd, cool.
-Barry has been gone for over 25 years in Nora’s timeline which is longer than Barry was dead in the comics after defeating Darkseid. That is a long ass time.
-Cicada makes a brief appearance at the end of the episode and he certainly seems terrifying. No spoilers yet, but this should be good.
-The Flash Museum exists in the world, all is right.