“I think part of being a hero is seeing the good in people…besides, if we don’t believe in people, who will?”
It’s been well over a month since we’ve had a non-crossover Flash episode and, in that time, one question has been chewing in my craw: what the bloody hell is Nora doing working with Eobard Thawne? The first episode of 2019 designs to answer that question along with setting the table for the second half of Season Five.
While the answer to Nora’s ‘partnership’ with Thawne is never fully revealed, “The Flash and the Furious” does sprinkle in hints at their current partnership. It goes behind Thawne coaching her on traveling through time in order to meet the father she never knew. Also, he’s not doing it out of the goodness of his heart—despite his continued stance that he has indeed changed. It appears that he’s on a time limit, one that hints at his unfortunate end. Fifty-one minutes and some-odd seconds before time’s up for Eobard, meaning there’s precious little time for him to convince Nora that he’s changed.
Change is the perfect buzzword to use for “F&F”. Not only does Nora find herself trying to decide if bad people like Thawne or Joss Jackam (Weather Witch) are capable of change, but Cisco is exploring his own change. In line with any narrative where superpowers are gifted—whether by birth or accident—the conversation always arrives at the potential for a cure for the individual. It’s not an outlandish thought, especially if one considers some of the ghastly and crippling mutations that have been prevalent in X-Men stories or even in The Flash itself (we all remember Neil Borman, aka Fallout) but as often seen with such a noble idea, it invariably is used for selfish reasons by either criminal elements or, even worse, governmental entities wishing to maintain ‘law and order’. Caitlin’s initial response to Cisco’s idea is curious as she makes the decision for him that this isn’t the right way to go. It’s not until she gives it some thought that she realizes, they aren’t making a cure, rather they are giving the affected people a chance to live a normal life.
Choice and the chance to change is also a big part in the villain of the week. This time around it’s Raya
Van Zandt (‘Silver Ghost’), a dishonorably discharged pilot whose meta-infected key fob gives her the ability to override any vehicle systems. We don’t get very much character development from her, just that she has her eyes set on the $24 million SAM (stealth automobile) holed up in an A.R.G.U.S. facility but the fact that she escapes capture (and tosses out the name ‘Young Rogues’) is a promise she’ll return in future episodes. But it’s Joss Jackam’s story that falls more in line with the theme of change. She is a criminal that actually feels remorse for her actions, the attempted murder of her father as well as putting dozens of innocent people in danger. All too often, the bad guys in television series (especially comic book series) don’t get enough backstory for why they are the way they are, nor given any redeeming qualities. If they are there for a quick bad guy of the week, that’s understandable but even then a bit more care into crafting their story could go a long way. It was a positive to see Joss return and not just hell bent on destruction. Even Raya appears to have a story (Iris mentions her being made the scapegoat for some unknown snafu), one that we’ll hopefully get a better idea of down the road. As it stands though, thanks to Joss saving her life and Barry’s grudging admission that even Thawne can change, Nora decides to trust Eobard as they jump to the next stages of their plan.
Let’s hope it’s a choice she doesn’t end up regretting.
- The conflict between Cisco and Caitlin was a well done aspect of the episode and will undoubtedly have repercussions down the road. Cisco is such a good guy that he doesn’t realize the potential bad such a ‘cure’ could have if it fell into the wrong hands. At the same time, those who were gifted powers and never wanted them would have the chance to start over again. It’ll be interesting to see where the cure research is at season’s end.
- I wasn’t a big fan of Sherloque but he’s starting to grow on me. More to the point, his keen detective skills are on the hunt for whatever it is that Nora’s hiding (namely her partnership with Thawne). When he discovers the truth, it may be enough to tear Team Flash apart.
- For a super-secret military facility, A.R.G.U.S. has had way too many security breaches. Sure, metas are almost always involved but, damn people, you may want to up your facility defense dollars.
- Raya’s ‘New Rogues’ name drop is a neon sign-type hint that a new group of baddies is ready to create carnage in Central City. With half the season to go (and Cicada a very boring villain), here’s hoping we see more of Raya’s little band of marauders. I have a feeling that when we do, most of them will be harnessing meta-tech, somewhat of a parallel to the new generation’s rise with technology as an integral part of their lives and not just an accessory.