This post contains spoilers for The Flash.
Check out our last review here.
Welcome back, Speedsters! Hopefully your holiday was lovely and filled with family bonding that would make Joe West proud. Team Flash is back at it this week, with a few notable absences. The aforementioned Poppa West is still off with his newborn (Jesse Martin should return soon, with that pesky back injury on the mend), and your favorite Baby Giraffe is off doing whatever it is Ralph Dibney does. Cicada took another week off, too. But that doesn’t mean the team didn’t keep trying to suss out how to beat him.
“The Flash & The Furious” is all about choices. After discovering that Eobard Thawne murdered her grandmother in cold blood, Nora’s second guessing their partnership. Though what that partnership entails remains unclear, it’s kind of curious that she had no idea what he’d done. To The Flash’s credit, it does call this out when Nora questions her father’s arch nemesis. Eobard’s just as surprised as the rest of us that the girl who apparently spent her entire childhood in the Flash museum was somehow unaware of what caused her father to grow up without his parents.
We’ll set that aside, since the episode took the time to call it out. But that’s not the only weird thing going on with the youngest West-Allen. She might not have known Thawne murdered her grandmother, but she certainly knew he was her father’s greatest rival. Yet, for some reason, the knowledge that he killed Nora Allen was enough to make the youngest Speedster both decide to no longer help Thawne, and come to the conclusion that no villains ever change.
Nora’s not the only one dealing with an ethical quandary this week. Cisco and Caitlin rarely fight, but when they do it’s over extremely difficult moral issues. The two manage to come up with a way to take away Cicada’s powers. In the process, they discover that they could potentially “cure” all Metas. Since losing his powers, Cisco has felt freed and, because of this, decides that he wants to explore making a cure. Caitlin thinks a cure is unnecessary, with Killer Frost in aggressive agreement.
Where’s Barry during all of this, you wonder? Well, Silver Ghost’s dark-matter-souped-car broke The Flash. He couldn’t stop phasing, so he had to take a time out in the cortex while the effects wore off. Worry not! Barry was kept plenty busy with Mick’s book and some questions from Sherloque. With Cicada on the bench, the current iteration of Wells is hell-bent on translating Nora’s journal. He goes to Gideon for help, but shady lil miss West-Allen deleted all of her files.
Though we got more of a glimpse into her partnership with Thawne, we’re still not quite sure what that partnership entails. Nora gets past her “villains don’t change” phase with the help of her dad, but we still don’t get any real answers before the episode’s close. There’s a countdown clock on the wall with about fifty minutes left on it. Presumably, something bad will happen when that clock hits zero. But that’s for future us to know, apparently!
The Flash’s mid-season return might not have been super strong when it comes to driving the season’s narrative forward, but it did do its job by laying some important groundwork. Silver Ghost’s introduction came with a mention of “Young Rogues”, which we’ll hopefully see grow as the season progresses. While the Young Rogues can maintain the side-arcs, the show bringing back its best villain to date is also noteworthy. It seems impossible that Eobard Thawne would ever change, but believing that he could is kind of the point of the show.
Nora asks her father outright if he believed that Thawne could ever become a better person. Barry’s answer helps illustrate just why Oliver refused to allow him and Supergirl to be the ones to give their lives in Elseworlds. Half of me wants to scream that it’s a ridiculously unfounded belief to think that Thawne could change, but that’s what makes heroes like The Flash so important.
The episode closes out with Cisco and Caitlin making amends, but those amends come with conditions. Not everyone is built to be a superhero. When Caitlin sees her friend in pain over the fact that he’s been forced to become one, she decides to help him out. That help will only be provided under the condition that no one would ever be forced to take the cure against their will. That’s all well meaning, but anyone who’s ever read an X-Men comic knows that choice never sticks around for long.
Cicada returns next week. While there’ve been some frustrations with his mediocrity, this season of The Flash has enough different threads going that it might not matter. Cicada might not even be the endgame for the season. Instead, he may simply be a catalyst for a bigger problem for the Meta-Humans, should Caitlin and Cisco be able to successfully create this cure.
That’s all for this week. As always, we want to know your thoughts on the episode in the comments below!