This post contains spoilers for The Flash.
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It’s Groundhog Day on The Flash! When The Flash has to go into the Speedforce to help synthesize the Meta Cure, he leaves the city in XS’s hands. Turns out, it’s not the population of Central City that needs protection. Just the members of Team Flash. After Iris ruffled Cicada’s feathers by breaking into his house last week, this season’s big bad is out for blood. He’s moved on from his Meta killing spree to focus on a certain gumption filled journalist, but he’ll accept any member of Team Flash.
After watching Killer Frost die in an attempt to save her mother, Nora immediately turns back time to ensure her family makes it through the night. She figures that a little tweak to the timeline will ensure everyone’s safe and sound until her dad gets back, but history shows us that isn’t quite true.
We follow Nora through five out of the fifty-two times she attempted to undo the murders of her respective teammates. Each time she gets more desperate, and each time she fails. As she starts to unravel, Cisco begins to vibe the other timelines. This should tip him off to the fact that time’s being altered, but he calls himself out later on in the episode, so he’s forgiven. Sherloque also begins to see some signs, but he’s reset every time the timeline is.
On attempt number fifty-three, the team manages to put Nora’s panic together and call out that she’s changing the timeline. With their powers combined, they come up with a plan that uses Cicada’s own dagger. Not gonna lie, it’s pretty satisfying to see him get stabbed after all of his showboating.
Once Cicada runs off and the family returns to STAR Labs, Barry hops out of the Speedforce with a fully synthesized Meta Human cure. There are still a lot of ethical conversations to be had over such a thing, but first Barry has to have the talk with his daughter. It was wonderful to see Barry teaching Nora about time the same way Jay Garrick did with him (we miss you, John Wesley Shipp), but I imagine Nora learns just about as well as Barry did.
“Cause and XS” has a lot of things going for it. Bye, mopey Cisco. May you never return again. Characters should have dimensions and emotions, but the grump fest coupled with the out-of-the-blue done with his powers mope was too much at once. The episode is also a solid reminder that Iris West Allen is the bravest, most unwavering member of Team Flash. No powers, no training, but the girl will still square her shoulders, look a serial killer in the eye, and confidently tell him that her team is going to whoop his ass. I want to be her when I grow up.
All of that boils down to one question: what did Nora break? Barry shattered the timeline by saving his mother. Is it possible that Nora did the same while trying to save hers? Iris might have been the only one who didn’t bite it, but a lot of things were altered. And what is it that Eobard is planning? They drove home the point that everyone is capable of change earlier in the season, but could The Flash’s arch enemy really do so? He says that Nora needs to keep following his orders because it’s the only way he can save her father, but something tells me that Thawne’s still the reason that Barry disappears.
The Flash will be on a little mini-hiatus until March. But, when it returns, we’re all getting the comic book monster fight of our dreams! Gorilla Grodd vs. King Shark? Yes, please! I don’t even care that it’s going to be a filler episode, stream that into my eyes immediately. You know what to do if you had thoughts on this week’s episode in the meantime!